Georgia Smart Virtual Announcement Speakers



Prelude Music

Gil Weinberg, Ph.D.  - Director, Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology

Gil Weinberg, an associate professor in Georgia Tech's School of Music, is the founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. His research interests include robotic musicianship, discovering new interfaces for musical expression, mobile music, and sonification, and he is known most notably perhaps for his marimba-playing robot Shimon that composes lyrics and melodies with human collaborators. Weinberg's music has been featured on multiple national television programs and his group has performed at festivals and concerts around the world.


Welcome and Introductions

Raheem Beyah  - Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research, Georgia Tech

Raheem Beyah, a native of Atlanta, serves as Georgia Tech's Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research, Executive Director of the Online Masters of Cybersecurity program (OMS Cybersecurity), and is the Motorola Foundation Professor in School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has held several other leadership roles including chairing ECE's Computer Systems and Software Technical Interest Group (2015 - 2017), serving as ECE's Associate Chair for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation (2016 - 2018), and serving as the Interim Steve W. Chaddick ECE School Chair during the 2018-2019 academic year. He leads the Communications Assurance and Performance Group (CAP) and is affiliated with the Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP). He is also Co-Founder of Fortiphyd Logic, Inc.

2019 Class of Georgia Smart Communities

Sharon Subadan  - City Manager, Albany, GA

Sharon D. Subadan is recognized as a dynamic senior executive with strong organizational and leadership skills, highly effective in implementing innovative programs and initiatives with considerable success in stimulating organizational change. With over 29 years of experience in public administration, she specializes in multi-sector collaboration and public leadership. As the City Manager of Albany, Georgia and General Manager of Albany Utilities, she serves a population of 74,000; oversees 1,100 employees; and manages a budget of $288M. She is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager, a Certified Public Manager and a Lean Six-Sigma Black belt who is passionate about servant leadership in the public space.

2020 Smart Community Corps Students

Kathryn Dennis  - President, Community Foundation of Central Georgia

Kathryn Dennis serves as President of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. She joined CFCG in June 2002 and works closely with the Foundation’s Board, staff, and donors to encourage philanthropy and make communities stronger in our region. Kathryn is a native Georgian and a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in History. She is also a Leadership Georgia and a Leadership Macon graduate. She was a 2003 Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellow. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Peyton Anderson Foundation, Community Health Services. Inc., and the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. She is also a member of Mercer University’s Innovation Center Steering Committee, Navicent Health’s Audit Committee, the Foundation Center’s Atlanta Advisory Board, Career Women’s Network, and Vineville United Methodist Church. She is the convener of the Macon Council of Foundations. She is a past president of the Rotary Club of Macon, the Junior League of Macon and the Macon Estate Planning Council, and a past chair of the Stratford Academy Board of Trustees and OneMacon. She has served on the boards of Leadership Georgia, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, United Way of Central Georgia, the Macon Economic Development Commission, the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, Navicent Health’s Children’s Hospital, the Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, the Center for Racial Understanding, and the Mentors Project of Bibb County. Kathryn worked for SunTrust Bank, Middle Georgia for 15 years and when she left for the Community Foundation was a Senior Vice President and the leader of the Wealth Management Division.

2020 Class of Georgia Smart Communities Announcement

Ángel Cabrera  - President, Georgia Tech

On Sept. 1, 2019, Ángel Cabrera became the 12th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cabrera came to Georgia Tech after serving for seven years as president of George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia. From 2004 to 2012, Cabrera served as president at Thunderbird School of Global Management, now part of Arizona State University. Prior to that he was dean of IE Business School in Madrid. As a business educator, Cabrera has played a key role in advancing professional ethics, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility. As a senior advisor to the United Nations Global Compact, in 2007 he was the lead author of the “Principles for Responsible Management Education,” now adopted by more than 700 schools around the world. Cabrera’s research has been published in leading academic journals. He has been quoted by leading global media, including The Economist, BBC, CNN, CNBC, El País, Forbes, The International Herald Tribune, and The New York Times. His op-eds have been published by The Washington Post and the international press, and he has appeared on NPR programs and PBS NewsHour. He’s been named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, a “Star of Europe” by Businessweek, “Henry Crown Fellow” by the Aspen Institute, and “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He has received honorary degrees from Miami Dade College and Universidad Politécnica of Madrid. Cabrera serves on the boards of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, the National Geographic Society, the Bankinter Foundation for Innovation, and Inovio, a publicly traded biotech company. For most of the past decade, he has served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, including a stint as its chair. Cabrera earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Georgia Tech, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. He also holds a telecommunications engineering degree (B.S. and M.S. in computer and electrical engineering) from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Keynote Panel | Georgia Inclusive Innovation

Geoff Duncan  - Lieutenant Governor, State of Georgia

A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor in November of 2018. Geoff graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta where he met his wife, Brooke. Geoff and Brooke both attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where Geoff was a scholarship pitcher. After a successful career at Georgia Tech, Geoff was drafted by the Florida Marlins’ organization. Geoff spent six seasons playing baseball in the minor leagues, advancing as high as AAA before a shoulder injury forced his retirement in the early 2000s. After retiring from baseball, Geoff and his wife Brooke started a small marketing firm in their living room. The company experienced tremendous success which allowed Geoff and Brooke to sell the business and move on to multiple other entrepreneurial ventures. Geoff most recently served as the CEO of a health technology startup. Geoff’s faith inspired him to a life of leadership and prompted his upstart run for political office. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012. During his time in office he authored several important pieces of legislation. These include HB 749-The Cargo Theft Act, HB152-Michael’s Law and most recently SB258- the Rural Hospital Tax Credit. Geoff and Brooke are married and have three sons: Parker (17), Bayler (13), and Ryder (9). Geoff has coached 23 different youth sports teams, and also leads a weekly bible study with his wife Brooke. The Duncans attend Browns Bridge Community Church, an affiliate of North Point Community Church.

Wendell Dallas  - Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Georgia Power

Wendell Dallas is the vice president of sales and marketing for Georgia Power Company. In this role, he leads the implementation of the company’s top line revenue growth strategy. He is responsible for new product development, product distribution, e-commerce, sales management and energy efficiency. Wendell most recently served as vice president of operations for two Southern Company Gas subsidiaries, Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas. In this role, he was responsible for ensuring the company’s operational excellence in delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to more than 700,000 customers in five Georgia and Tennessee regions. Dallas has more than 25 years of operations, management and engineering experience in the natural gas industry. In 2000, he joined Atlanta Gas Light as a service area manager in Macon and shortly afterward began serving as the southeast Georgia region manager in Savannah. He previously held positions as the vice president of economic and community development for the Southern Company Gas multistate footprint. He also served as the Atlanta Gas Light vice president and general manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University. Dallas is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Savannah. In the community, he serves on several non-profit, community and industry boards. He is a gubernatorial appointee and board chairman of the state of Georgia’s Workforce Development Board. He also is vice chairman of the National Association of State Workforce Board Chairs and Jekyll Island Foundation. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Auburn University Engineering Alumni Council and is the past co-chair of the Georgia Literacy Commission and chair of MAX, the Metro Atlanta Exchange for Workforce Solutions. In 2013, Dallas received the Multicultural Leadership Award from the Georgia Diversity Council for his commitment to advancing his peers within his organization and the community.

Doug Hooker  - Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission

Doug Hooker leads the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the agency which coordinates local government policy and planning for metro Atlanta, to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness. In his career, he has worked for public sector and private sector organizations, among them: the City of Atlanta’s Department of Public Works (serving as the Commissioner who led the agency through the 1996 Olympic Games); the State Road & Tollway Authority, SRTA (Executive Director); Director of Finance and Administration with Bio-Lab, Inc., and Vice President for Business Development and Marketing with Atkins Engineering (formerly PBS&J). He began his career with Georgia Power, having worked as a design engineer, project manager, section supervisor, and as a technology policy analyst. Through the different facets of his career he has been able to work on important regional and local projects in the areas of energy, education, transportation, transit, and water. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy, 100 Most Influential Georgians (Georgia Trend Magazine), 100 Most Influential Atlantans (Atlanta Business Chronicle), 10 Most Influential Atlantans (Atlanta Tribune), Lauren H Solomon Trailblazer Award (COMTO), The Whitney Young Leadership Award (Atlanta Council of Boy Scouts of America), Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, the Empowering Leader award and the Excellence in City Government award from the Atlanta City Council, and several others. Doug holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and a Master of Science (in Technology & Science Policy) degree from Georgia Tech, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Maria Thacker Goethe  - President and CEO, Georgia Bio; CEO, Center for Global Health Innovation

Maria Thacker Goethe has over 14 years of experience in non-profit management and development. She was appointed president and CEO for Georgia Bio in February 2019. Maria has helped build the organization into one of the top state bioscience and medtech associations through her community outreach and engagement, member development, and leadership on various special projects and programs to increase community connections and resources. In addition to her work with Georgia Bio, Maria is CEO for the new Atlanta-based Center for Global Health Innovation formed from the merger of Georgia’s major global health and life science organizations. CGHI was established as an impartial, leading organizer of the global health, life sciences and health technology community which embraces cross-sector collaboration and speak with a collective voice. Maria serves as a board member of the CJD Foundation, Southeast Life Sciences Association, and KSU Research Foundation, and as vice chair for the Council of State Bioscience Associations. Additionally, Maria has volunteered for 10 years with the Junior League of Atlanta. Maria received her Master in Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Sweet Briar College.

Aarti Tandon  - CEO, Smart City Expo Atlanta | Moderator

Aarti Tandon is the CEO of Smart City Expo Atlanta, the only U.S. edition of Fira Barcelona’s Smart City Expo World Congress. In her current role, and in her previous role as Executive Director of Smart Cities New York, Ms. Tandon has convened 1000+ speakers from around the world including presidents, ministers, mayors, NGOs, CEOs, and top industry leaders for audiences of 2500+ people annually on how to build inclusive economies by harnessing the $1.6 trillion global smart city marketplace. Ms. Tandon is a seasoned lawyer, film producer, and human rights advocate who, in 2008 secured a Commutation from President George W. Bush for the early release of a client serving a 14-year federal prison sentence. She is deeply committed to advancing social and equity issues through sports, entertainment, and technology platforms, having spent a decade representing Grammy-nominated artists, emerging songwriters, filmmakers, publishers, producers, and more. She has overseen the tours of the world’s most famous Bollywood stars and organized high-level sports and entertainment delegations for the U.S. State Department in advance of the 2014 World Cup. She has consulted for The Players’ Tribune and served as a content producer for the 2018 Goalkeepers event featuring Bill and Melinda Gates, President Macron, and other heads of state and luminaries. Ms. Tandon is a producer of ”Catching the Sun”, a film on solar energy’s ability to address income inequality, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Adrian Grenier and Co-Executive Producer of ”The Uncondemned”, a film on the first ever conviction of rape as a crime of war. She is a graduate of Emory University (B.A., International Studies) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (J.D.) where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Honor Society.


Debra Lam  - Managing Director, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Institute of Technology

Debra Lam is the Managing Director of Smart Cities and Inclusive innovation for Georgia Tech, a newly created role to drive smart cities and urban innovation work across the university and beyond. Prior to this, she served as Pittsburgh's first ever Chief of Innovation & Performance where she oversaw all technology, sustainability, performance and innovation functions of city government. She crafted the city's first strategic plan for innovation, Inclusive Innovation Roadmap. She has been a receipt of various awards, including one of the top 50 Women in Technology nationally. She has worked and lived in New York, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and U. of California, Berkeley.