David Sandel

David is an accomplished Smart City architect. Recently, David was recognized as the lead author for the St. Louis chapter of the book Smart Economy in Smart Cities; a collaborative effort between ten cities in thirteen countries. David also served as an adviser to the Kansas City Google Fiber Mayors Bi-state Innovation Team MBIT, the Mid-America Regional Council MARC of Kansas City and was the co-author of Playing to Win – the Kansas City Google Fiber Playbook. This playbook outlined the civic infrastructure necessary to make a successful Gigabit City and has since become an industry standard for mapping the development of fiber internet communities, Smart and Gigabit cities.

David is the co-founder of The Gigabit City Summit. The Gigabit City Summit was a Telepresence based global round-table which explores the issues of leadership, funding, economic development and collaboration that are central to the success of all Smart and Gigabit City initiatives. Cities that have participated in the global round-table have included San Francisco, Kansas City, St. Louis, Toronto, Amsterdam, Moscow, Barcelona and Singapore.

David was also the co-founder of Datotel, a managed services and Cloud provider. As a result of these combined work experiences, David has significant business development and contractual experience in both the Smart and Gigabit City public and private sectors including utilities, municipal government, education, public safety, healthcare, energy management, data center and service provider infrastructure.

Before returning to St. Louis, David was a senior systems engineer in the Cisco Service Provider division located in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he worked in the product development labs of WorldCom, Williams Communications and Brooks Fiber. During this period, David was the lead designer of WorldCom’s MAE East and MAE West exchange points and Williams Communications private line backbone.

David received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis where he also attended graduate school. David also attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston. While at Cisco Systems, David received several awards for Excellence, Product Development and Innovation. He has also served on a variety of state and local government, economic development and public safety councils, as well as regional entrepreneurial planning boards.

Jim Highfill

Jim Highfill is an operations expert with 35 years of global experience and a leadership record of results in business start-ups, operational turnaround and process development/improvement. Sophisticated problem solver; proficient in obtaining, clarifying criticizing and testing information to make well-reasoned business decisions. Accomplished is creating effective, diverse, world-class, synergistic organizations that succeed at every functional level.

Jim works to create a clear vision for the future, communicating that vision, establishing goals and designing human, management, utilities, technical and information systems that achieve desired business results. Jim establishes an excellent rapport with all levels of workers, multiple cultures and the ability to bridge differences in beliefs, backgrounds and styles to create a team and organization that exceeds goals. Jim values diversity, harnesses technology, ingenuity and talent in all functions and at all levels to drive bottom-line results. This was demonstrated in the two green field, off shore production facility built, staffed, started and managed for MEMC both in Taiwan and South Korea. These facilities generated over two thousand new jobs.

Jim held COO, President, VP and numerous Director positions responsible for full P&L, operations, quality (systems and performance), marketing, engineering, IT development and system implementation and information generation. He was the Chairman of the Intellectual Property Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea, Chairman and served, as MEMC’s representative, on the Silicon board for Semicon, an international standards organization in the semiconductor world.

Jim established and managed two successful entrepreneurial ventures in St. Louis, MO. He graduated from University of Missouri-Rolla with a Bachelor’s in Ceramic Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Management.