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Resilient NYC: Impact and Infrastructure

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New York City Bar Association

42 West 44th Street

New York, NY 10036

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On Tuesday, June 26th 'Resilient NYC' will bring together leaders from across the city, state, and region to deep dive prioritizing resilience into planning government systems and infrastructure. The focus: Infrastructure and Impact.

*This will be the first 'micro summit' of the Resilient NYC Series. Each event will focus on a different sub-topic related to resilience, such as 'Infrastructure and Impact.' During the event, Phase One details about the 2018 Smart Regions Conference will be revealed, and the project response teams for the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge from NYC will be highlighted.

Background: In December the theme of resilience was highlighted during the Venture Smarter NYC Summit, where leaders came together to share their success stories, challenges, and opportunities to collaborate looking through the lens of smart and connected development. Speaker and guests from New York City, Jersey City, Venture Smarter, Mastercard, NYEDC, AT&T, and others contributed to a productive discussion that lead to action in a number of neighborhoods across the city. Moreover, The City of New York and New York State have been taking large strides to prioritize smart city planning that puts people first, and focuses on important topics such as privacy, cybersecurity, sustainability, and community development - all crucial elements of resilience planning.

Event Basics:

  • Featured Speaker(s), Panel, and Forum: 3-4:30 PM
  • Networking and Reception: 4:30-6 PM

Meet the Panelists:


Geoff Arnold is the Chief Technology Officer for the Verizon Smart Communities (VSC) organization. He joined Verizon in October 2016 as part of the acquisition of Sensity Systems, where he was responsible for setting technical direction. Over the past 10 years Geoff has been a cloud computing architect for several large companies, including Cisco, Huawei, Yahoo, and Amazon. He has worked on both public and private clouds, focusing on scale and federation. Geoff was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at US Venture Partners and has advised several startup companies.

Geoff has participated in many open source and standards initiatives, from NFS and Windows Sockets to distributed A.I. More recently he has contributed to several projects within the OpenStack cloud computing community. He currently represents Verizon in smart city standards work, and in a number of 5G and Edge Compute initiatives.

Geoff spent 20 years as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, including a period as CTO for Sun’s networking software products. Before that he worked for two startups, in the UK and US. He earned a BA in Computer Science from the University of Essex, England.


Kristin Bell is a Senior Project Manager at NYCEDC where she develops and manages programs that support urban innovation in coastal resiliency, cleantech, and smart cities. Prior to joining EDC, Kristin has worked in planning consulting and at non-profit organizations dedicated to sustainable urban development. Kristin studied Environmental Science and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a MS in Urban Environmental Systems Management from Pratt Institute.


Mitchell Kominsky is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Venture Smarter. Mitchell is leading the company's effort to build a platform, based on artificial intelligence, to help cultivate the Internet of Things ecosystem. Additionally, Mitchell is a founding advisor to 1776, a global incubator and seed fund with $12.5M under management and advised high-tech startups from seed stage to venture-backed companies with more than $30M in funding.

Mitchell recently served as a senior counsel for U.S. Senate Leadership on emerging technology, and is the author of various cybersecurity laws. As a Counsel in the U.S. Congress, Mitchell led high-profile investigations and congressional hearings into matters at the intersection of emerging technologies and national security.


Rhonda Binda is Co-Founder and VP Policy for Venture Smarter and Director of their Regional Smart Cities Initiatives. She has a distinguished history of public service, as Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of State’s Global Intergovernmental Affairs Division, and in the West Wing of the White House, under two administrations respectively. In between her government tours she practiced technology law with Alston & Bird.

Binda most recently returned to her hometown and served as the Executive Director of the Jamaica Business Improvement District. Under her tenure, Governor Cuomo awarded Jamaica the #1 award state-wide for downtown revitalization, Jamaica was named #1 hottest neighborhood in NYC by the Wall Street Journal and won NYC’s SBS Neighborhood Challenge Grant.

In 2016, she was Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader of the Year and named Community Leader of the Year by QCYD. Binda attended Duke and Oxford and received her JD from Georgetown.


Jason Whittet is Associate Director for Solutions Development and Innovation at 100 Resilient Cities and work intersection of technology and communities with the 100 Resilient Cities Solutions Development and Innovation team.

Jason Whittet was previously with AT&T and GE’s smart cities business deploying smart, connected urban infrastructure. Before AT&T and GE, Jason worked with the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) public sector practice where he led public sector business development for the global technology research and advisory firm.

Before IDC, he helped launch the Massachusetts Broadband Institute as Acting and Deputy Director and contributed to the successful completion of the $100MM, 1,200 mile MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic network in western Massachusetts. Jason has also held positions with Comcast in government relations, with the Massachusetts State Senate Ways and Means Committee as Project Director and with the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation as an AmeriCorps Volunteer.

Jason has a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Northeastern University. Jason served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and as a member of the 2008 Electoral College. He lives in New York City.


Mike Bloomberg is a Researcher for the Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech and co-founder of the infrastructure data technology startup, Groundwork. He is currently charged with the research and development of a new graduate degree program for the Cornell Tech campus centered around cities and technology.

He has an MBA from Cornell Tech and a BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2014 he left his job at Bridgewater Associates to tackle the issue of post-industrial city revitalization and has been studying, volunteering, and working on the subject ever since.

A native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he ran for the Massachusetts State Legislature in 2016, losing to the incumbent 54-46%. (but he did get a hamburger named after him)

Why Resilience?

As the digital transformation sweeps across sectors and agencies, and as government budgets continue to be strained by failing and outdated infrastructure, the topic of resilience has never been more important. How are our systems protecting people? Privacy? How are we using IoT to track and monitor our systems and assets? How are we mitigating risk and reducing costs? How are we prioritizing public safety? What role do public-private-partnerships play? What policies need to be updated or created? How do we make sure improvements benefit all people, regardless of socioeconomic or physical barriers? These questions and more discussed and explored on June 26th.

Who will be there?

Expected participants from all levels of government, the business community, nonprofits, neighborhood groups, and academic and research institutions.

How can I get involved or attend?

You can RSVP here, or learn more about event sponsorship and partnership opportunities here.

Contact: hello@venturesmarter.com

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New York City Bar Association

42 West 44th Street

New York, NY 10036

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