OUR TEAM

Management Team

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Timothy D. Gifford

Founder & Chief Scientist

Timothy Gifford is the Founder and Chief Scientist of MOVIA Robotics, INC. Timothy is responsible for developing MOVIA’s core technology and conducting advanced research and

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development. While continuing his research at the UCONN, Timothy has consulted and presented internationally on Robot Assisted Instruction, Autism, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Collaborative Robotics, Human Perception & Assistive Technology.

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Jean-Pierre Bolat

Chief Executive Officer

Jean-Pierre Bolat joined MOVIA in April 2018 as a Board Director and CEO. He is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives.

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A 20-yr Navy veteran and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, JP has earned an MS in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and an MBA from Temple University. JP's corporate background includes executive positions in IT, Aerospace & Defense, and Cyber Security.

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Dante Tagariello

Chief Financial Officer

Dante Tagariello joined MOVIA in 2021 and serves as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for MOVIA’s financial system, internal controls, and the FP&A function. In addition to his duties at

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MOVIA, Dante is a Commissioner on the Bristol Board of Education where he serves as Board Secretary and as Chair of the Finance Committee. Dante received his B.Sc. in Accounting from Bentley University and his M.Sc. in Accounting and Taxation from the University of Hartford.

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Christian Wanamaker

Chief Technology Officer

Christian Wanamaker has been with MOVIA since the early days of research and development.  As a career developer with interests in robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and computer

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vision, Christian leads the software development team that produces the WOZ Teacher's Aide and develops the dynamic robot control systems. Previous to MOVIA, Christian worked at the Lead Developer for the University of Connecticut CHIP Advanced Interactive Technology Center.  Christian holds both B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Connecticut.

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Robert Parenti

Chief Education Officer

Rob Parenti joined MOVIA in 2017 as Chief Education Officer. He is responsible for developing and evaluating content and lessons for MOVIA’s Robot-Assisted Instruction

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system. Rob is also a passionate and successful special education teacher and administrator,he also was the Principal of Oak Hill Special Needs School in Bristol, CT. He has worked with children of all ages who have had some of the highest special needs in the state of Connecticut. Rob earned his MBA from Fairfield University and his MA in Special Education from Saint Joseph University. In addition, he earned his Education Administration Certificate from the University of Connecticut.

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Kendall Peterson

Chief Operations Officer

Kendall Peterson joined MOVIA in 2021 as a strategic advisor and has since moved into the Chief Operations Officer role where he is responsible for Product Management, Service Delivery, Sales,

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and Marketing. Kendall studied Nuclear Engineering at the University of Maryland and Industrial Engineering at Ashwood University. He has had a successful career managing complex, global initiatives and nurturing teams in such organizations as Nextera Energy, Subway, Verizon, and Digital Realty.

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Pamela Welles

Vice President - Operations

Pam Welles joined MOVIA in 2020 as VP of Operations, managing the coordination of MOVIA's internal operations.  With a wealth of experience in project management and

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creative services, Pam brings her management experience as well as an artist’s eye to her position as VP of Operations for Movia Robotics. Pam is an organizational and creative expert, specializing in workflow processes and personnel management. As an award-winning creative professional with strong project management and solid creative thinking and problem-solving skills, prior to joining Movia, Pam worked with a variety of interactive, creative, and marketing firms as a video editor, web designer, project manager and as a VP of Creative Services.

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Monica O'Brien

Vice President - Curriculum & Content

Monica O’Brien brought her expertise to MOVIA Robotics, Inc in 2019 where she joined the growing company as Lead Content Developer. She has since been named VP of Curriculum and

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Content at MOVIA, where she utilizes her background in Special Education and is responsible for the development, creation and testing of the content used for MOVIA’s Robot-Assisted Instruction system. She uses her analytical skills to evaluate the effectiveness of the lessons and to ensure that the curriculum developed at MOVIA meets high educational standards.  Monica has a BA in Theater Arts and an MS Ed from Iona College, specializing in Science Education.

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Clinician Advisory Board

MOVIA's Clinician Advisory Board is a team of representatives from our most critical stakeholders whose mission is to improve the lives of children with Autism and other special needs. The team consists of clinical representatives with cross-geography, multi-discipline, and multi-philosophy experience.

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Lisa Lichtenstein, LMFT

Lisa Lichtenstein is a member of MOVIA's Clinician Advisory Board.  Lisa  is a psychological expert who has established a multi-faceted career as a psychotherapist practicing for over 20

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years. She runs a psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica CA, is a Clinical Director in two special education schools in Los Angeles and is the psychological expert for MOVIA, focusing on the implementation of RAI for children with socio-emotional, behavioral, communication and academic challenges. Lisa’s impassioned career promotes people becoming healthier and happier, and her work with MOVIA promotes the use of assistive technology that expedites psychological and emotional growth and profound progress.

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Anthony M. McCrovitz, Ph.D

Anthony (Tony) M. McCrovitz, Ph.D., is a member of MOVIA's Clinician Advisory Board.  He is a licensed mental health counselor and psychologist, with clinical training and specialization in child

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development and the integration of approaches that are rooted in holistic, bio-psychosocial models.  In 1996, he co-founded Globe Star, an agency that provides accredited quality of life services and programs for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He continues to serve as director and as a consultant, mentor, and provider of training in a Quality of Life Model of services.  His work is grounded in the relationship-building philosophy and practice of Gentle Teaching, his source of inspiration for the writing of this book. This social vision is based on mutual respect, unconditional acceptance, and principles of interdependence that demonstrate a universal, inherent unity as indigenous to our humanity.  He holds a doctorate in I/O Psychology from Walden University, a re-specialization in Clinical Psychology from Adler Professional School of Psychology, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola University of Chicago.  Tony is dedicated to the sharing of knowledge and solutions, to the sustainable development of inclusive, learning communities and resources, and to supporting processes of self-awareness and growth that have value and meaning for life and learning, or for professional development and practice.

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Yitty Rimmer, OTR/L

Yitty Rimmer, MA OTR/L, is a member of MOVIA's Clinician Advisory Board.  Yitty  has a Masters in Occupational Therapy from New York University.  She has been working as a Pediatric Occupational

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Therapist for over 18 years and currently has her own private practice in Brooklyn, NY.  In her work with patients, Yitty utilizes the MOVIA Robot-Assisted Instruction system as an assistive technology tool to supplement her treatment and therapy.

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Kristen Whoolery, SLP

Kristen Whoolery is a speech-language pathologist for the Wallingford School District in Wallingford, CT. She has been a speech-language pathologist for seven years working in a variety of settings: acute care, home-care,

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nursing facilities, and Pre K-12 school system. She graduated with her master's from Southern Connecticut State University. Kristen specializes in working with children with Autism and adults with dysphagia, as well as with augmentative communication devices. Kristen enjoys time with her husband and cats, and loves to travel/explore new places every year. 

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Directors & Advisors

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Timothy D. Gifford

Board Director - President

Timothy Gifford  is the Founder and Chief Scientist of MOVIA Robotics, INC. Timothy is responsible for developing MOVIA’s core technology and conducting advanced research and

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development. While continuing his research at the UCONN,  Timothy has consulted and presented internationally on Robot Assisted Instruction, Autism, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Collaborative Robotics, Human Perception & Assistive Technology.  

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Jean-Pierre Bolat

Board Director - Secretary

Jean-Pierre Bolat joined MOVIA in April 2018 as a Board Director and CEO. He is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives.

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A 20-yr Navy veteran and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, JP has earned an MS in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and an MBA from Temple University.  JP's corporate background includes executive positions in IT, Aerospace & Defense, and Cyber Security.

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Philip Rubin, Ph.D

Board Director

Philip Rubin, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer emeritus and board member at Haskins Laboratories, Professor Adjunct in the Department of Surgery, Otolaryngology at the Yale University

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School of Medicine and is currently the President-elect of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS).  Dr. Rubin has held numerous roles in the federal government, the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council and the White House.

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Kip Konwiser

Board Director

For over three decades, Kip Konwiser has been both a senior business executive and creative artist, helping raise the profile of many of the world’s top brands in entertainment. His dozens

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of credits range from executive producer to DGA Unit Production Manager across feature films, TV series, documentaries, interactive multimedia, live events, and music & dance projects. He's been awarded multiple prime time Emmys, Producer of the Year Award (PGA), and the NAACP Image Award among other global honors.

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Rebecca A. Nolan

Advisor

Rebecca A. Nolan is Vice President, Global Business Development, for the MetroHartford Alliance, leveraging an extensive career in Economic Development.  She leads real estate

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services for business development activities in global markets, enhancing Connecticut’s Capital Region for foreign direct investment, and also provides consulting services to municipalities, chambers of commerce and other economic development organizations.  Her global work has established Connecticut as a location of choice for foreign direct investment.

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Glenn McGrath

Advisor

Glenn McGrath was the Director of Pupil Services for West Hartford Public Schools for 20 years and has over 44 years of experience in the field.  Glenn received his Masters Degree in Special

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Education from the University of Connecticut in 1976.  Throughout his career, Glenn has focused on the education of students with disabilities and the integration of special and general education to improve achievement of all students. 

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