Taking Charge Of Tech: Tech Summit
Laurie Schultz, the CEO of ACL, is responsible for leading the transformation of ACL’s global business by mobilizing talent toward category disruption and double digit growth. With over 25 years of experience in software and technology sectors, Laurie has led 12 multi-million dollar software P&Ls spanning the personal finance, small business accounting, SaaS, ERP, Business Intelligence and GRC categories. Holding prior leadership positions with Sage, Intuit, KPMG and Telus, Laurie has both DOUBLED revenues and DOUBLED profits by empowering change and relentlessly focusing on the “right critical few.”
Connor Beaton is the founder of ManTalks, an international organization focused on mens health, wellness, success and fulfillment. Connor is also an international speaker, podcast host, Business Coach and lifestyle entrepreneur. Before founding ManTalks, Connor worked with Apple leading high performance sales and operations teams. Since founding ManTalks, Connor has spoken on stage at TEDxStanleyPark, for the US military, taken ManTalks to over a dozen cities internationally and has been featured on platforms like HeForShe, The Good Men Project, UN Women, CBC, CNN, the National Post and more.
Diane Najm is the CEO & Founder Of PhotoPad for Business. As a leader, she is passionate about the start-up community. Diane serves as Director of the Seattle Founder Institute, and as a Mentor, Coach and organizer for Start up Weekend. Diane is also an expert panelist and speaker on Entrepreneurship. She was invited to the White House Digital Tech summit and served on Delegation for Vancouver’s first Startup Week. Diane always seeks ways to help entrepreneurs connect with one another and provides resources to assure success.
David is Animagic & Prommo Co-founder and Creative Director. His background is in visual arts, marketing, motion graphics and animation, making him a passionate storyteller. David runs his animation studio with a unique remote work culture and creative collaboration with a team in over 5 countries and 8 cities all around the world. David, along with his team and partners, have been trying since day 1 to use the power of animation and storytelling to create beautiful visual content with the goal to impact people´s heart and values in a positive way.
Tammy Meyers is the co-founder and COO of QuestUpon, an award-winning geo-locative augmented reality company that helps brands and organizations bring their stories to life in the real world.
Before devoting her work full-time to QuestUpon, Tammy served in various senior leadership roles in the cable industry, tourism industry, and for not-for-profit organizations. If you were to step back in time with her, you would have found her as a personal trainer, or even further back, on a farm in Alberta learning early work ethics, (called chores). She comes from a family of risk-taking entrepreneurs, some also in tech, so starting her own company felt instinctive when the opportunity presented itself.
She’s passionate about many things including the outdoors, the environment, and living a healthy lifestyle. She feels fortunate that her business touches on these things by taking the game outside, getting people off the couch, and inspiring active lifestyles.
Things that keep Tammy inspired include reading, friends & family and being outdoors. She loves photography, travel, cooking, and fine wine. Tammy lives in Vancouver, with her fiancé, Miles, and their 7 year old chocolate lab, Rio.
Kirsten Sutton is the managing director of SAP Labs Canada and global head of engineering for SAP Jam. As managing director, Kirsten is responsible for inspiring innovation within the Canadian development organization and managing SAP’s four research and development hubs across Canada. As head of engineering for SAP Jam, Kirsten leads a team of 100 developers to deliver cutting edge cloud collaboration software to more than 30 million users worldwide.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the technology industry, Kirsten previously served as managing direction for SAP Labs Vancouver, global director of technology development operations for SAP, as well as chair of the Vancouver Leadership Team. She has also served as global director of translation, where she incorporated leading-edge technologies and progressive processes in the centralization of translation services across the organization.
Because of her active support for SAP’s Autism at Work program, Kirsten was selected for the British Columbia Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Presidents Group – an advisory committee of business leaders to champion advice, learnings and better outcomes for people with disabilities. Kirsten received the Distinguished Leader Award from SAP North America in 2012 for excellence in leadership, business results and commitment to corporate social responsibility. She was also a finalist for the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, has been named to the 2015 Diversity 50, the MacKay CEO Forums and was selected to deliver the 2015 convocation address to graduates of BCIT’s schools of Computing and Academic Studies, and Health Sciences in 2015.
Kirsten serves as immediate past-chair of the board of the British Columbia Technology Industry Association, is the vice chair of the board of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women, and as a director of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Kirsten is a playwright and a French chef, two skills that lend to her artistic flair. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics and creative writing from Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with honors from the University of California at Irvine, in Irvine, California.
Brittany Whitmore is a PR specialist, producer, media personality, mentor and startup adviser. She runs Exvera Communications, a public relations company and also founded TEDxGastownWomen. She is a City Director for The Vinetta Project, a resident tech panelist for Kirk LaPointe’s show, “Our City” on Roundhouse Radio and writes a Tech column for BIV. She advises startups and mentors students for programs such as Young Women in Business, Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad and Futurpreneur.
Tarah is the Media Communications Producer at the BC Innovation Council and the founder and creator of the She Built That podcast and SBTDigital, a content studio that creates branded podcasts and videos. Tarah maintains a strong passion for storytelling and celebrating the accolades of women building businesses on their own terms. In 2015, Tarah was nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her efforts in celebrating women in tech and has been a regular guest on Global TV Weekend Morning News.
Incubating The Next Techstars
Meredith Powell, from “The Next Big Thing”, a national charitable organization for young entrepreneurs, will discuss how we can disrupt the tech world with more diversity. An award-winning serial entrepreneur, strategic startup advisor, and co-founder of a charity for NextGen founders, Meredith Powell is a creative visionary committed to championing innovation and diversity in leadership and technology
Dr. David G. Harper is active in the science and business communities. He is the CEO of the Discovery Foundation; whose mandate is to foster the development and sustainability of the technology sector in BC. He is also the President of Pacific BioVentures, a business consulting company, and author of the best-selling book, Investing in Biotech: How to Profit From the Biopharmaceutical Revolution. He was the co-host of the radio program, Think for Yourself, a show about healthy skepticism and critical thinking.
Sarah is the CEO of VitalSines, a health technology startup based in Vancouver, BC. Sarah has been an entrepreneur since finishing school and has started companies in the music, fitness, and nutrition industries. Three years ago Sarah began working with the VitalSines team to develop their first product iHeart – a fingertip device and mobile app that determines a user’s Internal Age by measuring a proven heart, brain, and internal health metric called Aortic Stiffness.
Lawyer turned period girl, Taran was inspired to start ElleBox when she learned about a gourmet bacon subscription box company. She realized that there was a subscription box on the market for virtually everything: men’s razors, meal preparations, books – everything except the subscription women get monthly from mother nature. Taran is driven by her passion to advocate for women’s health and empowerment.
Valerie Song is the CEO at AVA Technologies. AVA Byte is a smart garden – a foolproof, fully-automated hydroponic garden that uses “plant pods” that contain seeds, plant food, and growth material altogether. Valerie is an entrepreneur trained by blue chip consumer goods companies like Microsoft Canada, Procter & Gamble, Nature’s Path Organic Foods, and Labatt Breweries. She found her passion in creating and launching products, building brands, and connecting with people.
Kayla Zimmermann currently is a Partner business manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) with a specialization in Technology Services. She works with partners across western Canada to help them grow their business with HPE and ensures partners are working with customers to guide them along the IT transformational journey. Kayla joined the HP/HPE organization in 2014 on the inside sales team in Mississauga Ontario. Prior to that Kayla attended Queens University and received a BA honors. In her spare time Kayla is an avid figure skater and competes across Canada.
Teresa Duke is more than just your typical People and Culture pro. She’s a recruiter, coach, trainer, facilitator, and business partner for technology companies currently working with the delightful team at Unbounce.
In her early days of HR, most people thought it was “common sense” to finish a degree and it will get you “x” job. Teresa decided to ignore her degree and, much to her surprise, (and everyone else’s) she used a waitressing gig and info interviews to pivot into the world of in-house recruitment at Electronic Arts. EA was followed by a number of gigs working in the videogames industry at companies such as Blizzard, Bungie, and Vivendi Games. Tackling the full cycle of HR along with Talent Acquisition was the next challenge at Venture Media. In this local Vancouver tech incubator, Teresa was always trying new ways of engaging staff and with some successful collaboration, they were able to enjoy zero attrition rates for nearly 3 years. Today, she is back with a larger People and Culture Team heading up Recruitment efforts
having way too much fun helping the company to grow well, laugh more, learn, and up-level their efforts. When not at work, you can find her with her two little boys and husband (who laugh at her jokes) riding bikes.
As Head of Customer Success at ZenHub, Kendra helps teams like NASA, Microsoft, and Shopify establish fast-moving business processes so they can inspire and innovate, creating phenomenal things we know and love. Kendra found her success in tech by ignoring advice of specializing at a young age. As a result, she brings expertise in project management, strategic business goal-setting, web development, and customer engagement. This has led Kendra to define her career in Customer Success where she is a champion of advocating for the voice of the customer in all user experiences, with a passion for creating delightful moments. In her spare time, Kendra is the Volunteer Chair for Women In Tech Vancouver, is a strategic business advisor for new startups, and can be found experimenting with food or adoring her cat Mika.
Andrea “Andee” Pittman is currently deepening community and teaching User Experience Design at RED Academy-Canada’s leading design and technology school. Andee started off her career in performing arts and hospitality before making the leap to tech. Andee’s dream is to create design coalitions within Vancouver to support achievements being the greenest city by 2020. Her favourite project she initiated was the VanFutures Hackathon. 30 tech Vancouverites came together to hack at the Zero Waste challenge, affordable rental housing, and the development of the False Creek Flats. Andee hopes to expand her network and collaborate with existing initiatives to fuel her systemic problem solving hunger.
Caitlin Tuba is an accidental computer science graduate who now works as a technical architect at a local technology consultancy firm. Day to day she works with clients in industries from retail to oil and gas to identify problems in how they do their job and provides a technical solution to help. All this really means is she listens to people and then draws on whiteboards to figure out how to solve their problems.
For example: a group of first nations were struggling to track the whale populations where they live to provide information to scientists. We created an iPad app for them to be able to log where they saw the whales, which whales they saw and other information about the whale’s health and environment. All of this information gets saved and is available to scientists around the world to help to protect our whale populations.
On top of her “day job”, in the summer of 2014 Caitlin started the Vancouver chapter of Girls Learning Code and Kids Learning Code, a national non-profit focused on inspiring youth to become creators with technology rather than just consumers.
Known for finding loopholes, Cassidy sees life as one big hackathon. She started her first business when she was 10 years old and has been building things ever since. After dissolving her first big venture shortly after high school she decided to learn from the pros and work with other entrepreneurs creating businesses. In search of technical skills, this lead her to move to New York and learn to code. After a few months she found her home at Axiom Zen combining her passion for hacking and business on the product team.
Nicole is the Product Marketing Specialist, Partners, at Hootsuite, where she develops co-marketing strategies and executes co-branded activities and events for the company’s top tier integration partners. Nicole helps continue the evolution and success of Hootsuite’s ISV partner program and ecosystem expansion. Before Hootsuite, Nicole worked in mobile advertising and marketing for Vancouver-based mobile developer and publisher, airG, where she managed the mediation and monetization of the airG social network ad space by running campaigns and contests with global brands like McDonald’s, Toyota, and P&G, and partnered with international mobile operators like AT&T, Telstra, and Boost. As a passionate professional and BCIT Alumni, Nicole’s unique blend of social media and mobile advertising knowledge has made her an expert in digital media and marketing.
After graduating from Simon Fraser University with a Joint Major in Business and Computing Science, Renee works as an IT Project Manager at TELUS where she leads the delivery of numerous application development, system migration, and infrastructure upgrade projects. She was formerly Chair of the Canadian Women in Technology student chapter and is currently working with the Burnaby Board of Trade as founding Chair Burnaby Young Professionals Network, an initiative aiming to provide opportunities for young professionals to develop the skills, network, and community engagement to help accelerate their careers. In her spare time, she enjoys building puzzles or playing sports such as basketball, netball, tennis, and golf.
Martha is the Employee Experience Manager at ACL, a global GRC software company founded and headquartered in Vancouver. Martha is an active member of the HR community in the tech industry and sits on the Steering Committee of the HR Tech Group. She is passionate about advocating for innovative people and culture practices and has been a featured speaker at the Campus Recruiting Forum. She holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Simon Fraser University. Martha lives in Vancouver with her husband, and their rescue dog, Poppy.
Erin has been working as a Front End Software Developer for a year and a half and in that time she begun to realize what is important to her in the software industry. She is interested in working on projects that have some sort of positive social or environmental impact. As well, Erin thinks that there is amazing potential for any women in the tech industry and value involvement in any initiative that provides support for other women in tech.
Reetu is a full stack polyglot and agile practitioner. She’s led teams in Bangalore, translated ancient COBOL, travelled the Trans-Siberian railway, and is mother to one wonderful daughter. A decade ago, Reetu was building Enerprise Java applications. These days she’s pushing boundaries on the web with Node, Angular and React. A lot has changed in that time, but Reetu’s relentless pursuit of interesting problems has remained constant
Women In Tech Awards Soiree: Celebrating Our Women
Michelle Martin is a co-founder of three values-driven technology start-ups: Ethelo Decisions, ArtsAlly Media Inc., and NXT Level You. She holds two primary passions; first, the future of wellness and human potential; and, second, evolving group decision-making and democracy. Most days, she can be found in Whistler navigating being a stepmom to three young boys when she’s not finding her flow on her snowboard.
Shane oversees recruitment and admissions for graduate programs at the Beedie School of Business, SFU. Recruiting the best students from around the world to study at Beedie. Working in Higher Education for over 12 years in Europe, North America and Asia, Shane has a wide range of experience in career development, student recruitment and admissions, marketing, teaching and student support. Outside of work Shane enjoys football (soccer), walking his dog Albert and drinking tea.
Kick Off Breakfast: Bringing out the Big Guns
Dawen leads Boeing Digital Aviation’s Advanced Analytics team, working with airlines and defense customers. She draws from a team of strong Data Scientists and Analytics professionals to tackle some of the industry’s tough problems in maintenance and operations by applying innovative analytical methods. She and her team have worked on projects utilizing techniques in data mining, statistical analysis, machine learning, discrete event simulation, mathematical optimization, and data visualization.
She has been helping companies bridging the gap between technical and business teams, applying analytics to answer strategic and operational questions, from scoping and modelling to implementation. She brings perspectives to the aviation field from industries, such as manufacturing and supply chain, healthcare, retail and wholesale, financial services and heavy equipment auctioning.
Tech Girl Power Cardio
Portia Favro is a social media strategist by day and professional dancer, instructor and choreographer by night.
Portia’s work has been published and broadcast on CTV’s Canada AM, CTV Olympics, ABC’s Good Morning America, Global News, The Take Media, McClung’s Magazine, The Take Media, The Kelowna Daily Courier, The Hockey News, and many other online publications.
She is regularly involved in content creation, strategy and found in the social media trenches for various clients in Vancouver, B.C. and beyond. When she’s not scanning through her Twitter feed, you’ll find Portia in the dance studio or on stage working on her latest project.
Portia is an international choreographer and performer, having worked extensively on the West Coast (U.S and Canada), Switzerland, United Kingdom and across Canada.
She is a Producer, Principal dancer, and the Marketing Director of The Lovers Cabaret, Lead Instructor of the Army of Sass – Vancouver, Producer of Go-Go Bungalow at The Shameful Tiki Room, teacher at the Vancouver Burlesque Centre, and regularly performs in live events and shows across B.C.