2021 SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Ruth Crowley

VP of Merchandise & Brand Strategy | The Hudson Group

Ruth Crowley has diverse experience across industries including Experience Design, Retail, Hospitality, Theme Parks, Entertainment, Brand Strategy, Licensing and Consulting. Ruth has worked with iconic brands including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Universal Studios, Harley-Davidson, Nickelodeon, M&M Mars and Host Marriott in the US and Global Markets. Ruth was head of Customer Experience Design at Lowe’s, a Fortune 100 Company. She has held positions across functions including Store Design, Merchandising, Brand Strategy, Product Design, Concept and Portfolio Development, Operations, Marketing and International Business Development. Currently Ruth works with Hudson Group, a Division of Dufry International, the largest travel retailer in the world.

Raghu Sagi

Chief Information Officer | Inspire Brands

Raghu Sagi serves as Chief Information Officer of Inspire Brands, a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes nearly 32,000 restaurants worldwide. Raghu is responsible for driving the technology strategy across Inspire, including the rapid evolution of digital and data capabilities through technology solutions. This strategy ensures systems and technologies used are profitable, secure and efficient, and are driving innovation across all facets of the technology organization. Prior to Inspire, he served as Chief Engineering Officer for Sephora Americas (an LVMH brand), where he was responsible for Omni-Channel Digital, Retail, Personalization & CRM, including Loyalty and Data Insights technology capabilities and platforms. Prior to Sephora, Raghu held technology leadership positions at Walmart and Best Buy.

PANELISTS & MODERATORS

Ahmed Ahmed

CEO | Jimzo Management

Speaker bio coming soon!

Joshua Applestone

Founder/CEO | Applestone Meat Co

Speaker bio coming soon!

Kemal Arin

Founder | Showtime Pictures

Speaker bio coming soon!

Gary Arwin

President | Gator Vending

Gary Arwin founder of Gator Vending is an innovator in the vending industry having been one of the first vending companies in the US to bring the use of cell phones to the vending industry. In early 2012 Gary began beta testing a new platform called Vuwi (Coin Free) on vending machines that allowed you to use your cell phone to make a purchase. Since then, Gary has used technology throughout his business to increase customer service, improve sales, increase efficiency, reduce costs and continually provide the best end user experience possible. Gary is passionate about using technology to it’s fullest for Gator Vending and helping others to do the same.

Ursina Beerli

COO | Invenda Group

Ursina Beerli is the COO of Invenda Group, a Swiss company focused on automated retail technology, where she is responsible for global customers, distribution, and commercial expansion. Previously Ursina lead growth and innovation projects as a member of the leadership team of Selecta, Europe’s largest vending operator. Before that she was a leader in Bain & Company’s retail practices in the New York and Zurich offices.

Rob Bence

Director, Digital Technology | United Airlines

Rob Bence, Director, Digital Technology, United Airlines ATW & Intelligent Airport, responsible for providing vision, direction and leadership for operational technology (IT) applications used by customers and employees in airports served by United. Rob joined United in early 2019 from Southwest Airlines, where he was a technology leader for 8+ years, responsible for the technology used to deliver an integrated customer experience in the commercial domain. Rob is an US Army veteran, passionate people leader and radical customer advocate with progressive technology experience across multiple business and technical verticals throughout his career.

Cherryh Cansler

VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group

Before joining Networld Media Group as Vice President of Editorial, where she oversees Networld Media Group’s nine B2B publications, Cherryh Cansler served as Content Specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City. Throughout her 17-year career as a journalist, she’s written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness news. Her byline has appeared in a plethora of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for FastCasual.com.

Mike Coffey

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer | Canteen

Mike Coffey has spent over 30 Years in the food service industry. His experience includes a variety of leadership roles in Canteen since 2002. Mike’s current role as Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer includes supporting Canteen IT system development, Avenue C Micro Markets, field implementation, Canteen Analytics, and Canteen Operations.

Wes Dunn

Executive VP of Sales & Marketing | Genmega Inc.

From 1994 to 2009, Wes Dunn worked in varying aspects of the Retail ATM Industry including processing, self service applications and manufacturing. In 2010 Wes helped form Genmega, an ATM and kiosk manufacturer and now serves as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Genmega, to promote retail ATM and kiosk sales both inside and outside of the United States.

Rebecca Faulconer

President | Retail Automation Consultants

Speaker bio coming soon!

Tom Ferguson Jr.

Founder & CEO | Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken

Tom Ferguson is founder and CEO of Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken, a fast growing franchise known for innovative, chef-inspired twists on favorite breakfast and lunch items, tight operating procedures and a corporate culture that promotes love and respect at all levels. The concept has grown from a single restaurant to 16 Rise locations now open in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee with over 100 units in development. Rise was named a Fast Casual Top 100 Mover & Shaker in 2016. Before starting Rise Biscuits Donuts, Tom was a pioneer in the NC Triangle’s food truck scene with Only Burger.

Jordan Fraser

Business Development, Publisher Solutions | Vistar Media

Jordan Fraser leads Business Development for the Publisher Solutions Team at Vistar Media. Prior to joining Vistar, Jordan held business development and media roles at GameStop, Outfront Media, Kinetic, and Clear Channel Outdoor.

Albert Gonzalez

Operations Manager/Sales Manager | Best Office Coffee Service

Albert Gonzalez is operations and sales manager for Best Office Coffee Service in Miami, a coffee service operation serving South Florida. Albert and his father, Juan Gonzalez, formed the company in 2006 after working for other coffee service companies and grew it into one of the largest OCS players in South Florida. The company has focused on matching every customer with the proper type of brewer.

Hank Green

VP of Food & Beverage | AMC Theatres

Speaker bio coming soon!

Kelsey Hall

Sr. Product Manager, Global Digital Accessibility | McDonald’s

Speaker bio coming soon!

Ali Hassan

Founding Partner | Perceptive Capital & Advanced Automated

Ali Hassan is a founding partner of Perceptive Capital and Advanced Automated owns and operates 300 bitcoin ATMs across 22 states. He is also co-founder and CEO of Crescent Crypto Asset Management, a $380 million investment management firm.

Bryan Hebert

Executive VP of Sales | Nayax

Speaker bio coming soon!

Joe Hessling

Founder & CEO | 365 Retail Markets

Joe Hessling is the Founder and CEO of 365 Retail Markets, the global leader in self-checkout workplace technology. 365 Retail Markets offers the best-in-class platform for MicroMarkets, vending, foodservice and hospitality. Under Joe’s leadership the company has been pioneering innovation since 2009. A serial entrepreneur, Joe has founded, owned, and operated several companies in the past twenty-five years in areas ranging from Distribution, Managed Services, Restaurants and other investments. Joe is the newly appointed Chair of NAMA Board of Directors for 2021/2022.

Louise Hudson

VP of Marketing Operations | Aramark Canada

Louise Hudson has more than 27 years of marketing experience, specializing in building brands, enhancing the consumer experience and increasing customer engagement within the food service industry. She joined Aramark in 2012 with a primary focus on the education and healthcare sector. Today, as Vice President of Marketing Operations, she oversees corporate and regional marketing, strategy, program development, insights, and communications. Louise is a graduate of Memorial University; she studied Business Administration (Marketing), Nutrition and Foodservice Management, and has a Professional Facilitator designation.

Glenn ImObersteg

CEO | Holo Industries

Speaker bio coming soon!

Arvin Jawa

Global Vice President, Retail Strategy & Regional (Americas) | Diebold Nixdorf

Speaker bio coming soon!

Mary Jesse

CEO | MTI

Mary Jesse joined the MTI team in 2020 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and in January 2021, she joined the MTI Board of Directors. She has an extensive background as a leader and operational expert. She brings 30 years of experience developing, commercializing, delivering and supporting technology products, services, and companies. Mary has served as CEO, CTO, COO, CSO, VP, board director, board chair, founder, consultant and advisor for private and public companies from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 across a variety of industries. A licensed Professional Electrical Engineer, P.E., Ms. Jesse holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering, and nineteen technology related patents.

Woody Kassin

CEO | Capital Provisions

Capital Provisions’ CEO, Woody Kassin, is a senior-level executive with 25 years of management experience and proven expertise in driving value creation for growth-oriented companies. Prior to Capital Provisions, Woody served as CFO for Four Sigmatic, an investor-backed company specializing in “functional mushrooms”, used for their medicinal benefits in a variety of food and health products. Woody also founded JKC Brands in 2009, which provides strategic and interim management services for growth-oriented companies. That experience included serving from 2011 to 2019 as CFO of Body Ecology, a marketer of nutritional supplements and products, and serving from 2013 to the present as CEO and owner of Faucet Face, a marketer of consumer and promotional products.

Steve Leasure

VP Franchise Operations | Scooter’s Coffee

Speaker bio coming soon!

Natasia Malaihollo

Head of Business Development | PopCom

Natasia Malaihollo is the Head of Business Development for PopCom, where she leads sales, tracks new markets and emerging trends, and develops strategic partnerships to guide long-term business growth and revenue. Prior to PopCom, Natasia was the co-founder of Wyzerr, a tech startup that gamifies surveys. At Wyzerr, Natasia grew its customer base to over 2,100 businesses in 42 countries, which included directly closing deals with 37 Fortune 1000 companies such as Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Kroger, and Walmart. Natasia has won multiple business and innovation awards for her work with Wyzerr. In 2017, Smithsonian Magazine named Natasia to their annual Eight Innovators to Watch List.

Elliot Maras

Editor | Kiosk Marketplace & Vending Times

Elliot Maras brings a background covering the retail, foodservice and payments industries, having served as the editor of Automatic Merchandiser Magazine for 20 years and as the founding editor of VendingMarketWatch.com. He is a graduate of the National Automatic Merchandising Association/Michigan State University Executive Development Program, a former board member of the International Foodservice Editors Council, and a winner of the Journalism Award of the Office Refreshment Development Foundation.

Ryan McWhirter

VP of Product | 365 Retail Markets

Speaker bio coming soon!

Derek Muhney

EVP of Sales | Coinsource

Speaker bio coming soon!

Drew Munro

Co-Founder & CEO | Upmeals

Drew Munro is the co-founder and CEO of UpMeals, a Vancouver food tech start-up on a mission to make healthy food accessible 24/7 through technology solutions, such as customized healthy SmartVending machines powered by proprietary management software. Prior to starting UpMeals, Drew founded an award-winning catering company based in Vancouver. He has 12 years of experience curating corporate event experiences, working with organizations such as Facebook, Ferrari, and Amazon to create memorable food experiences. Drew is passionate about the intersection of wellness and technology, food waste reduction, and sustainability.

Mitul Patel

Director of OEM Sales – Americas | Zebra Technologies

Mitul Patel has been part of the Information Technology and Telecommunications industry for more than 20 years. During his career he has held several key roles from product management, business operations, and sales leadership. He has years of experience working with several of the largest retail, healthcare, transportation, and logistics organizations around the globe. His current role is the Director of OEM Sales for the Americas at Zebra Technologies. Mitul’s primary focus is to drive sales of component technologies critical to the advancement of self-service across multiple industries.

Salvador Ramos

General Manager | MegaJump

Speaker bio coming soon!

Ayman Rida

CEO & President | Cash2Bitoin

Ayman Rida has over fifteen years of experience in the ATM and Merchant Card Processing industries and more recently founded a cryptocurrency company. He serves as President of all his companies and is focused on driving growth using his real-world experience in deploying/managing self-serve kiosks. Ayman’s successful strategic planning has expanded his companies’ footprint nationwide and led to the startup of Cash2Bitcoin. Cash2Bitcoin started from humble beginnings in local Detroit, experiencing steady exponential growth in its short five-year existence, enjoying a footprint that expands into 17 states and growing.

Alejandro Rodriguez

Founder & CEO | Pharmabox

Speaker bio coming soon!

Josh Rosenberg

CEO | Three Boys Strong Consulting Group

Josh Rosenberg is a former Executive in the Coca-Cola system, with over 18 years developing his skills from merchandising, service, call center management, sales, marketing, and operational roles. Josh left in 2013 to invest and lead as CEO at Accent Food Services. Josh led Accent from a single state operation to one of the largest multi-state operators in the Convenience Services industry. Over six years, Josh scaled Accent through top line revenue growth of more than 6x, by adding strategic acquisitions, strong existing customer retention, and building a strong culture before moving to an active advisory role in 2019. Since leaving Accent Josh has serviced both private and public boards, executive consulting, speaking, and fundraising.

Joe Scutellaro

CEO | Automat Kitchen

Speaker bio coming soon!

Mark D. Smith

Business Development Manager | Bitcoin Depot

Mark Smith is a 20+ year veteran of the ATM industry and has excelled in both the retail and financial sectors to deploy and manage fleets of terminals. Mark began his career with a major ATM manufacturer and has also worked with ATM distributors and ATM remanufacturing companies. He has vast experience with deployments and developing efficient partner relationships for major rollouts, including ATMs, Smart Safes, and Bitcoin Kiosks. His knowledge of the industry and ability to execute successful programs has awarded him a high level of trust and confidence among peers and colleagues.

Neil Thompson

VP, Digital | HMS Host

Neil Thompson joined HMSHost in 2012 as Vice President, Canada. In this position he was responsible for the company’s operations in Canadian airports and motorways. Neil was assigned to Vice President, Digital in 2020 and is responsible for overseeing the company’s digital strategy and vision. Prior to joining HMSHost, Neil worked as an executive for some of Canada’s most recognizable restaurant brands including Tim Hortons. Neil holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, and his passion for food led him to attain a Culinary Arts Certificate from George Brown College. He also completed the Hospitality Managers’ Development Course at University of Guelph, and has a Certificate in Finance from McGill University.

Jesse Veldez

Owner | Flagstaff Pawn

Jesse Veldez, owner of Flaggstaff Pawn in Flaggstaff, Arizona, has been operating cryptocurrency ATMs for more than a year.

Kevin Williams

Director |  KWP & The Stinger Report

Kevin Williams is the director of KWP and The Stinger Report, an interactive out-of-home entertainment news service covering the immersive frontier and beyond. He is also a regular contributing editor to Vending Times.