Home >> Community >> Distinguished Speaker Series

Distinguished Speaker Series

Technology Management's Distinguished Speaker Series is one of the program's premier events.

This quarterly series features leaders from academia or industry who have distinguished themselves as experts in their fields. Drawing from prominent academic researchers, experienced business professionals, and successful entrepreneurs, this series gives UC Santa Barbara's students, as well as the community, the rare opportunity to learn directly from those who have excelled through innovation and dedication to their work. 

Some past speakers include George Powell (founder of Powell Peralta Skateboards), Jason Spievak (Co-Founder of Invoca), Dan Burnham (CEO of Raytheon), Steve Zahm (President of Procore), Gale Wilson-Steele (Founder of MEDSEEK, Inc), and many more.

Speakers for Fall 2017

Bruce Heavin - October 3, 2017

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Lynda.com

Bruce Heavin is an artist, strategist, and entrepreneur. As the former Chief Creative Officer & co-founder of lynda.com, his creative vision was integral to the company’s success as a leader in online training. Read more. 

Kelly Ferguson - October 10, 2017

Director of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Energize California Program

Kelly Ferguson is the Director of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Energize California Program, an initiative of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). She works to accelerate clean energy development by convening and connecting the energy industry, and by supporting energy entrepreneurs and startups access the business and technical resources they need to bring new technology to market. Read more.

Jonathan Brown - October 17, 2017

Co-Founder of Partner.ly

Jonathan Brown is Los Angeles native who is considered a highly creative and results driven management professional with entrepreneurial passion, drive, and vision amongst his peers. He has 13+ years of experience and expertise in generating revenue, problem solving, managing high-profile relationships, higher education, and supporting the most influential global music / lifestyle brands. Read more.

Alexander Fang - October 24, 2017

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Aurrion

Alexander Fang is an entrepreneur with a track record of building teams that take ideas from the research laboratory through commercialization. Alex was a co-founder, the CEO, and Board Director of Aurrion from 2008 – 2016 which was a fabless semiconductor company that developed photonic integrated circuits for use in data center networking applications. Read more.

Meredith Amdurwn - November 7, 2017

Investor, Advisor, and CEO of Rhetorik Solutions

Meredith Amdur is an investor, advisor and “execupreneur” in a range of data-driven enterprise and consumer software application businesses. She is currently CEO of Rhetorik Solutions, a UK-based technology sales & marketing intelligence platform and previously served as President/CEO of WANTED Technologies, an online provider of big data recruiting analytics platform, tools and embedded data solutions to the HR sector, before selling the publicly traded company to the Corporate Executive Board (CEB)/now Gartner Group, in late 2015. Read more.

Attendance information

The Technology Management Program welcomes the general public to attend the Distinguished Speaker Series. The lecture series is hosted in Embarcadero Hall. A link to the Campus Map can be found here. The series begins promptly at 5:45pm, so we ask that you kindly arrive on time. These talks are all filmed and broadcasted. Please note that by attending you may be filmed. If you have any questions, please contact Roxanna Van Norman.


Parking is available with a permit at Embarcadero Hall.  Visitors must purchase a parking permit from the permit dispenser located in the lot. Permits cost $4 after 5pm and permit dispensers accept credit cards or cash, but do not give change. You must display your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle at all times. For additional information about parking on the UC Santa Barbara Campus please visit the TPS Website.

Check out our recent speakers on TMP-UCTV Videos!

Cheryl Conner | Author, Columnist, and CEO, SnappConner PR | Cheryl Conner is an entrepreneur who helps other entrepreneurs tell their story. She is a celebrated writer for Forbes, where her articles generate over 20,000 daily views with over 30 million total views. Cheryl discusses how she turned her love for writing into her powerhouse PR firm, SnappConnor PR
Mike Falzone | Comedian, Musician, & YouTube Personality | Mike Falzone has written a best-selling book, toured nationally as a musician and has launched himself as a YouTube star, with over 20 million video views. Mike discusses how he found the intersection between what he loves to do (music and comedy) and things he can do to make money.

Past Speakers

2016-17 Past Speakers

Robbie Bach, Former Microsoft Chief Xbox Officer and President of the Entertainment & Division

Cheryl Conner, CEO and Founder of SnappConner PR, Author

Jason Droege, Head of Uber Everything

Mike Falzone, Host for SourceFed and Friday Night Fred on YouTube, 2016 Shorty Award Nominee

Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group

Kobie Fuller, Partner, Upfront Ventures

Stacy Peralta, Film Producer and Director, Professional Skateboarder, and Entrepreneur

Mark Sylvester, CEO and Co-Founder of introNetworks and Ambassador for 805connect.com

Pamala Temple, Co-Founder, A Place for Mom

Shaun Tomson, World Surfing Champion, Best Selling Author, and Entrepreneur

UCSB Alumni Panel:  Eric Posen, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Naritiv; Jeff Overall, Founder and CEO, PolarPro; Michael Zhang, Co-founder, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Unirui Entertainment

2015-16 Past Speakers

Scott Dettmer, Founding Partner, Gunderson Dettmer

Daryl Bernstein, Founder & CEO, Rightsignature

Ben Casnocha, Author and Founder of Comcate, Inc.

Mark Coopersmith, Entrepreneur, Fortune 500 Executive, Educator, Author

Libby Gill, CEO of Libby Gill & Company

Marc Randolph, Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix

Aaron Ross, Business Growth and Sales Expert

Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's

Taylor Stansbury, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Intuit

Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, Author

Mark Suster, Managing Partner, Upfront Ventures

Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief

Monte Wilson, Senior Software Executive, Advisor, and Strategist