InterDrone 2017 Keynotes


Michael Huerta

Michael P. Huerta is the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. He was sworn-in to office on January 7, 2013 for a five-year term. Michael is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world. He oversees a $15.9 billion dollar budget, over 47,000 employees, and is focused on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry. Michael also oversees the FAA's multi-billion dollar NextGen air traffic control modernization program as the United States shifts from ground-based radar to state-of-the-art satellite technology.

Michael was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the FAA's Deputy Administrator on June 23, 2010. On January 1, 2013, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed President Obama's nomination of Micheal for a five-year term as FAA Administrator. Michael is an experienced transportation official who has held key positions across the country. His reputation for managing complex transportation challenges led him to the international stage when he was tapped as a Managing Director of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Olympics drew 2,400 athletes from 78 countries to Salt Lake City. Michael was critical in the planning and construction of a variety of Olympic transportation facilities, as well as the development of a highly successful travel demand management system that insured the transportation system operated safely and efficiently. Before joining the FAA, Michael held senior positions at Affiliated Computer Services from 2002-2009 rising to the position of President of the Transportation Solutions Group; ACS is now a Xerox company specializing in business processes and information technology.

Michael was commissioner of New York City's Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce from 1986-89. He then served as the Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco from 1989-1993. From 1993-98, he held senior positions in the U.S. Transportation Department in Washington, D.C., serving under Secretary Federico Pena and Secretary Rodney E. Slater. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California-Riverside and a master's in public affairs, with a concentration in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.



Brian M. Krzanich was appointed chief executive officer of Intel Corporation and elected a member of the board of directors on May 16, 2013. He is the sixth CEO in the company’s history, succeeding Paul S. Otellini.

Krzanich has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Intel, most recently serving as the chief operating officer (COO) since January 2012. As COO, his responsibilities included leading an organization of more than 50,000 employees spanning Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Custom Foundry, supply chain operations, the NAND Solutions group, human resources, information technology and Intel’s China strategy.

His open-minded approach to problem solving and listening to customers’ needs has extended the company’s product and technology leadership and created billions of dollars in value for the company. In 2006, he drove a broad transformation of Intel’s factories and supply chain, improving factory velocity by more than 60 percent and doubling customer responsiveness. Krzanich is also involved in advancing the industry’s transition to lower cost 450mm wafer manufacturing through the Global 450 Consortium as well as leading Intel’s strategic investment in lithography supplier ASML.

Prior to becoming COO, Krzanich held senior leadership positions within Intel’s manufacturing organization. He was responsible for Fab/Sort Manufacturing from 2007-2011 and Assembly and Test from 2003 to 2007. From 2001 to 2003, he was responsible for the implementation of the 0.13-micron logic process technology across Intel’s global factory network. From 1997 to 2001, Krzanich served as the Fab 17 plant manager, where he oversaw the integration of Digital Equipment Corporation’s semiconductor manufacturing operations into Intel’s manufacturing network. The assignment included building updated facilities as well as initiating and ramping 0.18-micron and 0.13-micron process technologies. Prior to this role, Krzanich held plant and manufacturing manager roles at multiple Intel factories.

Krzanich began his career at Intel in 1982 in New Mexico as a process engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from San Jose State University and has one patent for semiconductor processing. Krzanich is also a member of the board of directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Keynote: Greg Agvent - CNN - thursday, sept 7, 5:20pm - 5:40pm

Greg AgventGreg Agvent is the Senior Director of National News Technology, and leads the recently created CNN Aerial Imagery & Reporting unit, CNN AIR. Greg is responsible for designing and executing the technical, logistical and production strategies to support CNN’s multi-platform editorial mission, including the implementation of unmanned aerial systems. He provides strategic vision bridging the editorial and technical worlds, with a focus on applied technologies, multi-platform production systems, newsgathering technologies, information management systems and other nascent technologies.

Based in Atlanta, he has worked extensively with both the Editorial and Technical leadership in developing and executing CNN’s broadcast coverage of virtually every significant domestic news story of the last 15 years.

Greg has led CNN’s domestic UAS program since CNN initiated its research efforts in 2013. Because of his demonstrated leadership in the field, he was named to the federal Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) and also sits on the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST). He is a member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), ASTM and serves on the Advisory Board of ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence).

Before becoming Director of News Technology, Greg was Director of Planning, focused specifically on editorial content. Greg began his career as a Production Assistant at ESPN and joined CNN in 1984. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Purdue University.

Keynote: Charles Bergan, qualcomm - thursday, sept 7, 5:40pm - 6:00pm

Charles Bergan

Charles Bergan, Vice President of Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Charles leads the software department for Qualcomm Research.  He also oversees Qualcomm Research’s robotics program.  While at Qualcomm, he has been involved in the research and development of most of the modern cellular radio standards, including CDMA, UMTS, UMB and LTE.

Previously, he led the software development team at Ensemble Communications, a start-up company which pioneered the development of LMDS point-to-multipoint wireless backhaul systems. 

Charles has a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from the University of California, San Diego.

Keynote: Michael Chasen - PrecisionHawk - Wednesday, Sept 6, 2:00pm - 2:20pm

Michael ChasenMichael Chasen is the CEO of PrecisionHawk. Previously, Michael was the co-founder and CEO of Blackboard, an education technology company that he started in 1997 with a small group of young entrepreneurs in Washington, DC. Under Michael’s leadership, Blackboard grew to over 3,000 employees with over 20 offices worldwide. Blackboard went public in 2004 with Michael serving as CEO for seven years.

In 2011, Blackboard sold to Providence Equity Partners for $1.7 billion. After Blackboard, Michael founded SocialRadar, a company focused on using satellite and street level photos to geo-locate business storefronts. In 2016, SocialRadar sold to Verizon/MapQuest.

Michael holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA from Georgetown.

Keynote: Romeo Durscher - DJI - friday, sept 8, 9:45am - 10:05am

Romeo DurscherRomeo is the Director of Education at DJI, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Romeo has established himself as one of the top aerial panorama photographers in the world, traveling to various locations and capturing some of the most stunning and inspiring views from above. Romeo founded as a place created to share tips, tricks and reviews of various UAVs and gadgets used for aerial videography and photography.

Romeo’s work has been published in various magazines, newspapers and galleries across the globe. His latest adventure was flying DJI drones and broadcasting live on ABC Good Morning America from inside the world largest cave in Vietnam.

Keynote: Biren Gandhi - Cisco - Wednesday, Sept 6, 2:20pm - 2:40pm

Biren GandhiBiren Gandhi is a Distinguished Strategist in Cisco’s Corporate Strategy Office, focused on identifying key technology trends and accelerating their adoption through acquisitions, development or partnering. He has built a successful track record of bringing innovation to life through strategic collaborations with startups, venture capital firms, universities and partner ecosystems. Currently, Biren spearheads strategy for highly disruptive technologies, such as the Internet of Things, fog computing, drones/UAVs, blockchain, deep learning, robotics and artificial intelligence. He combines his business and technology expertise to drive the co-creation of breakthrough business models through Cisco’s Global Innovation Centers as well as other catalysts for external and internal innovation.

Biren has nearly 20 years of leadership, strategic and tactical technology experience in diverse verticals like social networking, cloud, big data, mobile, telecom, social gaming and enterprise collaboration. Prior to joining Cisco in 2011, Biren was divisional CTO of a few gaming studios at Zynga and before that a Sr. Architect at Facebook. He also co-founded AdMunity, a startup providing a collaborative social platform for the advertising community. Biren actively participates as a keynote speaker, panel judge, mentor, and investor or advisor to venture capital firms, startups, accelerators and incubators, focusing on disruptive new frontier technologies. He regularly supports a number of global and local non-profit organizations.

Keynote: Dr. Michael Jiang - Yuneec - wednesday, sept 6, 2:40pm - 3:00pm

Dr. Michael JiangMichael Jiang has a rich background in management of cross-cultural technology enterprises, comprising of more than 26 years of experience in leading research and development, product, service, marketing and sales teams in the ICT industry. As chairman and president of Motorola Solutions China, he was responsible for the planning and implementation of the company’s development strategy in China. Additionally, he has served as Executive Vice President of Ericsson China and Northeast Asia.

Michael now serves as the Global Chief Executive Officer for Yuneec International, spearheading Yuneec's transition from a global start-up company to a truly multinational enterprise.

Keynote: George Mathew - Kespry - thursday, sept 7, 5:00pm - 5:20pm

GeorgeMathewGeorge Mathew is Chairman and CEO at Kespry.  With 20 years of experience at growth-oriented technology startups as well as category leading software
providers, such as Alteryx, and SAP, Mathew has held a wide range of senior leadership positions, from driving company strategy to leading product management, development, sales and marketing teams.

He joined Kespry, the leading aerial intelligence platform provider, in January 2017, where he will focus on driving the company’s growth into new markets and expanding the adoption of industrial insight Kespry’s autonomous drones make possible.

George holds a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from Cornell University and a Masters in Business Administration from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar.

Keynote: Ted B. Miller - Visual Intelligence LP - thursday, sept 7, 10:25am - 10:45am

Ted B. MillerMr. Miller is a lawyer and accountant by education. He has been President of 4M Investments, LLC, an international private investment company, since 2001. He is also the founder, and Chairman of Visual Intelligence, LP, a privately held imaging technologies company since 2001.

From 1994 to 2002, Mr. Miller was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Castle International Corp., a global wireless communications infrastructure company he founded in 1994, with a current enterprise value in excess of $40 billion. From 2003 to 2010, he was the founder, Chairman and majority shareholder of M7 Aerospace, LP, a privately held aerospace service, manufacturing and technology company which was sold to Elbit Systems of America in 2010.

Mr. Miller was a member of the board of directors of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a global business process outsourcing company employing over 70,000 employees from 2008 until the acquisition of the company by Xerox in 2010. Additionally, Mr. Miller has developed office, retail and distribution space across the U.S.

Keynote: Wahid Nawabi - Aerovironment - thursday, sept 7, 9:45am - 10:05am

Wahid NawabiWahid Nawabi is currently President and CEO at AeroVironment (AV). With over 20 years of experience in diverse industries such as industrials, electronics, and clean technology, Wahid is responsible for AV’s overall business, growth strategy, operations, and P&L. Prior to this, Wahid was Senior Vice President and COO of the company, where he managed all aspects of both operating segments of the company.

Wahid also managed multiple business process improvement projects, which led to significant enhancements in operational efficiency. He then led the integration of engineering, operations, supply chain and quality functional organizations into a single corporate shared services model across both UAS and EES business segments and all product lines.

Wahid joined AV in 2011 as Senior Vice President & General Manager of the EES segment where he redesigned the segment’s business strategy, launched a number of award winning, innovative new products and significantly improved its position in the market. As a former VP of the enterprise business segment at American Power Conversion (acquired by Schneider Electric), Wahid played a key role in growing the business from $50 million to more than $2.4 billion in revenue, and establishing it as a world leader in power protection. Wahid earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Maryland at College Park, in Electrical Engineering.

Keynote: Deepu Talla - nvidia - friday, sept 8, 10:05am - 10:25am

Deepu TallaDeepu Talla is vice president and general manager of Intelligent Machines at NVIDIA, where he is responsible for deploying AI technology in devices such as factory robots, commercial drones and video analytics. Previously, he was responsible for NVIDIA’s mobile business unit.
Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2013, he worked at Texas Instruments for more than 10 years in various executive management and technical leadership roles.
Talla holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electronics and communication engineering from Andhra University in India, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Keynote: Mike Winn - DroneDeploy - thursday, sept 7, 10:05am - 10:25am

Mike WinnMike is the CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy, the leading cloud-based software platform for commercial drones. DroneDeploy enables professional¬ grade imagery and analysis, 3D modeling and more from any drone on any device. DroneDeploy users have mapped over 5 million acres across more than 120 countries.

Prior to starting DroneDeploy in 2013, he worked at Google as a technical lead for big data and tools, and as a sales account manager. Not new to launching companies, Mike co-founded Zoom2Work in 2009. The company connects those looking to carpool, using a database of people, addresses and traveling preferences. Previously he worked in the finance industry at one of South Africa’s largest financial services institutions.

Mike is a graduate of Rhodes University in South Africa (2008), where he studied Business Science, Economics and Information Systems.

He is a native of South Africa and has a passion for flying robots and aerial imagery, which he ignited prior to the drone age by mounting cameras on remote control helicopters.

enterprise track Keynote, Agriculture: steve gitlin - aerovironment

Steve_Gitlin-1Steve is the Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Communications and joined AeroVironment in 2002 to define the market entry strategy for one of the company’s first commercial product lines.  Reporting to the company’s CEO he works to define, quantify and target new market opportunities in both its Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Efficient Energy Systems businesses.  Steve communicates regularly with members of the press, Wall Street analysts and institutional investors to ensure an accurate understanding of AeroVironment’s growth strategy, product and service offering, competitive environment and long-term prospects.

Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA and later earned an MBA with a focus on Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master’s in International Management with an emphasis on Latin America from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining AeroVironment Steve worked as a management consultant, serving global enterprises in the Aerospace and Telecommunications industries.

Enterprise track Keynote, Infrastructure: Dr. Orest Pilskalns - Skyefish

Orest PilskalnsOrest, CEO of Skyefish Inc., grew up in Montana and graduated from University of Montana with undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Physics in 1996 and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science in 1998. After his graduation, Orest was recruited by Lockheed Martin Astronautics and worked for the Image Understanding Group in Denver, Colorado. At Lockheed Martin he developed novel mapping and image recognition software for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

In 2000, Orest left Lockheed and received a fellowship to work on a Ph.D. at Washington State University (WSU). He graduated with his doctorate in 2004 and was recruited by the University for a teaching and research position at their Vancouver Campus. At WSU, he started a software company, MapWith.Us, with the help of his graduate students and the Washington State University Research Foundation.

In 2014, Orest started a subsidiary venture called Skyefish. Skyefish uses MapWith.Us technology to build the first holistic software and hardware solution for the Unmanned Aerial industry. Skyefish is quickly becoming known for their reliable, easy-to-use UAV and mapping systems that can be configured for almost any industry, including search and rescue, land management, construction, security and more. Orest and his team are based in Missoula, MT. He is the author of several issued patents, as well as journal and conference publications.

enterprise track Keynote, construction: tristan randall - autodesk

Tristan RandallAs a Strategic Projects Executive for Autodesk, Tristan is responsible for managing project engagements with owners, consultants, and contractors in the building and infrastructure space. The focus of these engagements is on driving technology adoption and innovation within the broader industry ecosystem. Tristan is an experienced designer and engineer with interest and expertise in the areas of Building Information Modeling, reality capture, and construction management technology.

Prior to joining Autodesk in 2012, Tristan served in design coordination and construction support roles on large infrastructure projects for global engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. Tristan pioneered many innovative technologies including BIM, 4D modeling, design visualization, and simulation on notable projects such as the Bay Bridge East Span Reconstruction, the Presidio Parkway, and the East Side Access project throughout his time at PB.

Tristan has a background in engineering and construction management, with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. Tristan is a regular speaker with international experience, having presented on emerging technologies across the US and in 6 countries internationally, as well as having presentations translated to 5 different languages.

enterprise track Keynote, Mining & Aggregates: Adam Rice - kespry

Adam RiceAdam began his eclectic career as a Fulbright Scholar studying and teaching in China. Adam’s passion for drones led him back to Silicon Valley where he has been working closely with companies on behalf of Kespry.

Adam is a frequent speaker on drones and technology, including the Commercial UAV Expo, Drone World Expo, ESRI survey conference, NSSGA webinar and AGG1 conference. When Adam isn’t helping customers fly drones at Kespry, he’s flying drones for fun and for different photography and video projects.

enterprise track Keynote, Police, Fire and Emergency Response: Douglas Spotted Eagle - YUNEEC

Douglas Spotted EagleAs Director of Business/Product Development at Yuneec USA, Douglas Spotted Eagle wears many hats. However, his prime passion is all things aerial, and his passion shines through at Yuneec in being the principal driver behind the development of Yuneec commercial tools, ranging from the function-focused DataPilot application to payload design, working with Marketing and Product Management to ensure the best possible product-for-value.

Douglas comes to Yuneec as an accomplished aerial photographer who thrives in the adrenaline-filled world of fast-action cinematography, whether skydiving, filming from the tailgate of a C130, or flying UAS large and small. Douglas' deep background as an Examiner also helps guide Yuneec through the regulated industry of Enterprise UAV.