Please join us for STEMtacular! A WITI Fall Networking Event

A panel of local STEM experts will discuss Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) ~ past, present and future.



A 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce study, "STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future (PDF)," found that over the past 10 years, growth in jobs involving STEM fields was three times greater than that of non-STEM occupations. The report also forecast that STEM jobs are expected to continue to grow at a faster rate than others in the coming decade. STEM-related industries are a major component of California's economy.

Register today and find where you fit into this exciting opportunity!

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About VSP

VSP Global is a group of progressive businesses (VSP® Vision Care, Marchon®, VSP Optics Group, Eyefinity®, and VSP Retail) that offers innovative and personalized eyecare, optical, and business solutions to help people see.

Featured Speakers

Moderator, Teri Bennett - Teri is an Executive Advisor/Consultant with 37 years of government experience, 14 of which were spent in the public pension arena. While working in the public sector, Teri built organizations, developed business and technology strategies, led major business transformations and managed many large, complex information technology (IT) projects. Most specifically, as Assistant Executive Officer, CalPERS, she oversaw the IT operations for the nation's largest public pension fund including nearly 1000 staff and consultants and a 24x7 Data Center. Teri was responsible for setting the IT strategic direction for the fund; recommending IT policy for CalPERS programs, operations and services; and, providing consultation and advice to CalPERS Board of Administration and Executive Staff. She was, also, responsible for CalPERS $500 million legacy modernization initiative to develop a consolidated information technology platform.

Today, Teri consults and advises private and public sector companies on business, technology, procurement and marketing strategies, organizational change management, contract management and leadership/budget development; she maintains specialized expertise in pension, prison and government sectors.

While at CaPERS, Teri was an Executive Member of the Oracle Fusion Middleware Strategy Council and served as one of the first Network Directors for the Sacramento Chapter of Women in Technology International (WITI). Currently, she does fundraising for a number of local non-profits and sits on the Boards of Directors for Pawsitive Impact and Friends of Homeward Bound.

Susan Wheeler has held positions in a wide-range of functional areas (Finance, Operations, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing). Her industry sector experience includes technology, energy, education, healthcare and telecommunications. She held senior management positions at nonprofit, private and public companies and worked for large corporations including AT&T, General Electric and Chevron. While at AT&T, Susan was one of the founding members of their Women's Employee Resource Group - Women of AT&T. From 2000 - 2008, Susan ran a management consulting firm focusing on strategic planning and process improvement.

After earning her Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from UC Berkley, Susan worked in the Bay Area for a number of years before heading back east. While working for AT&T in New Jersey, she received her MBA from Columbia University.

Susan is passionate about education - she is currently adjunct faculty at Sierra College and American River College. In 2001, Susan founded SAGE (Sacramento Advocates for Girls' Empowerment) which encouraged girls and young women to enter careers where women were under-represented. For the past 5 years, Susan has worked with middle school girls at a math and science camp called Tech Trek. She has been co-director of Tech Trek at UC Davis since 2012. Susan currently works at SMUD, managing their workforce planning and education outreach efforts in the Sacramento Region.

Cari Vinci, Founder of InVINCIble Enterprises, is a serial entrepreneur with 35+ years of experience in the business world. She co-authored with Carleen MacKay, PLAYBOOK for Teens, part of a career playbook series. Her goal is to empower smart, talented teens to become future business owners & leaders in [email protected]™ industries; and to help solve STEM talent pool problems for Fortune 1000 companies.

Cari just won a spot in Velocity Capitol's Entrepreneurial Showcase and is about to unleash a new mobile and web platform tool that will connect teens interested in [email protected] careers all over the world. Cari was recently interviewed in a CBS Inventures series episode about her adventure.

Prior to InVINCIble, Cari was owner of FranNet West, where she coached individuals to become CEO's of their own business. She has hired, trained and motivated over 700 sales consultants, written a book on Meeting Management, and founded Team da Vinci, a Commercial Division for Keller Williams Real Estate. Just for fun, she created Festa BELLA! a one-day beautiful Italian festival in San Diego, attended by 20,000 guests. This year, free time is filled by co-chairing the Junior Achievement Crazy Bowl, MasterMind, Circle of Seven, yoga, films, planning adventures for family and friends and trying to train her puppy.

Shahnaz Van Deventer is Business Development Director at SARTA and responsible for establishing partnerships with Sacramento's community of technology companies, service providers, and organizations that support SARTA's mission to accelerate technology ventures throughout the region. Her efforts provide sponsorship recognition at the organizations many events, outreach programs and initiatives.

Prior to joining SARTA, Shahnaz was a consultant for Integrity Global Management, in which she continues to provide sales and marketing consulting services to a wide variety of companies. Previously, Shahnaz founded three companies and worked as Asia Pacific Director of Sales and Marketing for Sabre. She has done business in over 20 countries and has lived in many of the world's most dynamic metropolitan centers, including New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Earlier in her career, Shahnaz worked at Cartier in their private sales division, and conducted clinical research at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Shahnaz received her undergraduate degree from Colgate University with a concentration in biology and a MBA in international business from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. She is a member of the board of directors of the Powerhouse Science Center. In keeping with her continued interest in medicine, she joins an annual medical mission to the Dominican Republic, and is part of a team that performs much needed surgeries for men, women and children in need. Shahnaz lives in El Dorado Hills where she shares her two favorite passions - cooking and spending time with her family. She enjoys traveling and sailing in exotic locations.