Julie Huls, Founder/CEO
Julie helps smart cities and their business leaders power institutional change fueled by technology and innovation. Ms. Huls has twenty years of experience in management and strategic initiatives and a track record of engaging and strengthening relationships with the business and community stakeholders required to execute on bold visions. Ms. Huls has served as President and CEO of the Austin Technology Council, an association that represented 300 Central Texas technology companies, their executives and $29 billion in annual regional economic impact. While at the Tech Council, Ms. Huls led regional technology CXOs, and startup entrepreneurs through the strategic planning process, conducted the first regional technology economic impact study, negotiated the first tech industry partnership with the city of Austin, and launched the annual CEO Summit, a regional leadership platform event that consistently garnered national media attention. While at ATC, Julie served on the Board of Directors at the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an international organization for CEOs leading technology industry advocacy and educational associations. She has also served as CEO of the DoSeum, a STEM education organization and children’s museum in San Antonio.
Joan Siefert Rose, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Joan is an experienced builder of technology-based entrepreneurial networks and communities. Joan served as the CEO of the Research Triangle Park, NC-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) for eight years leading one of the nation’s largest and longest-running support organizations for tech and life science startups. Her work there included creating and running the Tech Venture conference, an annual showcase of North Carolina’s leading startups, which attracts up to 1,200 entrepreneurs, investors, industry representatives, service professionals and academics.
Joan’s other accomplishments at CED included creating a statewide mentoring program, pairing entrepreneurs with a customized team of advisors; implementing an “Entrepreneur Hall of Fame” awards ceremony to honor the region’s leading innovators; and conducting a successful capital campaign that led to sustained financial support for the organization. While at CED, Joan served on the Board of Directors at the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an international organization for CEOs leading technology industry advocacy and educational associations.
Since 2016, Joan has run LaunchBio, a nonprofit support network serving life science startups in Durham, NC; San Diego; Cambridge, MA; San Francisco; and New York City. As LaunchBio’s first CEO, she has worked with the Board of Directors to set up the organizational framework, create and implement program strategy, and raise operating funds. In 2018, LaunchBio’s educational programs attracted 200-250 people, on average, to each monthly gathering.
Lisa Svabek Sullivan, Research & Planning
For nearly 25 years, Lisa has led strategic planning, organizational development and business management services across a wide range of industries and regions. Key initiatives include areas impacted by: innovation, emerging tech, emerging workforce, tech talent and education and social constructs. Lisa’s clients have ranged from SBC Communications (now AT&T), GE and IBM, to the Texas Governor’s Office, Texas Workforce Investment Council, Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Austin Technology Council and the Texas Suicide Prevention Council.
Lisa has authored or co-authored dozens of futures-based studies in areas such as: aerospace, information technology, telecommunications, energy, consumer values and public education. Prior to co-founding INFUSE, she was a senior associate with Technology Futures, Inc., a technology forecasting consulting firm. Lisa has been affiliated with the Software Engineering Professional Education Center and has served in a planning support capacity at NASA-Johnson Space Center. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Elmhurst College and a Master of Science degree in Foresight from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Suzanne Rios, Project Analysis & Implementation
Suzanne Rios has more than 10 years of experience in program construction, project analysis, data aggregation and project implementation. Suzanne has worked in non-profit, education and government sectors and previously served as the director of educational programs at a San Antonio Children’s Museum. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of the Incarnate Word and is pursuing a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Development.
Brandi Harrison, Creative Director
Brandi’s 15-year career in communications spans broadcast journalism, design instruction and today, as principal of TypeJar Studio, LLC, which serves small to medium-sized clients with branding, design and marketing services.