Cognilytica Team

Ronald Schmelzer

Managing Partner & Principal Analyst

Ron is principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of the Artificial Intelligence-focused analyst and advisory firm Cognilytica, and is also the host of the AI Today podcast, SXSW Innovation Awards Judge, founder and operator of TechBreakfast demo format events, and an expert in AI, Machine Learning, Enterprise Architecture, venture capital, startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and more. Prior to founding Cognilytica, Ron founded and ran ZapThink, an industry analyst firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Cloud Computing, Web Services, XML, & Enterprise Architecture, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in August 2011.

Ron received a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Kathleen Walch

Managing Partner & Principal Analyst

Kathleen is a principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of Cognilytica, an AI research and advisory firm, and host of the popular AI Today podcast. She is a serial entrepreneur, savvy marketer, and tech industry connector.

Prior to her work at Cognilytica, Kathleen founded tech startup-up HourlyBee, an online scheduling system for home services where she quickly became an expert in grassroots marketing, networking, and employee management. Before that, Kathleen was a key part of the direct marketing operation for Harte Hanks managing large scale direct mail campaigns for clients including Bed Bath and Beyond and BuyBuyBaby. Managing big data analytics, she created efficiencies in the process saving thousands of dollars and days of processing time from each campaign.

Kathleen graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Marketing. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and two young girls and working out – you can frequently find her on jogging paths and workout studios.

Megan Yarbrough

Research and Marketing Associate

Megan is an experienced marketer and industry connector. As Research and Marketing Associate with Cognilytica she coordinates vendor market analysis, conducts market analysis and outreach, compiles analysis on industry and sector research across all coverage areas, and coordinates vendor outreach and market data collection activities. In addition, Megan manages the Cognilytica communities and events, facilitating client, sponsor, and attendee relations. As a highly organized planner, she has helped grow the Cognilytica community to an international group of thought leaders, influencers, and practitioners in the emerging tech, data, and AI and ML spaces.

Megan has deep experience in the healthcare sector, with responsibility for managing patient, medical staff and administrative relationships, facilitating communication in a fast paced, high stress environment. Megan worked in outpatient care managing intake/outtake schedules, office finances, and assisting in IT needs. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology at the University of Florida and graduated with her Masters of Science in Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.