Alan Ledford is president of MountainStar Sports Group. He oversees all initiatives of MSSG, including the El Paso Chihuahuas as well as Mountain Star’s efforts to bring a USL soccer team to the Borderplex. He is also President of Leg Up Entertainment, a division of MountainStar.
A California native, Alan began his sports and entertainment career as an intern for the Oakland A’s. That internship led to fifteen seasons with the team, culminating in his role as the Oakland A’s Vice President of Business Operations. Alan left the A’s to help start MGO, a Bay Area sports and entertainment consulting group where he served as Executive Vice President.
With MGO, Alan was part of a successful effort to bring a Triple-A Baseball team to a new ballpark in Sacramento, California and was instrumental in the launch of the Sacramento River Cats. He was subsequently engaged to become President, COO, and General Manager of the team and was named the 2006 Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year by Baseball America. Alan’s career also includes the successful acquisition, turnaround, and ultimate sale of the Portland Beavers (Triple-A) and the Portland Timbers (USL).
In 2011, Alan founded Perfect Game Ventures, LLC, a sports management and consulting firm. He served as its CEO until being engaged to lead MountainStar’s effort to bring a Triple-A Baseball team to El Paso, build a staff and business, and construct a new ballpark.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Alan holds a BS degree in Business Administration. He and his wife, Ann, have three children.
Andrew Joseph is an experience designer and futurist from El Paso, Texas. As an autodidact with a passion for media and design, Andrew has worn a variety of hats in a spectrum of environments that range from Audio Engineer in Austin, TX to Viral Marketing Producer in Santa Monica, CA. In 2009, he returned to El Paso where he has since built a reputation as a photographer and video director. However, what he does has not affected him as much as where he decided to do it.
With over a century of family history based in El Paso, Andrew has spent several years trying to define what makes his hometown unique. Armed with an appreciation for human-centered design and an interdisciplinary skill-set, he has founded a tech startup, Guide, to exert his research. The online platform is aiming to blend digital curation techniques with data-aggregation and media, as a way to reframe the narrative surrounding the region.
Bruce Berman has been a professional photographer for almost five decades and has always worked in the documentary style, what some call The Concerned Photographer style of photography. Additionally, he has a total of 19 years experience teaching in higher education.
His initial documentary projects were in Chicago photographing Appalachian migrants in Uptown, Black Panthers during the tumultuous late 1960’s and the gritty street life of Chicago in its Rust Belt years. During these tumultuous years he was Midwest photographer for the Christian Science Monitor, and freelanced for the AP, UPI, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and others.
His main work for the past thirty five years has concentrated on the United States/Mexico border, particularly the narrow stretch of land that encompasses El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. Bruce Berman’s work can be seen in The New York Times, Time, and other national and international publications and on his own online magazine, The Border Blog (www.border-blog.com).
Since 2006 Berman has been a Professor of photography at New Mexico State University, and teaches Introduction to Photography, Documentary Photography, and Photojournalism. Previously he was a professor at UTEP. His undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned at the University of Oklahoma H.H. Herbert School of Journalism and he studied with Ernst Hass of Magnum, Sam Abell of National Geographic and Roy Morsch of the New York Daily News.
Berman’s work at NMSU has concentrated on developing strong visual communication skills for students so they can tell compelling stories. He often tells his students “I want you to use photography as an instrument of education, not self expression, so that you will have a chance to matter.”
He is an author of the book, Walking Juárez (Border Blog Press) and is a co-author with poets Lawrence Welsh and Ray Gonzalez of the soon to be released book Cutting The Wire (UNM Press).
Claudio F. Lai was born in Rome, Italy and migrated to Sydney, Australia at a young age. He graduated in 1988 from Newington College in Sydney. In 1989, Claudio worked in the News Department for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC-Channel 2) as well as on various independent documentary projects.
In 1991 Claudio moved to the United States of America and graduated in 1993 from the University of Southern California’s Film Department. (USC Los Angeles.) Over the next few years, Claudio produced and directed numerous documentary projects for the Public Broadcasting Network (PBS,) including a Television Series for PBS starring Jane Seymour called “Healthy Living.” In the next few years, Claudio was president and CEO of Vertutech, Inc. A technology development company which specialized in creating automated content management systems (CMS) for websites. In 2016, Claudio started a new company called FluidCast Technologies devoted to the development of a next generation cloud-based content monetization solution Claudio Lai current acts as the CEO and president of FluidCast Technologies, LLC, the exclusive licensees of the Fluidcast platform technology..
Claudio F. Lai – CEO of Implied Motion
Implied Motion is next generation virtual reality production, content and software development company located in San Jose, California. A virtual reality Think Tank of new concepts in augmented and virtual video production, post-production and delivery.
* Immersive Virtual Reality Production
Virtual Reality production through immersive 360 2D and 360 3D content takes you to places all around the world. Visit hard to reach locations anywhere in the World in an instant. Walk through ancient monuments. Travel to remote areas and see endangered rainforests, Antarctic landscapes or even travel in space.
* Engaging Virtual Reality Production Experiences
Virtual Reality Production which engages the viewer and educates them in new ways. Interactivity in a 360 / 3D virtual World. Viewers interact with dynamic virtual reality content which displays dynamic information based on where the viewer looks or clicks in a 360 degree spherical virtual space. Viewers are engaged by the appearance of elements which can appear or disappear. Informational banners can appear or a video or audio file can played.
* Multi-Plot Story Virtual Reality Immersion
360 / 3D immersive film and educational stories which change depending on what the viewer looks at while the story is being played. Engaging virtual reality content and virtual reality productions interacts with the viewer by creating “hotspots” of interactivity. Immersive virtual reality storytelling in virtual reality creates a movie-like experience where the viewer changes the outcome of the story.
Virtual worlds of learning where students can talk and listen to other students, teachers or peers. Watch virtual seminars in real-time from any location in the World as both students and speakers interact in a virtual 360 space. Remote learning is the future and students can attend seminars and speaking engagements without ever having to leave their hometowns.
Edgar Lopez is Principal in Charge at In*Situ Architecture in El Paso, Texas. With Experience in project management and architectural design. Mr. Lopez has been the lead designer on new construction and major renovation projects including, religious projects, educational facilities , medical facilities and government agencies. His experience includes feasibility studies, project programing new construction, renovations and additions. Mr. Lopez is involved in and oversees all phases of the design and construction document process. He previously served as Chief Designer at Mijares Mora Architects also in El Paso.
Jessica Resler is a Co-Founder and Creative Director at The Participation Agency, an award winning creative agency founded in 2011. Jessica’s creative leadership allows iconic brands and start-up projects to reinvent and claim their relevance - turning the commercial into the connected.
Jessica has developed creative for brands like Sour Patch Kids, Oreo, Tinder, Foursquare, Red Bull, Dell, Alienware, Absolut, Top Shop, Joe & the Juice and many more. In addition to client briefs, Jessica has concepted and developed platforms for The Participation Agency, including Outpost, Basecamp, Timeshare Backyard and #GetUpNY.
Jessica holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Nevena Christi is an artist with a passion to redefine the workplace. Having attended University in London, Paris and New York, she is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in fine art and fashion. She applied her talent working with TIFFANY's New York, and before moving to El Paso spent 10 years as design director of NICOLE MILLER NYC. In 1997 she partnered with Marty Snortum and took the helm at Rocketbuster Boots. In 20 years she has developed Rocketbuster into an internationally recognized label and visitor destination. With leather as her current medium she mixes classic tradition with cutting-edge style on projects for companies as diverse as Sotheby's International and Monster Drink. Her passion to create a team environment empowering young artists to apply their talents to a traditional industry has created a new vibrant model for the workplace. Sometimes you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Paul Foster is the Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Mountain Management, LLC. He is the founder and former Executive Chairman of Western Refining, Inc.
Mr. Foster is the Chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents. He also serves as a director on the board of Andeavor, branch of the Dallas Federal Bank, and Weststar Bank. He previously served as the Chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), and also served as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Business Leadership Council.
Mr. Foster serves on the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance. He is a current member of the World Presidents' Organization and former member of the Young Presidents' Organization (where he met his wife, Alejandra de la Vega). The Fosters are philanthropists and active in their border cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. They are cofounders of MountainStar Sports Group, owners of the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A Baseball team and the FC Juarez Bravos Ascenso MX Soccer club.
A catalyst in the revitalization of El Paso's Downtown, Mr. Foster purchased and restored several buildings in what is now called the Mills Plaza District. Under his ownership, the landmark Plaza Hotel in Downtown El Paso will also soon be restored and opened under a private hotel brand.
Mr. Foster has received the Baylor University Distinguished Alumni Award, was inducted into the 2013 Class of the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and in 2007 and 2013 was presented with the City of El Paso's Conquistador Award. He was named El Pasoan of the Year twice, inducted into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame, and was named as El Paso's Entrepreneur of the Year.
Over 25 years, Tracey has had the privilege of serving in ground-breaking and industry-leading work for non- and for-profit entities. She is a proven leader in building strong relationships among public-private, cross-disciplinary groups to cultivate a shared vision and mobilize action.
She currently leads one of New Mexico’s most successful collective impact initiatives – The Bridge of Southern New Mexico. This business-led, education-focused partnership ignited the vision that led to New Mexico’s first Early College High School and cultivated a community focus on increasing high school graduation rates – which now outpace the state at 80%. The organization has now convened an even larger set of community partners to create the first-ever comprehensive approach to workforce development for the county and region to fuel long-term economic development.
Tracey was formerly a Vice President, PreK-12 Education, at Widmeyer Communications in Washington D.C., working on behalf of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For 10 years, she helped lead the communications and public relations efforts for a first-of-its-kind neighborhood revitalization project for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego, CA. However, she credits the lessons learned from her first communications internship at Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, TX as the foundation for all that has come after. She ultimately served the company as public relations director until 1997.
Tracey is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. She has been married to Scott for 29 years and has two grown sons and a daughter-in-law.
Truman Packard is a Lead Economist at the World Bank where he has worked since 1997. He advises governments in emerging markets on how to improve labor regulation and social security to create jobs. Truman has worked with countries in Latin America, Central Europe and East Asia, as is currently focuses mainly on Brazil and Indonesia. Trained as a labor economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Truman's published work focuses on how labor law and social insurance programs -retirement benefits, unemployment insurance, and health coverage- affect peoples' incentives to work and save.
Will Bengtson is Senior Security Engineer at Netflix focused on Security Operations and Tooling. Prior to Netflix, Bengtson led Security at a healthcare data analytics startup, consulted across various industries in the Private Sector, and spent many years contracting with the Department of Defense. Bengtson is on the Security BSides SF core team and Bay Area OWASP leadership team.