Keynote Panel: Creating a Master Plan for a Smart City

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Keynote Panel | 12:10-1:10PM

Keynote Panelists

Bob Bennett

Chief Innovation Officer, City of Kansas City, Missouri

Bob Bennett became the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, in January 2016. Bob is responsible for making Kansas City a Smart City through effective use of technology that improves citizen experiences in the City. Bob leads the implementation of public WiFi projects, digital kiosk installation and smart lighting programs in the public spaces; in these efforts he works to make technology work for citizens and enhance their experience downtown. In the internal business operations focus area, he is working to digitize city processes, improve data-enhanced decision making and make city hall more efficient. A 25-year veteran of the US Army as both a senior troop commander and policy-level strategic planner, Bob has extensive experience working with big data and digital decision support systems.

Justin Dickstein

Smart City Director, Smart Integrated Infrastructure, Black & Veatch

Justin Dickstein is the Smart City Director for Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. His team supports the innovations of utilities and cities by establishing the foundation of all smart functions – bringing together physical infrastructure, communication networks and data analytics to infuse intelligence into systems and enable informed decisions and planning. These solutions boost transformation, sustainability, resiliency and efficiency, and cultivate new system-wide intelligence at utilities, along roadways, in cities and beyond. Justin brings over 17 years of experience helping Black & Veatch’s public sector clients deploy distributed infrastructure projects.

Steve Wimsatt

Senior Director, Strategic Alliances, Ruckus Wireless

Steve Wimsatt is Sr. Director of Strategic Alliances for Ruckus Wireless.  He leads Smart and Connected City initiatives including go to market activities and ecosystem partnerships with key partners providing streetlights, digital kiosks, IP video analytics, and other City-related solutions.  He is on the Global Cities Team Challenge – Public Wi-Fi leadership team, a White House and National Institute of Science and Technology initiative to define and promote best practice blueprints for cities.  He has been actively engaged in the Public Wi-Fi market for nearly 20 years.

Harshvardhan Barve

Regional Sales Manager, Johnson Controls

Harshvardhan Barve is the Regional Sales Manager for Johnson Controls’ Building Wide Systems Integration (BWSI) business. Working with new-construction and existing buildings, he leads a regional business unit responsible to deliver Smart and Integrated facilities in a variety of complex markets involving the integration of building, business and specialty systems.

Harshvardhan brings 16+ years of diversified experience that has a unique blend of Sales, Engineering, Strategy and Marketing.  He serves as the President of a Business Resource Group aimed at creating platforms that foster employee engagement. Harshvardhan is a proud alumnus of The University of Oklahoma (Master of Engineering) and The University of Kansas (Master of Business Administration). He is also a graduate of the Johnson Controls Leadership Development Program.

Herb Sih Co-founder and Managing Partner Think Big Partners

Moderator: Herb Sih

Managing Partner, Think Big Partners

Herb Sih is Managing Partner of Think Big Partners. Think Big is a highly specialized professional services firm located in Kansas City, Missouri that helps cities, large companies and startups accelerate growth by creating innovation partnerships, commercializing technologies and fueling entrepreneur-led economic development through programs, events and work spaces. 

Think Big has a trusted network of innovation partners that work together to solve global urbanization problems while also revitalizing local economies through the reinvention of established industries. Think Big’s goal is to help accelerate success, create jobs and develop a network powered by intellectual capital and disciplined execution that can change the world. 

Prior to Think Big, Herb was in the investment industry for 14 years. He has also been on the executive team for several technology companies and is a successful entrepreneur. Prior to his business career, Herb was a helicopter pilot in the United States Army. Herb is an active board member for several businesses, civic and social impact organizations.