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    Leadership Team

    The SpeechLIght team is comprised of experienced executives who are thought-leaders, researchers, and skilled operators in speech language pathology, mobile and cloud-based software, and signal analysis.  We welcome you to meet SpeechLIght...

    Advisory Board

    Dr. Joseph Duffy, Ph.D.

    Professor Emeritus of Speech Pathology, practicing Medical Speech Pathologist at The Mayo Clinic

    Dr. Joseph Duffy is a Neurologic Communicative Disorder Specialist and Speech-Language Pathologist at The Mayo Clinic, where he researches motor speech disorders (the dysarthrias and apraxia of speech), acquired aphasia, and acquired psychogenic speech disturbances. The primary focus of his research is on defining distinguishing clinical characteristics, establishing neurologic correlates, and refining differential diagnosis. Dr. Duffy has received many awards over his distinguished career, including:

    • Fellow, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

    • Clinical Achievement Award, Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences

    • Excellence in Teaching Recognition, Mayo Medical School

    • Distinguished Career Award, Mayo Clinic Rochester

    ​He has published numerous papers addressing the speech deficits associated with a variety of disorders, including progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, primary progressive aphasia, primary progressive apraxia of speech, and functional speech disorders. This work, conducted over many decades, continues today and has had a strong influence on the classification and understanding of neurologic motor speech disorders.

    Dr. Duffy earned his Ph.D. in Speech Pathology at the University of Connecticut and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Speech Pathology at the Mayo Clinic.  He holds the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology and is Board Certified by the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences.

    Dr. Julie Stierwalt, Ph.D.

    Senior Associate Consultant, Speech Pathology, Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic

    Julie A.G. Stierwalt, Ph.D. serves as a consultant for individuals presenting with a wide range of speech, language and cognitive disturbance. Prior to her work at Mayo, she was in academia for 19 years where she taught courses in dysphagia, motor speech disorders, acquired communication disorders, structural-based communication disorders, and medical speech pathology.


    Dr. Stierwalt received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Northern Iowa, and her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She has numerous journal publications, chapters, and a co-authored textbook titled Brain-Based Communication Disorders . In 2009 ASHA recognized Dr. Stierwalt’s contributions to the field with Fellow status.

    Dr. Christian Poellabauer

    Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    Dr. Poellabauer serves as an Advisor to SpeechLight, assisting with the development of the accoustic signal analysis technology in the SpeechLight software.  At Notre Dame, his research focuses on mobile computing, sensor networks, pervasive healthcare technologies, and other related fields. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers with funding provided by government agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Army Research Office, Air Force of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research, as well as the NFL, National Geographic, Toyota, Ford Research, Motorola, GE Health, IBM, and Intel.

    Dr. Poellabauer's research in healthcare technologies has been featured by Discovery Channel Canada, MIT Technology Review, and Gizmodo. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and numerous research and teaching awards. He is a member of AAAS and a senior member of IEEE and ACM. Dr. Poellabauer holds an M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Technology Vienna and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Management Team

    Michael Soenen

    Co-Founder, CEO

    Mike is a software entrepreneur who has founded, built and led to successful exit multiple innovative technology companies.  Prior to co-founding SpeechLight, Mike founded ClearTrial, a provider of cloud-based software that helps life sciences companies accelerate the development of new treatments, optimize R&D capital expenditures, and save millions in R&D spend.  Over 9 years as President & CEO, Mike delivered 70% average annual sales growth, signed 8 of the Top 10 pharma companies, and was named to the PharmaVOICE 100 Most Inspiring People in Pharma, before a successful acquisition by Oracle.


    Previously, Mike was co-founder, President & CEO of Consolidated Commerce, a provider of cloud-based supply chain software, and co-founder and EVP of Waterstone Consulting, a strategy and technology consulting firm which he built to over 100 professionals, 30% profitability, and 100% annual revenue growth for five consecutive years before selling the company to Ciber, Inc. [NYSE:CBR].  Early in his career at Andersen Consulting (Accenture), Mike developed operational strategies and enterprise systems that spanned the enterprise procure-to-pay cycle.


    Mike also serves on the Board and as an advisor to multiple software companies, including Vibes, a mobile marketing software company, and Comprehend, a cloud-based, life sciences software company.  Mike holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering/Computer Sequence from the University of Notre Dame.

    Dr. Sandra Schneider, Ph.D.

    Senior Director, Clinical Product Development, SLP

    Sandra L. Schneider, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS leads the clinical aspects of product development at SpeechLight. She is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Saint Mary’s College and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Notre Dame. Over her career Dr. Schneider has conducted research and taught extensively in the areas of adult acquired neurogenic communication disorders, including aphasia, dementia, TBI, motor speech disorders, medical speech pathology, and the application of technology in speech-language pathology. 

    Dr. Schneider received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and completed a post-doc fellowship in medical speech-language pathology at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). She earned her M.S degree from Vanderbilt University and her B.S. degree from Western Michigan University,  Dr. Schneider has numerous publications and has presented at both national and international conferences.  

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