ERA Conference Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies

Listed alphabetically by last name. Click on presentation title to link to session description.


Connie Podesta
President and Founder of Connie Podesta Presents LLC

Stand Out from the Crowd … Out-Think, Out-Lead and Out-Sell the Competition

Connie Podesta is a game-changing, revenue-building, sales-generating ball of fire whose rare blend of laugh-out-loud comedy, killer take-away strategies and interactive, no-power-point delivery style have made her one of the most unique and memorable speakers on the stage today.

President and founder of Connie Podesta Presents LLC for 25 years, Podesta helps visionary organizations defy conventional thinking and challenge the status quo so they can re-think “business as usual.” Podesta attracts clients who want to: increase revenue and sales, rev up performance, attract new customers, lead more effectively, stay healthy and enjoy life more.

Podesta is a Hall of Fame speaker and award-winning author of seven books. She is a former radio/TV personality, an expert in the psychology of human behavior as it relates to sales, leadership, change, accountability, and engagement. Plus (what we all could probably use in today’s crazy world )… a comedienne!

Her impressive client list includes more than 1,000 organizations in almost every industry, Fortune 500 companies, as well as small businesses and associations.


Dr. Robert Genetski
Economist and Investment Advisor, Founder and President of Classical Principles

How Tariffs, China & The 2020 Election Will Impact the Economy

Dr. Robert Genetski is one of the nation’s leading classical economists. He is known for using humor and anecdotes to make complex economic issues easily understandable. For five consecutive years named him one of the top-five speakers in the field of economics and finance.

Genetski has written 5 books on classical economic principles. His latest book, “Rich Nation, Poor Nation,” provides detailed evidence showing why some nations prosper while others fail. For the past 25 years he has provided economic and financial advice through his consulting firm —

He has appeared on CNN and Fox News and in nationally syndicated radio and TV programs. His articles have appeared in Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Investors’ Business Daily.

Genetski taught economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and at New York University. He has held various positions in the financial industry including Senior VP & Chief Economist for Chicago’s Harris Bank, money manager, investment advisor and director of investment research.

Michael Knight
President of the TTI Semiconductor Group and Senior Vice President of Corporate Business Development at TTI Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary

The Electrifying Future of Transportation

Michael Knight is President of the TTI Semiconductor Group and Senior Vice President of Corporate Business Development at TTI Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary.
Knight has worked in the electronic components industry since the mid-1980s. Prior to joining TTI Americas, he worked for a number of distributors and component manufacturers, including a manufacturers’ rep firm in Northern California. He has held a variety of national and global leadership roles in sales, marketing, operations and general management in both private and public companies.

In the late 1990s, Knight launched a successful tech start-up in the semiconductor materials space that was sold in 2003, after which he joined TTI who had been a distributor for him in the early 1990s.

Sam Richter
Founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More

The Secrets to Sales Growth

Sam Richter is an internationally recognized expert on digital information and is considered the father of modern-day sales intelligence. His award-winning experience includes building innovative programs for start-up companies and some of the world’s most famous brands.

Richter is founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More. Through his in-person keynote presentations and online programs, Richter has trained leading organizations and entertained tens of thousands of people around the world. His programs promise to be the highest-content, most take-home-value presentations attendees have ever experienced.

Richter is the author of the bestselling book, “Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling,” considered the preeminent publication on finding information online and using it for sales success. Take the Cold was named “Sales Book of the Year” by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and it was also named a “USA Book News Winner” and a “Sales Book Awards Silver Medalist.”

Richter lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota with his wife and two children, and he enjoys volunteering his time working with non-profit organizations and mentoring individuals in his community.

Ali Sebt
IoT Consultant

The Disruption of IoT: How the Forces of AI and Blockchain are Changing IoT and the New Opportunities that are Being Created

Ali Sebt has more than 30 years of experience in the high-tech industry with roles in engineering, marketing, business development, and global executive leadership. As IoT Consultant, his passion is to provide vision and thought leadership for development of solutions for the evolving AI-enabled IoT economy.

As President & CEO of Renesas Electronics America, Sebt led Renesas’ microcontroller business with dramatic market share growth in the Americas, and as Renesas’’ Executive Vice President, Sebt led the strategy and successful global launch of the company’s next generation embedded solution, the Synergy Platform.

After Renesas, Sebt joined VIMOC Technologies as President and CMO, where he established VIMOC’s strategy for an artificial intelligence enabled software platform addressing smart infrastructures. Most recently he held the position of Chief Corporate Development Officer at IAR Systems with a focus on establishing IAR’s IoT strategies.

Earlier in his career, he held engineering and management positions at Quickturn Design Systems, AMD and Monolithic Memories Inc.

Sebt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from California State University, Hayward, and has completed the Stanford Executive Program.

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