Ambassador and Speakers Bureau

The CABA Ambassador and Speakers Bureau brings together leading industry professionals able to speak at CABA-endorsed conferences. Each year, this initiative brings a wealth of expertise to key events in our sector and it continues to grow.

If you are interested in having a speaker from the CABA Ambassador and Speakers Bureau participate at your event, please contact CABA at 613.686.1814 or [email protected]

Bob Allan

Global Business Development Manager

Bob Allan is the Global Business Development Manager, Intelligent Buildings and Strategic Alliances at Siemon. He supports global sales to educate current and potential customers on intelligent buildings and the use of a single converged, IP-based structured cabling system to connect and integrate multiple building systems to achieve capital and operational savings. He has over 15 years in the IT industry helping customers optimize and integrate their buildings.

Suzanne Alfano

Industry Director, Building Systems

Suzanne Alfano is the Industry Director, Building Systems with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). She brings more than 25 years in standardization and conformity assessment, with a focus on harmonizing electrical code and product standards within the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standardization of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) forums. She leverages opportunities for business growth and tackles key issues important to member organizations in domestic, regional, or global markets. Suzanne has also served as a consultant to develop rules to support enhanced Canadian provincial electrical safety regulations and as a Product Sections Manager for Electro-Federation Canada (EFC).

Michael Arny

Founder, Leonardo Academy

Michael Arny founded Leonardo Academy in 1997 and leads Leonardo Academy's sustainability programs and consulting practice. Michael has worked on energy, environmental issues, and sustainability throughout his entire career. After earning a BS and MS in mechanical engineering, as well as a BA in Psychology and Russian language at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michael worked for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for 14 years. He was co-chair of the State of Wisconsin committee that developed the State of Wisconsin Greenhouse Gas emissions inventory, emission reduction cost analysis, and the economic benefits analysis for emission reductions.

Ghazi Atallah

IT executive

Ghazi Atallah is a seasoned IT executive with over 20 years of experience in the IT and Telecommunications industry and a reputation as a driver of smart digital transformation in various lighthouse projects such as Smart Dubai, Smart Riyadh, and others. He is the founder & CEO of NXN (formerly neXgen), the region’s leading advisory and managed services organization in the field of smart cities and next‐generation technology innovation. Mr. Atallah is a proven leader with deep expertise in developing strong client relationships, and a passion to consult governments in building the strategies and master plans for realizing their smart city ambitions.

Debra Becker

Connected Building Leader, Honeywell Building Solutions

Debra Becker is the Connected Building Leader for Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS). Debra’s primary responsibility is to lead the strategic direction, business development, and sales for connected buildings. Previously, she was the Americas Construction Industry Leader and Americas Director of Global Business Operations for HBS where she led productivity and growth initiatives focused on lean process and sustainability solutions. Debra is faculty at the University of Minnesota, teaching “Sustainability for Construction Managers”. She serves on the board of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) and is Chair of the Intelligent Buildings Council. Prior to Honeywell, Debra was Vice President, Special Projects at Adolfson & Peterson Construction where she led national initiatives, transitioning customers from construction to operations and maintenance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Debra is a LEED Accredited Professional, Associate member of the American Institute of Architects, and prior Board Member of WomenVenture in Minnesota.

Rachel Berman

Sustainability Program Manager, Mecho

Rachel Berman is the Sustainability Program Manager at Mecho, the leading manufacturer of commercial window-covering systems. She oversees the company’s environmental sustainability initiatives, including the third-party product certification process for Cradle to Cradle, Declare Labels, and Health Product Declarations. Her drive stems from her extensive pursuit of the correlation between human health and the built environment for both materials and daylight. Rachel holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management and leads her local Civic Association’s Parks + Recreation committee in Long Island City, NY

James Brehm

Founder & Chief Technology Evangelist, James Brehm & Associates

James Brehm is Founder & Chief Technology Evangelist at James Brehm & Associates. An independent advisor and technology evangelist, Brehm is one of the leading voices on the state of the IoT and M2M market.

Brandy Burdeniuk

Chief Customer Officer, Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada)

Brandy Burdeniuk is the Chief Customer Officer of Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada) responsible for advancing green building and business practices nationally with trusted programs including: LEED Certification, TRUE Zero Waste Certification & Investor Confidence Project (ICP) for retrofits.

As an executive, industrial designer, entrepreneur and troublemaker Brandy has worked with leading designers, businesses, institutions & governments to excite them about creating, living, working, and thriving in healthy sustainable buildings.

Brandy is always eager to share her knowledge and experience, presenting to numerous audiences throughout North America. She is an engaging and entertaining speaker and is known for her ability to communicate challenging topics in a way that breaks down barriers to sustainability and gets people excited for change.

Matt Cable

Manager (Customer Technology and Innovation), Union Gas Limited

Matt Cable is the manager of customer technology and innovation for Union Gas Limited. In his role, he leads a group with a mandate to develop new technologies, innovations and energy solutions that will help the company better serve its customers and contribute to Ontario’s climate change goals. Matt uses his skills with energy modeling, measurement and verification, thermal scanning and building performance management to guide teams to low-energy solutions. He has a unique ability to explain complex technical concepts to design teams and facilitate the optimization of new and existing buildings.

Andres Carvallo

Founder and CEO, CMG

Andres Carvallo is the founder and CEO of CMG, a strategy consulting and advisory company focus on enabling Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Utilities, and Smart Buildings. Carvallo has 30 years of experience in the Energy, Telecommunications, Computer and Software industries, has received 35 industry awards, has published 35 books, and is well known globally. Outside of CMG, Carvallo is an Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas State University Ingram School of Engineering, an Innovator in Residence at Texas State University Material Applications Research Center, an Editor of Power Engineering and Building Technologies at Artech House, a Board Advisor at Texas State University Ingram School of Engineering.

Allen Dixon

Senior Director, Marketing and Partner Programs for Zinwave

Over a 30-year career in the telecommunications industry, Allen Dixon has held numerous positions including field engineering, product line management, marketing, and market development. He is currently Senior Director, Marketing and Partner Programs for Zinwave, working to expand the Zinwave brand and develop partnerships in the Enterprise space. A vocal proponent of the role of standards in industry, Allen is the co-founder and past chair of the HetNet Forum – a membership body within WIA – the Wireless Infrastructure Association – and a veteran of the ATM Forum, TIA, and IEEE standards organizations. Allen is a 1985 graduate of the University of Florida.

Slavko Djukic

DAS Expert, Zinwave

Slavko Djukic joined Zinwave in December 2016 and is an expert in DAS and small-cell systems, with 18 years’ experience in indoor wireless technology development. He most recently served as Ericsson’s head of strategy and solutions for small cells, DAS, and Wi-Fi. Prior to Ericsson, he served in a global technical role for Corning, where he was responsible for expanding the company’s global indoor building solutions, acted as the primary technical interface for indoor wireless experts around the world, and acted as the technical lead in Corning’s acquisition of Mobile Access. Slavko also held a leadership role with Powerwave, where he built and led the technical indoor and outdoor DAS solutions organizations for North, Central and South America. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

David Eckell

Emerging Technology National Market Manager, Graybar Electric

David Eckell is the Emerging Technology National Market Manager for Graybar Electric, a leading North American distributor of electrical, industrial and communications infrastructure solutions. He is responsible for helping create and execute strategy for voice and data communications solutions across Graybar’s markets. He has more than 20 years of experience working for carriers, manufacturers and distributors in this space and is a regular presenter at industry conferences. David holds a degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an MBA from East Carolina University and is currently based in St Louis, MO.

Robin Ford

Co-founder and Vice President of Business Development, Global Cache

Robin Ford is a co-founder and Vice President of Business Development at Global Cache, a leading manufacturer of IP-enabling and connectivity products for homes and business. She has more than 25 years experience in high-tech sales, marketing and business development involving enterprise software, display technologies, residential control, and automation and control in businesses and schools.

Emmy Funk

Sustainability Coordinator, Mecho

Emmy Funk is the Sustainability Coordinator at Mecho, the leading manufacturer of commercial window-covering systems. As coordinator, Emmy manages and obtains all material health and transparency documentation for Mecho’s products, ranging from shadecloth fabric to shade hardware. She has worked extensively on LEED, LBC, and WELL projects providing compliance for Mecho’s products. She also assists with implementing Mecho’s sustainability strategy across the business. Emmy previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and has a B.A. in Sociology and Environmental Science from Rice University.

Helen Heneveld

Founder, Bedrock Learning

Helen Heneveld, a respected industry expert, founded Bedrock Learning, a training solutions company with 80+ online hours teaching the industry and technology. Bedrock received the 2016 CTA Mark of Excellence Award for Best Education or Support Program. Her early entry in 1989 into home automation installation, along with years delivering industry training, she is a valuable member of the Board of Directors of CTA, Consumer Technology Association, Tech Home Division, the Connected Home Council, CABA, and in the past, the CEDIA Board of Directors. Often in demand, she speaks and consults worldwide. Heneveld co-authored DHTI+ Home Technology Integrator All-In-One Exam Guide by McGraw-Hill, has written numerous publications, holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, and is CEDIA Installer 1 Certified and CEA-CompTIA DHTI+ Certified.

Dr. Patrick Hogan

Honeywell's Automated Control Solutions

Dr. Patrick Hogan serves in a liaison role with Honeywell's Automated Control Solutions group to integrate gas detection instrumentation equipment with security, surveillance and other critical automated building systems. Dr. Hogan is active conference speaker and author on many safety engineering topics, including the role of gas detection in reducing building energy consumption through on-demand use of ventilation systems and integrating safety equipment through optimized use of controller systems and digital communication protocols such as BACnet.

Bret Jacob

With more than 30 years of experience in audio/video and building control systems, Bret Jacob has held technical, sales, management and ownership roles with electronics manufacturers and systems installation companies. During this time, Bret has become an industry authority on residential and commercial market smart control technology. Bret recently celebrated his 18-year anniversary with ELAN and Nortek Security & Control where he remains committed to the building and design communities, while launching multiple programs and initiatives aimed at educating and supporting builders & developers and their efforts to incorporate technology into their projects.

David Katz

After 27 years of corporate procurement and planning responsibilities with Canadian Bechtel Engineering, Johnson & Johnson and Ontario Hydro, David Katz established Sustainable Resources Management in 1993 to invest in and provide, marketing and administration services to an energy management controls company. Trained on applied decision analysis, expert systems and life cycle costs, David provides training and consulting services in the application of these programs. He teaches part time at George Brown College and provides the Intelligent Buildings Seminar for the Electricity Forum. He currently consults on energy management, building automation and smart grid opportunities and he has made recent presentations at leading industry conferences in Canada and the U.S.

Mike Krell

Head of IoT Strategy, James Brehm & Associates

Mike Krell is Head of IoT Strategy at James Brehm & Associates. Krell provides research, analysis, and go-to-market strategies for companies looking to deliver successful industrial and consumer IoT solutions.

Harry Kohal

Wisconsin Association of Computer Crime Investigators

Harry Kohal is a life-time member and past president of the Wisconsin Association of Computer Crime Investigators. He has been in IT and IT consulting for over 35 years, starting in the US Air Force. Harry joined Eagle Technology, Inc. in June of 2006 and is currently Vice President of Business Development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Marian University and a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Robert Lane

Consummate Entrepreneur

Robert Lane is a consummate entrepreneur with over 40 years experience including senior management roles in electrical, electronic manufacturing and product development. He has international experience in telecommunications, computers and mining activities. Past positions included VP, International at NORTEL and CEO at Commodore Business Machines. He currently serves on many boards of directors and advises numerous start-up companies.

Christopher Larry

Director of Energy Engineering, Exp

Christopher Larry is Director of Energy Engineering at exp. He has spent more than 25 years working to minimize the building industry's energy and environmental footprint through refining building design, building modelling, performance optimization and intelligent controls. He has held numerous positions within the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and is a past president of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

Jay Lent

Solutions Director of IoT, Cardinal Peak

Jay Lent serves as a Solutions Director of IoT at Cardinal Peak, an elite engineering services firm based in Lafayette, CO. He has been in the consumer electronics space for the past 13 years leading both national sales teams as well as extensive experience in product development management. Over the last 6 years he has focused on the emerging IoT space. He has deep knowledge of Zigbee, Z-Wave, WiFi, BLE technologies as well as voice services. Prior to entering the consumer electronics industry, he held senior level positions at several leading retailers throughout the US. This combination of experience gives him a unique perspective on product ideation to production to sales execution.

Cees Links

Founder and CEO, GreenPeak Technologies

Cees Links is a pioneer of the wireless data industry. He is the founder and CEO of GreenPeak Technologies, a Smart Home and IoT radio communications semi-conductor company, now part of Qorvo. Earlier in his career Cees worked for NCR, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Under his responsibility, the first wireless LANs were developed for PCs and notebooks, that ultimately became household Wi-Fi technology integrated into computers, smart phones and connected smart devices. He also pioneered the development of access points, home networking routers, and hotspot base-stations. He was involved in the establishment of the IEEE 802.11 standardization committee and the Wi-Fi Alliance. He was also instrumental in establishing the IEEE 802.15 standardization committee that become the basis for Zigbee sense and control networking.

Michael Lotfy

SVP – Head of Smart Building Solutions, ABB Electrification Business

Michael was appointed as Senior Vice President for Smart Building Solutions business for the Electrification Business in the Americas in January 2020. Based out of Atlanta, GA.

In this position, he has full accountability for the Americas commercial organization of smart building solutions including Sales, Marketing, project management & customer support. Michael’s task is to accelerate the development of growth activities for smart building solutions offering a full value proposition to our partners and customers focusing on creating new digital business models utilizing the entire ABB offering in buildings. He is also focused on increasing organizational capabilities, enhancing the customer experience and driving ABB expansion plans in new markets, delivering sustainable & profitable growth.

Michael joined ABB in 2007 and he has held various managerial positions within the ABB organization and has worked for ABB in various countries around the world. He has substantially grown the building automation business and he has an incredible track record of great success and growth in all his 14 years of career.

His previous experience includes roles as Global Head of Marketing & Sales, regional Marketing & Sales Manager for Asia, Middle East & Africa , Head of Regions (Germany).

He joined ABB shortly after graduating and has worked in high voltage products, medium voltage switchgear and apparatus, and low voltage products.

He holds an Engineering degree in Electronics & Communication.

Andy McMillan

Andy McMillan has a broad professional background including executive leadership, management and key-contributor roles in high-tech and building-controls companies ranging in size from startups to global industry leaders. He has founded several companies and holds a dozen patents in sensors, systems and software. For the last ten years he has served as President of BACnet International where he has championed open systems in building automation. He has extensive knowledge of data communications and automation technologies and how they contribute to intelligent buildings and smart cities. He has been an invited speaker and session leader at conferences internationally, with recent presentations focusing on rapid change in building automation business models driven by connected lighting and the incorporation of IoT technologies. Throughout his career Andy has built strong, collaborative relationships crossing commercial, geographic and cultural boundaries. His formal education includes engineering and business degrees from the University of Michigan.

Deb Noller

Dynamic CEO and Co-founder, Switch Automation

Deb Noller is the dynamic CEO and co-founder of Switch Automation, a smart building software company specializing in building performance optimization. With 20+ years of experience in real estate, technology and sustainability, she is passionate about helping enterprises leverage digital facilities management technology to execute more efficient business operations. Deb studied environmental management and computer science at James Cook University where she received the JCU Chancellor’s Award. She began her career as a software engineer and launched three successful companies prior to founding Switch. Deb is an active member of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), was named one of Dell’s Founders 50 and is recognized as one of the Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs in Australia by Rare Birds.

Brian Patterson

Chairman, The EMerge Alliance

Brian Patterson is the Chairman of the EMerge Alliance, a 501c non-profit corporation established to create application standards that promote the rapid adoption of safe, low voltage DC power distribution and use in commercial buildings including data centers. His extensive technical and work history in electronics, fiber optics and building technologies has resulted in his holding many patents in those fields. He is also the General Manger of Business Development for the Building Products Division of Armstrong World Industries, a founder of the Alliance, and is an active member of the IEEE.

John Petze

Partner, SkyFoundry

John Petze is a partner at SkyFoundry, the developers of SkySpark™, an analytics platform for building, energy and equipment data. John has over 30 years of experience in building automation, energy management and M2M/IoT, having served in senior level positions for manufacturers of hardware and software products including: President & CEO of Tridium, VP Product Development for Andover Controls, and Global Director of Sales for Cisco Systems Smart and Connected Buildings group and is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers. He is the Executive Director of, an open source, 501C trade association focusing on standards and technology to make device data self-describing to enable software applications to automatically consume, interpret, analyze and present data from devices and equipment systems thereby unlocking the value of the data.

Ryan Sen

Regional Director of Sales, Canada with Distech Controls

Ryan Sen is Regional Director of Sales, Canada with Distech Controls. With 15 years of industry experience, Ryan has served as Director of Sales Effectiveness and held management roles in the following areas with Distech: technical support, product training, customer services, and quality assurance testing. Ryan is based out of Distech Controls Headquarters in the province of Quebec, Canada and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) degree, in the discipline of Electrical Engineering from Concordia University. Prior to joining Distech, Ryan worked in the industrial automation industry.

Michael Skurla

Director of Product Strategy, Radix IoT, LLC

Michael Skurla is Director of Product Strategy for Radix IoT, LLC, providers of the Radix IoT platform for multi-site, distributed facilities’ operational intelligence, based in Nashville, Tenn. Mike sets cutting-edge product strategy for the company’s IoT platform which was recently recognized with a 2019 IoT Evolution Product of the Year award. He brings 22+ years’ experience in control automation and IoT product design with Fortune 500 companies, focused on the intersection of software and hardware, with emphasis on outcome-based analytics for mission-critical industries across commercial building, retail, healthcare, and data center infrastructure management (DCIM). A well-recognized thought leader, and a contributor to several industry publications including Critical Facilities and LD+A, he is a frequent lecturer on advanced usage of analytics and emerging IT technologies to foster efficiency within the commercial facility design. He is a contributing member of ASHRAE, IES Education, and USGBC. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science/Programming with a minor in management from Western Illinois University. He is LEED AP BD+C and AP O+M certified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Dr. Kenneth Wacks

Management Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Wacks has been a pioneer in establishing the home systems industry and a management advisor since 1985 to clients worldwide, ranging from startups to large companies. His business focus includes home and building systems, energy management, and digital entertainment networks. Corporate managers depend on Dr. Wacks for clear and practical advice regarding product development and market positioning. Dr. Wacks received his Ph.D. from MIT as a Hertz Fellow and studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Stephen Westerfield

President & Co-Founder, Droplit

Stephen Westerfield is President & Co-Founder of Droplit, a startup helping service providers develop and deliver IoT services into the connected building space. With a deep background in sales and corporate strategy, Stephen oversees the company’s sales & marketing efforts, fundraising strategy, and investor relations. He joined Droplit following six years at Morgan Stanley in New York, where he served as Chief of Staff to the firm's CFO. Stephen holds a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College and lives in San Francisco with his wife Kim.

Ron Zimmer

President & CEO, The Continental Automated Buildings Association

Ron Zimmer is President & CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association. CABA is a not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies. Mr. Zimmer joined CABA in 1997 working with industry leaders who promote integrated systems and home/building automation throughout the world.