The late H. Donald Wilson was one of the founders of Lessac Technologies. As the first president and founder of the Lexis-Nexis legal information system, he was a database pioneer and entrepreneur. An attorney by training, he became a venture capital consultant to numerous businesses. At the time of his death, he was chairman of Lessac Technologies, which was born of his nearly fifty years of partnership with Arthur Lessac.
As one of the founders, Gary has been guiding Lessac's development for over decade. Gary has broad experience in leading and managing creative teams, complex projects, and professional groups. As Manager, Strategic Marketing Practice, at Arthur D. Little, he provided analysis and advice on product development beginning with the needs and wants of prospective customers and deriving specifications for new products and services in fields such as automobiles, toys, and consumer electronics. His doctorate is from Michigan State's Graduate School of Business and Economics, and he was a Sloan Doctoral Fellow at MIT. Following his successful career at Arthur D. Little, he established his own consulting practice which ultimately led to his founding of Lessac Technologies.
John has been a member of Lessac's board since December 2006. He became President of Lessac in September 2007. From late 2009 to early 2011, he also served as CFO of lifeIMAGE, during its formation and initial funding stages. lifeIMAGE allows patients, physicians and hospitals to electronically exchange diagnostic imaging records from any facility, and has raised nearly $20MM in venture funding. Prior to Lessac, he was President of SonoMedica, a company that has developed a means of non-invasively detecting Coronary Artery Disease through analysis of passive sound. From 2000-2005, he was CFO of Amicas, a pioneer in web-based PACS, picture archiving and communication software for radiologists and other image intensive medical specialists. Until it was acquired by Merge in 2011, Amicas was traded on the NASDAQ. From 1997-1999, he was CFO of e-Travel, a venture-backed web-based corporate travel management company. e-Travel was sold to Oracle in 1999. John has an MBA from Harvard, and a BS in electrical engineering from Yale.
Brian has served as Lessac's Chief Software Architect since 2008. From 2004 to 2006, he was Editor-in-Chief, and COO of Luminal Path Corporation, the then owner of Photo.net, the largest web-site for professional photographers. In 2002 and 2003, he was a Software Consultant at Amicas, Inc. From 1998 to 1999, he was VP Engineering at e-Travel, both before and after its acquisition by Oracle. Brian was co-founder of Papyrus in 1993, a leading handwriting recognition company, and remained with them until their acquisition in 1998. Prior to that, he served as Software Engineer and Manager at Digital Equipment Corporation in both the US and France. Brian received a BA from Harvard, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Brian also serves on the board of the Massachusetts Chess Association.
Reiner received his Sc. D. in Physics from the University of Gottingen, Germany in 1987. From 1989 to 1991 he was Asst. Professor, Speech and Hearing Division at Ohio State University, with research focused on articulatory modeling. In 1992 and 1993, he was visiting researcher at ATR Human Information Processing in Kyoto, Japan. Beginning in 1994, he was a Post-doctoral associate at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT transitioning to a Research Scientist in 1995, and remaining in that role through 2002, with research focused on the biomechanical and physiological modeling of vocal tract structures. During 1998 and 1999, Reiner was a visiting Researcher at INPG in Grenoble, France. Until 2010, Reiner served as a Scientist at Haskins Laboratory at Yale, with his research focused on tongue modeling. Reiner has also been a consultant and employee at Fonix, the current owner of DECTalk.
Edie has been an advisor to Lessac Technologies since its inception. Based in Washington DC, she works on how communication can shape innovation and vice versa. At the World Bank from 1998 to 2010, she was part of the Innovations team that launched its Open Data and Government 2.0. As a senior vice president at Burson-Marsteller, she worked with a wide range of private sector clients from Fortune 100 firms to start-ups, especially in finance, trade and technology. She has developed projects with federal and state governments, and served as chief of staff to a US Senator.
Nancy is responsible for managing the development of voice use rules to be included in the computerized mark-up rules for expressive speech; and to recruit voice talents and train them in speaking according to the mark-ups. She is also a Master Lessac Practitioner, as well as the Past President of the Lessac Institute.
In addition to Gary Marple and John Reichenbach, the following three industry experts are members of Lessac's board:
Armar A. Archbold, a private investor, is an experienced frequently published computational linguist, an early researcher in computer dialogue development and artificial intelligence at SRI International, and a co-founder of Clairvoyance Corporation.
Peter Bransfield is President and CEO of RYPOS, an active diesel emission control system. He is also founder and former CEO of Altair Avionics (acquired by United Technologies), former President & CEO of Applied Analysis, Inc., and an experienced advisor to start up technology companies. In 2004 and 2005 he served as President of Lessac.
Dr. David A. Evans is co-founder of Clairvoyance Corporation, and now President of Evans LLC. Between 1992 and 2010, he served as Clairvoyance's CEO and chief scientist, and led the product development and marketing efforts of the company. Dr. Evans received his Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Stanford University in 1982. He joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in 1983, where he established the Computational Linguistics Program (in 1985) and the Laboratory for Computational Linguistics (in 1986), both of which he directed until 1996. As a professor with appointments in the Departments of Philosophy and Computer Science, he brought an interdisciplinary perspective to his work in natural-language processing and information science. In particular, his development of the CLARIT system, beginning in 1988, realized a fusion of ideas from artificial intelligence, NLP and mathematics. The resulting CLARIT technology addressed the problem of using language analysis to support such diverse functions as automatic text indexing, retrieval, filtering, categorization, summarization, extraction, and clustering -- all with a single core process.
Dr. Alan W Black, Associate Research Professor of the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, acts as a part-time consultant, to help guide Lessac's technical efforts, particularly in enhancing the back-end concatenator element of Lessac's synthesizer. Dr. Black continues as a principal developer of the University of Edinburgh's Festival Speech Synthesis System. Festival is distributed as free software and is now used by most researchers in speech synthesis, and is the basis of most commercial systems, and the underlying framework to Lessac's synthesizer.
InSpeech LLC, The four principals of InSpeech LLC (Marc Lord, Todd Sweeney, Walt Tetschner, and Jon Staebell) have backgrounds from the text-to-speech efforts of AT&T, Microsoft and DECTalk, and Walt has published ASRNews for the past fifteen years.
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