IWD 2019 Speakers

Barbara Williams Hardy is a visionary, connector, catalyst for change and global citizen of the world. She is an award-winning thought leader with a global mindset and is known as a “Go To” leader who develops high-level relationship alliances that foster inclusion, belonging, collaboration and commitment to align diversity strategies with business objectives to accelerate employee engagement, innovation and organizational success. She recently joined NetApp as the Global Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. Prior to NetApp she was the Managing Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Oracle. Mrs. Hardy’s mission is to unlock the untapped brilliance in all of us. Barbara is the creator of the Barb List, Principles for Achieving Success and Living an Amazing Life, a frequent speaker on a variety of leadership topics for corporate leadership summits and organizations including Changemaker Chats, Women of Color STEM Conference, Veteran Women’s Unconference, Powerful Women of the Bay, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Oakland Bay Area Chapter, Women’s Empowerment Forum and How Women Lead. As a leader in the community, she’s served as an executive sponsor keynote speaker, cultural mentor for the U.S. Department of State TechWomen Initiative , as Vice Chair and Commissioner for the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women,  the Advisory Board Member for the Information Technology Senior Management Forum and the World Wide Women Girls Festival Leadership Council . Currently, Barbara serves on the Board of the Women Funding Network Barbara has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions, including the WiSTEM Diversity and Inclusion Person of the Year 2018, Black Enterprise List of Top Executives in Corporate Diversity 2018, Continental Who’s Who Registry of National Business Leaders, the Woman of Outstanding Leadership, International Women’s Leadership, DiversityFirst Award, Women of the Year, Most Powerful Women of the Bay, Women Leading the Way and Technology All Star at the Women of Color STEM Conference. Barbara’s also received Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the Cities of San Francisco and Oakland, California. Feel free to connect with Barb after the event or follow her on Twitter @bawconnects

As a Director in the Worldwide Software Sales organization, Kelli Kirwin’s “Software Simple” team specializes in simplifying the sales process across the customer lifecycle. She is passionate about solving complex problems requiring collaboration with large cross-functional teams. Kelli and her team effectively align sales, operations, engineering, finance, and legal to simplify internal processes, policies and platforms across Cisco. The results have enabled software sales productivity improvements, revenue growth, and improved end-to-end sales efficiencies, simplifying the sales experience for Cisco customers, sellers and partners.

Throughout her career, Kelli has specialized in successfully moving business ideas from incubation through to market maturity. She thrives in the “murky middle” where opportunities are not well defined and need vision, clarity, structure, and leadership to accelerate their time-to-value.

She is a passionate advocate for diversity within organizations and is known for building strong teams that match individual strengths to team priorities. She persues excellence, and enthusiastically supports the success of others, attracting high-performing individuals who also thrive in ever changing business environments that require problem-solving at accelerated speeds. Collaboration, trust, and an unrelenting quest for excellence define the brand of a Kelli Kirwin team.

In her 10+ years at Cisco, Kelli has held various leadership roles across sales, marketing and customer support. One of her key acheivements at Cisco was as the Senior Manager, Americas Services Sales Specialist, Kelli grew the business from $330 million to over $1.3 billion in three years, with an average annual growth rate of 55% year over year. Prior to joining Cisco, Kelli held executive and management roles within the technology industry, from startups through to F500 corporations.

Kelli puts her passion for mentorship and inclusion into action as the Cisco Systems board of directors representative for the Massachusetts Conference for Women. She regularly participates in mentorship activites inside and outside of Cisco. She is a sought-after speaker at WIT as well as Diversity and Inclusion events, where she champions the importance of closing the gender gap. Kelli believes in “reverse mentorship” and has built a highly specialized, select group of people as her own personal board of directors to help guide and counsel her.

She is extraordinarily proud of her loving and supportive family, including her husband Ryan and their three daughters, Amory, Elise, and Lila. When not at work, Kelli enjoys spending time with family, Patriots football, gardening, and yoga.

Lisa MacKenzie, Partner, Executive Vice President at The Channel Company

Lisa MacKenzie is a seasoned Channel Executive with expertise in marketing, sales, product management and operations. She spent her early career in retail/channel sales and marketing in the Software industry which led her to Ingram Micro in various management roles working with early networking companies like Novell, Cisco and 3Com. Lisa was then tapped to join VARBusiness Magazine which was the launching pad to a 25 year career including Publisher of CRN, SVP of Sales , and EVP overseeing Marketing, Events and IPED research and consulting divisions for The Channel Company. Lisa was instrumental in The Channel Company’s evolution from providing traditional media to offering a full portfolio of solutions and services and became one of four partners in a highly successful management led buyout in 2013.

Her current passion is The Channel Company’s portfolio of Women’s leadership Conferences which began 11 years ago as a breakout session and has grown to nine events globally reaching over 2000 Women in tech each year. A CRN “Woman of the Channel” herself, she has become a frequent speaker on Women’s leadership and research in the Tech Industry. Lisa is a proud Marine Corps wife and mother of four and avid outdoor adrenaline junkie!

Cynthia Barnes is recognized as one of the most influential Women in Sales leaders and professional development experts in the world. The former Top 1% saleswoman founded the National Association of Women Sales Professionals in 2016, the nation’s only organization dedicated to helping women sales professionals reach the Top 1% and Dance on the Glass Ceiling™.

Cynthia’s insights and unique understanding of what it takes for women sales professionals to excel have made her a sought-after expert on women-centric sales training and coaching, having appeared in over 250 major media outlets around the nation – including appearances in the Wall Street Journal. She is recognized by Sales Hacker one of the 35 Most Influential Women in Sales. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Sales Network Detroit Chapter.

Although her commitment to promoting Women in Sales takes her around the world, Cynthia is proud to call Metro Detroit home.

Coco is the Founder and CEO of The Athena Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing diversity in the boardroom with a robust executive development and match delivery model anchored in her deep connection to community building, executive consulting, and professional services. In just two years, Athena has made over 700 key connections between investment firms, CEOs and boards to top women, made over 400 presentations of women to boards, secured over 200 first interviews (many continuing on with over fifty boards actively considering Athena women today, a deeply supported and coached over 200 top women.

Prior, Coco served as President, COO and Board Director of Taos, a prominent in IT Services business serving hundreds of F1000 companies such as Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco is an experienced board member having served on the boards of The Athena Alliance, Taos Mountain Software, Inc., DevOpsGroup, and MentorNet. She served as Grace Hopper – ABIE Technology Leadership Award, Nominating Committee Chair 2014-2017 and has received numerous awards and visibility in high-profile publications. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Megan is the Director of Customer Success at Stackify and the Founder/President of The WIT Network Kansas City. With a background in full stack development and public
speaking, she’s a giant fangirl of C# but would be happy to nerd out with you about continuous application improvement too! As a mom of four, she spends a lot of time with her family but she always makes time to cheer for Sporting KC!

Jenna Beckett is a fullstack web developer who specializes in the .Net technologies. She is also a Technical Instructor at Centriq Training helping students acquire the skills necessary to enter the field of development. As a developer, Jenna is passionate about working at the intersection of form and functionality, creating immersive web experiences for users. She is an outspoken advocate for women in technology who says her driving force is to advance the female voice in technology. She works to encourage women and girls to enter the field of web development by serving on the leadership team for multiple WIT communities in Kansas City. She is the Co-Founder of the Kansas City chapter of The WIT Network.

Gail Mercer-MacKay, Philanthropic Chair, The WIT Network

As the Philanthropic Chair for The WIT Network, Gail is dedicated to extending the organization’s mission of STEM education for women and girls into initiatives that have an impact around the globe for communities and people. Along with a core team of volunteers Gail is spearheading the current efforts in Haiti where The WIT Network has built a computer lab and is partnering with local educators to deliver affordable STEM education to hundreds of students. In January 2019, The WIT Network delivered our first “Day of Inspiration” conference to 85 young girls in Port au Prince.

With over twenty-five years’ experience in IT, Gail is the founder and CEO of Mercer-MacKay Digital Storytelling, a company dedicated to helping partners create marketing and lead generation assets and campaigns. Gail speaks annually at Microsoft Inspire, the global partner conference, where she has consistently been ranked as a top 10 speaker for the past four years. Gail and her team are currently building a marketing app on Azure, which means Mercer-MacKay now officially qualifies as an ISV.

Gail is a mother to four sons and lives in Burlington, Ontario. She is an avid golfer, guitar player, and loves to camp. As the recipient of the WITsUp 2018 Women in Technology Mentor of the Year, Gail is committed to helping others achieve personal and professional success. In 2018, Gail was also named the Computer Dealer News (CDN) Woman in the IT Channel Mentor of the Year.

Andrea Conner is a change agent and strategic relationship builder. Through her success in global leadership roles spanning four countries, she promotes corporate social responsibility, leadership development, and gender equity. As President of ATHENA International, Andrea leads the organization in its mission to support, develop and honor women leaders. In doing so, she brings an international approach and global awareness of the challenges facing women’s educational and equal opportunity advancement.

A servant to the global community, Andrea serves on the Board of the Sias International University Foundation that supports a private post-secondary school in rural China, and is a Governing Body Board Member for the Raleigh Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She is a consultant for the World Academy for the Future of Women and previously worked on assignment for United Nations Women-Beijing. Andrea holds a master’s degree in Global Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. Currently residing in North Carolina, Andrea advocates fiercely for issues important to the advancement of the world’s women and global citizenship.

Kati leads the global product marketing communications team for the Business Applications solution area at Microsoft. Her team is responsible for driving awareness and increasing marketing momentum for Dynamics 365 and the Power platform through discoverability with engaging content and experiences. Her team focuses on showcasing best practices, executive communications, numerous digital marketing channels and 1st and 3rd party events.

Previously Kati led the partner marketing team for Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) for six years including broad marketing and several active community channels. She also, for 10 years, was the director of event marketing for the Microsoft Corporate Events team. Kati’s team had responsibility for a large majority of the company’s strategic events. The focus was on large branded and internal events, product launches and tradeshows. She also was responsible for driving the global thought leadership for both in person as well as digital events.

Prior to Microsoft, Kati spent over a decade in the Washington DC area as a director of meetings, marketing and professional development for various trade associations. She has had the responsibility for logistics and content for conferences held around the world ranging from 10-15,000 people.

Kati is active in speaking at professional conferences on topics ranging from marketing to leadership to women in technology. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, has two teenage sons that play baseball, football and golf. She is a lifelong sports enthusiast, trail runner and loves leading an active lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest.

Sarah is a proven business leader who spent the last decade in product marketing, sales and strategy at Microsoft. Her tenacity, drive and results led to her being widely recognized as a turnaround expert, new business incubator and compete strategist.

Sarah’s leadership style is engaging and authentic. Her superpower is her ability to spot patterns, diagnose operational constraints and activate the right people and resources to deliver results. Building high performing teams that have a high degree of trust and customer obsession.

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Business Administration from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.

In her own words, “I’m founding Tribute because I’m passionate about the power of human connection and using storytelling as a means to find that connection. When we feel connected, we feel empowered, supported, and most importantly, capable of achieving our most aspirational goals.”

Cynthia Barnes is recognized as one of the most influential Women in Sales leaders and professional development experts in the world. The former Top 1% saleswoman founded the National Association of Women Sales Professionals in 2016, the nation’s only organization dedicated to helping women sales professionals reach the Top 1% and Dance on the Glass Ceiling™.

Cynthia’s insights and unique understanding of what it takes for women sales professionals to excel have made her a sought-after expert on women-centric sales training and coaching, having appeared in over 250 major media outlets around the nation – including appearances in the Wall Street Journal. She is recognized by Sales Hacker one of the 35 Most Influential Women in Sales. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Sales Network Detroit Chapter.

Although her commitment to promoting Women in Sales takes her around the world, Cynthia is proud to call Metro Detroit home.

Kati leads the global product marketing communications team for the Business Applications solution area at Microsoft. Her team is responsible for driving awareness and increasing marketing momentum for Dynamics 365 and the Power platform through discoverability with engaging content and experiences. Her team focuses on showcasing best practices, executive communications, numerous digital marketing channels and 1st and 3rd party events.

Previously Kati led the partner marketing team for Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) for six years including broad marketing and several active community channels. She also, for 10 years, was the director of event marketing for the Microsoft Corporate Events team. Kati’s team had responsibility for a large majority of the company’s strategic events. The focus was on large branded and internal events, product launches and tradeshows. She also was responsible for driving the global thought leadership for both in person as well as digital events.

Prior to Microsoft, Kati spent over a decade in the Washington DC area as a director of meetings, marketing and professional development for various trade associations. She has had the responsibility for logistics and content for conferences held around the world ranging from 10-15,000 people.

Kati is active in speaking at professional conferences on topics ranging from marketing to leadership to women in technology. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, has two teenage sons that play baseball, football and golf. She is a lifelong sports enthusiast, trail runner and loves leading an active lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest.
Andrea Conner is a change agent and strategic relationship builder. Through her success in global leadership roles spanning four countries, she promotes corporate social responsibility, leadership development, and gender equity.

As President of ATHENA International, Andrea leads the organization in its mission to support, develop and honor women leaders. In doing so, she brings an international approach and global awareness of the challenges facing women’s educational and equal opportunity advancement. A servant to the global community, Andrea serves on the Board of the Sias International University Foundation that supports a private post-secondary school in rural China, and is a Governing Body Board Member for the Raleigh Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She is a consultant for the World Academy for the Future of Women and previously worked on assignment for United Nations Women-Beijing.

Andrea holds a master’s degree in Global Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. Currently residing in North Carolina, Andrea advocates fiercely for issues important to the advancement of the world’s women and global citizenship.