Alliance Staff

Tobin Richardson
President and CEO

As the President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (formerly Zigbee Alliance), Tobin Richardson is on a mission to simplify and harmonize the Internet of Things (IoT) through open, global standards and by creating a place where the world’s leaders and innovators across the IoT value chain can work together to create a more connected, accessible, sustainable, and equitable world.

From facilitating international trade and commerce relationships to driving large scale digital and business transformation, Tobin’s career is rooted in driving human-centric change and enabling purposeful collaboration. Bringing together his early days as an advisor and consultant with his work in public policy, Tobin was drawn into the IoT in 2008, when he helped establish Zigbee Smart Energy as the open connectivity standard for the utility industry.

Since 2014, Tobin has led the Alliance, which now includes over 350 member companies in 37 countries across the IoT value chain. The Alliance is both a member-driven standards development group, known for technologies like Zigbee, and an industry association – guiding the industry forward, driving growth for members, delivering value to customers and consumers and creating standards that matter.

Under Tobin’s leadership, the Alliance launched a first-of effort between the largest IoT ecosystem players (Amazon, Apple, Google, Comcast & Samsung SmartThings) to create an IP-based standard intended to knock down the “walled gardens” of the IoT. Matter (formerly Project CHIP) – the interoperable, secure connectivity standard for the future of the smart home – now has more than 180 member company contributors.

In addition to evolving the Alliance into a multi-standards organization that is setting the foundation and future of IoT, Tobin also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Connected World, as Chair of the WEF’s initiative focused on strengthening collaboration across enterprise, regulators, consumers, and NGOs.

Prior to leading the Alliance, Tobin led large-scale tech transformations and new service/product rollouts across Fortune 500 companies, world-leading technology firms and public sector organizations. He holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis. He and his wife live in Davis, California, where they enjoy the outdoors, riding horses and tending their ranch.

Liz Bunker
Senior Director of Finance & Operations

Elizabeth (Liz) Bunker has overall operations responsibility including Accounting, Finance, HR and Membership Support (Help Desk) management for the Alliance. Liz joined the Alliance after a varied career in operations and production engineering, biotechnology and financial services, which gives her a broad technical background, which she leverages to support efforts to enhance member engagement and understand the organization’s strategy.  In her free time Liz enjoys hiking, cycling, camping and skiing.

Jon Harros
Director of Certification and Testing Programs

Jon has over 25 years of experience in testing, certification and homologation programs globally, having been responsible for teams across three different continents and holding several technical and managerial roles. Prior to this Jon originally specialized in Advanced Robotics, working for a number of multinational companies and even spent time teaching and researching into Advance Control Systems at the University of Hull (UK). In 1993 Jon was the winner of both, “The Royal Academy of Engineering Prize in the Principals of Engineering Design” and the “British Aerospace Prize in Robotics”. Before joining the Alliance, Jon had been involved with Zigbee technologies for 11 years and had been very active helping to shape specifications and policies within the Alliance as a member company representative. During this time, he held roles as Technical Editor, Secretary, Vice-Chairperson and Chairperson within several Alliance technical Work Groups and Committees. He has been appointed as a Continua Certified Expert and held a position on the Alliance Expert Panel.

Chris LaPre
Head of Technology

Chris takes a role in several key initiatives for the Alliance, from recruiting and supporting new and expanding ecosystems, to providing technical expertise and guidance in our marketing and developer programs. He also presents on behalf of the Alliance in key market segments. Chris’s background is very strong in embedded systems, wireless, and developer community. He was most recently at Lowe’s in its Iris program and has been working at Zigbee companies since 2004.

Michelle Mindala-Freeman
Head of Marketing

Michelle serves as the Alliance’s Head of Marketing, helping to both promote the Alliance, our mission, standards and solutions and drive the growth and success of IoT for the benefit of our members, consumers and the marketplace at large. As an executive in the telecom, energy & professional services industries, she has built & lead teams across marketing, strategy, brand, customer experience, and go-to-market. Having worked in industry and in consulting for over 25 years, she brings a wealth of experience, perspectives, and a passion for the Alliance’s mission to build the foundation and the future of IoT. Michelle received her BA from Miami University (Ohio), her MBA in Strategy & Organizational Behavior from the University of Chicago and is currently a Visiting Scholar at CDAIT, the IoT Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Krista Ingram
Director, Marketing Programs

Krista began working with the Alliance during its inception in 2002, she has 19 years of experience with SDOs in marketing, communications, and events. Krista returns to lead the marketing team and collaborate with members on the deliverables and execution of the Alliance marketing plan and activities.



Sharee Golly
Europe Regional Representative

Sharee Golly is the Alliance’s European Regional Representative and is located near Dortmund, Germany. Sharee joined the Alliance in 2018 after over a decade of international data center management for London based Sportech PLC, where she was in charge of their digital sports gaming operations in Europe. A dean’s list grad, she received her BA in Organizational Communication from CSU Sacramento. In her spare time, Sharee enjoys world travel, snowboarding, golf and learning other languages.

Judy August
Business Finance Analyst

Judy manages member invoicing, bookkeeping, and helpdesk inquiries for the Alliance. She has had a distinguished career in finance and accounting, most recently for Keysight (formerly Agilent). Judy enjoys bicycling and traveling in her free time.



Austin Canfield
Certification Specialist

Austin provides service and support to the diverse and growing membership of the Alliance. With experience in membership-based nonprofit organizations, he brings a background of customer service allowing our promoters, participants and adopters to get the most out of their memberships. Austin is skilled in various CRM and CMS platforms and has earned a degree from the University of South Carolina.


Allie Romero
Member Services Specialist

Allie joined the Alliance in 2020, with experience working for various nonprofit organizations across California. Allie provides service and support to the diverse and growing membership of the Alliance. Living in California, she enjoys doing art, exploring the outdoors, and playing with her dog.


Shane Buchanan
Technology and Certification Specialist

Shane is a Technology and Certification Specialist at the Alliance and is responsible for maintaining and improving the Alliance Certification Web Tool. He also approves certifications from our member companies upon completion of certification testing at our test houses. With a background in certification and standards, Shane has been involved in technology standards since 2010. Previous experience includes Firmware Triage, Software, and Firmware Test Engineering, and Quality Assurance Engineering. 


Jay Jongjitirat
Technology and Certification Manager

Jay draws from an eclectic background in his role assisting with the Zigbee Certified program and Alliance technical programs. Prior to joining the Alliance, Jay worked as intellectual property and patent law attorney, assisting technology-focused startup companies, engineering firms, and individuals with patent and trademark strategy, drafting, and prosecution. Jay has further experience in business law and export compliance. At NASA Ames Research Center, he focused on researching the application of ceramic coatings for space shuttle tile. Additionally, he spent time at NASA as a legal intern in the Office of Chief Counsel, where he dealt with a variety of issues involving intellectual property, technology law, space law, real property, federal procurement, and employment law. Jay received his law degree from the University of California, Davis and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. Jay served as Technical Editor of Vol. 42 of the UC Davis Law Review and published an article analyzing patent law and the use of secondary considerations in non-obviousness determinations by the Federal Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

BlancaBlanca Roman
Certification & Technical Tools Expert

Blanca is the Technical Tools Expert for the Zigbee Alliance and is responsible for the day-to-day activities associated with the development, management, and maintenance of the Zigbee Alliance’s technical toolset which includes member-facing tools (i.e., test harnesses, certification tools, etc.), and other member-related technical support activities. Before joining the Zigbee Alliance Blanca’s experience with Zigbee development, test and certification dated back to 2006 and continues to this day. Blanca has also worked in other computer science areas like super-computers parallel programming, DNA sequencing problems, and Artificial intelligence Agents.

Tarin Noonan
Marketing Manager, Communications & Events

Tarin manages and contributes to the development and distribution of the Alliance marketing and communications pieces. She strives to leverage her journalism and art management degree from the University of Oregon and her marketing experience into engaging and effective content and strategies. In her free time, Tarin enjoys traveling, hiking, and enjoying time with her dogs.


Brendan Carroll

Marketing Manager, Digital & Brand

Brendan creates and deploys web content, manages social media, creates graphics and other digital marketing assets. He uses his Marketing & Management degree from the University of New Hampshire to create content based on current analytical insights. Brendan has just moved across the country from New Hampshire, loves music, and rock climbing.


Alex Valencia
Marketing Specialist

Alex supports the marketing team in digital marketing, events and communications. Alex has over 4 years of marketing experience working for non-profits. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors gardening and traveling to places she’s never been to.


Laura Shang
China Regional Representative

Laura Shang is the Alliance’s China Regional Representative and is stationed in Shanghai, China. Laura serves as the communication link between the Alliance and China members and provides local support in aspects of membership application, marketing, events, and certification. Laura has over 16 years of working experience, including 10 years in an administration role at a Norwegian design company and US insurance companies. She also worked for 6 years with a Chinese CPA firm. Laura has engaged in auditing, business consultation, and as a liaison with foreign clients and international accounting alliances.

Mary Ludwig
Staff Administrator

Mary Ludwig is the Staff Admin for the Alliance. Her role is to support the CEO and Board of Directors in their day to day administrative needs. Mary holds a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University and joins us after spending the last two years working as a 911 Dispatcher. In her spare time, Mary enjoys camping, hiking, and white-water rafting.

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