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Aric Gardner

Systems Administrator
Aric is a Linux Foundation SysAdmin and Release Engineer who has been working in open source for seven years. Working with OPNFV since its inception, Aric has brought up the services the community wants to see and provided support and guidance for the tool chains that ensure well-reviewed and functional code. A self-taught technophile he advocates collaboration, continuous integration, infrastructure as code, and automation. He lives in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood with his family and in his spare time he can be found playing ice hockey or hanging out with friends at the local comedy theater.

Brandon Wick

Integrated Marketing Manager
Brandon drives the cross-channel marketing vision, strategy and execution for the OPNFV project under direction of the OPNFV marketing committee. He brings 15 years of professional marketing experience to the Linux Foundation having worked with B2B technology-focused marketing agencies in Portland and Stockholm as an account manager and writer, and for a global NGO in New York as a communications manager and spokesperson. Brandon holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UCSD and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oregon. He lives in Camas, Washington with his family and enjoys spending his free time fixing up their 1970s ranch-style house and exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

David McBride

Release Manager
David manages the release process for OPNFV. He grew up in Spokane, Washington and earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Washington State University and an M.S. in Engineering and Production Management at Loyola Marymount University. David began his career in the defense industry in Southern California, developing test equipment, and working on US Navy test projects. He moved to the semiconductor test equipment industry, where he held positions in product support and ASIC characterization with Teradyne. David then took a position as Software Quality Assurance manager at a machine learning startup called Language Weaver. He returned to the Pacific Northwest as SQA manager at a late-stage startup in Seattle which was subsequently acquired by Qualcomm. He eventually transitioned into a new IoT project, called AllJoyn, which became the basis for the Linux Foundation project, the AllSeen Alliance. David lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two sons.

Heather Kirksey

OPNFV Director
Heather oversees and provides guidance for all aspects of the project, from technology to community and marketing and reports to the OPNFV board of directors. Previously, she led strategic technology alliances for MongoDB and held various leadership positions in the telecom industry including Alcatel-Lucent, Broadband Forum, BroadbandHome, Small Cell Forum, UPnP Forum, Home Gateway Initiative, and other groups. Heather received her master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Texas, Austin. She lives in the Dog Patch neighborhood of San Francisco, CA and enjoys electronica music, sci-fi movies, and camping in hostile environments.

Jill Lovato

AR/PR Manager
Jill manages external communication strategy and execution for the project, including media and industry analyst relations, social media, and executive speaking strategy. She brings over 10 years of professional communications and marketing experience, most recently having worked with Microsoft’s agency-of-record managing PR for Microsoft Windows for the past eight years. Jill also has experience in non-profit event marketing as well as radio broadcast marketing, sales and promotion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She lives in Vancouver, Washington with her husband and twin boys and enjoys reading, antiquing and watching British dramas in her free time.

Lara Taback

Event Manager
Lara leads the events team for OPNFV hosted events and the participation in industry events. Lara has 20 years of event experience in various capacities. Lara graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she studied Hotel Management. She started her career in the hotel industry with Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. Lara continued her career in the Bay Area where she worked with a variety of technology companies. She currently lives in Oakland, California and enjoys long distance running, photography, and travel.

Min Yu

Client Services Coordinator
Min provides operational support for the OPNFV project. Previously, she worked in the field of higher education in roles ranging from teaching and advising to program administration and international admissions counseling. She grew up in Sichuan Province, China and received a Bachelor’s degree in Education from East China Normal (Teachers’) University in Shanghai and a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Western Washington University. She lives in a picturesque small town in northeastern Iowa with her husband and two daughters and her newly-found passion for imagining how to improve STEAM education for girls.

Ray Paik

Senior Program Manager
Ray has been with the OPNFV project since its launch in 2014 and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of OPNFV. He has over 15 years of experience in the hi-tech industry in roles ranging from software engineer, product manager, program manager, account manager, and team lead at companies such as EDS, Intel, and Medallia. Ray received an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Mathematics from University of Washington. He lives in Sunnyvale, CA with his wife and daughter and all three are loyal season ticket holders of the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team.