Board of Advisors

Talal Ali Ahmad, Entrada Communications
Talal Ali Ahmad is a successful entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in Telecommunications, Networking, Cloud computing at high-tech startups. Talal is the founder and former CEO of vCentrix, a wholesale VoIP provider for carriers and ISPs. Under Talal’s leadership, the company grew from $100K to $5 million in three years. To expand the company’s service portfolio, Talal successfully negotiated the acquisition of a specialized software company.  In 2009, vCentrix was acquired by Momentum Telecom, where Talal held the position of CTO. Internationally, Talal has been a consultant to carriers in Africa, focused on streamlining their existing infrastructure to increase revenue and reduce operating costs.  Earlier, Talal held various positions in engineering and operations, including Director of IP Technology Services at iBasis where he led their network expansion from two US-based data centers to more than 50 worldwide. Ali Ahmad holds an MBA, an MS in Engineering, and BSEE from Northeastern University.

Carl Ford, Crossfire Media
Carl Ford was VP and Community Developer for Pulvermedia between 1997 and 2008, focusing on development and cultivation of Pulvermedia’s IP Communications Community. Carl played a key role in developing all content and securing Industry leading speakers for Pulvermedia’s flagship IP Communications event, VON. Prior to Pulvermedia, Ford spent 20+ years at an array of companies that cover both the width and breadth of the industry. Carl gained much of his technology experience at leading companies such as Bellcore (now Telcordia Technologies), Bell Atlantic and Nynex (both now a part of Verizon). Carl’s diverse experience in technology spans the areas of Costing, Operations, Marketing, Regulatory, and Product Management. While at Nynex, Carl designed and managed the development of a carrier-grade softswitch billing mediation device, compatible with ILEC billing systems. Carl’s technology experience along with his expertise in building a relevant, thought provoking conference program, makes him an invaluable asset to Crossfire Media.

Allen Hauf, NE-IC
Al Hauf has 30+ years of experience in the software, telecommunications, networking and computer industries. Over the past 20 years, he has successfully helped lead early stage Boston-area startups and small company turnarounds in executive marketing, sales and consulting roles. Hauf founded Hi Performance Marketing, a marketing and sales consulting firm that helps accelerate startup and small company growth, increase effectiveness and profitability.  Prior to that Hauf served in executive/senior marketing and sales roles at Whaleback Systems, Pingtel, Corp. (acquired by Blue Socket), Gold Wire Technology (acquired by Intelliden Corporation), RAScom Inc. (Co-founder), PRI, and AllPoints Systems. Prior to that Hauf held senior sales management and marketing positions at Digital Equipment Corporation. Hauf holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, MSE from University of South Florida, and a BSEE from North Dakota State University.

Fred Goldstein, Interisle Consulting Group
Fred Goldstein is a consultant with over three decades of industry experience. He advises private and public sector clients on technical, regulatory and business issues related to the telecommunications, cable, wireless and Internet industries, especially in areas where they overlap.  He assists service providers in network design, business modeling, planning, and technical architecture.  He has frequently been an expert witness in intercarrier compensation and network interconnection cases.  He has worked with enterprise networks on a wide range of matters such as backbone network design, voice systems planning, and traffic engineering. The author of numerous articles, he writes the Telecom Policy column on TMCnet and is the author of the books The Great Telecom Meltdown and ISDN In Perspective.  He has served on standards committees in areas such as ATM networks and Frame Relay, and has taught courses for Northeastern University and National Technological University.

Andy Patka, Verizon
Andy Patka is a seasoned network technology expert and manager of carrier wireless services product development with over 27 years of experience in the Telecom, Data Networking, and Computing industries. Andy was a founder of several successful startups, as well as a former strategic technical consultant to the 3G/4G wireless ecosystem. He was a staff member at MIT and member of Project Athena. He has served as a Technical Advisory Board (TAB) member for a select group of top-tier venture-backed networking, advanced security and rich media content delivery companies. Andy is currently Technology Manager at Verizon Wireless responsible for strategy and product development groups implementing RCS Presence and Video IMS services over 4G LTE. Andy was the former Chief Architect of Verizon Visual Voicemail. Andy is also the product development representative for Verizon with the GSMA’s Rich Communications Services Project which includes presence, video communications, and messaging. Andy has played a variety of leadership roles at various market-leading companies throughout his career, including president, general manager, strategist, consultant, systems architect and engineer.

Scott Durgin, Aligned Global
Scott Durgin has over 20 years of experience in the high technology industry in both enterprise and early-stage ventures. He is founder and CEO of Aligned Global, a unique consulting company providing innovative low-cost web, rich media, and software development services to creative agencies, start-ups and technology-enabled companies. Scott has held CTO and executive management roles at Adesso Systems, a provider of PC/Mobile synchronization and application development platforms, Gotuit Media, where he and his team pioneered indexing services for time-shifted, online video content, and iCast (a CMGI company), where his team delivered a first-of-its-kind consumer-based interactive entertainment portal for both commercial and user-generated content. Prior to that, Durgin spent 10 years with IBM and Lotus, as Director of Advanced Collaboration, where he co-created Lotus Sametime, the product that defined the Enterprise Instant Messaging market. Earlier, he was Director of Product Management for Notes & Domino.