Leadership

The Drive Trust Alliance (DTA) has assembled some of the world’s leading experts to assist with our effort of increasing adoption and awareness of self-encrypting drives (SEDs) in the consumer market.  Below you can find out more about the people behind the DTA.

 Robert Thibadeau Robert Thibadeau, PhD., CEO of Bright Plaza, Inc.

Dr. Robert Thibadeau pioneered self-encrypting drives during his tenure as Chief Technologist of Seagate Technology, LLC from 2002-2009.  He has also served as the Chair of the Storage Workgroup in the Trusted Computing Group.  Dr. Thibadeau was also the founding director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University from 1980-2008.  He is the inventor on over 25 US patents, and he holds degrees from Emory University and the University of Virginia.

 Tom Coughlin Thomas M. Coughlin, PhD., Founder of Coughlin Associates, Inc.

With over 30 years of hard disk drive experience through such companies as Polaroid, Seagate Technology, Maxtor, Micropolis, Nashua Computer Products, Ampex and SyQuest, Tom Coughlin is a recognized expert in the storage industry.  Since 1997, he has published over 70 articles, reports, technical papers and presentations on storage and the creation, distribution, and reception of content.  He is the chairman and organizer of the annual Storage Visions and Creative Storage Conferences, well known in the data storage and storage applications industries.  He is also the chairman of the annual Flash Memory Summit.

He is an author on 6 US patents, and he holds degrees in from the University of Minnesota and  Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan

 Michael Willett Michael Willett, PhD., VP of Marketing for Bright Plaza, Inc., DECEASED
 
As a Senior Director for Seagate Research, Dr. Willett managed security functionality on hard drives, self-encryption, related standardization, product rollout, patent development, and partner liaison.  He has had previous tenures with IBM as a design architect for the IBM Cryptography Competency Center as well as Fiderus, a privacy and security consulting firm.  He has served as the Chair for the OASIS Privacy Management Reference Model Technical Committee (PMRM TC), where he developed an operational reference model for implementing privacy requirements.  He holds degrees from the US Air Force Academy and NC State University.
 Gene Farrelly Gene Farrelly, Chief Operations Officer for Bright Plaza, Inc.

Over his career, Mr. Farrelly has held various roles in technology companies, including operations, sales, business development, intellectual property, and account support for several Fortune 500 clients. He holds degrees from NC State University, Fordham University, and Case Western Reserve University.

 Justin Donnell Justin Donnell, Chief Technology Officer for Bright Plaza, Inc.

Over his career, Mr. Donnell has held various roles in technology, software, and design companies, including programming, system administration, project and business development, IT support, sales, video game and web development, art and design, and music. Mr. Donnell is the primary architect and developer of the Bright Plaza Kaje Authentication Platform, and he has several patents pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) based on his work with Kaje.

 Lucy Thomson Lucy Thomson, Esq., M.S. CISSP CIPP/US/G, Chief Counsel and Board Secretary for Bright Plaza, Inc.

Ms. Thomson is a principal of Livingston PLLC, a law firm that advises clients on legal, policy, and technology issues related to cybersecurity, and global data privacy.  She was 2012-13 Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, is a member of the ABA President’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, and she is editor of the ABA Data Breach and Encryption Handbook. A career federal prosecutor, Ms. Thomson served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Justice.   A former security engineer at CSC, a global technology company, she worked on two of the government’s largest IT modernization programs.  As Consumer Privacy Ombudsman in 16 federal bankruptcy cases and legal counsel to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), she has addressed privacy issues in the U.S. and internationally.  She holds a Master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and is an IAPP CIPP/US+G (Certified Information Privacy Professional).

 Michael Romeo Michael Romeo, Sr. Software Developer for Bright Plaza, Inc.

As Technical Director of Mainframe System Performance for Charles Schwab, Inc., Mr. Romeo led a team of performance specialists in overseeing a large multi-sysplex z/OS computing environment.  His interest in and appreciation for greater security of large systems without a sacrifice in performance led to an interest in self-encrypting drives.  He developed his own software for managing drives and now continues that passion and work at the Drive Trust Alliance.  Mr. Romeo has also had tenures at Clorox Services Company and the Stanislaus County government.  He holds a degree from Merced College.

 Scott Marks Scott Marks, PhD., Sr. Software Developer for Bright Plaza, Inc.

Dr. Marks was among the small team that programmed the first generation of SEDs sold by Seagate Technology, and later developed the testing framework for Seagate TCG SEDs.  His background in firmware and software engineering on smart cards (ISO 7816) deeply impacted the success of the Seagate effort.  After 2009, he joined SSD startup Smart Storage Systems in Massachusetts.  There he programmed SED SSDs so they would meet the stringent requirements of the TCG Enterprise specification.  He left Smart Storage after the company was acquired by SanDisk in December, 2014.  Scott has maintained the Opal Test Bench open source software since it first appeared on SourceForge.  He has worked with Bright Plaza on a variety of projects since 2009.

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