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MEF Leadership Forum – On Demand


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Navigating the Future of Business Messaging – Trust, Transparency and Transformation – Prepare to be engaged in a series of thought-provoking keynotes, panels, and fireside chats led by renowned experts in the field. These sessions are designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the latest trends and innovative use cases in business messaging, AI and the state of RCS. We’ll also take deep dives into the challenges and opportunities that 2024 holds. These hands-on sessions will not only address current issues but also equip you with strategies to stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape.

Fraud Fighters: Harnessing the Power of Information Exchange

• Steve Legge, CEO & President – Netnumber

Texting America’s Workforce: The TeamSense Mission

Dive into the world of TeamSense with CEO Sheila Stafford, exploring how this innovative company reshaped workforce texting. Central to TeamSense’s approach is its app-free, AI-enhanced texting service, designed specifically for the hourly workforce. Their solution offers a direct and efficient way to keep hourly workers informed and engaged, bypassing the need for complex apps. The discussion will cover TeamSense’s journey, highlighting how it navigated the evolving tech landscape, including AI advancements, the pandemic, address regulatory challenges and the unique demands of America’s industrial sector.

  • TJ Thinakaran, Advisor – MEF
  • Sheila Stafford, Founder & CEO – TeamSense


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WhatsApp growth in North America

Meta and Cisco discuss the current growth opportunity of Whatsapp for Business in North America and the possibilities to expand further based on success in different markets.

  • Ramy Riad, Head of Innovation and Messaging Strategy – Cisco
  • Auri Korva, Strategic Parnerships WhatsApp – Meta

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AI and the Evolution of Cyber Threats: Cloudmark’s Perspective

Join Michael Laudon, VP and GM of Cloudmark, for an insightful look into how AI is revolutionizing email and mobile security. This talk will cover the role of artificial intelligence in combating emerging cyber threats, protecting the 1.6 billion users that Cloudmark has safeguarded, and shaping the future of cybersecurity. Michael will discuss the growing significance of business messaging, the impact of RCS, and OTT services in the spam fight.

  • Michael Laudon, VP & GM of Cloudmark – Proofpoint

One Message Many Paths: The State of Text Messaging in North America

Leaders from Cisco, Syniverse, Bandwidth, and iConnectiv will discuss best practices for choosing the correct endpoint for text messaging. The past few years have been transformative in the industry. This panel will provide a “State of the Union” on Messaging in North America.

  • Lodema Steinbach, VP of Product & Carrier Relations NA – Sinch
  • Bruce Bales, Director, CPaaS Messaging Business – Cisco
  • Chris Wright, VP Product Management, Strategy – Syniverse
  • Matthew Lear, Senior Director, Product Management – iConectiv
  • Stephanie Lashley, Senior Director, Product Management – Bandwidth

How Ai is powering Business Telecom

Dialpad’s CPO on how Ai Transforms Business Communications

  • Vincent Paquet, Chief Product Officer – Dialpad

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Consent, Compliance, and Regulation: The Legal Town Hall

Join industry leaders for an in-depth exploration of the legalities surrounding Messaging. Learn from Alexis Buese’s experiences in TCPA litigation, and hear Glenn Richards and Kevin Rupy’s take on international and domestic regulations. The conference will also address the significant impacts of the 2024 political season and AI developments on messaging and privacy, offering insights into how to prepare for these evolving challenges.

  • TJ Thinakaran, Advisor – MEF
  • Alexis Buese, Partner – Bradley Arant Bolt Cummings
  • Glenn Richards, Partner – Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
  • Kevin Rupy, Partner – Wiley Rein

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Using the Message to Protect the Text Message

In this technology-oriented presentation, Mike Reading will explore the critical aspects of network protection. Through a neutral lens, Mike will leverage the state-of-the-art tools from Cloudmark and Proofpoint to illustrate essential concepts. He will articulate that ‘protection’ encompasses a variety of meanings across different stakeholders, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of threat mitigation.

  • Mike Reading, Vice President Of Technical Services, Cloudmark Business – Proofpoint

Turning Pig Butchering to Pork Chops: Teaming up for Consumer Protection Solutions.

As new messaging and communications use cases continue to emerge — and as new high-value services are provisioned in the U.S ecosystem and beyond — being able to trace all advanced processes back to fundamental protocols is key. Regardless of the application or advanced mechanism being leveraged, meticulous routing, vetting and fraud prevention methods are vital to ensuring messaging remains a safe and trusted channel. For instance, KYC and fraud prevention data sharing processes ensure the industry is one step ahead of fraudsters while it continues to develop innovative use cases that benefit consumers and businesses alike.

  •  Tina Donaldson, VP, Strategy – Netnumber
  •  Catalin Badea, VP Product Management – Netnumber
  •  Alex Bobotek, Lead, Mobile Messaging Anti-Abuse Strategy and Architecture – AT&T
  •  Brien Jones-Lantzy, Head of Compliance, Spam and Fraud Mitigation – Sinch

How to do More with Text: Building E-Commerce on SMS

Explore the technical landscape of integrating e-commerce into text messaging through a panel discussion featuring industry leaders from Textual, AuthVia, TapOnIT, and Twilio. Blue Atwood, Chris Brunner, Katie Castillo-Wilson and Paul Wheeler will share their experiences and insights on creating text-based e-commerce solutions, highlighting the challenges faced and overcome.

  •  TJ Thinakaran, Advisor – MEF
  •  Blu Atwood, Founder & CEO – Textual
  •  Chris Brunner, Founder & CEO – Authvia
  •  Paul Wheeler, Regional VP, North American Carrier Relations – Twilio
  •  Katie Castillo-Wilson, Founder & CEO – TapOnIT

Digital Dialogues: Political Texting in 2024

Join David Diggs as he moderates a compelling discussion with Krishna Ghodiwala, Thomas Peters, Anna Quint, and Jonathan Vimont on the critical role of text messaging in political campaigns. This session delves into the intricacies of compliance and consent, key pillars for ethical voter mobilization strategies. Discover how campaigns are leveraging texting while adhering to legal frameworks and respecting voter privacy.

  • David Diggs, Founder & CEO – David Diggs & Associates
  • Anna Quint, Executive Director – Campaign Verify
  • Jonathan Vimont, Director, NA Product Operations – Sinch
  • Krishna Ghodiwala, Partner – Message Digital
  • Thomas Peters, Founder & CEO –  RumbleUp

Beyond Numbers: The Art of CPaaS Valuations in Uncertain Times

Valuing a CPaaS business goes beyond just the numbers; it’s an art influenced by various market factors and the current economic climate. This panel, featuring Louis Wharton, Mike Hazzard, Kasper Lund Hansen, and Sheila Stafford, will dive into the complexities of CPaaS valuations, offering a holistic view of what it means to price a messaging business in uncertain times.

  • TJ Thinakaran, Advisor – MEF
  • Kasper Lund Hansen, M&A Director – LinkMobility
  • Louis A. Wharton, Partner – Stubbs, Alderton & Markiles
  • Mike Hazzard, Partner – DLA Piper
  • Sheila Stafford, Founder & CEO – TeamSense

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Trust in Business Messaging – Arrives by Foot but Leaves by Horseback

So the Dutch saying goes. Trust in business messaging is paramount as it forms the bedrock of successful engagement between businesses and their customers. Without trust, business messaging becomes vulnerable to misinterpretation, skepticism, and ultimately, undermines the credibility and effectiveness of the channel. Fostering trust in business SMS messaging is essential for driving meaningful interactions, enhancing brand credibility, and ultimately, achieving business success. The panel will discuss how, as an ecosystem, we can collaborate to reinforce trust in business messaging now and for sustainable long-term growth.

  • Dave Stewart, Chief Business Development Officer — Somos
  • Sarah Giraldi, Director, Governance and Messaging Operations – EZ Texting
  • Simeon Coney, Chief Strategy Officer, Enea Adaptive Mobile
  • Caitlin Long, Director, Commercial Product Management – Bandwidth Inc.
  • David Hassman, Vice President, Messaging Products and Corporate Strategy – Syniverse

The Dog Caught the Car: Now What?

With the recent Apple announcement, and the MNO consolidation on Jibe, Dario Betti, leads the room in a quick-fire discussion of what comes next.

  • Dario Betti, CEO – MEF
  • Silvija Renusa, Senior Product Partnership Manager – Infobip

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Intelligent Messaging and Connectivity – 2024 and Beyond

Vibes co-founder and CIO Alex Campbell has had a front-row seat in helping to define and evolve the explosive growth of mobile messaging and the channels that it travels across. He’ll provide a look into the AI innovations that are beginning to make a major impact on how messages are routed and delivered, and share some first-hand observations on message aggregation and connectivity that are gaining increased relevance in a world in which SMS, MMS – and soon, RCS – are becoming the most prominent channels for communication from brands and businesses.

  • Alex Campbell, Co-Founder – Vibes

Dario Betti and Jeff Pulver Look Back to Look Ahead

Dario Betti welcomes Jeff Pulver to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Pulver order. They then bring the day to close and lay out the optimistic vision for 2024.

  • Dario Betti, CEO – MEF
  • Jeff Pulver, Founder –