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Capital Connection Hosts CXO Roundtables Featuring Top Industry Leaders


CXOs Gain Insights from Peers on Pressing Issues, Best Practices and Future Direction

Capital Connection’12, a nationally recognized technology industry conference, will present one of its main attractions of the Capital Connection program with its Peer-to-Peer Sessions. The CXO Roundtables are one of the highlights of Capital Connection each year and are made available to pre-registered attendees.

These peer group discussions bring together individuals with similar perspectives – CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and CMOs – to discuss issues and trends of importance within their specific corporate roles.   Leading these highly interactive and relevant sessions are:

CEO Peer-Group Discussion Leaders:

John Becker, CEO, Science Logic, has a solid track record of understanding strategic market issues and leading companies through their next phase of growth. Previously, he was CEO of Approva Corporation, and has held CEO positions at Cybertrust, TruSecure Corp. and AXENT Technologies. Prior to AXENT, he held various finance positions at Raxco Software, Marriott Corporation and MCI Communications, Inc.

Dr. Homaira Akbari, CEO, SkyBitz, joined the company on October 2007. Since then, SkyBitz has had record performance. She successfully sold SkyBitz to Telular Corporation in February 2012; she continues to lead SkyBitz. Prior to SkyBitz, Dr. Akbari was the Executive Vice President of Operations at TruePosition and has held senior management positions at Microsoft, Thales, Cambridge Strategic Management Group and the European Center for Nuclear Research.

Amir Hudda, Founder and CEO, Naaya, is a business entrepreneur who has successfully created and/or grown four startups in the last 15 years. Currently, Mr. Hudda is the Founder and CEO of Naaya, a social-game based learning platform targeted at 5-12 year old kids focused on social & global studies and 21st Century Skills. Prior to starting Naaya, he was the CEO of Apptix, and Founder and CEO of Brickstream Corporation and Entevo Corporation.

David Steinberg, CEO, SnappCloud, heads a technology company that designs, builds, and operates branded app stores for leading device makers and distributors. During his career, he has been Vice President of BioNetrix Software for global market development, director of worldwide distribution for Check Point Software and a founding officer of SynOptics. Most recently, Mr. Steinberg led Washington, DC-based SwapDrive as CEO and he serves as an advisor to Core Capital Partners.

CFO Peer-Group Discussion Leaders:
CFO panel will be hosted by MAVA Member, MorganFranklin

Aaron Benway, CFO, HelloWallet, is an expert in corporate finance. Prior to joining HelloWallet, Aaron was the Executive Director of Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis at General Motors (GM). Before GM, he was a Principal at The Carlyle Group within the US Growth Equity team. Mr. Benway began his career in finance within the private equity arm of Deutsche Bank.

Michael B. Avon, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Millennial Media, where he is responsible for the company’s overall financial, legal, and corporate development activities. He has spent the past decade building early-stage and growth companies as a venture capitalist, operator, entrepreneur, and attorney. Most recently, Mr. Avon was a Principal at Columbia Capital where he focused on digital media, wireless and consumer internet investments. Mr. Avon was also a venture capitalist with Toucan Capital, and led Business Development at FOLIOfn.

Mary Dridi, CFO Advisor, Geostellar, Inc., is an accomplished Chief Financial Officer with a wide range of experience and success with both private and public technology companies. From 1998 – 2005 she served as CFO of webMethods and was instrumental in the growth and management of webMethods,Inc., leading the company’s IPO which was the most successful software IPO to date in 2000. In 2002, Ms. Dridi was named CFO of the Year by the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC Technology Councils.

Thomas Kramer, Chief Financial Officer, Opower, is responsible for financial management, HR, and administrative stewardship. Previously, he was CFO at Cvent, where he helped grow the organization from its founding to profitability and 850 employees, and where he led the largest software financing round in the U.S. since 2007. Prior to joining Cvent, Mr. Kramer served as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Prior to that, he was a senior consultant at Accenture. He was recently named one of the 10 best CFOs in Washington, D.C. by SmartCEO.

CTO Peer-Group Discussion Leaders:

Derrick Cobey, CTO, Harmony Information Systems, joined Harmony in 2007 and is currently responsible for research and development, technical operations and professional services.  Prior to Harmony, Mr. Cobey served as Chief Technology Officer of Peopleclick and Vice President of Product Development for Vastera, which was acquired by JPMorganChase. In addition, Derrick held positions at GE Information Services.

Rob Kodey, CTO/CIO, Buysafe, leads the technology and product management for all buySAFE services and oversees the company’s strategic technology initiatives. Prior to joining buySAFE, he was Vice President, Technology, at Cyveillance, Inc., and has held senior technology positions with two other emerging technology companies, Opion, Inc. and GivingCapital, Inc. 

Shaun Poulton, CTO, Regent Education, leads the Product Development organization, including the strategic design and deployment of the company's enterprise applications. Prior to joining Regent, Mr. Poulton founded and led enterprise software development consulting organizations where he provided software solutions and system integrations to leading organizations worldwide. He also has worked for Legg Mason Wood Walker, The American Physical Society and the National Marine Fisheries Service. 
Dave Quattrone, Co-Founder and CTO, CVENT, has been with Cvent since the company's founding, bringing a wealth of expertise in designing and developing large-scale Internet applications. Prior to co-founding Cvent, Mr. Quattrone worked at First Consulting Group, a leading provider of information-based consulting, integration and management services. He was also a Consultant with E.J. Bell Systems, and Co-Founded Network Resources Group.

CMO Peer-Group Discussion Leaders:
CMO panel will be hosted by MAVA Member, CreatiVerge

Michele Perry, COO, Get Well Networks, joined the company in September 2009 and drives the overall product and company growth strategies for GetWellNetwork’s breakthrough Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solutions. Prior to joining GetWellNetwork, Michele served as Chief Marketing Officer for Sourcefire, held top marketing and management positions at USinternetworking, Software AG and IBM, as well as operating her own strategic marketing and business development consultancy.

DJ Saul, CMO, iStrategy Labs, focuses on new venture creation (see Grandstand), while exploring new partnerships and opportunities for iSL and its team members. Most recently, he created and facilitated the "International Venture Spa" which brings together startups, innovators and investors from different cities via telepresence technology. He is a co-organizer for the DC Tech Meetup, is the founder of Colonial Entrepreneurs and is now a DC Ambassador for Sandbox.

Christine Schaefer, VP of Community and Marketing, Salsa Labs, has joined Salsa Labs, an emerging SaaS company recently backed by VC funding for growth as VP of Community and Marketing. Previously, Christine has used her expertise as the vice president of marketing to drive demand for DLT Solutions and its partners. Immediately prior to DLT, Christine worked for Stackig as an account executive. In her distant past, she worked for a small, commercial printing firm advising clients on their marketing communications and direct mail programs.

Suresh Shenoy, EVP/CMO, IMC, a Virginia-based consulting and technology services company. He serves on the boards of a number of organizations and associations, including numerous technology association boards. Most recently, he served on the Cloud-2 commission for TechAmerica. Prior to joining IMC, Mr. Shenoy was a partner at Maridyne International, an international marketing company and a joint venture with Marubeni Corporation of Japan. After selling Maridyne, he owned and operated Northeast Investment Castings in Medford, MA. He has been a Charter Member of TiE-DC for over 10 years.

Key features in this year’s Capital Connection and TechBUZZ conference:

• Keynote Speakers:  Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Co-Founder of America Online and ultimate entrepreneur, Steve Case; Gilt Groupe CEO and Co-Founder, Kevin Ryan; and CEO and Founder of Opower, Dan Yates.
• Who’s Hot:  A who’s who of hot companies and recognizable market leaders.
• What’s the BUZZ?  The high energy, fast-pitch TechBUZZ program showcasing what’s new and fresh from Seed Stage startups. This year featuring the Best of the BUZZ with real-time feedback from audience participants.
• Easy Access: A new rate structure to make the conference accessible to a broad range of entrepreneurs, angel investors, incubators and companies across all stages of growth. 
• Opportunity to Tell the Company Story:  An unparalleled opportunity for early, growth and late stage firms to present business models for investment or showcase their success.

Capital ConnectionTM, one of the nation’s most respected industry conferences, will be held this year on May 23-24 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration for Capital Connection’12 with its featured innovative TechBUZZ event is now open on the conference website located at

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Media interested in attending this year’s Capital Connection and TechBUZZ, must submit an online request for press credentials at The conference media policy is also available for review on the above web page.

About Capital ConnectionTM
In its 25th year, Capital Connection brings together the broad community of entrepreneurial companies and potential partners to help enhance business and economic growth. Opinion leaders from business and government share their knowledge and expertise, along with leading technology companies at all growth stages who showcase their capabilities to a nationwide audience of investors, advisors, partners and entrepreneurs at the annual signature event. Launched in 2011, TechBUZZ provides start-ups and seed-stage companies center stage in spotlighting the “next big thing.” For more information and to register, go to

About TechBUZZ
TechBUZZ was first piloted in 2010 and launched in May 2011 as a half-day conference preceding Capital Connection in response to the growing impact start-ups and seed-stage companies are having in recent years on the investment ecosystem overall.  MAVA is dedicated to continuing to foster and celebrate this vital area of our membership by bringing together investors and entrepreneurs in a dynamic and meaningful format. TechBUZZ shines a well-deserved light on the visionary innovators and company-builders in our region who are actively developing their concepts, testing their beta or prototype products and services and pursuing a path toward market entry.