MEETThe RIoT Squad

Keeping a RIoT under control ain’t easy.

Tom SnyderExecutive Director

Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. By day he runs RIoT Labs at HQ Raleigh. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multi-disciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State.

Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation in NC.

He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, boardgames, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.

Caroline GriffinEvent and Operations Manager

Caroline works at the heart of everything RIoT. As Event & Operations Manager, she keeps the organization running smoothly and manages all the details of our world-class workshops and RIoTs. She manages corporate communications and is the primary architect of the popular Lunch and Learn series.

Prior to RIoT, Caroline held a number of positions with event planning and sponsorship raising responsibilities. Caroline is a Raleigh native and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University.

While Caroline is not at work, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places with her partner, Eddie, and their dog, Angus.

Rachael MeleneyProgram Director

Rachael Meleney joined the RIoT team to launch and direct the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). Rachael drives curriculum development, builds relationships in the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, and supports RAP’s growing community of IoT startups.

Previously, Rachael launched a first-of-its-kind startup incubator at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight under Dan Ariely. The CAH’s Startup Lab supported health and finance startups in leveraging behavioral science, rigorous experimentation, and close partnerships with behavioral researchers. Rachael got hooked on supporting startup processes and entrepreneurship education through her involvement with Reese News Lab, an experimental media ventures organization at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, and The Startup Factory, a downtown Durham tech accelerator.

When she’s not exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and different disciplines, Rachael’s creative outlets of choice are dance, writing, and interior design. Rachael is a Durham native and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Sarah GlovaDirector of Growth & Communications

Sarah is Director of Growth & Communications at RIoT, directly supporting sponsors, architecting RIoTs and partner events, leading marketing and communication efforts, and supporting RIoT’s mission of capturing and growing the IoT market sector. In her spare time, she is the sole owner of the award-winning digital media firm Reify Media, and she teaches communication workshops to engineering students at NC State.

Prior to joining RIoT, Sarah was a full-time entrepreneur with Reify Media. Sarah was also a lecturer at NC State, teaching technical writing to engineering and business students. Sarah started her career developing technical documentation for a wide range of stakeholders as a software manual writer for IBM and a program manual developer for the State of North Carolina’s Council for Women. She earned both her MS in Technical Communication and PhD in Instructional Technology from NC State University.

Sarah is passionate about supporting RIoT’s sponsors and sharing IoT innovations and applications with the world. She’s a self-described book nerd, fairweather jogger, zealous coffee drinker, and big fan of Raleigh, where she lives with her husband, Matt, and young son, Sawyer.

Larry Steffann RIoT Co-Founder | 1952 – 2018

Larry Steffann was one of the founders of RIoT, and much of RIoT’s success can be attributed to his hard work, vision, and dedication to the startup community.

Larry’s accomplishments included a number of startups, from advisor to angel investor to executive/founder. He served in executive roles at two publicly traded companies. More recently, he was GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and VP of Product Development for Consert. Larry was also heavily involved and admired in the HQ Raleigh community,  a major hub of entrepreneurship in Raleigh and across the state.

One of his proudest professional accolades was co-founding RIoT; RIoT has been a groundbreaking conduit in what Larry commonly referred to as ‘the 4th Industrial Revolution.’

For more about Larry’s legacy, please visit this article from WRAL TechWire, Upon rocks such as Larry Steffann today’s tech Triangle was built.

RIoT has set up a memorial campaign and scholarship fund in Larry’s honor; please consider joining us in honoring Larry and his family by donating to the Larry Steffann Memorial Fund, which funds efforts to grow the very startup community that Larry supported.