Broadband & Innovation Summit

2016 York Region Broadband & Innovation Summit


WHEN: Friday, October 28, 2016
TIME: 7:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
9005 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, Ont

An Intelligent Community is defined as one which has – whether through crisis or foresight – come to understand the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy, and have taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in it.

The 2015 York Region Broadband & Innovation Summit focused on what Broadband is and the integral role it plays in supporting all aspects of modern society. Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2016 Summit will focus on the social and economic benefits achieved by Intelligent Communities and how York Region and its nine local municipalities can work toward becoming more “Intelligent”.FinTech Summit

York Region Broadband & Innovation Summit attendees will gain insight into...
  • What defines an Intelligent Community
  • What is required to become an Intelligent Community
  • Examples of social and economic benefits enjoyed by Intelligent Communities
  • What York Region can do to become an Intelligent Community and how you can participate in the process

Registration is full. Free on-site parking is available. Share photos and stories from the event on Facebook and Twitter using #IntelligentYR.

More Details Below
York Region Broadband & Innovation Summit Agenda | 7:30am - 12:45pm

7:30 – 8:00  | Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Marc Saltzman: Master of Ceremonies
  • Mayor Dave Barrow: Town of Richmond Hill
  • Mayor Tony Van Bynen: Town of Newmarket & Chair of York Region Broadband Strategy Advisory Task Force

8:30 – 9:30 | Keynote Address and Q&A

  • Robert Bell: Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

9:30 – 9:40 | Break

9:40 – 10:40 | Moderated Panel Discussion

  • Alfonso Licata: CEO at Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (Moderator)
  • Ysni Semsedini: CEO at Festival Hydro, Stratford, Ontario
  • Doug McCollough: CIO at City of Dublin, Ohio
  • Rick Huijbregts: Managing Director Americas, Digital Transformation and Solution Acceleration at Cisco

10:40 – 11:10 | Interactive Working Session

  • Moderated by Marc Saltzman

11:10 – 12:30 | Lunch Presentation, Wrap-up & Networking

GTHA Broadband Toolkit 2.0 Overview w/ Q&A (11:30 – 12:00)

  • Rick Pereira: Province of Ontario
  • Michael Curri: SNG Group

Wrap-up & Networking (12:00 – 12:30)

2016 York Region Broadband & Innovation Summit Speakers

Marc Saltzman | Journalist, Author, Radio & TV Personality

Marc Saltzman has reported on the high-tech industry since 1996 as a freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, and radio and TV personality.  His specialties lie in consumer electronics, computers, Internet trends and social media, small-to-midsized business tech and interactive entertainment.

Along with his weekly syndicated column with Gannett and USAToday.com, Marc currently contributes to more than 40 prominent publications, including USA Today, USA Weekend, AARP, Yahoo!, Costco Connection (U.S. and Canada), MSN, Toronto Star, Postmedia, Media Planet, Rogers Connected, Common Sense Media, Movie Entertainment, Chill, Telus Talks Business and Homefront.

Marc has written 15 books and also writes and hosts “Gear Guide,” a technology-focused video that runs nationally across Canada at Cineplex Entertainment movie theaters and its sister chains. It is seen by a “captive” 7 million people per month.

Marc is a frequent guest on CNN, CNN International and CTV’s Canada AM. He has also made appearances on NBC’s “Today Show,” QVC’s Saturday Q” and the “CBS Early Show.”

Robert Bell | Co-Founder
Intelligent Community Forum 

Robert Bell heads research, analysis and content development activities and directs the multi-stage analysis of communities for the annual Intelligent Community Awards program. He also authors the in-depth content on the Top7 Intelligent Communities that are core to ICF’s mission.
Robert developed and leads the Intelligent Community Accelerator programs.

Serving as the content lead for ICF’s annual Summit, he is also the author of ICF’s founding study, Benchmarking the Intelligent Community, and lead co-author of Brain Gain, Seizing Our Destiny and Broadband Economies: Creating the Community of the 21st Century.

A regular blogger, Robert has contributed articles to The Municipal Journal of Telecommunications Policy, IEDC Journal, Mayors & Cities, Global Urbanist, Daily Yonder, and Telecommunications; and has appeared in segments of ABC World News and The Discovery Channel. A frequent keynote speaker and moderator at municipal and telecom industry events, he has also led economic development missions and study tours to cities in Asia and the US..

Alfonso Licata | CEO
Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network 

Alfonso Licata has a strong track record in the design and launch of new and disruptive enterprises in the technology space and across multiple sectoral segments. As the CEO and President of the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), Alfonso helps drive the organization’s strategy forward in a highly collaborative and strategic manner.

His multifaceted experience offers a unique blend of user-first service, teamwork, and building strategic alliances that can help bring the right players into the mix, in order to leverage optimal opportunities.

In addition, Alfonso is a Volunteer Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence, supporting teams and companies at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), Communitech and MaRS. He previously held a similar role at Deloitte, after co-founding several technology-based companies over the last 15 years.

Ysni Semsedini | CEO
Festival Hydro Inc. & Rhyzome Networks

Festival Hydro Inc is a local electrical distribution company owned by the City of Stratford that services 20,000 customers in the municipalities of Stratford, St.Marys, Seaforth, Hensall, Zurich, Dashwood and Brussels. Rhyzome Networks is the City of Stratford owned Internet Service Provider company which has Dark fibre, lit fibre and ubiquitous city wide wi-fi assets.

Ysni received a B.ESc degree in Electrical Engineering and M.ESc degree in Power Systems from Western University and a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Ysni is a registered P.Eng with the Professional Engineers of Ontario and has worked in industry for almost 13 years.

Doug McCollough | CIO
Dublin, Ohio

Doug has taken an active interest in the Central Ohio Technology Community as well as developing expertise in Smart Cities, Intelligent Communities, Digital Government, and Broadband. The City of Dublin has formed the Global Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community of Dublin, Ohio USA, which is currently working with communities throughout the State of Ohio to share best practices in leveraging Broadband for Economic Development.

Prior to joining the Dublin team, Doug held positions within the State of Ohio Department of Public Safety, Department of Commerce, Industrial Commission and Department of Medicaid. Most recently he served as director of Information Technology for the City of Richmond, Virginia. He has worked as a project manager for Nationwide Insurance and Alcatel-Lucent.

Dr. Rick Huijbregts | Managing Director & VP

As Managing Director Industry Digitization and Solutions for the Americas and VP Industry Transformation and Innovation in Canada, Dr. Rick Huijbregts is responsible for the industry transformation strategy for the Commercial business segment at Cisco. He manages a team of industry subject matter experts who drive business relevant outcomes for Cisco customers.

In this role, Dr. Huijbregts is also responsible for industry solutions acceleration and subsequent salesforce and partner enablement. This is a key priority for the Americas region as Cisco is growing to be increasingly relevant to the business decision makers in its existing and new customer base. For Cisco’s Canada operations, he also oversees the Internet of Everything business development, city digitization program (Smart + Connected Communities), and innovation platform including leadership of one of eight global IoE Innovation Centers and ten University relationships and Research Chairs.

Michael Curri | Founder & President
Strategic Networks Group 

For nearly two decades, Michael Curri and Strategic Networks Group have been at the forefront of maximizing the economic potential of broadband initiatives.

Michael has consulted as an economist and strategic analyst for public and private sector clients across North America, including more than a dozen American states. His guiding philosophy is that technology is only as good as how it is used, and that broadband used properly can have transformative impacts.


The Regional Municipality of York
Economic Strategy Office
17250 Yonge Street
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
L3Y 6Z1

York Link
169 Enterprise Boulevard
Markham, Ontario, Canada
L6G 0E7

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