WITI Summit Speakers: A Preliminary List

Diana Ackerley

President, Focusing Conversations

Diana Ackerley seeks to bridge the knowledge between neuroscience and behavioral psychology. Since 1987 she has been working with high achievers and leaders who are Lawyers, Physicians, Business Owners, IT Professionals, Nurses, Teachers, Entrepreneurs, Professors, Writers, Finance Officers, Managers, Directors and more. Her background - a Licensed Psychologist (Ph.D.), Coach Certification (ACPEC) through the College of Executive Coaching, Certified in Results Coaching in Brain-Based Coaching (NeuroLeadership Institute, NYC), and Certification as a C-IQ Conversational Intelligence® Coach, training as an Enhanced Skills Coach in Conversational Intelligence® - allows her to offer a coaching experience that transforms performance and leads to innovation and success.

Dr. Ackerley's areas of expertise include: Strategic Reasoning; Employee Issues; Conflict Resolution; Peak Performance Skills; Navigating Conversations; Engagement; Instinct; Learning Agility; Collaboration; and Presence. She is currently President of The International Coach Federation - Connecticut Chapter, and serves clients nationally and globally.


Beena Ammanath

Global VP—Artificial Intelligence/Data/Innovation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

294 - Panel of CEO's

308 - AI & Machine Learning - Where we are now and where we are going

Beena Ammanath is an award-winning senior digital transformation leader with extensive global experience in Artificial Intelligence, big data, data science, and IoT. Her knowledge spans across e-commerce, financial, marketing, telecom, retail, software products, and industrial domains with companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), GE, Thomson Reuters, British Telecom, Bank of America, e*trade, and a number of Silicon Valley startups. She is currently the Global Vice President for Big data, Artificial Intelligence and Innovation at HPE. Prior, she was the Vice President of Innovation at GE. The founder and CEO of a nonprofit, Humans For AI, Inc., she is also co-author of the book "AI Transforming Business."

Ms. Ammanath has been honored several times for her contribution to tech and her philanthropic efforts, including the San Francisco Business Times' 2017 Most Influential Women in Bay Area, WITI's Women in Technology Hall of Fame , National Diversity Council's Top 50 Multicultural Leaders in Tech, CIO.com and Drexel University's Analytics 50 innovator, Forbes Top 8 Female Analytics Experts and Women Super Achiever Award from World Women's Leadership Congress. Ms. Ammanath thrives on envisioning and architecting how data, artificial intelligence, and technology can make our world a better, easier place to live.


Michelle Bailey

Group Vice President, General Manager, & Research Fellow, IDC

Keynote Luncheon

Michelle Bailey is Group Vice President, General Manager and IDC Research Fellow for IDC's Cloud, Datacenter, and Digital Transformation services. Her focus is on articulating the short- and long-term impacts of emerging and disruptive technologies for Enterprise IT vendors, IT professionals and Cloud Service Providers. This includes building market models, conducting survey research and leveraging advanced data analytic capabilities to provide clients with prescriptive guidance on how digital transformation will impact their business as well as providing recommendations for how to future-proof their organizational strategy.

Prior to joining IDC, Ms. Bailey was Chief Research Officer at 451 Research where she was responsible for shaping the research agenda for over 100 analysts on a worldwide basis, spearheading the development of innovative research products around voice of the customer and building enterprise decision maker panels. She also served as Chief Data Scientist at a big data startup and consultant to CIOs to determine the business value of IT for their organization. Named 2011 IDC Analyst of the Year, Ms. Bailey holds a B.S. with honors in Mathematical Statistics from Monash University, Australia.


Bonita Banducci

Lecturer, Gender and Engineering, Santa Clara U/Institute for Women's Leadership

Named one of 100 Women of Influence of Silicon Valley by the 2014 Silicon Valley Business Journal 2014, Bonita Banducci is a coach, consultant, author, trainer and mentor, and university faculty member. She adds a powerful dimension to the development of men's and women's leadership through her Gender Competence and RISE methodology.

Ms. Banducci has worked across Silicon Valley; she represented the Commission on the Status of Women of Santa Clara Country at the UN NGO Forum World Conference on Women in Beijing, leading a workshop on Creating Partnership of Women in Business with Women in Development for Sustainable Global Development. At the 2017 UN Women NGO Parallel Conference, for the fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Ms. Banducci led a panel workshop, "Realize 50/50: Brilliant Women and Great Men in Partnership." At Santa Clara University, she teaches Gender and Engineering, a Core curriculum course, for the School of Engineering Graduate Program. Ms. Banducci is a founding Board member of the Global Women's Leadership Network, first sponsored by the Leavey School of Business, and a faculty member and coach for the Women Leaders for the World Program.


Lily Chang

Vice President, Strategic Transformation Office, VMware

291 - Women Innovation Technology

Lily is a technology & business executive with extensive experience in cloud, enterprise, EDA, semi-conductor & embedded industries in areas of portfolio/product management, strategic planning, product development, engineering, and global operations. She brings the best of entrepreneurialism, people, process and technology together to solve problems with business outcome.

Besides being a board member of Sugon-VMware Joint Venture and Women Who Code, Lily leads VMware Strategic Transformation Office. At VMware, Lily has successfully driven global scalability and growth in ecosystem infrastructure, services, interoperability, developers' initiatives, and R&D portfolio service model as Central Engineering VP.

Prior to VMware, Lily held senior R&D leadership positions at Xilinx, Lam Research (formerly KLA-Tencor), and Mentor Graphics with proven success in driving game-changing innovation, product development and R&D productivity globally. Lily is also recognized as one of "the 39 most powerful female engineers of 2018" by Business Insider.


Karen Cone

Board Advisor, Independent

251 - Storytelling

253 - Breaking Barriers & Survival: Reaching the top in fields dominated by men

307 - Increasing ROI and Results: Funding Women-led Start-Ups

352 - FinTechs: Disruption, Competition and Co-opetition: The Innovation Imperative

Karen Cone is the former Microsoft General Manager, Worldwide Financial Services Sector, and CEO and Board Director of the advisory research firm, TowerGroup. She currently serves on the advisory boards of MondoBrain - innovative provider of augmented intelligence AI decisioning software; Alloy - FinTech with digital identity verification app's and API's; and StockSmart - start-up providing a 3rd wave AI and blockchain-enabled platform, Ainstein, for Capital Markets. Karen is a venture partner for the Sybilla Masters Fund, a venture capital fund focused on women founders in technology.

Karen has held senior executive positions with increasing responsibility and scope at IBM, MasterCard and Gartner, where she served on the Gartner International Board. She has managed P&L's from $25 million to $6 billion and led cross-functional, direct and matrixed teams worldwide with 2000+ people. Her global business acumen and multi-cultural intelligence is gleaned from working in the Americas, EMEA & Asia and living in the UK, Germany, Russia, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and the United States.

An accomplished and recognized speaker, Karen has regularly presented at major industry events, such as Sibos, the European and American Banking Associations, Gartner Symposia, TowerGroup Conferences, Microsoft Envision and Business Forward. She is published in trade and industry journals and as a Gartner analyst, and is active with the National Association of Corporate Directors, the 2020 Women on Boards campaign and the Athena Alliance which focuses on gender parity in the boardroom.

Karen and her husband, Jeff Cone, reside in Seattle, Washington, and enjoy traveling for business, to explore and, especially, to see their three sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.


Carol Evanoff

CEO, Carolevanoff.com

Carol Evanoff is a renowned strategic planner, coach and mentor across the aerospace/defense industry, education arenas and professional organizations. She has 30+ years of engineering and leadership experience in industry, focused on strategic planning, individual empowerment, and professional development. She is a published author with over 1,079 successful mentees. She retired in January 2011 from the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific where she was the Lockheed Martin Resident Director leading 430 employees. Ms. Evanoff is the Chairperson of the Puget Sound Regional Council Defense Cluster, President for Puget Sound Naval Base Association and Advisory Board member for Olympic College four-year program in Engineering. For more information visit www.carolevanoff.com


Marti Evans

Digitization Thought Leader | Sales Performance & Executive Coach, Leap Dialogues

Having broken the glass ceiling with Fortune 50 technology companies, Marti Evans is an innovative executive grounded as a Chemist, Geologist, and IT Leader. She has progressed from major ERP implementations for Microsoft and SAP to the technology enablement of Operational Excellence Management Systems (OEMS) and the digitization of operational processes. Her work has taken her from the C-Suite to operational sites globally, including Chile and Mongolia.

Ms. Evans knows what it's like to be the only woman at the table and how to progress a career. As an effective collaborator with deep business acumen, her coaching practice centers on Executive Coaching and Career Performance Coaching. As well, she has an intense passion to see the young bright minds of today be as successful as they can - as they are the future hope of our society and our planet.


Heather Furby

CEO & Director, Camp CAS

Heather Furby is a business strategist and innovative leader who works with high-potential individuals to create lives of meaning and financial freedom. Through consulting, executive coaching, and personal development programs, she helps clients to masterfully navigate the special needs of today's business environment and become persons of influence whose ideas are heard, respected, and sought.

As a business strategist and innovative leader, Ms. Furby has worked with business including Apple, IntelliTools, Institute of Noetic Sciences, and other cutting- edge companies to develop products that break the mold and make a difference. Her newest program is a Business Leadership Summer Camp, where participants can explore and discover new levels of leadership without risking their reputation, business progress or trusted teams. Ms. Furby is lead author of the Amazon Best Seller Women of Influence, proving you don't have to follow the rules to make a difference and lead with impact.


Gabrielle Hildebrand

Principal, Wild and Brilliant

Gabrielle Hildebrand has coaching certifications from the Hendricks Institute and Bay Non-Violent Communication. At the Hendricks Institute, she co-directed the Leadership and Transformation Program and provided advanced skills sessions. In addition to her private coaching practice, Ms. Hildebrand teaches and sponsors Hendricks-based workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her forte is translating cerebral concepts into tangible experiences that generate epiphanies.


Hannah-Beth Jackson

Senator, 19th Senate District

125 - Keynote

Hannah-Beth Jackson is a former prosecutor and practicing attorney, educator, and small business owner. She was elected to the California State Senate in 2012 to represent the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

A graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, California with a joint major in government and sociology, she received her law degree from Boston University Law School before returning to California to work as a deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County. Eventually, she became the managing partner for the Law Offices of Eskin and Jackson, with offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

From 1998 to 2004, she represented the 35th Assembly District in the State Assembly, where she worked with Democratic and Republican governors to author more than 60 bills into law.

Hannah-Beth has also co-founded two non-profit organizations, served as the first policy-maker in residence at UC Santa Barbara, and served as adjunct professor at Antioch University.

In the Senate, she is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves as a member of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, Senate Human Services Committee, and the Senate Public Safety Committee. She is immediate past chair of the California Legislative Women's Caucus.

During her time in the Legislature, Hannah-Beth has become known as an effective advocate for protecting the rights and privacy of Californians, protecting the environment, advancing legislation to reduce gun violence, supporting access to justice for all Californians, championing equality for women, advocating for commuter rail, improving access to early childhood education, and supporting veterans and veterans treatment courts, among other issues. She is the author of Senate Bill 358, the California Fair Pay Act, landmark legislation to strengthen California's equal pay law, and was named by Huffington Post as one of 11 women around the country "blazing new trails" in American politics.

Hannah-Beth has received Legislator of the Year awards from a wide range of organizations and is the recipient of the prestigious California Women Lawyer's Fay Stender Award, given annually to an attorney committed to affecting positive change with "zest, humanity (and) personal courage" who serves as a role model for women. An advocate for justice for women, children, and victims of crime for more than three decades, she helped establish the Santa Barbara Shelter Services for Women (now known as Domestic Violence Solutions) and Women Against Gun Violence. She is also a founding member and past president of the Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee.

Hannah-Beth is married to retired Superior Court Judge George Eskin. She has a daughter, two stepchildren and six grandchildren. She and her family have resided in the district for more than 35 years.


Janet Janssen

Principal, Power, Play, Purpose Culture

Janet Janssen has spent her entire career in the sales industry. Her cumulative experience with selling POS systems, directing non-profit programs, and high-tech recruitment has given her a well-developed sense of all the nuances of sales and how to accelerate them. She has been instrumental in boosting sales and productivity with media affiliates such as KBAY/Mix 106.5 San Jose and Comcast.

Ms. Janssen is a Distinguished Toastmaster, SV Chamber Board Member, Women's Networking Alliance Chapter President, National Speakers Association Academy member, and a contributing author for the book "Manifest Change."


Jovita Jenkins

Executive/Leadership Coach, GOOYOW GROUP

Jovita Jenkins is a west coast Hidden Figure, Leadership/ Strategy Coach, Speaker, serial entrepreneur, and author. She shares wisdom gained as an Aerospace pioneer (retired executive), business experience gained as a serial entrepreneur, and 10 years as a top-tier executive coach helping clients expand their horizons and attain their goals. Ms. Jenkins acts as a trusted confidant supporting clients as they grow their leadership, executive presence, influence, decision making, team building, and communication skills. Her book, "Get Out of Your Own Way: Create the Next Chapter of Your Life," provides tools and strategies to challenge readers to think differently about their lives and overcome roadblocks to success.

Ms. Jenkins earned BS and MS degrees in Math, an MBA from UCLA, and is certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation.


Renessa Boley Layne

Founder, Perfect Work Academy

Renessa Boley Layne is author of the book Fast Lane, Wrong Direction: Insider Secrets to Redesign Your Success. She works with professional women who are successful on the outside, yet feel bored, burned out, or unfulfilled in their current career. Through her signature Perfect Work program, Ms. Layne equips ambitious women to design their perfect career or business and create a winning strategy to get highly paid for it in just 90 days. She has appeared as a leading authority on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX TV affiliates across the country. As well, she has been featured in publications such as Career Builder, CNN.com, Heart & Soul magazine, and The Washington Post.

Ms. Layne consults to Lee Hecht Harrison, a leading provider of career transition and talent development solutions to organizations worldwide. She has also advised federal government and non-profit clients with a focus on process re-engineering, change management, leadership, and talent development. Ms. Layne served as Senior Director for the Corporate Executive Board, partnering with the company's largest Fortune and Global 500 clients. She has worked as a strategy consultant for such notable companies as Oliver Wyman, Procter & Gamble, and Intel Corporation. Ms. Layne holds an Industrial Engineering degree from Stanford University and brings 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial success to her training.


Jennifer LeBlanc

CEO & Founder, ThinkResults Marketing

Jennifer S. LeBlanc, founder and president of ThinkResults Marketing, works with CEOs and CMOs to drive results. Her client work focuses on building go-to-market and launch strategies for high-growth companies of all sizes including Microsoft Ventures/Accelerator, SAP, Intel, and dozens of startups. Her proprietary methodologies have driven well over $1.5B in new funding and revenue to clients, and 10 to 100x returns for the startups she's worked with.

Ms. LeBlanc has received the Silicon Valley Women of Influence Award, and ThinkResults was ranked as 2017's 10th Fastest Growing Private Company in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She was an advisor to President Obama, Congress, and the SBA via the National Women's Business Council. Ms. LeBlanc is the author of two books, the #1 Amazon best seller: Launching for Revenue: How to Launch Your Product, Service or Company for Maximum Growth and Changing Tides: Powerful Strategies for Female Founders.


Carolyn Leighton

Founder/Chairwoman, WITI

201 - Welcome

Keynote Luncheon

Hall of Fame Awards Induction & 30th Anniversary Celebration

Carolyn Leighton founded WITI in 1989 as a worldwide e-mail network for women in all technology sectors. At the time WITI was established, Ms. Leighton was President of Criterion Research, a research consulting firm for the high tech industry which she founded in 1984, as well as chair of the Core Competency Database Project at Stanford University.

Due to Ms. Leighton's leadership and vision, WITI has grown to be the premiere brand and worldwide organization dedicated to empowering women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.

Ms. Leighton has 35 years of experience as an educator and entrepreneur. In addition to WITI, she founded four start-ups in the high-tech, legal sectors and, most recently, the pet industry. She attended the University of Michigan and has a bachelor's degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College. Ms. Leighton has received numerous accolades, twice named as one of the "Top 100 Women in Computing." More recently, she was named one of Fast Company Magazine's "Most Influential Women in Technology."


Kathy Lomax

Former Regional NW Director, WITI Orange County; and, Senior IT Executive

363 - Starting a WITI Network in your community

Kathy Lomax is an experienced senior IT executive with over 25 years' experience in leading Financial Services and Healthcare organizations, most recently as VP of IT at Capital Group Companies, home of the American Funds. Ms. Lomax has served in a variety of global roles including Infrastructure and web hosting, quality management, and application support where she was sought out to transform teams and ignite talent. She has also served as a leader on numerous IT governance related initiatives. Ms. Lomax is currently in transition seeking her next exciting transformational opportunity to lead, inspire, and drive results.

Ms. Lomax is a strong advocate for supporting the advancement of women in IT. She founded ITG Women's Connect, a Capital Group community with the mission of connecting and supporting women in IT. She also led the Orange County Regional Network for Women In Technology International (WITI) for three years, and is currently on the Global Advisory Board for WITI. In 2016, Ms. Lomax was nominated for Woman's Advocate of the Year by Connected Women of Influence.


Coleen McCray

Executive/Career Coach, Paragon Coaching Group

With over 30 years of leadership experience in IT VP and Director roles and an expert bridge builder, Coleen McCray currently is responsible for Acquisition Integration at Inmar where she leads a corporatewide team that works to join acquired firms with Inmar and achieve exponential growth. In prior roles in the financial services and law firm software industries, Ms. McCray led the realignment of software development organizations to meet product demand and built trusted organizations that engendered cooperation and genuine alliances between IS organizations and their stakeholders needed to achieve maximized value-based results.

Expert in developing leaders and assisting seasoned leaders with path formation to their goals, Ms. McCray is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) and an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC). She is also an Executive Coach for the WITI PowerSource Coaching Program, the CIO Executive Council Pathways program, and President of her own company, The Paragon Coaching Group. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University, an MS in Counseling from Stetson University, and a BS in Economics from Duke University. She is a graduate of the College of Executive Coaching and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the NeuroLeadership Institute. As well, Ms. McCray is a Certified Facilitator for Meyers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) as well as for Conversational Intelligence™, The Results System™, EQI 2.0/EQI 360, and Center for Creative Leadership Suite of Assessments.


Kim Meninger

Executive Coach, Executive Career Success

As a certified executive and leadership development coach, Kim Meninger empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential. She has coached hundreds of clients and has presented on career advancement and leadership topics to corporate, non-profit and academic audiences, including Pfizer, Fidelity Investments, GE Healthcare, Harvard University Women in Technology, and others. Prior to formalizing her leadership coaching expertise, Ms. Meninger held a variety of cross-functional leadership roles in the high-tech industry, where she experienced first-hand the unique challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace. She is passionate about helping women leaders to develop their confidence, visibility, and influence in order to maximize their impact and advance their careers.

Ms. Meninger holds a BA in psychology and an MBA from Boston College. She is an ICF Associate Certified Coach and CCE Board Certified Coach with certifications in career, executive, and leadership development coaching; as well, she holds a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.


Keiko Munechika

Co-Founder, Daisuki Coaching

Dr. Keiko Munechika is the co-founder of Daisuki Coaching. She guides ambitious individuals to take their lives to the next level, particularly in the areas of career and business. She firmly believes that success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. For that reason, she works on her clients' mindset as she helps them go from where they are to where they want to be. She and her clients focus on setting clear goals, eliminating limiting beliefs and crushing excuses. She is passionate about developing future leaders.

After earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington, Dr. Munechika worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Berkeley and Livermore National Labs. She currently works as the manager of R&D for a high-tech company in Silicon Valley, leading a team of scientists and engineers. Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, Dr. Munechika offers to coach both in Japanese and English.


Julie Noh

Business Development Manager, Everdream

291 - Women Innovation Technology


Manuela Pauer

Principal, Pauer Coaching

Manuela Pauer has 15+ years' experience as a Career and Leadership Coach, currently working with professional women who are emerging leaders craving more meaning, fulfillment, and success. Ms. Pauer also works with Better Up, an innovating provider of personalized executive coaching for managers and directors at leading companies to help them improve their leadership skills, navigate challenges, and find meaning and fulfillment at work.

Prior, Ms. Pauer had a successful corporate career spanning Strategy Consulting at Bain & Company, Product Management and Strategic Development at a Silicon Valley start-up that was acquired by Netscape, and Executive Director of Product Management and Strategic Planning at AOL. She is an ICF-certified Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.


Judy Peebles

Principal, The Knowledge Series

Judy Peebles - an international speaker, trainer, and coach - is creator of The Knowledge Series™, High Heeled Haven™, The Journaling Jenius™, and Journaling Jems™. An NLP Master Results Coach and Performance Consultant, Ms. Peebles is known for her dynamic and playful style while delivering interactive presentations and trainings designed to be not only informative, but transformational.

After a successful corporate career, Ms. Peebles now works with driven, tenacious individuals and groups, who are committed to their own success, and looking for that extra edge and guidance to assist them to reach the next level.


Rene Redwood

CEO, Redwood Enterprises, LLC

253 - Breaking Barriers & Survival: Reaching the top in fields dominated by men

René Redwood directs initiatives resulting in judicial, legislative, commercial, and political wins for public and private sector organizations. Ms. Redwood facilitates discourse on the case for equity and fairness, promotes policies that valuate human resources as an asset, and applies research and experience in identifying promising practices to reduce risk from and in organizational culture. Rene works with employers and nonprofit sector to transforms the workplace and communities with a focus on building and restoring trust with internal customers and external constituents; and conducting assessments, monitoring, training, and strategic guidance on racial justice, gender equity, unconscious and systemic bias, and abating barriers to individual and institutional success.

René Redwood is the CEO of Redwood Enterprise LLC, a consulting practice that provides data informed strategies to deliver people and process solutions to support the client mission. Redwood Enterprise provides services to mitigate barriers to inclusion; foster cultures to enhance performance in the workplace and respectful behaviors in community; improve workforce and customer satisfaction; and promote measures for organizational accountability and societal impact. Rene is often described as smart, strategic and energetic, and has been featured in Time Magazine, Elle, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise, American Editor, ...

Ms. Redwood served on a court appointed Task Force to oversee a Fortune corporation's compliance with a historic discrimination settlement agreement and currently chairs the Equality Task Force for a Federal agency. René is a chemist by training and has been an executive or director for: a prominent polling and consulting firm; the Presidential Glass Ceiling Commission (Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title II); a coalition of leading legal defense organizations; congressional district offices; and political operations for a national party.

René Redwood is honored as a Freedom's Sister for "continuing the legacy of African American women for courageous, spirited trailblazing that has helped to shape our country" (by Ford Motor Company Fund and Smithsonian Institute) and received the "Women-Owned Business, Servant Leadership Award". She serves on: the Investment Committee for Ms. Foundation for Women; Board Chair Emeritus of NARAL Pro-Choice America; member of Parity Portfolio's Advisory Committee for Social Impact of Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley; the Advisory Board for the WNBA Washington Mystics; and on the Small Business Advisory Council and Congressional Black Caucus Scholarship Committee for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton


Kristy Rogers

Executive Director, Business Women of Silicon Valley

Kristy Rogers has been hosting and producing monthly networking events for almost 22 years, beginning with co-founding Women In Networking. She later launched the San Jose chapter of eWomenNetwork, building it to about 600 members. Most recently, in 2013 she launched Business Women of Silicon Valley.

Over the past ten years Ms. Rogers has been exploring gender partnership in communication, realizing how women need to learn this information to have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience in the workplace. With the belief that it's even more important for women to learn these differences so they can better support each other, Ms. Rogers now teaches these communication tools to working women - both through the events she hosts each month and through working with corporate teams.


Sheryl Root

President and CEO, RootAnalysis;, Assoc Professor, Carnegie MellonSV + Stanford Univ

Sheryl Root is currently Director/Professor for the Masters in Technology Ventures and Professor for Masters in Software Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley. Ms. Root is a strategy, marketing, and product development executive with over 18 years of experience at Hewlett-Packard Company and 10 years of software systems experience and leadership in the financial and computing industries. Her strategic and program leadership experience focused on the definition and delivery of technology-based products and solutions, and her marketing operations experience has been in creating new business models, organizational structures, cost reductions, and revenue generation programs. She has demonstrated proven leadership in business strategy development/execution, marketing operations, and software systems delivery working across departments, functional areas and geographic regions.

In addition to her work at CMU, Ms. Root is President/CEO of RootAnalysis, and consults in business strategy creation and execution, program management, and marketing effectiveness for companies including HP, PeopleSoft, Santa Clara University, Novell, and Philips.

Ms. Root sits on several boards, including Sloan School of Business, WITI (Women in Technology International), Teach for America, and the Stanford Institute on Research in Women and Gender. She holds a Sloan Master's in Business from Stanford University.


Parna Sarkar-Basu

CEO & Brand Marketing Strategist , Brand and Buzz Marketing

364 - How to build a personal brand & thought leadership with Linkedin

Leveraging her two passions - technology and brand building - Parna Sarkar-Basu humanizes corporate brands, simplifies the complex, and creates industry buzz to elevate companies to new heights. She has been instrumental in revitalizing product lines and propelling tech companies into category leaders in highly competitive markets, and including artificial intelligence, enterprise software, storage systems, robots, agtech, and mobile. She speaks and writes about innovation, technology trends, and thought leadership. The recipient of multiple awards, Ms. Sarkar-Basu serves as a strategic advisor to marketing teams and entrepreneurs and works with their teams on a variety of initiatives, including product messaging and positioning, campaign development, product launch, brand development, fundraising, and reputation management.

Ms. Sarkar-Basu also helps entrepreneurs and executives transform into thought leaders. She has worked with CEOs and leaders of various startup and established businesses, including iRobot, IBM, PTC, Kaminario, Invention Machine (acquired by IHS), and more. She also works with local Boston-based businesses on growth strategies and brand awareness programs.

A champion of STEM initiatives and innovation, Ms. Sarkar-Basu builds and supports programs to inspire future innovators and entrepreneurs. She is the WITI (Women in Technology International) Boston Network Executive Advisor and South Shore Innovation board member. She is also the V.P. of Brand Marketing for American Marketing Association Boston.


Wendy Spies

Worldwide Director Of Engineering Strategy and Business Development, Microsoft

307 - Increasing ROI and Results: Funding Women-led Start-Ups


AJ Thomas

Vice President, People & Culture, Auction.com

AJ serves as the vice president of people and culture at Auction.com, where she leads the overall talent acquisition, employee education, culture, talent development, and HR operations organization. Previously, she has worked at several technology and brand recognized companies, such as T-Mobile, Nimble Storage (now HP Enterprise), Iron Mountain, Adecco and Infinera. In these organizations, she served in several leadership positions and tours of duty, including product, sales, marketing, employee development, global talent, employee engagement, internal communications and leadership effectiveness. She holds credentials at several of the nation's leading institutions: San Jose State University, Stanford University and NYU, where she majored in business, advanced program management, integrated systems and organizational leadership.


Dale Vaughn

Co-Founder, Gender Leadership Group

Dale Thomas Vaughn is an activist at the forefront of the conversation around gender equality and healthy masculinity. As co-founder of the Gender Leadership Group and the Better Man Conference, he has presented alongside such thought leaders as Gloria Steinem, Sheryl Sandberg, and Michael Kimmel.


Speakers and Sessions are Subject to Change