Symposium Speakers

Leslie Barrett photo Leslie Barrett, Director of Search Technology,
Leslie Barrett holds a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics and heads up research and development in natural language processing and search technology at She has a long history of development experience with Sentiment Analysis and other types of machine learning applications deployed in enterprise software environments.

Richard W. Brown photo Rich Brown, Head of Elektron Analytics, Thomson Reuters

Rich Brown is Head of Elektron Analytics at Thomson Reuters. In his role, Rich oversees the strategy and financial success of the firm's quantitative trading and historical market and economic data solutions including news, market data capture, trading analytics, visualization and analysis tools. An expert in the machine readable news space, Rich's experience encompasses analysis of unstructured data and natural language processing techniques to uncover alpha generating and risk mitigating strategies.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Rich co-founded and was the Chief Operating Officer at Foresight Research Solutions, LLC, a New York-based independent research firm and member of the NASD and SIPC. Before Foresight, Rich was a senior client manager for IBM in New York.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in Management and International Business from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Kevin Cocco photo Kevin Cocco, Founder,

Kevin Cocco is the founder of a development & consulting company based in Salt Lake City, UT. Recently, Kevin has been collaborating with Dialogue Earth to leverage their crowd-based opinion monitoring for the development of predictive models.

He is actively working a startup that simplifies the process of building and using predictive models. He formerly was the VP of IT at the Professional Education Institute where he led development of Interactive training, Marketing and Analytics technologies. Prior to PEI he held several diverse positions during his 12 yrs. with Discover Card leading infrastructure and then intranet development teams providing analytics and business automation solutions to their national operations centers. Kevin holds a BS Degree in Computer Science from Western Illinois University.

Frank Cotignola photo Frank Cotignola, Kraft Foods
As part of Kraft Foods's CIS (Consumer Insight and Strategy Group), Frank Cotignola leads the group's Community Management/Knowledge Management and social media listening/consulting efforts. He helped develop the Community Intelligence Portal, which is the largest single community at Kraft Foods. He also authors "Randomness," which is the top blog at the company. His efforts to develop both free and paid listening platforms and insights have led to the integration and usage of such research into traditional "asking" research and shopper insights. Cotignola has 19+ years of analytic research experience across a number of well-known suppliers and manufacturers.

Ronen Feldman photo Ronen Feldman, Associate Professor, Hebrew University, and Co-founder, Digital Trowel
Ronen Feldman is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Business School of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his B.Sc. in Math, Physics and Computer Science from the Hebrew University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in NY. He was an Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern Business School. He is the founder of ClearForest Corporation, a Boston based company specializing in development of text mining tools and applications that was acquired by Reuters in 2007. He is the co-founder of Digital Trowel, a Text Mining company based in Israel. He has given more than 30 tutorials on text mining and information extraction and authored over 100 papers on these topics. He is the author of the book "The Text Mining Handbook" published by Cambridge University Press in 2007.

Chris Frank photo Christopher Frank, Vice President, Global MarketPlace Insights team, American Express
Christopher Frank is vice president at American Express, where he is responsible for advertising, brand and business-to-business research. Prior to joining American Express, he spent ten years at Microsoft as senior director in market research. Chris has won industry awards for his accomplishments in analyzing the swing voter consumer, developing a framework for effective branding and building a social media analytics system. He is a recipient of the Wall Street Journal Achievement Award.

Andera Gadeib photo Andera Gadeib, CEO, Dialego AG
Andera is an online enthusiast. Her Internet career started early in 1995 when she set up one of the first 30 commercial webservers in Germany in a student project. Her passion for online research started off in 1996 with her empirical thesis about purchase behavior on the WWW (Germany vs US). In 1999 she founded Dialego, a research agency focussing on online research. She has won several awards since then honoring the innovative power of her ideas and tools. She has 3 kids and just recently started to catch up with her PhD project on text mining in innovation processes.

photo Banafsheh Ghassemi, VP, Marketing | ECRM & Customer Experience, American Red Cross

As a thought leader and a technology trendspotter and trendsetter, Banafsheh has pioneered successful approaches in integration of business strategies and emerging technologies to deliver differentiated customer experiences for new and existing products and services across digital and offline customer channels.

In 2010, Banafsheh established the first customer experience organization at the American Red Cross with an uncommon charter within the non-profit sector that focuses on customer experience as a differentiating growth catalyst for a broad and diverse constituent-base that includes disaster "clients" financial donors, blood donors, volunteers, members of the armed forces and their families, preparedness, health and safety instructors and many more.

Prior to ARC, for 15+ years Banafsheh held executive leadership roles in the mobile and mobile internet industries in various capacities ranging from implementing innovative product and customer experience strategies, sales and channel strategy, CRM as well as other customer- centric technology investments.

Banafsheh has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland and an MBA from The George Washington University.

Seth Grimes photo Seth Grimes, President and Principal Consultant, Alta Plana Corporation
Seth Grimes is an analytics strategist with Washington DC based Alta Plana Corporation. He is contributing editor at TechWeb's InformationWeek, founding chair of the Text Analytics Summit, Sentiment Analysis Symposium, and Smart Content conference, and text analytics channel expert for TechTarget's He is the leading industry analyst covering text analytics. Seth consults, writes, and speaks on business intelligence, data management and analysis systems, text mining, visualization, and related topics.

Carol Haney photo Carol Haney, VP, Product Marketing, Toluna
Carol Haney is vice president of product marketing at market-research firm Toluna. She formerly led the development of Harris Interactive's Research Lifestreaming, a panelist-based approach to social media monitoring. At Harris, Carol was VP of Public Affairs & Policy and developed solutions for clients such as the CDC, HHS, and others. At CDC, she helped reduce critical cycle time by 60% for outbreak data collection. She has held management postions at SPSS and NORC at the University of Chicago. At NORC, she developed a speedy mechanism for pulling and marking area probability sample from the national U.S. Census frame. Carol is an expert reviewer for CASRO's social media privacy guidelines.

Sobhan Hota photo Sobhan Hota, Principal Consultant, Fidelity Investments
Sobhan Hota is a data scientist, focusing in identifying a business problem and provides solution using information extraction, text classification, data mining, natural language processing (NLP), data warehousing and database technologies. He has published and presented informational content from un-structured, semi-structured and structured data in various conferences (ie DH-ACH, MCLC, DHCS) and also utilize data to build production based systems. In the past and now, engaged in procuring business requirement and provided data centric decision making solutions, which helps business users to make timely decisions. He has provided solutions in data modeling, data warehouse design/development, application development through custom driven techniques and also through many vendor specific tools. He has been involved in various roles (Principal Consultant, Principal Data Architect) for financial, manufacturing, distribution, education domains with clients from USA. He is graduated (concentrating text mining, NLP, data mining) from Illinois Institute of Technology, USA (MS-CS) and University of Hyderabad (MTech-CS), India.

Zack Kass photo Zack Kass, CrowdFlower
Zack was the original architect of CrowdFlower's sentiment analysis offering? the first enterprise product of its kind. Rising from the role of Assistant Product Manager to his current position as Head of Sales and Customer Satisfaction, Zack has helped grow CrowdFlower from a nine-person startup to a multi-million dollar annual sales organization. In the last three years he has also introduced an impressive mix of influential brands and agencies to CrowdFlower's Robust Sentiment Evaluation product. Today he continues to focus on RSE product development and enterprise adoption. A California native, Zack graduated with Honors in History from the University of California at Berkeley where he was a decorated member of the men's volleyball team.

Bing Liu photo Bing Liu, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Bing Liu is a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include opinion mining or sentiment analysis, and data mining. He has given more than 20 keynote and invited talks on opinion mining and has served as program chair of numerous academic conferences.

Paul Magnone photo Paul Magnone, Vice President, Openet Telecom

Paul Magnone is vice president of business development and alliances at Openet Telecom, a global telecommunications software and consulting firm, where he is responsible for executive leadership of Openet's global partner initiatives.

He was previously with IBM for 21 years driving growth programs including the launch of several new global consulting businesses. He has been recognized for his ability to build and manage strategic alliances with Fortune 100 organizations, startups and with US, European, and Israeli venture capital firms.

Romi Mahajan photo Romi Mahajan, CMO, Metavana

Romi Mahajan is chief marketing officer at Metavana. Before joining Metavana, Mr. Mahajan was WW Director of Sales and Strategy for the Digital Marketing & Search team at Microsoft Corporation. In this role, Romi focused on growing the Digital Marketing business for the company as well as helping define Microsoft's increasing role in Internet Business.

Before this stint at Microsoft, Romi Mahajan was founder- President of KKM Group, an Advisory company focused solely on Strategy and Marketing in the Technology, Media, Agency, and Luxury Goods sectors. Prior to founding KKM, Romi was Chief Marketing Officer of Ascentium Corporation, a leading digital agency with 96M in Sales in 2008.

A well-known speaker on the technology and media circuit, Mahajan serves on a variety of Advisory Boards and speaks at over a dozen industry events per year. In addition, he has been published prolifically in the Technology press.

Israel Mirsky photo Israel Mirsky, EVP, Emerging Media & Technology, Porter Novelli
Israel runs the Emerging Media and Technology group for Porter Novelli, focusing on developing robust strategic digital analytics and commercially relevant technology to put Porter Novelli clients ahead of the competition and drive outstanding results. Most recently before joining Porter Novelli, Israel led marketing for (x+1), a major display optimization company. Before that he was chief strategy officer for NOM, managing and executing successful online marketing campaigns involving micro-sharing, social aggregation, social media and digital word-of-mouth for clients.
Israel earned a B.A. and a B.S. in English and computer science from Williams College.

Carol Rozwell photo Carol Rozwell, VP Distinguished Analyst, Gartner
Carol Rozwell is a vice president and distinguished analyst on Gartner's Content, Collaboration and Social team. Ms. Rozwell explores social business strategy, including social media, social networks and collaborative communities. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Rozwell focused her research on technology and standards for R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry. She joined Gartner during the e-business frenzy and helped clients electrify their business processes. She brings to her role extensive practical experience as an implementer of buy-side and sell-side e-commerce systems that is augmented by positions in marketing, consulting and strategic alliance management.
Israel earned a B.A. and a B.S. in English and computer science from Williams College.

Ryan Sager photo Ryan Sager, Deputy Editor of the Review, the Wall Street Journal
Ryan Sager is the deputy editor of Review at the Wall Street Journal and writes the Money & Your Mind column for Smart Money magazine. Previously, he wrote the blog Neuroworld for True/Slant and worked for the New York Post and New York Sun. He is the author of The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party (2006) and has written for Reason and the Atlantic.

Catherine Van Zuylen photo Catherine Van Zuylen, VP of Products, Attensity
Catherine serves as VP of Products for Attensity, the leader in social analytics and engagement software. She has over fifteen years of experience in marketing and product management for both large and small technology and services companies. Catherine came to Attensity from SAP BusinessObjects through their acquisition of Inxight Software, where as Sr. Director of Product Management she delivered text analytics products for OEM and government clients, leading Inxight's "going beyond Google" strategy. Catherine also oversaw product management and marketing at Kovair, where she played a key role in the development and marketing of Kovair's strategic account management application and led the team at iSyndicate responsible for the mid-market internet content syndication product line. Catherine holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in English from the Johnston Center at the University of Redlands.

Jan Wiebe photo Jan Wiebe, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Co-Director, Intelligent Systems Program, University of Pittsburgh
Jan Wiebe is a professor of computer science and Director of the Intelligent Systems Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, she was a faculty member at New Mexico State University and, before that, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. She has worked in discourse processing, pragmatics, word-sense disambiguation, and probabilistic classification in NLP. Her most recent work investigates automatically recognizing opinionated and evaluative language to support NLP applications such as question answering, information extraction, text categorization, and summarization. Her previous and current professional roles include ACL-AFNLP 2009 program chair, NAACL Program Committee Chair, NAACL Executive Board member, Computational Linguistics and Language Resources and Evaluation Editorial Board member, AAAI Workshop Co-Chair, ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGART) Vice-Chair, and ACM-SIGART/AAAI Doctoral Consortium Chair.

Max Yankelevich photo Max Yankelevich, Chief Architect, Freedom OSS

Max Yankelevich is a serial entrepreneur, having started and exited several successful companies. Max is a Founder/CEO at CrowdControl Software – a company that combines Artificial Intelligence and Crowdsourcing to build high-value datasets.

Mr. Yankelevich is an expert on the rise of high-value customized data sets in the role of crowdsourcing and how it impacts the business experience. He is the authority on the industry and an evangelist for the power of how dramatic data output yields quality improvements and cost savings for companies and organizations of all sizes. Yankelevich has changed the perception of crowdsourcing for many decision makers and his expertise has led the industry to latch on to the next version – accessible, saleable and accountable crowdsourcing.

Yankelevich is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer science program; he is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in large scale cloud computing and start-up technology companies with a focus on business.

Max Yankelevich is also Founder/Chief Architect at Freedom OSS.

Lightning Talk Presenters

David Nadeau photo David Nadeau, CTO, MediaMiser
David Nadeau joined MediaMiser as Chief Technology Officer in 2011 after the acquisition of InfoGlutton Solutions, which he founded in 2009. He has worked for the National Research Council of Canada and CopernicTechnologies Inc. David receives his PhD from the University of Ottawa inmachine learning and information extraction. He has 12 years of experience as a researcher and programmer.

Ron Papka photo Ron Papka, Global Head of Client Analytics and Market Data Distribution at Citigroup
Ron Papka is Global Head of Client Analytics and Market Data Distribution at Citigroup. He has been working on financial news models for the past 12 years with a focus on prediction algorithms using sentiment data. Prior to Citi, Ron developed trading and risk analytical systems for Bankers Trust, CS First Boston, New York Life, Hyperion Capital Management, BlackRock, Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. He holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia, Brown, and UMass Amherst respectively. He was formerly an adjunct professor in Computer Science at Smith College in Massachusetts, and his academic work is in the field of Machine Learning and Information Retrieval.

Stuart Shulman photo Stuart Shulman, founder & CEO, Texifter
Dr. Stuart W. Shulman is the founder and CEO of Texifter, LLC and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the founder of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP) at the University of Pittsburgh and the current Director of QDAP-UMass. Dr. Shulman is the Associate Director of the National Center for Digital Government and Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics.

Matt Sommer photo Matt Sommer, CTO & co-founder, MarketChorus
Matt Sommer is CTO and co-founder of MarketChorus, a technology company that applies text analysis to real-time news in the financial and marketing spaces. Matt has more than fifteen years of experience leading the R&D efforts of both public and private companies in the field of information retrieval and text analysis. Matt received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and a MS in Applied Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Michael Tupanjanin photo Michael Tupanjanin, Presidenti & CEO, Metavana

Michael Tupanjanin is President & CEO of Metavana. Prior to joining Metavana, Mr. Tupanjanin served as a General Manager at Microsoft. In his role, he was responsible for the firm's Digital Marketing and Search group where he led strategic planning, global sales, and business development. Michael joined Microsoft as a result of its acquisition of FAST Search & Transfer. At FAST (and later as a Microsoft subsidiary), Michael was Executive Vice President of Global Operations and was responsible for a 500 person sales, consulting services, and business development organization. During this period, Mr. Tupanjanin was responsible for growing revenues at the company from an early stage business to a market leader in search and ultimately being acquired by Microsoft for $1.4 billion in 2008.

Earlier in his career, Michael held positions in general management, business development, marketing, and sales at both start ups and established companies. These included Centra Software (IPO in 2000; $1 billion market valuation), CMP Media (IPO in 1997; acquired by United Business Media for $1 billion) and Ziff Davis (leading digital media company focused on the technology market).

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