Mountain Mayhem: Jones Symposium |

Mountain Mayhem: Jones Symposium

May Selby

JonesTrading hosted its ninth annual symposium for members of the financial firm and clients over the first weekend in March. On Thursday, March 8, all started with a reception at Marble Bar Aspen at The Hyatt Residence Club Grand Aspen. On Friday, March 9, everyone gathered at the Velvet Buck at The St. Regis Aspen for a panel discussion and dinner. The theme was “Real Talk About Autonomous Vehicles: How Things Really Work, What’s Coming and the Implications for Finance” with four great minds in discussion. Diarmuid O’Connell was with Tesla from 2006 to 2017, and served as the vice president of business development where he managed commercial relationships and all aspects of government affairs. Before joining Tesla, Diarmuid served as chief of staff for Political Military Affairs at the U.S. State Department. J.R. Hildebrand currently races for Ed Carpenter Racing and has had a professional career racing in the IndyCar Series since 2011, with experience in prototypes, sports cars, and Formula D Drifting. Away from the track, he runs the JR Hildebrand Education Initiative and is an appointed Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford University with focus on autonomous vehicle research. Alisyn Malek is the founder and COO of May Mobility, a self-driving microtransit service. She was formerly an automotive strategy and engineering professional with General Motors and lead development and adoption of three key technologies over a nine-year career spanning EV charging to autonomy. Alden Woodrow leads the self-driving truck program at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in San Francisco. In 2016, Uber’s truck team completed the first commercial haul with an autonomous vehicle, carrying a trailer of Budweiser from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. Previously, Alden was the product manager for a flying wind turbine at Google X, and spent a decade as an economic consultant.

Marie Venner has conducted nearly 50 studies for the National Academies of Science and Engineering Strategic and Cooperative Research Programs under the Transportation Research Board. She is leading an assembly of a cross-cutting next gen research needs effort in transportation, covering AVs, EVs and shared mobility.

For the final event on Saturday night, held at Aspen Kitchen, Rear Admiral Kerry M. Metz gave the keynote about leadership, drawing from experience with the SEALs, imparting pearls of wisdom such as following five principles: honor, honesty, humor, humility and happiness.

To reach May with invites and insights, email

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