Melissa co-founded Affinegy, a supplier of service enablement and network management solutions for the home. Leading broadband service providers and equipment manufacturers have deployed Affinegy’s solution worldwide in over 33M households and 27 languages. As CEO she directs business strategy, company operations, marketing and sales. Previously she served in corporate business and engineering management roles at Motorola, Dell, and National Instruments.
Simpler has a BSEE, cum laude, and MBA from the University of Texas. Melissa actively contributes to Austin’s technology sector including driving membership growth for Austin Technology Council and serving as a founding member of the Software SIG of the Greater Austin Chamber. She is also actively involved in the Software CEO Group and Tech Women CEO Network.
As Co-Founder and CTO of Affinegy, Art Lancaster drives the company’s technology strategy and oversees development of Affinegy’s portfolio of products. Affinegy’s first product removed the complexity in setting up a home wireless network. In deployment since 2004, the software has proven robust, enabling tens of millions of service deployments and silencing calls to support desks at some of the world’s largest service providers and equipment manufacturers. As consumer connectivity flourished, Lancaster expanded the portfolio to encompass remote management of the wireless router and the ever-increasing number of devices and content in the connected home. Lancaster also spearheaded development of key technology tenets with a number of patents issued and pending and identified important industry standards like TR-069 and championed commercialization within the industry and the company's products. Art’s commitment to quality is evidenced by Affinegy’s near-zero defect record in over eight years of volume deployment.
Prior to Affinegy Art was director of strategy and business development for Motorola’s Streamaster business where he established strategies leading to the world’s most advanced interactive broadband gateway system and closed $20 million of sales with top telecommunications companies. While director of design engineering for Motorola’s Fast Static RAM Division, he contributed to sales growth of over 50% per year to over $500 million and number one market share worldwide. Art has prior start-up experience at Entregate, Inmos Corporation, and as co-founder and VP of development of a joint venture between RCA and Sharp.
He has a BSEE, cum laude, from the University of Missouri, an MSEE from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from the University of Texas.
Chris has extensive leadership expertise and experience, particularly in the technology industry. As Chief Financial Officer, he is responsible for leading the finance and administration team and providing strategic and operational leadership. He founded Mitchell Consulting Group, LLC in 2011, a financial strategy and management consulting firm located in Austin, Texas. He founded the firm after serving three years at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation as the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to the foundation, he spent fourteen years at Dell, Inc. where he held several senior management roles, most recently serving as Director of Finance and Web Analytics of dell.com. Prior to Dell, Inc., he worked in public accounting at KPMG and an Austin-based public accounting firm.
Chris holds a BA in accounting from the Texas State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in Texas.
A veteran of the technology industry, Frank brings close to 20 years of global experience in executive sales, business development, strategy and product marketing. At Affinegy, he is responsible for setting the sales and marketing strategic direction, building the team to execute these strategies, and establishing ecosystem partnerships to grow top line revenue for Affinegy.
Frank has established tremendous success across the “connected everything network” Affinegy is focused on through his leadership at companies that include General Instrument, Broadcom, ClearAccess(Cisco), PacketVideo (NTT DoCoMo) and a number of successful startup companies. Frank has been at the forefront of numerous industry initiatives including WiFi home gateways, end to end broadband home lifestyle services, SaaS cloud management offerings and the sharing and streaming of premium and OTT content to every device in the home. Frank has a MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School, a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Daniel has more than 10 years of experience in system architecture, data warehousing and data analysis. At Affinegy, he leads the team that develops the architecture and implementation of Affinegy's cloud-based SaaS products and the engineering activities of the TR-069 ACS team. Daniel started his career in the semiconductor industry, working for AMD in transistor device development and automated process control for x86 microprocessors. At AMD, he was a co-inventor on 120 patents.
Daniel holds a BS in Microelectronic Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.
John N. Doggett is a Senior Lecturer of International Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainability at the McCombs School of Business of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Professor Doggett is also a Senior Research Fellow at UT’s IC2 Institute and co-founder of UT’s International Idea to Product Competition™. He teaches Executive MBA seminars in Asia every summer and leads MBA students on two-week study tours to China. In October 2000, e-company now magazine (now Business 2.0) selected Professor Doggett as one of nine people to know in Austin if you want to start a new business. Professor Doggett has extensive experience consulting with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 firms in the United States, Europe and Asia. He is currently an advisor to the senior management of Springer Maschinenfabrik AG, a leader in the European high speed sawmill equipment manufacturing industry and Lehr, Inc., the first producer of propane powered garden equipment. Since 2003, Professor Doggett has been a judge for the Dell, Inc. and National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Excellence Award. Professor Doggett co-founded a Spanish-language television programming company and an international management consulting firm, was a McKinsey & Company consultant and practiced law for seven years. He received his law degree from Yale Law School, his MBA from Harvard Business School, and his BA from Claremont Men’s College.
John Hime has been a mentor and angel investor to over 25 early-stage technology companies. His operational background includes jobs as the senior marketing executive at Tivoli Systems, MIPS Computers, Frame Technology and Sun Microsystems during their start-up phases. He actively participated in obtaining venture funding and preparing for the IPOs of these companies. His early career included positions as a computer systems engineer at Data General Corporation, and as an operating systems developer at Texas Instruments. He holds a BA degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas.
Rich is currently the Managing Member of Quimby Ventures LLC, a boutique investment firm specializing in emerging businesses in the telecom, technology, and digital media sectors. Prior to Quimby Ventures, Rich founded The Management Network Group Inc (NASDAQ: TMNG) in 1990 and served as its Chairman and CEO until January 2012. TMNG Global, with a staff of 600 consultants is the leading provider of strategy, management, operational, and technology consulting services to the global telecom, technology, and digital media and entertainment industries. Under Rich’s leadership of 20+ years, TMNG was engaged by over 1200 diversified clients worldwide including global telecom operators, equipment and software providers, and banking and investment companies. Rich led TMNG’s successful IPO and secondary offerings raising over $200M in capital.
During Rich’s diversified career in telecommunications, he acquired extensive experience in developing strategic and tactical plans across a broad range of areas. He has spearheaded assignments to assist clients with their transformation including new business models, infrastructure, and the processes and systems required to meet the needs of a dynamic and rapidly evolving communications ecosystem.
As CEO of TMNG, Rich worked with a partner to develop an advanced Wireless Technology Lab inSan DiegoCA-the first of its kind in the nation -to provide a vendor and technology neutral environment for the testing and analysis of emerging wireless technology infrastructure, applications and operations.
Prior to founding TMNG in 1990, Rich held several executive positions of increasing responsibility at major telecommunications and media companies. Recruited from the media industry, he joined the senior executive team at MCI in its early stages and subsequently was recruited to US Sprint at the time of its formation.
Rich has served on the Board of several public and private companies including TMNG Global. He has chaired Audit, Compensation and Special Committees. He was a member of the Executive Council of the International Engineering Consortium, and was named by Phone+ magazine in 1997-1998 as one of the industry’s most influential people. He received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Master Award for the Midwestern region, making him a national finalist. Rich previously served as Director and Chairman of the Association of Telecommunications Financial Managers.
Rich is currently on the Board of Trustees of Long Island University and Chairman of its On-line Education Transformation Committee. The Committee is chartered to develop a new business model and technology platform to support the University’s first on-line education initiative at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also serves on the Executive, Planning, and Finance committees.
He earned his BA and MBA fromLong IslandUniversityand was also part of the adjunct faculty in theCollegeofManagementat LIU. Rich has been published and quoted in various industry journals, has made presentations at numerous industry forums and is often quoted by the mainstream media on industry trends. He has been featured in: Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Financial Times. In addition, he has made television appearances on FOX Business News, CNBC’s “Squawkbox” and Bloomberg News.
Rich is also actively involved in humanitarian efforts and works with several local charities dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and was awarded the George W. Bush President’s Volunteer Service Award by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Rick Henderson is an accomplished business executive with 40 years experience in the telecommunications, cloud based systems, wireless and information systems industries. His areas of expertise include new product development and launch, raising capital, successful IPO’s, working with Investment Banking, business development and sales & marketing leadership.
Prior to joining the Affinegy Advisory Board he has been President of Renewable Fuel Corp RWFC (IPO 2011) and a Board member of eDoorways EDWY and its Smart1Sytems developing Intelligent Avatar technology. He was on the Board of Verecloud, cloud technology provider in Denver and has also been an officer and Director at Global Touch Telecom, President and CEO of InternationalTalk.com, President and partner of Bestline the first CLEC in Austin. Rick was an approving officer of MIDCOM Communications (IPO 1995), and WCT Communications (IPO 1992). Additionally he has been President of Sprint’s $450M Midwest Division in Chicago from 1986 to 1989 and Vice President of GTE’s $1.2B Sprint division in 1985 with over 2000 employees reporting to him and he worked with Xerox Corp. in both the copier and office systems businesses for 14 years where he helped launch and market new technology including the Ethernet, the mouse and the first bit map unit that evolved into the Macintosh.
Rick graduated from N. Illinois University with a BS degree in Marketing. He is a regular speaker at industry forums and organizations, where he is recognized for his ability to explain away the confusion of the high tech industry in “cloud” terms that all of us can understand.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for three companies and has been a Director of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, and Northern Illinois University Foundation. Rick resides with his wife in Austin and they have three grown children.
Larry is currently CEO and President of Gazzang and is responsible for the company’s leadership, operations and strategic direction. He is the former president and CEO of Phurnace Software, a leading developer of software that accelerates the deployment and configuration of Java-based web applications. Acquired by BMC Software in 2009, the software continues to be an important and rapidly growing product for BMC. Before joining Phurnace, Larry was the chief marketing officer at Vignette, a publicly traded enterprise content management software company. He was also a venture partner at AV Labs (the company incubator for Austin Ventures), where he assisted with the incubation of several early-stage software companies. Before joining AV Labs, Larry served as vice president of marketing at OnLink Technologies (acquired by Siebel Systems). He also served as vice president at Documentum from startup phase to successful IPO to its position as a market leader and eventual EMC acquisition. Larry earned a bachelor of business administration in marketing from Texas A&M University, and is a frequent lecturer at the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and at the Acton Entrepreneurial MBA program at Hardin-Simmons University. Larry also serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for the Austin Technology Council (ATC), a non-profit focusing on the advancement of the technology community in Central Texas.
John Greening is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive with a strong track record of building products, solutions and organizations that deliver value to clients in the Broadband Communications industry. He has performed general management roles for both custom and packaged software development organizations, and has led Cable/Broadband practice sectors as a respected management consultant. As an operational executive at companies such as ISD (acquired by Convergys) and Arrowsmith Technologies, Mr. Greening has developed and implemented large scale software systems and data warehouses that served as the backbone for customer care, billing, marketing and campaign management within large Cable/Broadband service providers. The ICOMS product he brought to market at ISD – a platform that supports billing for video, high speed data and telephony – is operating today in over 30% of the Cable/Broadband market. At Ernst & Young and successor Cap Gemini, Mr. Greening established and was lead partner in the Cable/Broadband market practice, which billed over $135 million in consulting services over a 7-year period. Mr. Greening holds a BSA and MBA from Tulane University.
Pike Powers is a super-lawyer-turned-entrepreneur whose leadership helped turn Austin from a university town into a high-tech powerhouse. Powers, a 1962 Lamar University graduate honored in 1978 as a Lamar Distinguished Alumnus, opened the Austin office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and served as its partner-in-charge from 1978 through 2004. His leadership promoted a new creative spirit in the capital city – one that seized on global opportunities for economic development. That effort began in the governor’s office where Powers led in rallying the community toward the goal of landing the most prestigious economic development prize of the early 1980s – the Microelectronics Computer Technology Consortium (MCC). For the past 30 years, Powers has played an integral role in developing the Austin regional technology economy. Through his leadership in attracting landmark research and development operations in the 1980s (MCC and SEMATECH) and employers (Applied Materials and 3M, among others), Powers has helped advance the region’s high-tech information and entrepreneurial economy. He has been a principal participant in mobilizing Austin’s ever-growing high-tech community to create a business / civic / philanthropic network. From his days in Governor Mark White’s Science and Technology Council from 1983-1986 to Governor Rick Perry’s Science and Bio-Technology Council in 2002-2003, he has been active in the business community and in legal and charitable organizations at the national, state and local levels. He was vice chair of the $200 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Powers was and is a leader in creating the Texas Technology initiative, established in 2002 to redefine and reinvigorate the collaboration between government, academia and private industry. In response to this strategy and the need to stay globally competitive with incentive programs, the State of Texas created a $295 million Enterprise Fund in 2003. Pike is a recipient of numerous awards that celebrate his excellence and passion in law, economic development and civic entrepreneurship. To name a few, Pike received the first Austin Business Journal Lifetime Achievement (2003) for his contributions to the economic development of Austin and Central Texas; was named “Texas Legend” by American Electronics Association (2008); and selected as Distinguished Lawyer by the Austin Bar Association (2009).