Speakers List - IT Leaders Summit 2018

Guest Speaker

Alex Sbardella

Senior Vice President of Global Innovation

GDR Creative Intelligence

Alex is a retail technology expert, specialising in the practical application of the latest innovations to solve retail's biggest challenges, and making complex technology trends understandable for non-technical audiences. As Senior Vice President of Global Innovation at consultancy, GDR Creative Intelligence, Alex leads their digital transformation consulting, helping a global client base of FTSE 100, NASDAQ and S&P 500 companies turn trend insights into applied strategies.

Working across GDR's retained client base, he looks at the future of the store, how technology is changing relationship between consumers and brands, and how retailers can respond to changing market conditions (and competitors like Amazon) by creating innovative experiences that will diffuse across their entire estates.

Prior to joining GDR, he spent 7 years as the Consultancy Director at technology firm Red Ant, designing and delivering award-winning solutions, innovation and strategy from boardroom to stockroom for some of the UK's largest and most forward-thinking retailers.

As Consultancy Director and a board member, he helped design and deliver award-winning applications, innovation and customer experience strategy for some of the UK's best retailers, including Topshop, Mastercard, Three, ASOS and Harrods.

He is also author of white papers and articles for Retail Week, The Guardian, The Times and Internet Retailing, and has spoken at events such as Retail Week Live, IBM SalesConnect, Samsung Futurescape, iDisrupt, IRX, and IoT in Retail.

He founded the Connected Retail Index, a technology scorecard for over 200 retailers, has designed applications with millions of monthly active users, and led the team that won the IBM Watson Global Developer Challenge.


Gavin Drescher

Chief Technology Officer


Gavin has worked in the banking and insurance industry for over 20 years. At PA Consulting he specialised in major IT programmes and subsequently he has worked as a Director in the IT Service and IT delivery functions at RBS Insurance and LV=. At LV=, his teams have delivered a multi-million pound transformation of the direct business and are now working on the next phase of their digital journey.

Lyndon Fraser

Chrome Sales Specialist

Google Cloud

Lyndon has been a part of the Google Cloud team for over five years. During this time he has enabled several customers to take advantage of services across the entirety of Google's Cloud including AI, computing, big data, API's, and productivity tools. He has now been drawn towards the exciting world of Chrome and in 2018 transitioned to the Chrome Enterprise team where he helps businesses to understand and deploy secure devices built for the cloud.

Having grown up in Canada, Lyndon came to the UK in 1996 to attend university. Now a self-appointed honorary Brit, he lives in Surrey with his wife and two boys.

Liz Halifax-Smith

Senior Dragon Sales Manager

Nuance Communications

Liz Halifax-Smith has managed the Dragon business within Nuance for 12 years in which time she has been an advocate for the huge benefits Dragon can bring to enterprises through enhancing productivity, efficiency and time saved in the process. Liz will be supported by her colleagues Alastair Sykes, who supports Liz with the UK business and Gary Quigley who has been Nuance's Dragon technical specialist for over 13 years.

Richard Simmons

Head of European AI and IoT Practice


Richard is Logicalis' knowledgeable and passionate Head of the European AI & IoT practice. He has been engaging with the power of data for the last 20 years, working closely with clients to help them leverage data assets to improve profitability.

His experience spans across a variety of outcome-based solutions for smart building, cities, factories and key retail players, using technologies such as IoT, AI, Data Analytics and Mobility technologies. Richard is a trusted adviser to the company as he bridges the gap between the technical and business teams. 

Nick Ford

Chief Technology Evangelist


In his current role as Chief Technology Evangelist at Mendix, Nick leads a team of experts in low code development, chartered to inspire the world with the art of possible in Mendix. Nick is a low code veteran with a strong software development background and has served Mendix as Senior Director Product Marketing and Director Sales Engineering prior to establishing the evangelist team.


Stuart Sumner

Editorial Director

Computing, V3 & The Inquirer

Stuart Sumner is Editorial Director of Incisive Media's technology-focused titles: Computing, V3 and The Inquirer. He oversees all content across print, web, tablet editions, rich media and events - including the IT Leaders' Dining Club and Computing Summits. During Stuart's tenure Computing has transformed from a print-reliant business to a bleeding edge multi-channel brand with an industry-leading events portfolio. Previously he spent 10 years as a programme manager in the IT industry, working for companies such as the BBC, COLT, Nortel Networks and Equant. As a journalist he has also worked for Time Out and IPC Media. He is a regular technology pundit and contributor to the BBC News Channel, as well as a published author.

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