VIrginia Tech College of Engineering Computer Science - Blocksburg: Blockchain Summit 2022  - April 14, 2022 -  Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center - Blacksburg, Virginia
VIrginia Tech College of Engineering Computer Science - Blocksburg: Blockchain Summit 2022  - April 14, 2022 -  Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center - Blacksburg, Virginia


Updated speaker list for 2022 coming soon.

Confirmed Speakers

Photo of speaker Timothy D. Abbott, PMP
Digital Transformation Technology Manager, Moog Inc.

Tim is currently the Digital Transformation Technology Manager for Moog Inc. and is responsible for innovation and development of digital technologies for industry 4.0 including: Blockchain, IOT, additive manufacturing and Moog's VeriPart™ Blockchain enabled "Point of use, time of need, smart digital Supply Chain"™.

Tim joined Moog in 2013 and previously held positions in Operations, Supply Chain, Program Management. Prior to Moog, Tim worked in the air separation industry and served nine years in the US Navy Submarine Service. He is a Western New York native, is a graduate of the US Navy's Nuclear Power Program and is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Photo of speaker Nicolás Arqueros
Chief Technology Officer, EMURGO

Prior to becoming EMURGO's Chief Technology Officer, Nicolás was CEO and founder of one of the top app development companies in Chile. Within less than three years, the company generated income over $1M and produced over 40 different projects. Additionally, Nico worked as a senior engineer for various Silicon Valley startups before joining EMURGO as an Entrepreneur in Residence. These days, Nico leads EMURGO's world class team of R&D engineering experts to drive Cardano adoption with in-house developed Cardano products such as Yoroi Wallet, Seiza Cardano Blockchain Explorer, and Tangata Manu codebase, among others.

Photo of speaker Dr. David Bieri
Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Associate Professor of Economics, Virginia Tech

David is an Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Associate Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech, with a joint appointment in the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience. He is a core faculty member of the VT Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). He also holds an endowed appointment as Faculty Fellow in the VT Program in Real Estate. Bieri's current research regulatory aspects of international finance and global monetary governance, including the role of digital central bank currencies. He also writes about the history of economic thought. In 2018, Bieri was the director the inaugural Blacksburg Blockchain Symposium.

Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Bieri was a faculty member at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also held various senior positions at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland, including as the Adviser to the CEO. Prior to his work in central banking, Bieri worked as a high-yield analyst at Bankers Trust in London and in fixed-income syndication at UBS in Zürich.

Bieri received his Ph.D. from the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. He holds a M.Sc. in corporate and international finance from the University of Durham and a B.Sc. (hons) in economics from the London School of Economics.

Photo of speaker Brendan Blumer
Chief Executive Officer,

Brendan was an early investor in blockchain and transitioned to full-time involvement in the space in 2016 when he met business partner Dan Larimer and they co-founded Prior to this, Brendan founded, a collaborative data-sharing ecosystem for the Asia Pacific property market that has grown to be Hong Kong's largest digital property agency. He has been building disruptive technology companies since 2001, when he started Gamecliff, a company that automated the valuation, purchase, and release of in-game items in the world's largest online video games.

Photo of speaker Paul Brigner
Director of Technology Policy, Digital Chamber of Commerce

Paul Brigner leads a number of the Chamber’s special initiatives, including smart contracts, intellectual property, tokens and other issues. He joined the Chamber from Georgetown University where he served as managing director of the Blockchain Technology and Ecosystem Design Research Center. Prior to that, Brigner was the North American bureau director at the Internet Society, where he managed projects and activities across its functional and programmatic areas in the United States and Canada.

Previously, Brigner was senior vice president and chief technology policy officer for the Motion Picture Association of America. He also previously was executive director, internet and technology policy, for Verizon, where he held numerous management positions over the space of 10 years.  

Brigner holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is a graduate summa cum laude of Stephen F. Austin State University where he received the Outstanding Computer Science Graduate Award and The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award.

Photo of speaker Forrest Colyer
Blockchain Solution Architect and Developer, Deloitte Consulting

Forrest serves as a blockchain developer and solution architect within Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice. In this role, Forrest has been a part of several blockchain projects during which he has helped shape clients’ adoption strategies for blockchain, guided the design of blockchain solutions, and served as a developer during implementation. Since reading the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper in 2010 outlining the Bitcoin protocol, Forrest has been obsessed with this technology and its wide-ranging impact on the future of business, government, and how we interact as individuals in society. His primary goal as a practitioner in this space is to guide clients towards the adoption of valuable, high-impact solutions at the convergence of blockchain and other innovative technologies.

Photo of speaker Ben DiScipio
Chief Strategy Officer, Fundopolis

As Chief Strategy Officer at Fundopolis, Ben brings 30 years of leadership in client services, marketing and technology. Ben is a co-founder of Fundopolis, working for the past three years to help the vision come to life. He began his career at Standish, Ayer & Wood, a Boston-based money manager, completely revamping their marketing materials and technology and helping to point them toward sustained growth. From there, he became a founding member of The Lab, a business process re-engineering consultancy in Cambridge, MA where he served as a consultant and Director of Operations - responsible for all aspects of the startup including technology infrastructure, design, marketing and client services. He was the VP of Client Services for Vizy Interactive, an interactive media consultancy with offices in NY, London and Paris. He has served in various capacities as director of client services, marketing, operations and sales. It is only fitting that his career has ended up back in the financial industry combining his experience with startups, marketing, client services and technology.

Photo of speaker Ryan Enderby
Advisory Software Engineer, IBM Blockchain Solutions

Ryan serves as an Advisory Software Engineer at IBM Blockchain Solutions, working on the Food Trust platform. He has played a role in the technical design and implementation of food safety and supply chain offerings used by a number of the world's largest companies.

His team is a pioneering force in the use of permissioned blockchains in industry, having created widely-publicized technologies that reduce the time it takes to identify food in a recall from weeks to a matter of seconds. Ryan currently leads a small team exploring solutions that will bring the unique benefits of blockchain networks to all members of a supply chain, even those that do not host a peer and participate in the blockchain network directly.

He graduated, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a Master's degree from Cornell University's department of Computing and Information Science.

Photo of speaker Adam Ernest
Chief Executive Officer, Follow My Vote, Inc.

Adam graduated from Virginia Tech in 2004, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marketing Management. Since then, he has acquired more than 13 years of digital marketing experience, owning a critical role in the development of an internet marketing agency from the ground up.

Adam is leading the conversation with respect to blockchain-based voting systems and has been featured in publications such as The Roanoke Times, The Independent Voter Network (IVN), and Bitcoin Magazine. He has also served as a subject matter expert on Blockchain Technology for MindEdge Learning and has been prominently featured in their “A Manager’s Guide to Blockchain” online course.

At his core, Adam is a visionary and a protagonist with a powerful imagination and a deep desire to leverage blockchain technology to make this world a better place for all of the people of this planet.

Photo of speaker John Fields
Product Manager, Developer Portal and Emerging Technologies, Capital One

As a product manager for emerging technologies at Capital One, John's role is to keep abreast of and understand the capabilities of new technologies from machine learning, to blockchain and AI. In his role, he evaluates how these emerging technologies might support Capital One's mission to change banking for good in ways that are just now possible.

As an engineer by training, John worked as a developer and software architect for over ten years in a wide range of technologies, from developing C programs for hardware integration, high resiliency web applications, big data, and ultimately mobile apps.

When not at work, you can find John either skiing, mountain biking or hiking with his Weimaraners in the mountains or on the water wake surfing or wakeboarding.

John holds a Master of Engineering, Systems Engineering Degree from The University of Virginia and a B.S. in Computer Science from Emory & Henry College.

Photo of speaker Dennis Richard Gatens
Chief Commercial Officer, Cloud Constellation Corporation

Dennis is a founding member and the Chief Commercial Officer for Cloud Constellation Corporation where he has global responsibilities for sales, marketing, channel management, and strategic alliances. Cloud Constellation Corporation is building the first cloud services infrastructure in space. Previously he was the Senior Vice President and General Manager for OneAccess Networks.

He has a track record of bringing emerging technologies to market for next generation managed services working with global partners and service providers to introduce next-generation solutions into their cloud service offerings.

Dennis earned his BS in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and his MBA from Radford University.

Photo of speaker Raphaël Gaudreault
Chief Technical Officer, Eva

Raphaël, Chief Technical Officer, Eva, a ridesharing startup based in Montreal, studied Software Engineering at Laval University, in Canada, and at Linköping University, in Sweden. From a young age, he was interested in entrepreneurship and computer science. He has worked as a software engineer in the geospatial information systems industry. He then worked and studied on blockchain programming and deep learning. In the past year, his main focus has been on EOS, and on developing on the whole stacks around a decentralized application.

Photo of speaker John Jefferies
Chief Marketing Officer, CipherTrace

John is a serial security entrepreneur and Chief Marketing Officer of CipherTrace. He has been marketing security a broad spectrum of security products for over twenty years resulting in six successful exits. Before joining CipherTrace, JJ led blockchain initiatives at Samsung’s Strategy Innovation Center as Head of Security Marketing for the IoT business unit.

He joined Samsung from Cayuga Networks, which applied machine learning to web application security where he served as Chief Operating Officer and VP Product Management. John Jefferies served as the GM and Chief Marketing Officer of Abaca Technology which applied machine learning to filter six billion emails daily for AT&T, iCloud and Yahoo Mail which sold to ProofPoint. JJ served as Vice President Marketing of IronKey the world’s first tamper-proof encrypted flash drive with the three founders CipherTrace. Before this, he held senior marketing positions with, among others, RedCannon, Hewlett Packard, Teros (Citrix) and Dascom (IBM). He began his career as a financial analyst and was among the first Fortune 500 webmasters. He is an avid surfer and teaches high speed driving.

Photo of speaker Ritesh Johar
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Moonlighting

Ritesh is an innovative business-focused technology leader with over 18 years of executive and hands-on experience in Fortune 100 companies and startups.

Ritesh is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Moonlighting and architect of the proprietary platform that powers the Moonlighting Marketplace. He has 18+ years of expertise covering various aspects of software architecture, design, development, process and methodology for Capital One, Federal Reserve and Thomson Reuters. Ritesh specializes in designing, implementing and managing highly scalable global technology solutions, enterprise technology roadmaps, strategic planning, product management and delivery, cyber security, and blockchain.

Photo of speaker Elizabeth Jose
CEO & Founder, Flewid Capital, Inc.

Elizabeth has an educational background in psychology, chemistry and studio art from Hollins University. She is an entrepreneur with six years of experience in business analytics, business management, and business growth and development. She has conducted hands-on research on workplace dynamics, community development, and on psychological barriers to social development and career acceleration with a focus on cognitive restructuring techniques to overcome the barriers. She has an organic farming and sustainable development project in India that she began six years ago. Her acceptance into the 2018 Cohort of the Regional Acceleration and Mentorship Program (RAMP) in Roanoke, VA brought her back into the region to develop her fintech company, Flewid Capital, Inc. Flewid Capital is using traditional and blockchain technology to create a global payment platform that prioritizes the needs of immigrants and international students and does not require an internet connection.

Photo of speaker Yonathan Lapchik
Chief Executive Officer, SUKU by Citizens Reserve

Yonathan is CEO of SUKU, a supply-chain-as-a-service ecosystem that aims to transform global supply chains. He brings more than 13 years of experience helping Fortune 500 clients with digital transformations, M&A, tech strategy, and product implementation working for TATA Consultancy Services and Deloitte. Before joining SUKU, Yonathan held the role of Product Lead for Deloitte's US Blockchain Lab, focusing on leading the development of blockchain-based prototypes and enterprise solutions. In alignment with the lab's mission, Yonathan served as an in-house blockchain subject matter advisor for fellow Deloitte practitioners and clients alike.

Yonathan holds an MBA from Duke University with focus in Strategy and a BSc in Computer Science Engineering from Universidad ORT Uruguay.

Photo of speaker Dan Larimer
Chief Technology Officer,

Dan is one of the leading innovators, engineers and thought leaders in the blockchain space. He is the co-founder of an array of successful blockchain companies, most notably the decentralized exchange BitShares, the social media network Steemit, and, publisher of the EOSIO protocol, all of which provide industrial- and enterprise-grade blockchain solutions utilizing the widely-adopted Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism, which he invented. Recognized as an industry pioneer, Dan is one of the most high-profile figures in the blockchain arena, having garnered a decade's worth of entrepreneurial and technical experience in the field. At, he is the lead architect behind the EOSIO software, which is engineered to run highly scalable blockchain applications. He is an alumnus of the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science, where he currently serves as a guest lecturer and curriculum advisor.

Photo of speaker Jennifer O'Daniel
Investment Director, Center for Innovation Technology

Jennifer joined CIT GAP Funds in 2003, where she leads seed and early stage investments in tech companies with a concentration on cybersecurity and enterprise software. A key member of the investment team, O’Daniel has led over 50 investments in seed and early stage companies as well as investments for MACH37, a cybersecurity accelerator. She is a board observer for several Virginia-based companies, including Zoomph and ThreatQuotient, both highly successful companies that received investment from CIT GAP Funds in their early stages. O’Daniel co-hosts the CyberScoop podcast, Securiosity, where she recaps cybersecurity news and interviews industry luminaries. O’Daniel is a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of VT Investor Network (VTIN), a 75+ member angel group that invests in Hokie-led startups. Prior to CIT, O’Daniel worked at a private equity firm in Slovenia and was part of the founding team of several startups.

O’Daniel began her career with the Business Technology Center at Virginia Tech, spinning out technology and life science companies established at the university. She is a former member of the Young Atlantic Venture Association (YAVA), MIT Enterprise Forum, CFA Society of Washington and the Young Venture Capital Society. O'Daniel has served as a board member for multiple organizations throughout her career, including Virginia Tech’s Apex Center for Entrepreneurs, The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council, The Venture Forum, Leadership Fairfax, Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Virginia Tech Business Technology Center, and William and Mary's Technology and Business Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Virginia Tech.

Photo of speaker Hester Peirce
Commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission

Hester M. Peirce was appointed by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was sworn in on January 11, 2018.

Prior to joining the Commission, Commissioner Peirce served as Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Financial Markets Working Group (now Program on Financial Regulation) at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. While at the Mercatus Center, Commissioner Peirce's research explored how financial markets foster economic growth and prosperity and the role well-designed regulation plays in protecting investors and consumers while promoting financial stability and innovation. Commissioner Peirce co-edited two books, authored publications, testified before Congress, and served on the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee.

Before joining the Mercatus Center, Commissioner Peirce worked on Senator Richard Shelby's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs staff as Senior Counsel. In that position, she oversaw financial regulatory reform efforts following the 2008 financial crisis and conducted oversight of the regulatory implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

From 2004 to 2008, Commissioner Peirce worked as counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins. Prior to serving Commissioner Atkins, Commissioner Peirce worked as a Staff Attorney in the Division of Investment Management.

Before working at the SEC, Commissioner Peirce was an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) and clerked for Judge Roger Andewelt on the Court of Federal Claims.

Commissioner Peirce earned her BA in Economics from Case Western Reserve University and her JD from Yale Law School.

Photo of speaker Brandy Salmon
Associate Vice President and Managing Director, Innovation and Partnerships, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus

Dr. Brandy Salmon currently serves as the managing director of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, leading a cross-functional delivery team to set the vision for the campus and launch key efforts. Salmon came to Virginia Tech to serve as Associate Vice President of Partnerships & Innovation, where she leads LINK LICENSE LAUNCH, a team dedicated to supporting industry partnerships from discovery-to-market. Prior to Virginia Tech, Salmon served as director for RTI’s Innovation Advisors, where she led consulting engagements for federal, corporate, and foundation clients to implement best practices in innovation, identify and evaluate new technologies and products, and develop commercialization strategies and partnerships. Salmon joined RTI in 2011 from the Duke University, where she led commercialization and technology transfer activities. Salmon has an B.A. from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business.

Photo of speaker Lee A. Schneider
General Counsel,

Lee serves as General Counsel for, with responsibility for all of the company's legal affairs including its proactive regulatory and compliance initiatives. He led the blockchain practices at two major international firms, most recently McDermott Will & Emery. While at McDermott, he led both the Fintech and broker dealer practices.

Schneider has been recognized as one of the leading voices in blockchain-related regulation and compliance, and has played a role in structuring several of the largest and most successful blockchain-related projects.

He holds a juris doctor degree from American University's Washington College of Law and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

Photo of speaker John Squeo
Principal Director and Blockchain Lead for Health and Life Science, Accenture

John is a Principal Director for Strategy in Healthcare at Accenture and the Blockchain Lead for Health and Life Sciences in North America. He is an industry-leading advisor on strategies for payer and provider convergence and health system growth strategies focusing on population health and value-based care leveraging quantitative methods.

Over his 24-year career, John has served as Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer and CIO with large health systems and has consulted to life sciences and health insurance payers leading care model reimagination, digital transformation and process automation by leveraging advanced technologies including artificial intelligence.

Before joining Accenture, John was Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer for Thorek Memorial Hospital System in Chicago where he led the Office of Innovation and he has served in leadership positions for Vanguard Health and HCA.

He holds an MBA from the University of Kentucky and has completed work in Artificial Intelligence for a PhD.

Photo of speaker John Stevens
Blockchain Practice Lead, Accenture Federal Services

John leads the Accenture Federal Services Blockchain Practice, providing thought leadership to the US Federal community. John has over 15 years of experience providing enterprise data strategy and delivery to the US Federal Government and global NGOs. He joined Accenture in 2017 and has worked with the DOJ, USDA and VA. John earned his BA at Hofstra University and his MS in the Management of IT from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce

Photo of speaker Brian Sullivan
Anchor, CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange" and Senior National Correspondent

Brian is anchor of CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange" (M-F 5AM-6AM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He is also senior national correspondent for the network, covering some of the nation's biggest stories.

Most recently, Sullivan was co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch"(M-F, 1PM-3PM ET).

In his 20 years of financial journalism and television experience, Sullivan has reported from five continents. He has been twice nominated for the prestigious Loeb Award; one for being recognized as among the first financial journalists to highlight the risks of the housing bubble in 2007, and the other for the 2013 CNBC documentary "America's Gun: The Rise of the AR-15."

Prior to CNBC, Sullivan served as an anchor at Fox Business News as well as a producer, reporter, and anchor for Bloomberg Television.

Sullivan has a bachelor of arts in political science from Virginia Tech, where he serves on the alumni board of directors, as well as a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. In his free time, he is an avid race car driver with two SCCA divisional championships.

More speakers to come!

For Media/Communications: Jenise Jacques, 540-231-1256;
For all Other Inquiries: Julia Costello, 540-231-8945;

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