Supporting Innovation and Growth in the Speech Industry

STC Board of Directors

The STC founding Board of Directors is comprised of technologists and attorneys who have worked together for the past year to create an organization that can help large and small companies alike.

Dr. Thomas B. Schalk (Chairman) is Vice President, Voice Technology at ATX, a leading telematics service provider with customers that include Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Dr. Schalk is responsible for guiding ATX's voice technology vision. He leads a group that focuses on developing speech-enabled telematics services. Prior to joining ATX, Dr. Schalk was the CTO of Philips Speech Processing, and the CTO of Voice Control Systems. He has over twenty years of experience in the speech recognition industry. He received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University.

Dr. Marie Meteer (Executive Director) is an independent consultant and adjunct professor at Brandeis University with over 25 years experience in speech recognition and natural language processing.  She is the founder and Executive Director of the Speech Technology Consortium, a nonprofit organization focused on IP and patent related issues.  She was a co-founder and Vice President of Speech of EveryZing, a digital media merchandising platform which uses speech and natural language processing to drive search engine optimization. Previously, Dr. Meteer was at BBN technologies for 20 years in positions ranging from research scientist to commercial business development and management.  Dr. Meteer received her Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Massachusetts.

Igor Jablokov is CEO of Yap, an institutionally funded venture focused on natural and unconstrained speech recognition. In 2007 they were finalists at Silicon Valley's elite TechCrunch's event and were awarded North Carolina's Early Stage Company of the Year. Most recently they earned the VMA Innovation Award, a distinction given annually by the leading wireless operators in Europe. Previously, Igor held positions with IBM's Pervasive Computing, PartnerWorld, Global Industries and Microelectronics divisions. With well over a dozen patents pending, he was named an industry luminary by the editors of Speech Technology magazine in 2008. He holds an BS in computer engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Jeff O'Neill is General Counsel of Yap, an institutionally funded venture focused on natural and unconstrained speech recognition. In 2007, Yap was a finalist at Silicon Valley's elite TechCrunch's event and was awarded North Carolina's Early Stage Company of the Year. More recently, Yap earned the VMA Innovation Award, a distinction given annually by the leading wireless operators in Europe. Jeff previously worked as an intellectual property litigator and patent prosecutor for a law firm specializing in intellectual property law and served as a law clerk for the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Before becoming an attorney, Jeff worked a a senior speech scientist for several Boston-area companies. Jeff has a J.D. from Cornell Law School, a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Dr. Mike Phillips is Co-Founder and CTO of Vlingo. Mike has been active in the speech technology world for over twenty years. He started his career as a researcher first at Carnegie Mellon University and then at the Spoken Language Systems group at MIT working on core technology for automatic speech recognition. In 1994, he founded SpeechWorks based on technology that he and others had developed at MIT. Over the next ten years, Mike and team grew SpeechWorks from a smallstartup into the market leader in speech enabled call center solutions. In 2003, SpeechWorks was acquired by ScanSoft (now named Nuance). In 2005, Mike left ScanSoft to spend a year as a visiting scientist at MIT before starting Vlingo in the summer of 2006.

Dr. Roberto Pieraccini is Chief Technology Officer of SpeechCycle. He has been active for more than 25 years in speech research and technology. He worked at CSELT (Turin, Italy), Bell Laboratories, and AT&T Labs. He was Director of the Natural Dialog group at SpeechWorks International, and managed the Advanced Conversational Technologies department at IBM Research. He was the elected Chair of the IEEE Speech and Language Technical Committee (SLTC) between 2007 and 2008, and on the board of several international conferences and event. He is a member of the editorial boards of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and of the International Journal of Speech Technology. During his career he authored more than 100 publications in the fields of speech recognition, language modeling, optical character recognition, and dialog systems. He is a fellow of IEEE and ISCA, the International Speech Communication Association, and a member of the AVIOS board.

Dr. J. Robin Rohlicek is a patent attorney with over 13 years of prosecution experiences, primarily in the fields of electrical and software engineering related to analog and digital circuits, computer hardware and software architectures, telecommunication systems, and signal processing. Robin is a founding partner of Occhiuti Rohlicek & Tsao LLP, prior to which he was a Principal at Fish & Richardson P.C. Before entering the patent field, Robin was a speech recognition researcher for over 10 years, and served as V.P. of R&D and V.P. of Engineering of Boston area companies, Adjunct Professor at Boston University, and Division Scientist at BBN Technologies where he directed government and commercial R&D. Robin has a J.D. from Boston College Law School and S.B, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from MIT.

Ria Farrell Schalnat is a patent attorney with a technology focus in telecommunications, billing, and other software-oriented inventions. Her substantive practice includes prosecution, general software and open source licensing, due diligence reviews for mergers/acquisitions, including the review for a $335 million acquisition, and portfolio management. She has a B.S. in Computer Science and worked for several years as a programmer before obtaining her juris doctorate and joining Frost Brown Todd in 1999. She has taught law school courses in Open Source Licensing, Computer & Cyberspace Law and Patent Prosecution History Analysis. 

Ms. Schalnat was elected as President of the Cincinnati Intellectual Property Law Association (CincyIP) for both 2008 and 2009. She previously served as Vice-President of the organization. She is also a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Subcommittee on Open Source.

Ms. Schalnat oversaw several pro bono adoption filings through Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor.

Dr. Matthew Yuschik is an expert in user interface design and Principal of Multimedia Interfaces. He was previously a Senior User Experience Specialist at Convergys Labs where he investigated MultiModal User Interfaces (MMUIs) for the Call Center agent's desktop and end-user devices, addressing user modality efficiencies and preferences. He was also involved in numerous field trials of On Demand Voice Authentication, a service based on cloud-computing. At Comverse Network Services, Yuschik designed, developed and performed Usability Tests on Voice Controlled Voice Mail, a first in-the-world network-based service deployed in the US and numerous European countries and languages. Matt also was a lead UI designer at Ameritech Services where he help developed a first-in-the-network TTS service for Reverse Directory Assistance. Matt has been awarded 6 patents, has 4 pending, and has currently submitted 2 more. He has a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering with strengths in ASR, DSP and Natural Language Processing, and has been on the AVIOS Board of Directors for 8 years.