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Spotlight series speakers
Reviving the U.S. Infrastructure
Cyndee Hoagland
Senior Vice President, Owner & Public Sector, Trimble

Cyndee is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of Trimble’s leading technology serving federal, state and local governments, strategic global accounts and major infrastructure projects. She works closely with the leading construction, design and civil engineering companies worldwide, as well as public sector agencies and departments. Cyndee is a member of Trimble’s Executive Leadership team and a seasoned software and technology executive with over 25 years of experience in delivering growth, profitability and market leadership.

Ryan Forrestel
CEO, Cold Spring Construction

Ryan is the fourth generation of family leadership at Cold Spring Construction. He has been with the company since 2003 starting as a laborer in college, moving to foreman, project engineer, and project superintendent, culminating in his role as President in 2016.

Ryan has focused much of his career on bringing Cold Spring to the forefront of construction technology and innovation. He has served as Chairman of NYSAGC Highway Division and on an FHWA Working Group for 3D modeling and construction technologies.

Ryan is a licensed professional engineer having received his B.Sc. from Brown University and M.Eng. from Penn State University.

Priscilla Benavides
Central Region Design Manager, New Mexico Department of Transportation

Priscilla Benavides has been with the NMDOT for over 20 years where she has split her time in both design and construction. She is a career department employee who started in the Engineer in Training Program in 1997 and has worked in various positions in the Districts and Infrastructure. She gained experience with transportation issues on a national level during her fellowship in Washington D.C. with AASHTO in 2008 where she assisted with various regional committees. She is currently the Central Regional Design Manager, where she is responsible for providing the central part of the state with safe transportation services while implementing innovative, efficient and cost effective designs. In her personal time she is true to her discipline as a Transportation Engineer as her son’s personnel Uber driver, patrolling NMDOT’s roads while transporting her very athletic 11 year old son to many practices and games.

Aaron McClellan
Construction Technology Manager, Granite Construction Inc.

Aaron McClellan spent 11 of the last 16 years managing critical operations in high-stress environments, through collaboration, rapport building and strategic initiatives. He was one of America’s elite Army Special Forces operators, a Green Beret. Aaron has worked for Granite Construction since 2016 overseeing many projects whilst identifying critical technology alignments to his experience in Special Operations. Formerly, the Director of Material Management Services, he developed a variety of customer-centric solutions with his team, winning over $300M in project awards. Aaron and his team have protected their customers from approximately $51M in additional cost, losses or rework through innovation and process improvement practices. Most recently, Aaron has been instrumental in developing a company-wide technology initiative to harness the emerging and disruptive products to advance their operations, safety and quality efforts. Aaron enjoys creating innovative solutions that will help reshape the industry in order to create sustainable solutions and challenge the status quo.

John Mackiewicz
Vice President of Technology, WSB & Associates

John is the Vice President of Technology at WSB and has over 20 years of experience leading people and delivering technology solutions focused on critical business objectives. John has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management and a Master’s Degree in GIS. John has broad experience in IT, GIS and construction technology including strategy, process improvement and application development. John’s focus is on helping organizations develop and execute strategies that drive organizational innovation and change. He has served in statewide leadership roles in both GIS and Asset Management.

Norman Anderson
Chairman & CEO, CG/LA Infrastructure

Norman F. Anderson is Chairman & CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure. He oversees the four pillars of CG/LA’s business: Blueprint 2025 2X, including strategic advocacy to double U.S. infrastructure investment; the Leadership Forum platform – including globally, the U.S. and Eurasia, as well as Latin America; GlobalViP, an algorithm-driven tool for infrastructure project owners; and Strategic Advisory, including M&A and both brownfield and greenfield investment opportunities. The National Infrastructure Performance Council, Blueprint 2025’s steering committee, is anchored by founding chairmen Hank Greenberg and David Petraeus.

Mr. Anderson is, or has been, a member of various World Economic Forum groups, including the Global Advisory Council on Infrastructure, the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, and the Advisory Committee on Building Foundations for Transparency. He initiated and co-authored the WEF’s study on Accelerating Infrastructure Delivery (May 2014). For the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee he authored a White Paper on economic statecraft, focused on infrastructure markets worldwide (June 2014). He has taught at Columbia University in New York City, teaching a course on Engineering & Entrepreneurship. He is a partner in CAMG, a pan-Atlantic infrastructure fund.

He is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, CBC, and Fox Business News, discussing the US and global infrastructure markets. Mr. Anderson began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, serving for a total of five years. He is married to the former Ingrid Sckell and has two children – Norman Gabriel (32), an attorney at Latham & Watkins; and Janina Victoria (30), a visual artist and professor at Concordia University in Montreal. He speaks four languages, including Portuguese. He has a graduate degree from Harvard University.

Jose Luis Blanco
Partner, McKinsey & Company

Jose leads McKinsey’s engineering and construction (E&C) work in North America, with a focus on real estate and construction technology. He advises capital project leaders across the project lifecycle, including investors, public sector institutions with large capital programs, and E&C or real estate project owners across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Jose has served global E&C firms with a specialization in operational excellence, mergers and acquisitions, turnarounds, and digital transformations. He brings deep expertise in optimizing performance and unlocking value through embedding digital capabilities and deploying and scaling up new technologies.

Jose spearheads McKinsey’s global E&C performance benchmark, which periodically reviews the financial and operating health of the world’s top E&C firms. As a leader of our digital work in capital projects and infrastructure, he also leads McKinsey’s construction technology landscape scan, which periodically maps emerging construction technology solutions against innovation and investment patterns.

Before joining McKinsey, Jose spent almost 10 years at ACS, Europe’s largest E&C conglomerate, where he led hundreds of engineers and workers in completing some of the company’s most complex projects. This included transforming a former bullring into a shopping mall in 2009 and constructing Agbar Tower, one of Barcelona’s skyline landmarks, in 2006.

Building the Workforce of the Future
Melissa Uribes
Trimble Inc.

Melissa has been with Trimble for nearly six years leading people strategies as part of the People eXperience team. Last year, Melissa was tasked to lead Trimble’s Talent attraction, engagement, and development teams. She also leads the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Core Team focused on executing initiatives and actions for a multi-year DEI strategy.

Prior to joining Trimble, Melissa worked in HR leadership roles at Medtronic, CenturyLink, Leprino Foods, and Ball Corporation. With over 20 years leading people initiatives, Melissa believes companies are only as good as their people, so we have to consider the people aspect of all business strategies and objectives and consider the experience and culture we create that attracts, engages and motivates our people to achieve exceptional results.

Melissa, a first generation college graduate, attended the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business. Melissa lives in Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. She loves water sports and can be found paddleboarding in the summertime.

Tauhira Ali

Tauhira Ali is a highly skilled technology strategist with more than 16 years of R&D and product design experience. As NECA’s Executive Director of Industry Innovation, she gathers insights from end users, industry experts, and tech providers to deliver awareness, education, and implementation strategies.

Her work empowers the construction community to strategically leverage technical innovations and industry trends to overdrive process, productivity, and market share.

Robert Hairstans PhD
New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE), Edinburgh Napier University (ENU)

Professor Hairstans undertakes research, consultancy, and knowledge exchange activities to deliver engineering and construction technologies for tomorrow’s communities within a circular economy.

  • Director of the Centre for Advanced Timber Technology
  • New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE)

Head of the Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) Robert transfers his knowledge by innovatively improving pathways for upskilling, instigating cooperative start-ups for knowledge sharing, conducting international knowledge exchanges, and has published over 50 peer-reviewed published works in journals, books, and conference proceedings. His most recent publication is the 2nd edition of his book Off-Site and Industrialised Timber Construction via TRADA.

Robert has a broad industry network and works closely with global organisations including Trimble, establishing a Trimble Technology Lab at Edinburgh Napier University’s expanding leadership in training and research in digital timber engineering.

José A. Faria, Ph.D., PMP, A.M.ASCE, CDT
Florida International University

Dr. Faria holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a Specialization in Operations Research and an M.S. in Systems Engineering, both from the University of Maryland College Park, MD, USA. He also earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello Caracas, Venezuela.

Dr. Faria has been with Florida International University since 2006. Prior to his academic appointment at FIU, he served as Adjunct Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and Institute for Systems Research (ISR) at the University of Maryland College Park, MD USA and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Kogod School of Business American University Washington D.C. USA.

Dr. Faria’s portfolio of courses includes Estimating, Safety in Construction, Electrical and Mechanical Systems for Construction Managers, Management of Construction Projects, Productivity in Construction, Interdisciplinary Aspects of Housing, Quantitative Methods for IT Management, Multi-objective Optimization, Decision Analysis for Engineers, Life Cycle Cost Estimation, and Project Performance Measurements.

Dr. Faria has served as Chair since 2018, prior to this appointment he served as Director of Industry Relations and faculty in the Construction Management Department at FIU. As the department leader, Dr. Faria believes in maintaining a positive collegial environment centered on trust and teamwork, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and individuals can express their opinions and beliefs without fear of retaliation.

Since 2018 Dr. Faria has received over $4.7MM in a combination of grants ($3.5MM) and private funding ($1.2MM), $3.6MM of those as a PI. These grants include (2020) Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, PI (2019) Miami Community Ventures One Community One Goal Initiative The Beacon Council Economic Development Foundation, PI (2019) Florida Department of Education Pathways to Career Opportunities, Co-PI (2019) Dep. of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant “Excavation & Trenching Hazards”, Co-PI (2018) Dep. of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant “Electrical Hazards in Construction”, PI (2017) Dep. of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant “Fall Prevention in Construction“ $150,000.

Michael Horsch
HORSCH Maschinen GmbH

In 1979, Michael Horsch went to the USA with the plan in mind to have his own farm one day. In 1981 he returned to Germany and built his first direct seeder instead. In 1984 he founded the HORSCH Maschinen GmbH together with his father Dankwart and his uncle Walter.

In 1990, with the opening of eastern Europe, HORSCH started to grow very rapidly. Today, it continues as one of the fastest growing short line farm machinery manufacturers in the world. There are three factories in Germany, with others in the USA, Russia, Brasil, and China.

Michael Horsch runs HORSCH together with his brother Philipp (CEO) and his wife Cornelia. He and his brothers also run several farms in East Germany and the Czech Republic, including AgroVation, a model future farm which many farmers around the world have already visited.

Michael is married to Cornelia and father of four children. He is the eldest of 5 brothers and one sister.

Sam Williams
MJ Church Ltd

Sam Williams Beng has 6 years experience in construction. Worked as a site engineer on complex flood defence and highways infrastructure schemes for a tier one contractor. Developed a passion for machine control and construction technology. Role includes 3D modelling, volumetric takeoffs, machine control and site setup, UAV flight operations and topographical surveys. Works within MJ Church’s engineering services department supporting the deployment of machine control across our sites.

Andreea Crisan
Andy Transport

Andreea moved to Canada from Romania at the age of 10 with her parents. In Europe, her father was a bus driver but in Canada he found himself unemployed. To help her father, Andreea accompanied him and acted as a translator. All their efforts proved unfruitful and her father was forced to buy his own used truck. This is when Andy Transport was born.

Andreea went on to study law at the University of Ottawa while continuing to work with her father and assuming various positions within the company. Spotting an opportunity to grow and combine new ideas with her father’s experience, in 2012, Andreea joined the family business fulltime.

Under her leadership, Andy Transport, an asset-based transportation company that operates a fleet of over 400 trucks and 800 trailers in Canada and the United States, witnessed a remarkable growth of its overall activities and was included in the GROWTH 500 of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for 5 years in a row.

2021 marked the official transition of ownership and leadership from Andreea’s father, who stepped down, to Andreea. In May 2021, at the age of 31, Andreea became majority shareholder and President and CEO of Andy Transport. The company is now a women-owned business certified by WBE Canada.

She is also one of the Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women (WXN), was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 and has been sitting on various boards of directors.

Dina Wood
United Way of Northwest Arkansas

Dina Wood is a connector, collaborator and facilitator. As executive vice president at United Way of Northwest Arkansas, she directs a team of fundraising and communications professionals charged with positioning the organization for strategic growth.

Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest-growing economies in the United States, with three Fortune 500 companies that call it home, plus numerous businesses and start-ups eager to build their diverse teams and infrastructures. Ensuring that nonprofit capacity keeps pace with population growth is therefore central to her work.

Previously, Dina served 18 years with the University of Arkansas System as a major gift fundraising professional. She was also the inaugural director development at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a world-renowned cultural institution founded by Alice Walton. In 2019, Dina was named Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She also served eight years in the administration of President William J. Clinton.

Dina is an attorney and holds her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas. She serves on community boards and advisory committees and is a member of Rotary International.

Jennifer Lin
SVP and Chief Platform Officer at Trimble

Jennifer serves as SVP and Chief Platform Officer at Trimble. She has extensive experience delivering innovative products into global enterprise, SaaS, service provider and consumer markets. She has led diverse technical teams in traditional and emerging online markets. Jennifer spent several years at Google, where she led Product/UX teams delivering cloud services including app modernization, billing, commerce, security, and policy automation.

Prior to Google, Lin was a founding member at Contrail, an open source SaaS startup that was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2012. Prior to Juniper, Lin managed various product teams at Cisco focused on IoT, wireless/mobility and security, and prior to that led engineering and strategy teams at Intel. She continues to invest in and advise startups across AI/ML, education, cybersecurity, crypto and sustainability.

Jennifer earned her BSE from Princeton University and her MSE from Stanford University, where she focused on Interactive 4D-CAD modeling for more efficient decision making. She lives in California (Bay Area) with her husband, three sons and rescue dog.

Lisa Ruggieri
VP of Professional Services & Executive Sponsor for TWN at Trimble

Lisa serves on Trimble’s Project & Program Management Division Senior Leadership team, as Vice President of Professional Services and Executive sponsor for Trimble Women’s Network. She brings 30+ years experience in the technology sector leading Project Management Offices and developing best business practices to transform and disrupt the way organizations work.

Prior to joining e-Builder in 2014, she played a senior level role in Client Portfolio, Program, and Project Management at notable companies like Black Box Network Services, Comcast Corporation and Maritime Telecommunications Network. She had overall responsibility for delivery of enterprise, small medium business network infrastructure solutions and Operations projects in support of a $1B provider of IT and Managed Services solutions.

Lisa’s career is centered in the belief a remarkable customer experience happens when a team is diverse, highly engaged and gets to do what they do best every day. Lisa received her degree from University of California, Irvine. She has earned many professional development certifications and earned a Construction Project Management certification through Columbia University. Lisa serves on the Board of Directors for NAMI Broward, chairs the Governance Committee, and a founding member at Chief.

How Sustainability Shapes Innovation
Emily Saunoi-Sandgren
Director of Environmental, Social and Governance, Trimble Inc.

Emily Saunoi-Sandgren is the Director of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at Trimble where she leads the company’s sustainability efforts that support its mission to Transform the Way the World Works.

Emily’s passion for sustainability can be traced back to her door-to-door campaign at the age of nine to mobilize her neighbors to participate in her city’s recycling program. Driven ever since by her commitment to leave the world a better place, she has built a career as a sustainability professional in roles spanning the nonprofit, academic and corporate sectors. Underscoring her belief that it takes all sectors together to create and sustain the kind of change needed for a sustainable future.

She holds a BA in Psychology, French and Women’s Studies from St. Olaf College and a Master in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. Emily is raising two kids and a dog alongside her husband in Minneapolis, MN.

Estuardo Jara
Director of Marketing, DISAGRO
Will Sarni
Founder and CEO, Water Foundry

Will Sarni is founder and CEO of water strategy consultancy, Water Foundry. He is also CEO of the Colorado River Basin Fund, the first placed-based water-focused investment fund in the United States. Prior to Water Foundry, Sarni was a managing director at Deloitte Consulting where he established and led the water strategy practice. He was the founder and CEO of DOMANI, a sustainability strategy firm, prior to Deloitte. Sarni is the author of five books on water stewardship and strategy, and co-hosts the podcast, The Stream with Will and Tom.

The Power and Potential of Automation
Curtis Hay
Technical Fellow, General Motors

Curtis Hay is a Technical Fellow at General Motors. In this role Curtis develops precise GNSS, V2X and map technology to enable safe and reliable operation of GM automated vehicles. Curtis also led the team responsible for launching GM’s 4G LTE connectivity in North America, Europe and China.

Prior to joining General Motors, Curtis served as an officer in the US Air Force for eight years where he developed GNSS technology for precision weapons, performed GPS satellite launch planning, and managed the Accuracy Improvement Initiative for the GPS ground segment. Curtis also developed precision GNSS equipment for the agriculture and construction industries while at John Deere.