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Transforming Borders with Smart Technologies

On July 26th, 2017, Meeting of the Minds hosted a live webinar featuring Steph Stoppenhagen from Black & Veatch, Jim O’Gara from Deloitte Advisory, and Marisa Walker from Arizona Commerce Authority.


Black & Veatch and Deloitte are teaming to transform and optimize U.S. border regions with smart technologies to boost security, management and efficiency in the movement of people and goods across our borders, as well as enhance connectivity and economic development in the nearby communities which, in many cases, are underserved.

This webinar will discuss the collaboration needed to define the business plans and financing models to achieve smart connected borders, including tackling new procurement issues and ensuring program sustainability that will drive long term gains across the country. Considerations related to infrastructure engineering and deployment, as well as technology integration, also will be addressed. 

Arizona is leading the charge to transform border operations with smart technologies and will be the first smart connected border pilot location. Marisa Walker of the Arizona Commerce Authority will discuss what sparked the state’s eagerness to pursue this project and how it will benefit the citizens of Arizona and cross-border relations with Mexico.  

As the smart technology pilots are about to commence in Arizona, learn how more pilots will evolve and how the project will be easily scalable and replicable in multiple border regions around the country.


Steph Stoppenhagen
Smart Cities Business Development Director
Black & Veatch

Steph Stoppenhagen is the Smart Cities Business Development Director for Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. She is recognized as a technology solutions expert, strategizing with clients to deliver value from smart infrastructure, networks and data. Her success includes creating consortiums to deliver complex, integrated smart city programs and products.

Stoppenhagen was responsible for the development of the technical mapping team of solar experts that have defined a patented methodology called SAFE™ Method (Solar Automated Feature Extraction) which automates the process of examining the Photovoltaic (PV) potential of rooftops/reduces the time to analyze this potential by 75 percent.

Prior to joining Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL in Portland, she served as a geo-integration officer and business consultant internationally with the Department of Defense in the United Kingdom. Stoppenhagen also was a Senior Consultant and Project Engineer with SCHLUMBERGER focusing on water and electric utilities. Steph has a strong history with the EPA and a background in Secret Service projects.

Jim O’Gara
Managing Partner
Deloitte Advisory, Emerging Markets

Jim O’Gara is a Managing Director in the Deloitte US Advisory firm. He is currently leading several of Deloitte’s Smart City initiatives, and is a frequent speaker and panelist on matters related to new urban development.

Jim has over 30 years of experience working on the design, construction, operation and management of large-scale capital programs on behalf of public and private sector clients worldwide. This includes designing, developing, and managing integrated regional and municipal infrastructure projects, cities, industrial estates, free zones, technology parks, and free ports that aim at removing administrative barriers, attracting foreign direct investment, facilitating trade, and expanding business activities. He has successfully implemented large scale municipal reform projects in over 25 countries in the past decade. This included regulatory interventions and legislative reforms, master planning, management and implementation support, development of public-private partnerships, capacity building, developing institutional arrangements, and implementation of new planning guidelines and construction codes.

Marisa Walker
Senior Vice President
Arizona Commerce Authority

Marisa Walker began her professional career at the University of Arizona, where for more than a decade she held positions that advised the University’s Associate Vice President for Economic Development on Arizona-Mexico and NAFTA issues; analyzed border economic development opportunities and competitive advantages; and organized forums and symposiums on trilateral collaborations among academic institutions in Canada and Mexico in the areas of university research parks, agricultural biosciences and optical sciences-photonics.  She has authored several reports on subjects including cross-border economic integration and development; targeted industry assessments of Arizona’s Bioscience and Software Industries; and women entrepreneurship and business ownership in the state.

Ms. Walker also served as the Executive Director for the Arizona Governor’s CANAMEX Task Force where she was responsible for managing projects and priorities regarding transportation and telecommunication infrastructure; technology and process enhancements for cross border shipments; and international trade policy.

Currently, Ms. Walker leverages the relationship between economic development strategies and infrastructure assets/investments.  Key areas include the CANAMEX Corridor, the recently designated I-11, multimodal logistic centers, and Arizona’s international gateways – notably along the Arizona/Mexico border.


July 26, 2017
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Meeting of the Minds
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