Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top Women Leaders of San Francisco of 2024. A leading center for culture, tourism, and business, San Francisco is world-renowned for its emerging markets in multiple industries. These include IT services, software, media, biotech, life sciences, and cleantech. Located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse where the business leaders continue to pioneer innovation and integration of cutting-edge technological products and solutions.

This year’s honorees are leading the way in new technology innovations, including honoree Kelly Ducourty, the Chief Customer Officer at UiPath, a global company focused on the emerging market of AI and automation technology. 

We also recognize the achievements of an industry veteran in the tech space, Lisa Schuder, the Managing Director and Deloitte US Sustainability, Climate & Equity Ecosystems & Alliances Leader. With over 25 years of experience, Schuder has been integral in building Deloitte’s relationships with global technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Adobe Systems.

Lastly, at the intersection of media and technology, we extend our honors to Nana Akyaa Amoah, the Global Director of Business and Product Equity Partnerships and Programs at Meta, one of the most influential companies in the world.  

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top Women Leaders of San Francisco of 2024.

Anne Simpson
Global Head of Sustainability, Franklin Templeton

Anne Simpson is the Global Head of Sustainability at Franklin Templeton, with over of 30 years experience across investment, policy, regulation, and academic. She is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and a Lecturer in Sustainable Finance at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Management. Her most recent book is The Financial Ecosystem: The Role of Finance in Achieving Sustainability, with Satyajit Bose and Dong Guo, published by Palgrave MacMillan. 

Simpson is a co-founder and inaugural chair of Climate Action over 100, which has signatories responsible for $68 trillion. She is also a co-founder of the Human Capital Management Coalition and 3D, the Diverse Director Datasource. She sits on the board of Ceres and the Advisory Council to the Official Monetary Financial Institutions Forum. Before this, she served as managing investment director for board governance and sustainability at CalPERS. 

In prior roles, Simpson led the World Bank's Global Corporate Governance Forum and served as the first executive director of the International Corporate Governance Network. She has taught as a lecturer and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. Her awards include being nominated by Time Magazine as one of the 15 Women leading the global fight against climate change, by Barron's as one of the top 100 Women in US Finance, and as one of the top 100 most influential people in the boardroom by the National Association of Corporate Directors for each year since 2012.

Minakshi Yerra
CCO, Ripple

Minakshi Yerra is the Chief Compliance Officer (board-appointed BSA and OFAC Officer) at Ripple. She has over 20 years of international banking, fintech, payments, and cryptocurrency experience, specializing in the areas of anti-money laundering, economic sanctions, counter-terrorism financing, fraud, trade finance, and general compliance.

Yerra focuses on developing financial crime compliance, licensing compliance, and general compliance programs, policies, and procedures and developing internal controls for banks, fintechs, non-bank financial institutions, and cryptocurrency companies. Having served as manager of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Deputy US Head of Economic Sanctions Investigations at HSBC Bank, while the bank was under a Department of Justice (DOJ)  deferred prosecution agreement, she handled multiple high-profile FIU investigations and sanctions breach cases; conducted large-scale transactional lookbacks; provided sanctions advisory to US and non-US business units on complex FCC matters; and drafted quarterly reports of HSBC’s potential sanctions evasion cases to the DOJ, District Attorney of New York, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Before Ripple, Yerra worked at HSBC, Wells Fargo, and LendingClub. She holds a Master of Laws degree specializing in International Banking and Finance from Queen Mary University of London. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Certified Forensic Accountant (Georgetown University). She is passionate about crypto and speaks at various cryptocurrency conferences discussing emerging AML and sanctions regulations and the new challenges impacting the crypto and blockchain industries.

Laura O'Donnell
Senior Director, Head, Global Site Engagement, GSK

Laura O'Donnell is the Senior Director and Head of Global Site Engagement for GSK, a global biopharma company that unites science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. They prioritize innovation in vaccines, oncology and specialty medicines to prevent and treat disease.

O'Donnell is a perceptive, versatile, results-oriented, and proven clinical operations leader with a passion for patient and site experience, access to healthcare, and co-creating the future of clinical research. Leveraging a high-engagement, high-ownership approach, and her deep experience in study delivery, people development, and data-driven insights, she believes that the core of leadership is curiosity and service.

Before joining GSK, O'Donnell held a variety of complementary roles leading cross-functional teams in highly diversified therapeutic areas. Beginning with a strong clinical operations foundation, she then built a novel US Study Start-Up Unit, led strategic site alliance work and ultimately was the head of clinical site relationship management and fair market value at Genentech. Before that, she was a senior director of clinical operations at Kodiak Sciences, an exciting developing biotech start-up. Earlier in her career, she worked with Abbott as an associate microbiologist and at the Blood Research Institute as part of the Medical College of Wisconsin studying cancer immunotherapy and graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) . O'Donnell graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an undergraduate degree in biology.

Kelly Ducourty
Chief Customer Officer, UiPath

Kelly Ducourty is the Chief Customer Officer for UiPath, a global company focused on AI and automation technology. In this role, Ducourty leads all customer operations, customer success, professional services, enablement, incentive design, and global partners to advance the organization’s mission to help customers and partners achieve exceptional business outcomes and ongoing value with UiPath. 

Ducourty was previously the VP of Google Cloud's GTM strategy and operations. In this role, she was responsible for developing and executing the strategy that ensured customers adopt and realize business value from Google Cloud, as well as running the day-to-day operations of the business. Before joining Google Cloud, Ducourty was the senior vice president of leading the WW Sales Excellence organization for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a Fortune 500 Global technology company with over $30 billion in sales. She has worked not only in enterprise sales but also in service delivery and IT transformation. Her experience spans managing large sales teams and directly delivering a revenue number to managing every front and back-office function that enables and accelerates revenue and go-to-market productivity. She has developed and scaled businesses across four continents. Her sales experience is multi-segment, including mega deals in strategic global accounts, transactional inside sales, and online GTM models for small and medium corporations. 

Ducourty served on the board of Fortinet, a market-leading security company. She currently serves as a board member for the British Benevolent Society in Northern California and is passionate about STEM+C education and career development for young women. Ducourty graduated from Bournemouth University with an undergraduate degree in international marketing management.

Bani Malhotra
Senior Director of Product Management, Walmart

Bani Malhotra is the Senior Director of Product Management for eCommerce at Walmart. She first joined the company in 2021 to lead personalization and is currently responsible for the oversight of building best-in-class eCommerce site discovery and inspirational experiences for the organization. 

Before her current role, Malhotra was the head of product at Curology, led flagship products at Narvar, and held early hire lead positions at Shipt (acquired by Target), and Flipkart (acquired by Walmart). Malhotra spent the early years of her career in investment banking M&A and venture capital, and she brings in more than 10 years of eCommerce experience across the retail, grocery, and telehealth industries for direct-to-consumer, marketplace, and subscription business models. Malhotra is passionate about supporting aspiring and early PMs and is an active member of Women in Product at Walmart and the Community. She is also an instructor at Product School, USA.

Malhotra earned an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Indian School of Business with majors in strategy and finance. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two kids.

Nicky Jackson Colaco
VP, Global Head of Public Policy, Roblox 

Nicky Jackson Colaco has 20+ years of experience addressing the most important policy issues on the digital agenda and joined Roblox in 2020 to start and grow their Public Policy team. Prior to Roblox, she was Instagram's first Global Head of Public Policy, growing the team to support a user base of over 1B users. Before leading Public Policy at Instagram, she managed children's safety and privacy under Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer.

At Instagram, Nicky helped design innovative safety tools and built social programs to support the Instagram community. She worked directly with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on educational programs for teens and met with other senior government officials globally including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, and more. She also worked with influencers including Oprah, Miley Cyrus, Rowan Blanchard, and many others on programming to reach young people.

Nicky has been featured in Wired magazine for work using artificial intelligence to address negative online interactions and has been profiled on NPR’s Inflection Point, a program about women changing the status quo.

Prior to joining Facebook, Nicky managed the International Consumer Product Policy for Google in Mountain View, California, and in Hyderabad, India. For her work in India, she received Google’s Luminary Award for extraordinary achievement.

Before joining Google, Nicky spent a year in a Japanese fishing village teaching English. She is the mother of two delightfully messy boys and holds a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Guisselle Nuñez
Associate VP, Strategic Marketing & Communications (Chief Marketing Officer), San Francisco State University 

Guisselle Nuñez is focused on helping organizations and individuals achieve success through enduring marketing and personal branding strategies. Currently, she’s Associate Vice President, Strategic Marketing Communications for San Francisco State University and serves as the chief marketing officer.

In this role, she serves as the University's chief marketing officer and leads efforts to elevate the university’s profile and steward its local, national, and global reputation. Provides leadership and guidance in the university’s efforts to increase enrollment, raise awareness of the university, promote its reputation, and inspire alumni and donors.

Born in Nicaragua, raised in East San José, and a life-long resident of San José, Guisselle has served on many non-profit boards and currently serves on the Board of Regents for her alma mater, Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA). She’s a community volunteer, award-winning marketing communications leader, speaker, and author of the books "Take Charge of Your Brand” and “Life in the Fishbowl: Lessons to Help You Survive and thrive in Elected Office.”

Recognition highlights include Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence 2018, the Rising Star Award from the National Council on Marketing and Public Relations, the Sisterhood Award from the Latina Coalition Silicon Valley, East Side Union High School District Hall of Fame, and has been published on Diversity Woman, Thrive.com, American Marketing Association (San Francisco Chapter), and more. 

Sheevaun Thatcher
VP, Strategic Enablement, Salesforce 

Sheevaun Thatcher is the Vice President of Strategic Enablement at Salesforce. She is a storyteller and guide, a leader, and a learner. Her jungle gym career in sales, marketing, IT, solution engineering, and professional services, gave her all the relevant experience to create powerful strategic execution teams. Thatcher has had some amazing coaches and mentors over the years and now she strongly believes in giving back. 

Having a long career in various sales roles, Thatcher has a unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to strategic execution. As she says “You can play a whole golf game with a 9 iron but your success will be limited.” Instead, Thatcher helps people figure out what’s in their bags, and when and how to use them.  

Thatcher builds corporate programs based on her commitment to preparing her organization’s customer-facing folks with access to the insights, experts, and data that will ultimately increase revenue. During her career working with enterprise sales teams and start-ups, she has learned that sales performance is dictated not only by innate talent but also by training, GTM  messaging, and challenging the customer's vision of their future. Thatcher speaks the language of engineers, marketers, products, sales, and executives. 

Demi Chizgi
Executive Director, The John Maxwell Team

As an Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, Demi Chizgi is certified to facilitate, speak, train, and coach individuals and groups in the areas of leadership development, professional skills, and personal growth. Trained and mentored by John Maxwell and mentors of his world-class faculty, she is equipped with the tools, resources, and experience to help teams improve productivity, performance, and profitability. Whether clients are looking for a facilitator for group workshops, corporate training in leadership, speaking, sales, or coaching skills for leaders, or a speaker for their next event, she has access to exclusive content that is only available through a certified Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team to help reach their goals and objectives.

Chizgi has been empowering people through her training, seminars, and public appearances since 1999 with various organizations and projects. She is best known as a social entrepreneur and community leader. She is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams by inspiring them to take action, which led her to join the John Maxwell Team as a founding member in 2011. Before joining the team, she invested over a decade in the nonprofit sector and real estate respectively. In addition to the hands-on experience of building and leading award-winning nonprofit organizations, she holds a Master's degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University.

During her real estate career, Chizgi also served as a Keller Williams University-approved faculty member and assisted agents in growing their businesses. Recently, she launched her own brokerage and partnered with agents nationwide to serve her clientele. During her personal time, she enjoys completing Toastmasters International's curriculum as a Distinguished Toastmaster and has successfully competed in many speech contests.

Chetna Sehgal
Senior Managing Director, Accenture 

Chetna Sehgal is the Global Practice Lead of the Accenture Google Business Group, where she drives key relationships across Accenture and Google Cloud that enable the transformation agenda of joint customers. She is accountable for the co-creation of pioneering industry solutions, future-ready capabilities, and high-value delivery of Accenture’s Google Cloud work.  

In her prior role, Sehgal was accountable for all technology delivery in Accenture’s West Market Unit. She was also the technology lead for Accenture‘s North American High Tech Industry network. Over her 28 years with Accenture, Sehgal has grown its footprint and built strong technology practices that drive value for some of the world’s marquee logos. Sehgal has demonstrated expertise in sales and delivery of large, complex initiatives ranging from global system implementations and business transformation to M&A for Fortune 500 clients. She is a trusted advisor to her clients and focuses on tackling complex problems and driving them to resolution.

Sehgal is a published thought leader and a public speaker who has done numerous web and podcasts. She is a fervent believer in giving back. She has been on the Board of the American Red Cross, Silicon Valley, for ten years. She is an active women’s champion and has a reputation for high-impact mentoring of women in the workplace. Sehgal is also yoga-certified. In addition to getting her MBA from George Mason University, Sehgal has studied negotiation at Harvard and MIT. She has also studied Value-Led Selling at Stanford University.

Heidi Kalnicky
VP of Finance/Head of FP&A, Invitae

Heidi currently serves as the Vice President of Finance and Head of FP&A at Invitae. With over two decades of unmatched experience, she is an acclaimed finance executive renowned for her expertise across diverse industries, from high-growth start-ups to multibillion-dollar organizations, particularly within the Bio-Tech, Medical Device, and Technology sectors.

Commencing her journey in Investment Banking and Private Equity, then pivoting into the realm of Corporate Finance and FP&A, she has steadily ascended the ranks, taking on increased responsibilities and achieving notable achievements. Her success revolved around implementing improved processes, driving cost-saving strategies, optimizing capital allocation, and revitalizing businesses, all of which directly contributed to improved financial performance, operational efficiency, and strategic decision-making. However, her story extends far beyond mere career progression; it is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. At the core of her achievements lies her remarkable ability to lead and inspire teams. With a passion for mentorship, she has cultivated high-performing teams, nurturing talent and fostering a culture of collaboration.

Yet, her impact transcends the confines of her immediate team. As a strategic collaborator, she has forged partnerships and served as a trusted advisor to the business, driving cross-functional initiatives to successful outcomes. Her collaborative approach and ability to navigate complexity make her a central figure in the organization. With a results-driven mindset, she tackles challenges head-on, delivering projects with precision and promptness, regardless of the obstacles encountered. In a world often fraught with uncertainties, she remains a beacon of positivity and motivation. Her upbeat attitude and dynamic problem-solving skills make her not just a finance leader but a transformative force within the organizations she touches.

In an ever-evolving landscape, it is important to be reminded that true success is not solely measured by accomplishments but by the journey itself. Heidi believes that this journey is often marked by a combination of personal growth, resilience in the face of challenges, cultivation of relationships, continuous learning, and a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Rose Hartley
Head of Sustainability, Misfits Market 

Rose Hartley is the Head of Sustainability of Misfits Market, a US e-commerce grocer. Misfits Market is the only US grocer that works to save foods from waste and loss as part of their procurement strategy, purchasing over 500,000 lbs of foods each week that otherwise would have gone to waste or lesser outcomes. Prior to Misfits Market’s acquisition of Imperfect Foods, Rose served as Sustainability Manager of Imperfect Foods.

Rose has dedicated her career to private and public solutions to combat climate change. Within this, she has made significant contributions to various fields, including sustainable operations, climate disaster relief, micro-finance, and food and agriculture. She holds a post-graduate degree in Sustainable Operations & Management and is a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor.

Outside of her professional role, Rose serves as a Board Member and Advisor for four impact-focused organizations: the Upcycled Foods Association, Soapbox Project, RiteSize, and Women in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Nita Madhav
Senior Director, Epidemiology & Modeling, Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. 

As a Senior Director, Nita Madhav leads the Epidemiology and Modeling team at Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity and public health unit of Ginkgo Bioworks. Madhav joined Ginkgo through the successful acquisition of the data and analytics technology and team of Metabiota, where she served as CEO.

Madhav has nearly two decades of experience in probabilistic modeling and risk assessment. She has contributed to innovations in measuring, mitigating, and managing epidemic and pandemic risk by applying her expertise in computational epidemiology and extreme events modeling. The majority of her experience has focused on monitoring and modeling infectious disease spread and economic impacts to provide actionable insights to governments, businesses, and multilateral organizations. Her work has helped governments and businesses answer pressing questions about how to better prepare for epidemics and pandemics. She excels at combining technical and subject-matter expertise with management skills to build highly collaborative and mission-driven teams. She has built infectious disease modeling teams from the ground up and has led model development, data acquisition, and customer projects spanning a wide range of partners and industries. 

Before becoming CEO of Metabiota, Madhav was the VP of data science, where she established and led the data science and computational modeling group. Before joining Metabiota, Madhav worked as a principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, where she led the life and health research and modeling team. Before that, she performed hantavirus research at the Special Pathogens Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Madhav holds a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology, with distinction, from Yale University and an MSPH in epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Her work on infectious disease dynamics and modeling has been published in leading journals, including The Lancet, BMJ Global Health, and The Actuary.

Deborah McCrimmon
VP, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Employment, Ripple

Deborah McCrimmon is the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, with a focus on Litigation and Employment, at Ripple. Founded in 2012, Ripple is the only enterprise blockchain company with products in commercial use. Ripple’s global payments network includes over 300 customers across over 40 countries and 
six continents.

McCrimmon started at Ripple in 2018 as director of litigation and has added a multitude of responsibilities since then. Before Ripple, she was a litigation attorney for DLA Piper, a global law firm. She concentrated her practice on complex commercial litigation, trademark and copyright litigation, employment litigation, and internal investigations, as well as consumer class actions. She has extensive intellectual property litigation experience, including matters related to trademarks and trade dress, copyright, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and unfair competition. She has represented clients in proceedings before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, mediations, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

McCrimmon graduated from the University of California’s College of the Law in San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings) with a JD in law and from the University of California, Davis, with an undergraduate degree in Spanish language and literature.

Nana Akyaa Amoah
Global Director, Head of Business & Product Equity Partnerships & Programs, Meta

Nana Akyaa Amoah is a senior technology executive, board advisor, and angel investor. She has over 20 years of experience as a seasoned strategist and business operator within financial services, technology, and emerging markets. She is currently the Global Director of Business and Product Equity Partnerships and Programs at Meta, with a focus on driving fair and inclusive business practices across the company's product development and partnerships portfolio. 

Before Meta, Amoah was at Google for several years, where she led government, education, and mobile partnerships in Africa, business development in the UK, and global operations in the US. Over the last decade, Amoah has been at the forefront of operationalizing some of the most challenging existential issues within the tech industry when it comes to brand safety, data privacy, platform integrity, regulatory compliance, and responsible innovation. Her prowess in strategic operations has earned her a reputation for being a pioneer in solving complex nascent issues, building strong systems, scalable processes, and high-performing teams. This includes her leadership roles in driving several company-wide responses to high-profile privacy and regulatory cases.

As a responsible technologist, Amoah has a deep understanding and passion for building technology with ethics, accountability, and society in mind. Earlier in her career, Amoah worked at Citigroup Private Bank as a structured lending analyst, at Citigroup Corporate Bank as an assistant VP in credit risk, and as a private equity investor at Aureos Capital, a pan-emerging markets firm managing over $1.2 billion in funds. Amoah holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA with honors from the University of Oxford.

Shawna Kovacs
VP, Global Talent Development, Take-Two Interactive

Shawna Kovacs has over 20 years of experience in talent development, organizational development, and learning and development roles. She currently serves as the VP of Global Talent Development at Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

In her current role, Kovacs oversees talent development initiatives for the parent company and its subsidiaries. Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher, and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. Before this, she was the head of talent and org development at 2K. Kovacs has also held leadership positions at Fitbit (now part of Google), Neustar, Leaders Required, Meltwater, Pandora, and Microsoft. 

Kovacs holds a Certificate in the psychology of leadership from Cornell University. Additionally, they have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Athabasca University. She obtained a Situational Leadership Certification from The Ken Blanchard Companies in December 2021. She has additional certifications in DiSC and EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 from DISC and Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS), respectively.

Maricela Guerrero
Executive Director, Rocketship Public Schools 

Maricela Guerrero is the California Executive Director. She leads the Bay Area region, overseeing all aspects of the 13 California schools. Guerrero was a founding teacher at the first Rocketship school that opened in 2007 and has served as principal at two Rocketship schools in San Jose, including as the founding principal of Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep, a California Distinguished School. Under her leadership, Rocketship’s California schools routinely rank in the top 10% in the state in both math and English Language Arts performance among all districts and charter networks serving a similar student population. Guerrero’s focus on equity, diversity of teachers and leaders, and parent engagement continues to push Rocketship to new heights of success.

A daughter of Mexican immigrants, Guerrero first discovered the inequity of education as a student in south central Los Angeles. Zoned to a failing school, her talent as a musician earned her a spot at a high-performing public school across the city. Her steadfast belief that students shouldn’t have to leave their neighborhood to access a quality public education led her to become a teacher in 2001 in the Alum Rock Unified School District. She then joined Preston Smith as part of the founding team at L.U.C.H.A., an innovative, new elementary school in Alum Rock. In 2007, Guerrero and Smith launched Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary, the first campus of Rocketship Public Schools.

Guerrero received her BA in Latin American studies with a minor in education from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix. After college, Guerrero served as the executive director of the Boy Scouts of the Bay Area Peninsula, a role which further revealed the deep inequities in the Bay Area and the lack of opportunities for students of color in California.

Marie-Michèle Caron
President, International Markets, Thryv

As Thryv’s President of International Markets, Marie-Michèle Caron is responsible for all aspects of Thryv’s international expansion, including the developing and maintaining of robust global relationships and building a model that supports each country or regional manager in frontline sales and marketing activities.

Caron has spent more than 15 years building strategic alliances and spearheading international business development for SaaS companies. Before joining Thryv, Caron served as the SVP of global alliances and Channels at Coveo Corporation, a TSX-listed leader in AI-powered relevance platforms, where she oversaw the company’s alliance and channel strategy worldwide that included relationships with Adobe, SAP, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Microsoft, and Sitecore. There, she recruited, enabled, and managed an ecosystem of more than 250 channel partners, including global firms, becoming one of the most important growth levers for the company.

Caron also serves on the board of two growing companies, Potloc and SaltBox Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from Laval University.

Michelle Farabaugh
CEO, Bounty Hunter

Michelle Farabaugh is the Chief Executive Officer of Bounty Hunter. Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits ("Bounty Hunter") is a nationally recognized purveyor of premium food, rare wines and spirits, and luxury lifestyle goods. Based in Napa, California, Bounty Hunter publishes two catalogs each year focusing on sought-after releases from wineries and distilleries around the world. 

Farabaugh is a CEO and senior executive whose career results have been achieved by leading data-driven initiatives, optimizing organizational transformations, and building high-performance teams. She has led strategic enterprise planning, marketing/merchandising, and operations for iconic companies across various sectors, including Harry & David, BevMo!, Smith & Hawken, West Marine, and PetSmart.

Before joining Bounty Hunter, Farabaugh was a CEO at Sommsation. Before that, she was a chief marketing officer at Harry & David. Earlier in her career, she worked with Lehman Brothers as an equity researcher. Farabaugh graduated from Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business with an MBA in entrepreneurship and from Bryant University with an undergraduate degree in marketing and economics.

Alex Lavian
VP of Marketing, Origin

Alex Lavian is the VP of Marketing at Origin, a company focused on revolutionizing wealth management with the first comprehensive money management platform. In her current role, Lavian is responsible for shaping the brand, fueling the company’s growth, and scaling the marketing organization. Since joining in May 2023, Lavian has led the company’s first-ever integrated brand campaign, a comprehensive brand and positioning refresh, launched Origin direct-to-consumer, and built out the marketing team.

Previously, Lavian led product marketing for Spotify for artists with a focus on redefining the role of Spotify in the creator economy. Her team built products that unlock new revenue streams for artists and new ways for fans to engage and connect with the artists they love. Before Spotify, Lavian led product marketing for Uber’s Membership Programs, where she built and launched the company’s first-ever subscription program in over 18 countries, with millions of paid members yielding hundreds of millions in incremental gross revenue. During her time at Uber, she led global and national marketing campaigns across owned and paid channels growing the subscriber base by over 400%, led a rebrand/rename/relaunch of the membership portfolio, developed the three-year global membership strategy and vision, and built and hired a team of product and brand marketers that worked across both mobility and delivery responsible for on-going adoption and retention. Lavian also scaled the Uber Rewards program to new countries and led product partnerships to maximize user growth and benefit/program engagement.

Before product marketing, Lavian worked at Deloitte Consulting, specializing in identifying strategy and technology solutions that drove transformation, improved productivity, and streamlined business operations for Fortune 500 companies. Lavian graduated from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in human and organizational development.

Kristie Fasolis
Head of Recruiting Operations, Calibre One

Kristie Fasolis is the Head of Recruiting Operations at Calibre One. In addition to her ongoing recruitment achievements, Fasolis plays an integral part in fostering Calibre One's internal efforts. She takes great pride in mentoring, nurturing, and empowering a team of clients, candidates, and colleagues and guiding them toward the realization of their professional aspirations. Joining Calibre One in 2006, her track record of success continues to thrive. 

With over two decades of experience in the recruiting field, Fasolis has successfully facilitated the placement of numerous executives internationally, spanning various roles across publicly traded companies, as well as those backed by venture capital and private equity. Before her tenure at Calibre One, Fasolis served as a resource development manager at Modis, a prominent technical contract staffing firm, where she adeptly placed individuals ranging from programmers to directors. Earlier in her career, she also contributed her expertise at The Clorox Company as an in-house recruiter, supporting talent acquisition across the entirety of their product lines, as well as aiding in special projects and DEI&B initiatives. 

Fasolis is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, where she majored in international relations. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Women in Leadership Program at the University of San Francisco, School of Management.

Sara Ellis Conant
Co-Founder & CEO, a)plan coaching 

Sara Ellis Conant is a coaching-industry pioneer with over 20 years of experience. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of a)plan coaching, an optimized, scalable, and tech-enabled virtual coaching service for changemakers. She and her team of a)plan coaches assist individuals and teams to make lasting improvements in the areas of productivity, innovation, diversity and belonging, talent retention, fulfillment, and more.

Previously, Conant was a manager at Deloitte Consulting, specializing in training, facilitation, change management, communication, and organization design. She managed the launch of Deloitte's sustainability and corporate responsibility practice. Conant is a co-founder of Young Women Social Entrepreneurs and also served on the board of RSF Social Finance for 10 years. 

Conant has an MBA and a BA in sociology from Stanford University. She started coaching in 2000 after being trained by her father, Dave Ellis, one of the founders of the coaching industry. She divides her time between the Bay Area with her husband and their four children.

Shruti Malik, TE, PMP, ENV SP
Urban Planning & Mobility Practice Leader/VP, Mott MacDonald 

Shruti has over 20 years of experience in project management and the technical delivery of transportation planning and transportation infrastructure projects in North America. Her expertise covers multimodal transportation planning and engineering projects including rail, urban transit, roadway, and active transportation. As the practice leader for the Urban Planning and Mobility practice at Mott MacDonald in North America, Shruti provides thought leadership and direction to the practice while ensuring the successful delivery of major transportation planning/capital projects for public agency clients such as Caltrain, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), the Contra Costa County Transportation Authority (CCTA), and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), among others. She is passionate about transportation safety and safe systems with an emphasis on innovation, knowledge sharing, and technical excellence.

Born and brought up in Chandigarh, India, Shruti has an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering with honors from Punjab Engineering College (PEC) and a Masters in Transportation Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Starting as an intern at Cambridge Systematics, she constantly pushed herself to go the extra mile and challenge the status quo. She took on several project management roles as she continued her career at Wilbur Smith Associates (now CDM Smith). Shruti was the sole proprietor of Malik Transportation and Management Systems, Inc. (DBE firm) and worked for the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) on their $8 billion, 30-year Measure B Program. 

An active member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), Shruti was the Treasurer (2009), Vice President (2010), and President of the San Francisco Section from 2010-2011.  A big proponent of the importance of leadership and communication skills, Shruti graduated from the Women’s Leadership Program sponsored by the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) in 2018 and the ITE Leadership Program in 2022. She is currently wrapping up the Emerging Leaders Program at Mott MacDonald which is a highly coveted program for senior/executive leadership. 

With an active interest in improving equity in transportation, Shruti is the Co-Chair of the ITE Equity committee and is instrumental in spearheading thought leadership in transportation equity including the development of guidelines/best practices for practitioners. She is keen to positively shape the future of our cities and communities and believes in the vital role that engineers/planners/architects and other professionals play in helping shape this future. She loves to engage with and volunteer at schools to encourage the next generation of leaders in the field of transportation! Shruti lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two little girls. She loves hiking, biking, baking, yoga, painting, photography, and swimming.

Laurie Cozart
Founder & CEO, Brain² Solutions Inc.

Laurie Cozart is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brain Squared Solutions, an organization dedicated to using neuroscience to help create a thriving organizational culture. She is an owner of Science2Wellbeing, an award-winning, evidence-based, advanced coaching program developed by high-profile scientists and coaches to increase life satisfaction through life-values alignment. Additionally, she is the founder of the Mind2Lead Institute of Professional Coaching, an organization that supports the ongoing development of coaches through coach training, mentoring, and supervision.

Cozart is an International Coaching Federation, Master Certified Coach, a certified ICF Mentor Coach, and a certified Coach Supervisor. She has been featured in CEO Today, Smart Money, and more and is the author of “Coaching Conversations: Techniques to Deepen and Broaden the Coaching Experience”. Cozart says that being an executive and leadership coach gives her the extraordinary blessing of partnering with people in their reach toward their fullest potential. She is the program director and instructor of the UC Davis “Team Coaching for High-Value Results” program, has been a Coaching Instructor and mentor coach for the UC Davis “Professional Coaching for Work and Life Program,” an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Instructor for UC Davis for over a decade. 

Cozart earned an MD in leadership and management from York St. John University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Utah.

Malahat Fardadi
President & CEO, Precise Construction & Design

Malahat Fardadi is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Precise Construction & Design. The company is known for the design and building of luxury homes. They pride themselves in having the most reasonable price for their customers.

Fardadi is an accomplished result-oriented and creative leader with extensive expertise in computational fluid dynamics, fluid systems, multiphase flows, heat transfer, and thermal management. She is experienced in mechanical design and analysis, wind tunnel testing, fluid and thermal measurements, process modeling, combustion, and heat transfer modeling. Additionally, she has a proven track record of successful management of projects and teams and is an expert in developing and maintaining customer relationships. She has an extensive working knowledge of ANSYS FLUENT, Icepak, SolidWorks, MATLAB, and AMS.

Fardadi is a part-time professor at the San Francisco State University. Earlier in her career, she worked as a mechanical analysis engineer, a CFD engineer, and a senior mechanical engineer. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD and MASc in mechanical engineering and from UCLA Anderson School of Management with an MBA.

Raquel Wiley
VP, NetFortris

Raquel Wiley is the Vice President of Marketing at NetFortris, an end-to-end provider of managed cloud communications solutions and secure network services. A 25-year veteran of the telecom industry and business marketing professional, Wiley, a results-oriented technology marketer, leads direct and indirect channel marketing programs and initiatives at NetFortris. She is charged with developing strategic marketing plans to attract and nurture business customers and channel sales partners to adopt NetFortris’ managed solutions.

Before NetFortris, Wiley was the senior channel marketing manager for TPx. Earlier in her career, she was an associate director of business marketing for AT&T. A recognized leader in the telecom channel, Wiley is a former officer and member of the board of directors for Alliance of Channel Women, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of female leaders in the technology channel. She also serves as Chair of ACW’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee. 

Wiley is a rising voice for DEI in the telecom channel and a sought-after expert and frequent speaker on DEI topics, such as gender and racial diversity. She graduated from the California State University - East Bay School of Business.

Rose Fulton
VP of Strategic Sales, Hearst Bay Area

Rose Fulton is the Vice President of Strategic Sales of Hearst Bay Area, a news media and services group that connects businesses with their target audience through a comprehensive suite of multi-touch solutions. Fulton also served as the president of 46Mile, a part of Hearst Corporation. 46Mile is a full-service integrated marketing and advertising agency.

With proven success in digital marketing strategy, communications, creative, content, branding, and lead generation, Fulton can manage and motivate teams to consistently deliver high performance. She creates business processes that drive revenue and is passionate about data, analytics, and building top-notch marketing campaigns. She’s very ambitious in the ability to thrive through success and performance in an ever-rapidly changing digital environment.

Before Hearst Bay Area, Fulton had several leadership roles at Adtaxi, a client-centric digital organization that brings scale, precision, and sophistication to digital marketing. Her last role was strategic initiatives director. Fulton graduated from Winthrop University with an undergraduate degree in management and marketing.

Sarah Chavarria
CEO & President, Delta Dental of California

Sarah Chavarria is Chief Executive Officer and President for Delta Dental of California, an enterprise that encompasses 15 states and Washington, D.C. Sarah provides overall leadership and strategic direction for the organization, partnering with the Delta Dental Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors to deliver on the enterprise’s purpose to improve health by providing access to quality care. Sarah was appointed President of Delta Dental of California in August 2022, where she oversaw all aspects of Operations, Technology, Relationship and Business Development, Marketing, Communications and Experiences, and People.

Sarah joined Delta Dental in 2017 as EVP and Chief People Officer, and in March 2022 assumed the role of Chief Operations Officer in addition to her People responsibilities. She brings more than 25 years of expertise in the healthcare industry and has a strong track record of transforming organizations. Prior to Delta Dental, Sarah was Chief People Officer at NantHealth. She served in a similar role at Optum360, a joint venture between Optum and Dignity Health, and was Vice President of Human Resources at Dignity Health. Sarah also held organizational transformation positions at Oracle, Medibuy, and Levi Strauss.

Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. She holds certifications in the General Electric Change Acceleration Process, the Myers & Briggs Foundation, and the Conner Change Model.

Tillie Ross
VP, Fidelity National Title

Tillie Ross is the Vice President of National Commercial Services for Fidelity National Title. Fidelity National Commercial Services division has more than 165 years of underwriting experience. Their centralized team of industry experts provides commercial and industrial developers, builders, lenders, attorneys, and other real estate professionals with reliable, integrated, high-liability services nationwide.

Ross brings over 30 years of commercial real estate experience to Fidelity National Title. Her experience includes the acquisition and disposition of property, land development, sale of commercial and residential properties, financing of owner-user and investment property, and the last fourteen years in commercial title and escrow. 

Ross is the past president of the East Bay Chapter of CREW, a national organization for women in commercial real estate. She also sits on the Advisory Council for the Bay Area Development CDC which provides government funding to small businesses. Ross has sat on various boards like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Salvation Army, and the American Heart Association. Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of San Francisco with a major in Business and Economics.

Valerie Red-Horse Mohl
President & Co-Founder, Known

Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, who is of Cherokee ancestry, is the President and Co-Founder of Known. Known is an asset management and investment banking platform that deploys, structures, and shifts capital for clients who believe that humanity and the planet are part of every returns equation. Valerie is also a part-time lecturer at Stanford University, where she serves as the Advisory Board Chair of Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

Red-Horse Mohl has more than 30 years of in-depth experience in the financial services and investment banking industry including private placements, debt restructuring, taxable issuance, municipal issuance, leveraged finance, high-yield bond transactions, strategic and equipment finance and management turnaround with a unique expertise in the tribal economic development sectors.  She previously served as the chief financial officer of East Bay Community Foundation, where she led initiatives on impact investing, racial equity, and social justice, and as executive director for Social Venture Circle, which builds and serves communities of inspired and informed impact investors and business leaders to make social, economic, and environmental change.

Red-Horse Mohl is also the CEO and founder of Red-Horse Financial Group, where she holds seven FINRA registrations, and the CEO and founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, a film and television production company. She serves as Board Chair for the National Boys and Girls Clubs Native Services and is an inaugural member of the US Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity (TACRE). She earned an undergraduate degree with Cum Laude honors from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sonia Delen
SVP, Bank of America 

Sonia Delen is the Senior Vice President of Structuring & Transaction Management at Bank of America Global Leasing, a division of Bank of America, the Fortune 500 multinational investment bank and financial services company. 

Delen is a corporate manager, entrepreneur, community leader, disability advocate, and inspirational speaker with over 30 years of experience. She serves as a Trustee of the State Bar of California, the regulatory, admissions, and disciplinary agency of the California Supreme Court (as a non-lawyer and public member appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown in 2018). Delen was the first Filipino American appointed to this prestigious agency. She was previously a Trustee of California's Health Professionals Education Foundation. She’s president of the Filipino Food Movement and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco and serves on the Executive Committee of Apl.de.ap Foundation International (ADAFI) and as Chairperson of the “Campaign for Filipino Children.” Delen is the executive producer of a Harana – The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade, and the upcoming film, Labeled: The Road to Sydney, about issues surrounding equality and transgender rights. 

She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a BS in foreign service), and she attended Ateneo de Manila University Graduate School of Business.

Barbara Laflin Treat
President, Pacific Ag Renewables

Barbara Laflin Treat is the President of Pacific Ag Renewables. Pacific Ag is North America's largest agricultural residue harvest and supply company, with decades of experience working with farmers and industry across America and globally.

Treat joined the Pacific Ag team in 2021 to lead the RNG process-industry business. She brings over three decades of experience working in both the energy sector and in the major infrastructure project development, engineering, and construction arenas. Before joining Pacific Ag, Treat spent over a decade as principal VP of Bechtel Corporation, where she led the development of major infrastructure and energy projects in the US, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She then served for another decade as president of InfrastructureWorld, where she led teams helping clients structure and launch privatized EPC projects in India and the US. 

Earlier in her career, Treat worked in the energy sector as an oil trader, as a research director in the Energy & Environmental Policy Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, in government policy and lobbying in Washington DC for the renewable fuels industry, and as senior editor of Petroleum Intelligence Weekly in NYC. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the University of Hawaii, where she taught accounting and finance.

Bianca Gates
CEO & Co-Founder, Birdies

Bianca Gates is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Birdies, the company that created a new category of footwear with stylish flats that are secretly slippers. 

Before Birdies, Gates was a sales executive at Meta, where she worked with retail and gaming executives to leverage their data and the social graph to scale their businesses. She is passionate about bringing women together to help them achieve their dreams and started the first Lean In Circle with Sheryl Sandberg in 2013, which has now scaled to more than 40,000 Circles globally. Gates also advises early-stage founders and serves on the board of trustees at The Hamlin School, an all-girls independent school in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Gates grew up in Southern California as the oldest child of Latin American immigrants and is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine.

Bridgett Thurston
CFO, Cents

Bridgett Thurston is the Chief Financial Officer at Cents, a vertical SaaS company and the industry-leading, all-in-one business management system for laundromats and dry cleaners. 

As a leader in SaaS technology, Thurston promotes creative problem-solving to advance strategic planning based on data and associated projections. Her foundational success in FP&A has given her opportunities to not only manage finance but also to successfully manage accounting, internal tools software development, and HR. Thurston currently serves as the CFO of Cents, a vertical SaaS company that specializes in FinTech for the laundry industry.

Throughout her career, Thurston has enjoyed bringing people together with data and key metrics to solve obstacles using the latest technology as the foundation that enables scale and growth. Before joining Cents, she served as the VP of finance for Greenbits. Before that, she was, the head of finance for JFrog. Thurston graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an undergraduate degree in economics.

Edua Dickerson
VP of ESG & Finance Strategy, ServiceNow

Edua Dickerson is the Vice President of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Finance Strategy at ServiceNow. In her role, she is responsible for developing, activating, and overseeing the integrated ESG strategy and initiatives. She also creates and manages key activities to enable the Finance organization to operate effectively at scale.

Entrusted with operationalizing ESG across ServiceNow, Dickerson leads the team as they incorporate ESG strategy across the internal enterprise, including governing policies, processes, and controls. Her team also serves as customer zero for all relevant ESG-related solutions while delivering thought leadership expertise and developing strategic partnerships with product development, go-to-market stakeholders, and partners. Dickerson is also an advisor for strategic learning, digital reskilling, and talent development initiatives at ServiceNow, leading the finance career development strategy, including the post-university and post-MBA rotational programs. She joined ServiceNow as chief of staff to the CFO in 2020.

Before ServiceNow, Dickerson worked as chief of staff to the corporate controller and chief accounting officer at Google, eventually moving on to head of YouTube trust and safety. She served as the Black Employee Resource Group global chair and partnered with Google leadership to develop racial equity commitments in 2020. She also held leadership roles within Google’s finance operations, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte Consulting. Dickerson received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles, her MBA from Duke University, and she held a California CPA.

Jessica Weare
VP of Corporate Responsibility, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

As Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Jessica Weare leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Corporate Responsibility team (SVCF), which partners with more than 75 companies to advise them on corporate social responsibility strategies and programs. SVCF's corporate partners give locally, nationally, and globally, in a wide range of issue areas. SVCF offers corporate-advised funds, consulting services, and foundation-led initiatives to address the region's toughest challenges.

Weare brings a wealth of experience to her role. Before joining the community foundation, she spent seven years directing Microsoft’s philanthropic work in Silicon Valley, supporting nonprofits working in education, workforce development, and civic technology. She managed Microsoft’s local employee engagement program with an 87% participation rate. Weare serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits and California Humanities. She is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum. In her role on United Way Bay Area’s public policy committee, she has successfully advocated in Sacramento and Washington DC for legislation strengthening public education, healthcare, economic mobility, and charitable giving. 

Weare received an undergraduate degree from Yale University and holds a doctoral degree from Stanford University. She has completed additional training in cross-sector collaboration at Harvard Business School, in corporate social responsibility at Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, and in design thinking at Stanford.

Kelly Close
President, Close Concerns

Kelly Close is the President of Close Concerns, where she drives strategy, growing the organization from zero to over 100 accounts over the past 20 years. In her role, she has sustained a 90% retention rate through the company’s subscription-based model. She also successfully identifies new distribution channels, initiates contact, and builds account relationships. 

Close is also the founder and chair of the board at The diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2013 that works to advocate for action and to improve the lives of people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. In addition to her work at Close Concerns and the diaTribe Foundation, Close also co-founded dQ&A. dQ&A is a patient-centric diabetes market research company that provides answers to diabetes business questions. Her passion for the field comes from her extensive professional work, as well as from her personal experience, having had diabetes for nearly 30 years.

Close sits on the board of the Vanguard Chapter of the Aspen Institute. She is a previous board member of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, as well as a previous executive board member of the San Francisco Bay Area JDRF. She was a founding board member of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. Close earned an undergraduate degree in economics and English from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Lisa Schuder
Managing Director and Deloitte US Sustainability, Climate & Equity Ecosystems & Alliances Leader

Lisa Schuder is a Managing Director and Deloitte US Sustainability, Climate & Equity Ecosystems & Alliances Leader.  In her role, Lisa is responsible for driving alliance relationships and solutions to deliver sustainable impact to clients and our planet.  

Throughout her 30+ year career, Lisa has been a leader in the areas of alliances, sales, and growth with experience in sales and marketing, managing executive relationships, ecosystem solution development, and practice building.  

Lisa spent 3 years as the Global Chief Growth Officer for the Deloitte Microsoft Technology Services practice helping build and expand differentiated global capability and offerings across the Microsoft technology stack.  She spent 6 years as the Deloitte Global Alliance Leader for Workday and helped the team exceed annual growth goals and gain external recognition as a leading Workday Services firm.  During her 20-year tenure at Deloitte, she has also been responsible for initiating and building Deloitte’s relationships with some of the largest and most influential technology companies in the world – including Google, Meta, Oracle/NetSuite, and Adobe Systems.  Prior to joining Deloitte, she held a successful career in sales, alliances, and corporate development in the enterprise software industry and started her career as a CPA.

Michelle Chao
Head of Investor Relations, Bertram Capital

Michelle Chao is currently serving as Head of Investor Relations for Bertram Capital, a Bay Area-based lower-middle market private equity firm. She began her career with Bertram over 14 years ago when she was hired as an administrative assistant to support the firm’s business development efforts. She currently leads investor relations at Bertram, where she focuses on fundraising, marketing, and communicating with investors. 

Chao’s curiosity and passion for deal sourcing led to numerous promotions, which enabled her to grow outside of her administration position. She was eventually promoted to SVP of origination and capital markets, where she was responsible for sourcing and assessing new investment opportunities across business services, consumer, and industrial sectors.

Chao is a member of Bertram’s DEI Committee focused on initiating and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts throughout the firm. In addition, she leads the firm’s ESG Committee, which aims to consider environmental, social, and governance factors when partnering with businesses. Chao holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s degree in Education from Arizona State University.

Michelle Rife
VP of Global Talent Acquisition, Branch

Michelle Rife currently serves as the Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Branch, a mobile growth and attribution platform for enterprises and brands. Rife has over 25 years in talent, diversity, and recruiting, extensive operational experience, and success building teams and companies within startups and global companies. 

Rife is passionate about talent acquisition and DEI, leading with inspiration, empathy, and care, while maintaining a high standard of operational rigor and expectations for herself, her team, and how and what they deliver to meet business demand. She is a strategic thought leader on best practices across, all talent initiatives, developing and operationalizing recruiting and hiring programs, D&I, ERG and allyship, metrics analysis, employer branding, and working with multiple stakeholders to ensure consistency and compliance.

Rife has been a conference speaker at various recruiting and employer brand events, such as the Bay Area Council, ERE, SRSC, and Infopresse, Montreal. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Rife graduated from the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in speech communication.

Norma Garcia-Muro
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder at NRJ Media Group.

Norma Garcia-Muro’s career is dedicated to entertainment experiences and the technology that fuels them, and with her expertise she brings a contagious passion for film, broadcast, theatrical exhibition, and cinema technology to the United States and abroad. 

NRJ Media Group, where story takes center stage, is a multimedia entertainment company dedicated to promoting positive influence, philanthropy, and inspiring conversations across generations. With a diverse range of platforms, including TV, film, and podcasts, NRJ Media Group aims to foster community engagement and create quality entertainment.

Before NRJ, Garcia (Muro) was Vice President of Marketing at Kaleidescape where she propelled their footprint within the home cinema market.  Earlier in her career, she drove success in the strategy and marketing of top titles at Paramount Pictures. She later transitioned to Lucasfilm in San Francisco to become their head of international marketing, where her multifaceted position included the strategic oversight of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises across global markets, along with the marketing and distribution of the Emmy Award-Winning series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the launch of George Lucas’ NAACP Image Award-Winning biopic Red Tails. At Dolby Laboratories, she led marketing efforts and a global team of over 40 to support next-level-technology PLF game-changer Dolby Cinema through their opening of over 100 sites worldwide. She later transitioned to THX Ltd., where she oversaw premium cinema experiences, including the launch of THX Ultimate Cinema and its first site launch at the historic Regency Westwood Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

Beyond her career as a leader in entertainment and technology, Garcia (Muro) is a consummate motivator and mentor with a passion for empowering young women with diverse backgrounds within the industry. She served as a mentor of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Program and and Women in Exhibition. She was the founder of the Latino Employee Network MUNDO under Dolby’s Diversity and Inclusion program and the Founder of #WomenCOLLAB, a resource-sharing association connecting female entertainment and tech professionals in the Bay Area. Garcia (Muro) received the 2023 Inspiration Award from Women in Consumer Technology (WiCT) at CES. In 2021 and 2020, she was named one of the Top 50 Women in Global Cinema. She currently serves on the advisory board for WiCT and sits on the board of directors of The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival.

Priyanka Mitra
Partner, M12

Priyanka Mitra is a technology venture capitalist with a deep STEM background. She is currently a Partner at M12, Microsoft's Venture Capital fund, in North America. Before beginning her venture capital and growth equity career investing in software, SaaS, and tech companies, she was a research analyst at Bridgewater Associates, a global macroeconomic hedge fund widely regarded as the top-performing, highest-returning hedge fund of all time.

Mitra is a graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in history and science, and pursued extensive coursework in pre-medical mathematics and sciences. She has completed scientific research fellowships and was a scientific research analyst at Harvard Medical School, including in computational neurobiology. She is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including Harvard’s David Rockefeller International Experience grant, the John F. Kennedy IOP fellowship, the Harvard College Research Program fellowship, and the Harvard University of Madrid prize for research global healthcare economies of scale. She was named a Harvard College Scholar.

Mitra is passionate about helping the next generation of extraordinary, world-changing tech entrepreneurs grow and achieve scale and feels privileged to work with exceptional founders and teams every single day. She has invested over $150 million in capital to date, in companies that are valued at nearly $6 billion in market cap. She is also the co-founder and co-lead of the M12 GitHub fund, which invests in early-stage open-source companies.

Sara Guillermo

Sara Guillermo is the Chief Executive Officer of IGNITE, bringing to the role over 15 years of experience helping young women break into America’s political landscape to become leaders within their communities and beyond. Guillermo was one of the first employees at IGNITE over a decade ago and quickly ascended within the organization, eventually taking over as CEO in June 2021. As someone who has dedicated her life to empowering women, she is proud to lead by example as an immigrant, first-generation college graduate, youth organizer, educator, foster parent, and breast cancer survivor.

Under her leadership, IGNITE was recognized with a $4 million award by the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge for its bold ideas to expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. Guillermo was personally recognized as a Roddenberry Fellow for her extraordinary leadership in making our world a more equitable and just society. Her analysis and expertise have been featured widely in national media outlets, such as NPR, The New York Times, Forbes, ABC, and NBC.

Before IGNITE, Guillermo held leadership roles at Seeking Common Ground, Aspire Public Schools, and buildOn. In addition to working in the nation’s public schools, Guillermo is also a trained social worker and serves on the Concord/Pleasant Hill Healthcare Community Board in California as the board’s youngest member to date. She has spent her entire life actively serving her community, starting with her first successful election run for classroom organizer in her first-grade class in Concord, California.

Sashalla Lemond
IDEA Executive - Workforce Engagement, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Sashalla Lemond, PhD student, has an unwavering passion for promoting and improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). With a background in investment banking and business management, she has more than 20 years of demonstrated drive to address social issues within the workplace. Sashalla currently serves as an IDEA executive focused on Workforce Engagement at one of the most prestigious research institutions in the world and serves as a Board Member of Diversity in Health Training Institute.

In 2017, Sashalla was awarded the Rising Start Barclays Business Diversity Award for transforming the Embrace Black Professionals Forum. In her prior role at Deutsche Bank, she was elected Chairperson of Jacksonville’s Chapter of Women on Wall Street, where she built the Employee Resource Group from the ground up, earning her Deutsche Bank’s 2011 Leader in Diversity award. Recently in 2023, Sashalla was named as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of San Francisco. Sashalla also serves as co-founder and advisor of the informal group called The Collective – Cross Firms BERG, a network of Black Employee Resource Group leaders across 30+ firms including the top 10 major Wall Street firms.

In her previous role as Managing Director at FHLBank SF, Sashalla had worked diligently with the Bank’s team members and leaders to transform Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Bank; she operationalized a scalable and measurable DEI program that had yielded results.  She introduced new relationships and sponsorship opportunities that support women, people from systematically disadvantaged populations, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and disabled-owned businesses.  In collaboration with Human Resources, she led the design and implementation of the first 1:1 mentor match program and formalized the organization’s Employee Resource Groups representing gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, and working parents. She is part of Disability:IN’s Supplier Diversity Certification – International Certification Committee Member.  

Her impressive experience includes – but is by no means limited to – building Employee Resource Groups from the ground up, installing DEI initiatives to support systematically disadvantaged populations, and launching businesses designed to help rising leaders navigate the corporate environment. Throughout her career, Sashalla has contributed to corporate change by raising awareness of DEI as a Keynote Speaker and Panelist at the PGA Tour, Ernst &Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, and many others.

In all facets of her work, Sashalla is passionate about sharing her professional knowledge and experience to build workforces designed to empower individuals from all walks of life.

Sheila Rohra
CEO, Hitachi Vantara LLC

As CEO of Hitachi Vantara LLC, Sheila Rohra’s focus is on accelerating growth through transformation and innovation with a customer-first mindset. She leads the company in developing and delivering hybrid cloud data infrastructure solutions designed to address the heart of customers’ business challenges.

Before Hitachi Vantara, she was senior vice president and general manager of the Data Infrastructure Business at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Before HPE, she spent 10 years at NetApp, where she served as SVP of customer success and led an enterprise-wide transformation as chief transformation officer. In addition, she spent 12 years at Cisco leading business operations and held quality engineering and manufacturing roles at Bay Networks.

Rohra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. She is passionate about social causes and serves on the Women in Engineering (WIE) Advisory Board at her alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park, and as a board advisor for Ayati, a charitable organization that brings hygienic education and materials to girls in rural areas of India.

Siobhán McFeeney
CTO, Kohl's

Siobhán Mc Feeney is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Kohl's, a leading retailer with over 1,100 stores across the US. With more than 25 years of experience in information technology and finance, she is a digital transformation expert who helps companies leverage the impact of cloud-native technologies and lean methodologies.

Since joining Kohl's in 2020, Mc Feeney has championed and accelerated the company's product-centric software development journey, leading the teams responsible for all technology, information, and digital platforms supporting Kohl's omnichannel business. She has also focused on enhancing customer relationship management, data science, product design, enterprise analytics, and product enablement. Her mission is to better serve Kohl's customers and fuel business growth through innovation and strategy.

With over 25 years of information technology and finance experience, Mc Feeney has held several leadership positions. Before Kohl's, she led innovation and strategy at Pivotal Software, Inc., where she focused on enabling large clients to develop new ways of working. Mc Feeney also spent a decade at AAA Northern California in various leadership roles, including chief financial officer, chief information officer, and interim chief executive officer. She began her career as an accountant working at Deloitte and KPMG Ireland. She has a Master’s degree in Finance from Trinity College Dublin.

Uma Meyyappan
SVP Head of Technology – Supervision & Regulatory Control Technology, LPL Financial

Uma Meyyappan is a Senior Vice President and Head of Supervision, Risk, Compliance, and Legal Technologies for LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer providing advisor technology solutions. In this role, she spearheads a culture of engineering excellence, delivering high-quality, scalable, and secure software solutions that underpin critical operations providing strategic vision on the multi-year roadmap, modernizing legacy systems, using AI to improve efficiency, and cultivating high-performing teams.

She started at LPL Financial as the SVP and head of digital innovation, where she accelerated business value by collaborating with teams across LPL to generate ideas, co-create, evaluate, and demonstrate new concepts and solutions to create better experiences for advisors and employees, improve efficiency, and future proof products and services. Before her role with LPL, Meyyappan served with Wells Fargo, where she spent 15 years leading product management, technology delivery, and innovation R&D. She also headed the evaluation of startup companies for the Wells Fargo Startup accelerator, which invests in startups for return on Innovation.

Meyyappan’s extensive research in financial technologies, such as digital payments, biometrics, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things has resulted in over 30 issued US patents to her name. She is deeply passionate about entrepreneurship and serves on nonprofit boards promoting entrepreneurship. As a strong advocate of women, she is involved in various forums for mentoring and coaching women at various points in life.

Johanna Bialkin
Founder & CEO, Aldea Home & Baby

Johanna Bialkin is a New York native who has found her home here in the Bay Area. After a successful career in advertising and time spent within the nonprofit sector, she decided to combine her love for people and create beautiful spaces by launching Aldea Home & Baby in 2005. Aldea, which means “small village” in Spanish, has been a place for Bialkin to lean into her passion for travel, appreciation for culture, and eye for design by bringing eclectic and trend-setting items that add an element of uniqueness and charm into the home.

By offering expectant parents personalized baby registry and nursery design services, Bialkin has been able to establish relationships with customers that are built ​on a foundation of trust and support​.​ ​These ​families have ​naturally evolved into a trusted community that ​was born into, and grew, within the Aldea family. With store locations and clients in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, Bialkin found that her customers began coming to her for help in curating personalized gifts for colleagues and clients, and it was with this that the idea for Aldea For Business was born.

Aldea For Business offers a personalized touch and thoughtfully assembled gifts for corporate events, holidays, or a life moment that is too special to be missed. Whether it’s self-care, cooking, mixology, gardening, or staying organized Bialkin's knowledge and expertise will ensure that the gifts will stand out and resonate with the recipient. Understanding her customer base and what people need has remained a central focus and key to her success. Both Aldea locations remained open throughout the pandemic to serve and be a source of comfort to her client base.

Ellyn Weisel
Executive Director, WildCare

Ellyn Weisel is currently the Executive Director at WildCare, the premier wildlife medicine and environmental education organization in Northern California. WildCare supports people everywhere to live well with wildlife through a full cycle of programs, including wildlife advocacy and information resources, nature education programs, and medical aid for ill, injured, and orphaned wild animals. In her role, Weisel is responsible for the management of strategic planning, development, board relations, budget creation, and financial oversight for WildCare. In addition, WildCare is currently embarking on a capital campaign to build a new facility, and Weisel directs the planning, management, and fundraising for that important project.

Weisel began her career as VP of corporate consulting with International Management Group (IMG) in the San Francisco Bay Area. She then served as a development consultant for the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, first as director of outreach and philanthropy, then as VP of development at Common Sense Media in San Francisco. Weisel was previously the director of development at WildCare and stepped in as interim executive director for six months before taking the position of executive director in 2019. Before she arrived at WildCare, she served as chief development officer of 10,000 Degrees in San Rafael, California, a nonprofit helping disadvantaged students further their education. This led her to a post as foundation director of the DripDrop Foundation. This organization works to prevent dehydration worldwide.

Weisel has been actively involved in nonprofit work board work. From 1995 to 1999 she served on the board of Sportsbridge, a mentoring program for underserved middle-school girls in San Francisco. From 1998 to 2009, she served on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco (BGCSF). BGCSF is one of the largest providers of services to at-risk youth in the Bay Area and was chair of the board from 2004 to 2006. Weisel served on the board of trustees of Marin Country Day School from 2006 to 2012 and on the board of trustees of Holderness School in Plymouth, NH, from 2010 to 2013. She was a board member of Common Sense Media from 2012-2015 and served on the board of the Branson School in Ross, California. Weisel currently sits on the One Tam Advisory Council.