2016 TechTable Summit

2016 Summit Speakers

Christa Quarles

As Chief Executive Officer, Christa leads the global business strategy and vision for OpenTable. Prior to joining OpenTable, Christa served as the Chief Business Officer for Nextdoor where she oversaw finance, business intelligence, HR, business development and legal. Previously, Christa served as the SVP and General Manager at Disney where she led the Mobile and Social Games divisions within Disney Interactive. Christa joined Disney in 2010 as part of the acquisition of Playdom, a leading social games developer, where she served as Chief Financial Officer. Earlier in her career, Christa spent ten years as an equity research analyst covering the Internet sector at Thomas Weisel Partners (now Stifel Financial).  Christa holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Carnegie Mellon University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Ellen Bennett
Hedley & Bennett

Ellen Bennett is the founder and creator of Hedley & Bennett, the Los Angeles based apron company founded in 2012 at at 24. Bennett was far from an ordinary kid and fiercely independent from a young age. She became very interested in cooking and testing out new recipes for her family while growing up. Later in life, the Los Angeles native packed up and moved to Mexico City for Culinary School to study Restaurant Administration and to continue her passion for cooking. After moving back to the states and while working as a line cook at two Los Angeles’ restaurants (Baco Mercat and two Michelin star rated Providence) Ellen noticed the stale look and poor quality of the aprons she wore daily. Inspired to make a more functional apron, she worked with Josef Centeno of Baco Mercat to design her first run of aprons for his staff and that was the official start of Hedley & Bennett. 

The Apron Squad literally grew one member at a time.  Bennett’s personality and approach opened doors for her to meet with the most established restaurants and best chefs in the country. Between meetings and cooking at Providence, aprons were being made as quickly as possible. Soon, attention came from press like the New York Times and celebrity chef fans such as Martha Stewart and Mario Batali, solidifying her as a real player in the restaurant game. The response to her new innovative product was growing faster than she could keep up with.  Eventually quitting her jobs at the both restaurants, Bennett grew her operation from a 400 square foot office space to the showroom, office space and 14,000 sq. ft factory she currently resides in in Downtown LA - all in under three years.  The company has quickly expanded and now her aprons can be found in more than 3000 restaurants worldwide. Upon realizing aprons weren’t only for chefs but for any maker who wanted a professional grade apron to protect them while they work, she developed aprons for gardeners and potters so they too could have a garment as beautiful as the clothes they wore underneath. Since then, Bennett has collaborated with SpaceX, Google, Lexus, Delta, Four Seasons, Food & Wine and thousands of others to craft functional aprons for their specific needs. 

Gokul Rajaram

Gokul Rajaram is the product engineering lead at Square, the commerce company based in San Francisco, CA, that offers local businesses a full suite of hardware and software tools, including the Square credit card reader for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and Square Register, a full point-of-sale system.  Gokul Rajaram currently oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food delivery service. Since joining Square in 2013, Gokul has held several leadership positions across the company and led software development for Register, Square's full point-of-sale system that offers a powerful way to run an entire business. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.

Steve Case
Revolution, LLC

Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ new businesses. Revolution invests in and actively helps build significant companies leveraging technology to disrupt existing markets. This includes both early and mid-stage growth companies through both the Revolution Growth fund, created in 2011, and the Revolution Ventures fund, launched in 2013. Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). AOL was the first Internet company to go public. At its peak, nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. He was the founding chair of the Startup America Partnership- an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. He is also a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and was a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship. Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997.

Ben Leventhal

Entrepreneur and angel investor Ben Leventhal is the co-founder and chef executive officer of Resy, the fast-growing restaurant reservations platform using technology to pioneer a new standard of hospitality for the restaurant business. He is also the co-founder of Eater.com, the James Beard Award winning website acquired by Vox Media in 2013. He is on the board of directors of Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that prepares minority women for careers in the culinary industry; and is a trustee at MOFAD, the Museum of Food & Drink.

Jason Droege

As the Head of Uber Everything, Jason is focused on leveraging Uber’s extensive logistics network to launch new business ventures. Under his leadership, he’s brought innovative same day services such as UberRUSH and UberEATS to market in 25+ cities across 6 countries & 4 continents. Jason’s expertise as a successful founder and business leader across e-commerce, enterprise software and internet services has resulted in the development of a robust logistics platform that is revolutionizing the delivery industry.

Robyn Sue Fisher
Smitten Ice Cream

Robyn Sue Fisher is the Founder and CEO of Smitten Ice Cream.  An ice cream fanatic with a knack for invention, Robyn founded Smitten Ice Cream in 2007 to spread joy and create the freshest, most flavorful ice cream the world had ever known. After ditching her corporate career, she began immersing herself in all things ice cream and was increasingly bothered by the modern industry's complicated ingredients and focus on shelf-life. So, she invented her own patented machine to perfect the art of churning pure, fresh scoops to-order in about 90 seconds using liquid nitrogen and only the very best ingredients. She first put Smitten on the map when she placed her custom-built “Brrr™” machine atop a Radio Flyer wagon and started selling her churned-to-order ice cream on the streets of San Francisco to the crowds that gathered, soon building a cult-like following. From those humble beginnings came Smitten’s first shop in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood in 2011 and, by the end of 2016, Robyn will have ten shops throughout the Bay Area and in Los Angeles.  Touted by Vogue as “The freshest, if not the best, ice cream on Earth,” and featured in a vast array of media, from Food & Wine and Forbes to Wired and TechCrunch, Smitten is setting the bar for mastery of the perfect scoop.

Eduardo J. Sanabia
Think Food Group

Eduardo J. Sanabia is an accomplished human resources professionalwith over 15 years of experience in executive strategy, business planning, HRoperations, and consulting. Mr. Sanabia is the Chief People Officer for ThinkFoodGroup, LLCfounded by award winning Chef Jose Andres and successful restaurantentrepreneur Rob Wilder. Prior to ThinkFoodGroup, Mr. Sanabia held the positionof Vice Preside of Human Resources for NMS Healthcare, an organization thatowns and manages several nursing homes and rehabilitation service facilities inMaryland. Through his career, Mr. Sanabia held various executive positions withMarriott International, Inc (MI) and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLCincluding Area Director of Human Resources for Northern Virginia and with the Ritz-CarltonArea Director of Human Resources for the DC Metropolitan area. During his tenurein hospitality, Mr. Sanabia received the Northern Virginia Diversity LeadershipAward, the Human Resources Leadership Scholarship of Greater Washington and theWashington Business Journal’s Best Place to Work in Washington, D.C. Award forlarge companies.  Mr. Sanabia continued passion for his field led him to return to hishome country - the Dominican Republic - to engage in his own consulting firmproviding organization development expertise to local businesses. He was also aregular collaborator for the Hispanic business magazine Mercado writing dozensof human resources articles. Mr. Sanabia received his B. S. in Hotel and Restaurant Managementfrom the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, in Santo Domingo,Dominican Republic and earned his M.B.A and a Graduate Certificate inOrganization Development from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. He livesin Virginia with his wife, Gina, and three children.

Matt Sueoka
American Express

Matt Sueoka is the Vice President of Business Development & Product Strategy in Global Digital Partnerships & Product Development at American Express in New York.  He works with senior leadership to develop enterprise mobile and digital payments strategies and solutions to grow cardmember spend and loyalty.  Matt also leads business development for strategic partnerships with Apple, Facebook, Google, Jawbone & Samsung. He is passionate about digital consumer businesses and thinking outside the box to create innovative new products, services and business ventures.  Matt was previously a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, where he focused primarily on advising financial services and private equity clients, and a Business Designer at IDEO.

 Matt received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering and studio art.

Morgan Cornelius

Morgan Cornelius recently joined Instagram to oversee their business community. Morgan is responsible for connecting with businesses offline and identifying businesses who are using Instagram in new and creative ways to market themselves to the more than 500 million monthly active users on the platform. Prior to Instagram, Morgan spent the last five years at Yelp overseeing their business outreach efforts on the western half of North America. Before joining Yelp in 2011, Morgan worked as a publicist with a focus on luxury real estate, travel, lifestyle and beauty brands.

Morgan is a Pacific Northwest native and has lived in almost every major city up and down the West Coast. When she isn't scrolling through Instagram for the latest posts of pit bulls, street art and exotic travel destinations, she's cursing (and thanking) her Italian roots for obsessing over what to put on the dinner table for her husband, family and friends. Should we use the sous-vide machine, or the slow cooker? #mammamia!

Jo Berrington

Jo Berrington is based at YOTEL’s HQ in London, she manages and develops the YOTEL brand portfolio, how everything looks, feels, sounds and even scenting. She is also responsible for internal and external communications strategy and marketing including digital marketing and social media and all things cultural for people, product, training and development and partnerships. Jo spent the first part of her career with British Airways in sales support, event management and corporate account management roles.  She originally trained in design, photography and printing in Leeds and then whilst with BA studied Marketing with the Chartered Institute and the London Business school before taking up a regional marketing role with them. In 2000 Jo then joined the iconic London Eye observation wheel for its opening and launch as Head of Marketing and PR, managing brand strategy, communications, design, product development, pricing and distribution, digital, website and sponsorship.  In 2006 Jo joined the founding team of YOTEL as Director of Marketing, working closely with the founders and fellow directors to develop the business model and launch the product into the UK in 2007. YOTEL now operates 4 YOTELAIR hotels in airport terminals, 1 YOTEL hotel in New York of over 700 ‘cabins’ and has eight more in the pipeline, 3 of those to open in 2017.

Chip Conley

Chip Conley is the Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb. Prior to joining Airbnb, Chip founded the award-winning, boutique hotel company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality. For the past 27 years Chip has been a force of innovation in the hospitality industry, he’s overseen the creation and management of 52 boutique hotels and won numerous awards for innovation in customer service and leadership. At Airbnb, Chip is sharing his proven methods with hundreds of thousands of hosts in over 190 countries around the world.

Cynthia Billeaud
MINA Group

Cynthia Billeaud is MINA Group’s Vice President of Talent and Culture.  She oversees all human resources matters including recruiting and hiring while largely contributing to shape and develop the corporate culture of the MINA Group to excellence in savoir-faire that has defined her career path.  She is also working closely with the operations team ensuring that all properties achieve stated objectives in sales, cost, employee retention, communication and awareness.

Prior to joining the MINA Group, Cynthia was the Senior Human Resources Director of The Dinex Group for Chef Daniel Boulud.  While at The Dinex Group, Cynthia’s responsibilities encompassed strategic management, employee and labor relations, human resources management, visas, occupational health, safety and security, and workforce planning to support the growth of the company.   

Cynthia first embraced her sense of excellence in 2003 working for Chef Alain Ducasse in New York which she has carried as the heart of her approach of the industry.  Prior experiences in Paris, France include working with The Expectra Group, a recruiting and consulting firm and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (The Accor Group).  She is a graduate of the Institut Supérieure de Commerce business school in Paris with an MBA specializing in human resources management.

David Cantu
Hot Schedules

As co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of HotSchedules, David is responsible for sales and for building and maintaining strong relationships with customers by engaging with them at all levels to collect and disseminate customer feedback throughout the company. Through his leadership, HotSchedules repeatedly achieved more than 40 percent annual growth and has been recognized repeatedly on numerous third party growth indexes. David’s 17+ years of restaurant operations experience have contributed to HotSchedules' product development and innovations focused on improving restaurant operations, scheduling efficiency, labor management and increased employee engagement. David attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children. He is an active member of Vistage International, an executive peer advisory program, and enjoys running, fishing, water sports, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas and escaping to the wine country or beach whenever possible.

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick is Founder and CTO of Tock.  Brian started Google's Chicago engineering office in 2005 and led several of Google's global engineering efforts, including the Data Liberation Front, and Transparency Engineering. He also served as internal advisor for Google's open data efforts, having previously led the Google Code and Google Affiliate Network teams. Prior to joining Google, Brian worked as an engineer at CollabNet, Apple, and a local Chicago development shop.  Brian first started contributing to open source software in 1998 and was a core Subversion developer from 2000 to 2005 as well as the lead developer of the cvs2svn utility. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and former VP of Public Relations for the ASF. Brian has written numerous articles and given dozens of presentations, including co-writing "Debugging Teams: Better Productivity Through Collaboration," "Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others," "Version Control with Subversion" (now in its second edition), and chapters for "Unix in a Nutshell" and "Linux in a Nutshell."  Brian has an A.B. in Classics from Loyola University Chicago with a major in Latin, a minor in Greek, and a concentration in Fine Arts and Ceramics. Brian resides in Chicago.

Nick Kokonas
Alinea Group and Tock

Nick Kokonas is co-owner and co-founder of Alinea, Next, The Aviary, and Roister.  He is also the co-founder and CEO of Tock, a revolutionary booking system for restaurants currently operating in 9 countries around the world. In 2002 Nick and his wife dined at Trio for the first time and met chef Achatz. A brief conversation after an astounding meal led to a quick collaboration to build what would become Alinea only 1 year to the day later. As an outsider to the restaurant business Nick’s approach to the business of restaurants is markedly innovative. He lives in Chicago with his wife Dagmara and their two sons and on sunny mornings can be found on golf courses somewhere in the world.

Wiley Cerilli
Good Uncle

Wiley dropped out of NYU a week into his sophomore year to join the founding executive team of Seamless, where hw was the EVP of Sales, Marketing and Product, and helped build Seamless from its infancy to be named the 4th fastest growing private company in the US by Inc and eventually acquired by ARAMARK. In 2010, Wiley started his own company, SinglePlatform, and it was acquired in 2012 for $100M by ConstantContact. He was on the executive team at Constant Contact until July 2014 when left to join First Round Capital as a Venture Partner in New York with a focus on impact investing. After a year of investing, he got the itch again and was ready to start another company. Wiley left First Round in December 2015 is now Co Founder and CEO of Good Uncle, a food delivery startup launching in Sep 2016 and backed by the best funds and investors in the world.

Wiley is most passionate about his non profit summer camps, Experience Camps, which are free sleep away camps for boys and girls 8-15 who have lost a parent or sibling. He has been a volunteer camp counselor and board member there for seven years now, and volunteers weeks every year as a camp counselor at all of their camps across the country.

Charles Bililies

Charles Bililies is the Founder and CEO of Souvla, a fine casual Greek sandwich shop & wine bar with two locations in San Francisco. A Greek-American, Charles comes from a family tradition of restaurateurs and is deeply passionate about the hospitality experience. He holds degrees in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Charles moved to California in 2006 and worked for Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry and Bouchon as well as Chef Michael Mina at both his eponymous restaurant and RN74. With new Souvla locations opening, Charles now leads strategic development for the restaurant group, focusing on the financial health of the business, team development, and the creation of systems that streamline operations. Charles also now serves as an advisor (both officially and unofficially) to partners in the food and tech space, including Apple, Square, Caviar, and Plate iQ. Charles regularly speaks on panels and in the press about the future of restaurants and tech, entrepreneurship, and how to develop profitable restaurants.

Charlie O'Donnell
Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

Charlie O'Donnell is the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. The fund makes seed and pre-seed investments and was the first venture firm located in Brooklyn--where he was born and raised.  Brooklyn Bridge invested in the first rounds of Canary, Orchard Platform, Tinybop, Hungryroot, Clubhouse, Ringly, and goTenna among others. He previously had investment roles at Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital. Charlie has a reputation for being early to identifying important companies. Nick Bilton identifies him as an influence on early Twitter investors in his book, Hatching Twitter. Dennis Crowley credits him as having helped kick off the first funding of Foursquare before other VCs had said yes. At First Round Capital, he sourced the firm's investments in Singleplatform (sold to Constant Contact) and GroupMe (sold to Skype).  Charlie discovered GroupMe at the hackathon where the service had been built. He also sourced investments in Backupify (which was an idea he had tweeted to the founder, a friend of his), chloe + isabel, and Refinery29.  Charlie bikes to work, has done four triathlons, the NYC marathon, and runs the kayaking program in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The longest he has consecutively been outside of the five boroughs of New York City is three weeks.

Claes Landberg

Claes' role is to oversee the strategic direction and lead the daily operations for the continued growth of YOTEL New York. Claes brings over twenty years of management experience, most recently joining the YOTEL team from MGM Resorts International where he served as the Vice President of Hotel Operations for the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In this role, he oversaw the entire rooms division, a full-service spa operation, hotel sales, property marketing and entertainment. Prior to MGM resorts, Landberg spent eleven years in the leisure/gaming industry with Caesars Entertainment in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as with Station Casinos in Las Vegas. Prior to that, he was at the Hilton New York and Towers in Manhattan.  More recently Claes is expanding his role by supporting YOTEL HQ will strategic input from an Operations perspective on their expansion into the US.

2016 Summit Videos