Meet the speakers and panelists
This year we are featuring amazing speakers and panelists from LookyLoo, Of Course Global, M&T Bank, American Express, DatePlay, SAP.io, Octo Telematics, Dun & Bradstreet, Netflix, Cornell, TechCXO, Cisco, and EY.
Learn more about their inspiring stories below.
Chia-Lin Simmons is the CEO of LookyLoo, an AI-Powered social commerce company that focuses on helping women discover and purchase clothing that fit and make them feel confident.
She is active in the AI, automotive, mobility, digital media and e-commerce technology space as a consultant and advisory board member for a number of companies in the space. Prior to co-founding her company, Chia-Lin was an executive at a number of high visibility technology companies. She was the former Head of Global Partner Marketing for Google's digital business Google Play Music and the Google Play Store; former VP of Marketing & Content for Harman International / Samsung’s Connected Car business; former VP of Marketing and General Manager of Playphone North America; a senior business development executive at Time Warner/ AOL, as well as the VP of Strategic Alliances at Audible / Amazon. Chia-Lin currently serves on the Board of Directors for Servco Pacific, a $1.6B global automotive / consumer goods company in the automotive, mobility and consumer space. In her free time, Chia-Lin founded the #bindersproject, which helps connected women tech founders with global funders looking to accelerate female founded startups. Chia-Lin graduated Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. San Diego and received her MBA from Cornell University, where she was a Park Leadership Fellow. Chia-Lin is a licensed New York State attorney and earned her JD from George Mason University School of Law.
With her background as a Biotech Engineer and Experience Designer, Social Entrepreneur Rinat Sherzer guides Fortune 500 companies develop solutions that drive a positive impact. She founded Of Course Global, a company that helps businesses enhance their creativity and innovation by implementing tools and frameworks inspired by science, biology and the forgotten wisdom of the female body. Rinat lectures at Cornell, Parsons, Columbia University and SVA and mentors women around the world, helping them reclaim their power.
Rinat’s Tedx Talk:
If you’re in a relationship with a woman - watch this. If you’re a woman - watch this If you work with women - watch this.
Have you ever noticed how our society operates like sperm? Fast, focused and fiercely competitive. And yet, nature has given us a clear formula for success, which is perfectly demonstrated by the menstrual cycle. In this profound and eye-opening talk, Rinat Sherzer reveals how the intelligence of the menstrual cycle encapsulates a framework for building a thriving society - from successful businesses to empowering education systems to loving and lasting relationships. It's a radical new perspective, combining ancient wisdom with modern science, on how to cultivate our creativity, sharpen our leadership skills and live a rich and rewarding life.
Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Vanessa has worked for her share of technology household names: Netflix, Logitech, Plantronics, Netscape as well as start ups since the early 90s. Her passion for the consumer has driven her to launch new product categories [children’s computing accessories, digital writing] and increase adoption of mainstream products [mobile headsets, computer mice, movies]. Most recently as the head of marketing at DVD Netflix, she has reinvigorated the brand and launched an innovative gamification platform for influencers that provides strategic, yet authentic, messaging while fostering community and enabling easier FTC compliance. This program, developed in conjunction with Cornell alumnae, Melinda Byerley, has proven that micro influencers can deliver a positive ROI to an organization. Vanessa holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BA in European Studies from Whittier College, where she was most recently recognized as the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus for the Whittier Scholars Program. For fun Vanessa is also launching She Lives Aloha, a subscription service that keeps the Hawaiian island vibes coming long after the vacation is over.
Jyoti Mishra is the Vice President, Customer Analytics and Data Science for Global Commercial Services at American Express.
In this role, she is responsible for leveraging data science and marketing analytics to create customer centric, omni-channel product engagement and retention strategies for commercial customers. Prior to this, Jyoti held various strategy and analytics roles in the retail finance industry.
Jyoti has an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as, a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Karen is a product manager in the insurtech industry responsible for insurance analytics and scoring at Octo Telematics. She leads teams of software developers and data scientists to create innovative insurance software and analytics solutions. In a previous role, Karen created and launched, DriveAbility, the market-leading actuarial score and global insurance platform for insurance telematics which was acquired by Octo Telematics in 2017. Karen’s areas of expertise include product management, agile software development, usage-based insurance, and new product development. Karen earned a B.A. from Northwestern University in Computing and Information Systems and an MBA from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Christa leads Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions’ Product Strategy, Management and Marketing teams.
She has responsibility for our growth strategy, driving ROI of our assets, value positioning, retention and sales enablement. Christa manages legacy risk platforms that serve 20K customers and is driving the platform upgrade strategy to our modern cloud-based platform. Previously at D&B, Christa led pricing and strategy functions on the Global Alliances & Partnerships team where her work focused on developing value-based pricing strategies for partners, our company Fintech strategy, customer segmentation and partner prioritization analyses.
Prior to D&B, Christa worked at American Express for 12 years primarily in Product Development, Innovation and Relationship Management capacities. At American Express, she was responsible for launching cards, payment solutions and product enhancements globally – with a particular focus on Latin America and Asia. She also helped develop and lead an Advisory Services practice focused on helping companies optimize their investment in Travel & Expense. She developed several patented solutions and managed a substantial technology investment portfolio. Her earlier experience was in Strategy and Economic Consulting for 7 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, DC, New York and The Netherlands. She Advised companies on strategic alternatives, operational efficiencies, strategic sourcing, market entry opportunities and planning, defense and documentation of inter-company pricing structures. Christa has a BA in Economics from Connecticut College and an MBA in Finance from New York University.
Karen is Senior Director, Product Management for Cisco’s Enterprise Networking business.
Karen’s team brings focus to the customer and partner adoption journey of Cisco’s intent-based networking portfolio. In addition, they rigorously execute all product launches across Enterprise Networking: Switching, Wireless, Routing, DNA Automation and Analytics, and Identity & Policy. A 6 year Cisco veteran, Karen has also held leadership positions in engineering operations and organizational transformation.
Prior to Cisco, she survived over 15 years in Human Resources, in part due to her husband and 3 boys. Karen is a California native with a degree from San Jose State. She is actively involved in two non-profits: College of Adaptive Arts and One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding.
Michele D. Trolli
Michele D. Trolli is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Operations Officer of M&T Bank. She also serves as a member of M&T’s Management Committee.
In her role as Chief Technology Officer, Michele leads a broad range of the company’s technology and banking operations, which include banking services, corporate services, digital and telephone banking, the enterprise data office, enterprise security and enterprise technology. These six divisions account for more than a fifth of the bank’s employees. Michele has more than 30 years of experience in banking, investments and technology. Prior to joining M&T, she held the position of Senior Director with Franklin Resources Inc., a world-wide investment management company, and was an Executive Vice President and Development Director of KeyCorp, where she directed KeyBank’s application development division. Michele sits on the mobile banking board of the Clearing House Association, the nation’s first banking association which today advocates on regulatory, legislative and legal public policy issues on behalf of the U.S. banking industry before policy makers, and previously served for six years as the director-at-large for the Bank Administration Institute (BAI).
An active member in the community, she serves as Chair elect of the board of the Zoological Society of Buffalo, Inc., (“Buffalo Zoo”), and heads their Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves on the Western New York Women’s Foundation, board emerita. Michele received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from John Carroll University. In 2014, she was recognized by American Banker magazine as one of the “25 Women to Watch,” an honor awarded annually to recognize influential female leaders and executives who provide exemplary work in the fields of banking and finance. Michele has four children, two grandchildren and is lucky enough to have them all live in Buffalo, NY.
Michael A. Wisler
Michael A. Wisler is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of M&T Bank. In his role as Chief Information Officer, Wisler leads the company’s Technology Division, creating strategies and delivering end-to-end technology services to enable the growth and success of the company’s businesses.
Prior to joining M&T Bank in 2018, Wisler served as Chief Technology Officer, North American Credit Card Division, at Capital One. In this role, he led a team of more than 1,000 technologists across multiple locations accountable for the technology enabling Capital One’s North American credit card businesses. He began his career with Capital One in 2006 as Senior Director of Technology, UK Credit Card Division, and held various leadership roles in Technology before being named Chief Technology Officer. He received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Hazardous Materials Management from the University of Findlay and a Master of Science in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia. In 2014, he was recognized by Computerworld Magazine as one of the “Premier 100 IT Leaders.”
A dedicated advocate for women in the workplace, Wisler serves on the Gender Partnership Council of the Anita Borg Institute, an organization that works to connect, inspire and guide women in computing. He also co-presented at the 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing. In his personal time, he is an avid runner and mountaineer with several marathons and three of the “Seven Summits of the World” off his bucket list: Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, McKinley in Alaska, and Aconcagua in Argentina.
Olga I. Abrosimova
Olga is an M&A Consultant with EY’s Operational Transaction Services practice. She advises Fortune 500 companies on large scale transformations such as mergers, divestitures, spin offs and carve outs. She has worked across Technology, Retail, CPG, Manufacturing and Textile industries.
Prior to joining EY, Olga spent over 8 years in the media and entertainment industry as a Technical Director producing concert tours, conferences, music videos, commercials and political campaign events in over 10 countries. She produced events for international recording artists, business executives, and domestic and foreign Heads of State, including several US Presidents.
Olga received a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Olga also holds a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies as well as an MBA from Cornell University Johnson School of Management. She is also a licensed Pilates instructor.
Partner, Marketing Science, TechCXO Pamela is a seasoned direct marketing and data optimization professional backed by a lengthy career in the media & tech industries, where she has had P&L accountability and managed teams for both print and digital brands in the areas of marketing and marketing operations.
With extensive experience in consumer behavior and behavioral analytics applied to direct response marketing, user experience and customer service integration, she has carved a new path in helping companies optimize and monetize their data based on audience behavioral insights for improved UX and ROI.
Previously, Pamela was the Chief Marketing Officer at the Weider History Group, Part of Weider Health & Fitness, where she was responsible for 85% of corporate revenue generation. She improved subscription profitability by 102% by using a behavioral scoring algorithm to target prospects with the right message and offer at the right time. She improved the subscription cash contribution by over 30% per in the first year of her tenure and increased the lifetime value of customers by an average of 70%. She also created a cooperative industry behavioral database of over 35MM prospects. She managed all aspects of multi-channel brand and direct marketing and marketing operations, including fulfillment operations.
Earlier in her career, in addition to her first professional role in packaged goods brand management, Pamela has had oversight of subscription acquisition and retention marketing for a variety of B2B and B2C brands in the publishing industry including Advertising Age, Electronic Media, Creativity, Crain’s Cleveland Business, Tire Business, SPIN, and Live! (Ticketmaster). Additionally, she has advised several start-ups in the technology sector, including the successful launch of a streaming video-on-demand service brand line extension for a legacy magazine publisher. Audience development consulting clients have been in many special interest genres. She also was the VP Consumer Insights for SocialFlow, the largest repository of social media behavioral data at the time.
Pamela received her MBA from Cornell University (Johnson School of Management), a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University. She is currently studying R programming part-time at John’s Hopkins University. Pamela spent 4 years as Lead Experimenter on The Jury Project, a study of the media’s impact on juror decision-making behavior funded by the National Science Foundation.
Michelle M. Duguid
Michelle Duguid is a professor at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Clifford H. Whitcomb Faculty Fellow at Cornell University. She is a highly-rated instructor who teaches courses including Women and Leadership, Informal Leadership, Networking, Negotiations, Change Management, Organizational Culture, Decision-making and Power and Influence. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University.
Professor Duguid is a leading scholar in the areas of social status, power and politics, influence and decision-making, diversity in organizations and creativity and innovation. Her research examines the influence of social hierarchy, stereotypes and inter- and intra-group relations on individuals’ perceptions and interactions, and relations among group members. Professor Duguid also does research which examines individual and group processes that affect creativity and the quality of decision-making.
She is also a speaker to industry groups and academic audiences about leadership and diversity such as KPMG, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, DST systems, the Brookings Institute, NASA, Brown Smith Wallace, the Makers, the Gender and Work Symposium at the Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, The Clayman Institute, Women of Lab Medicine, the Leveraging Global Talent group and the St. Louis Business Journal. She also trains leaders, runs programs on mentorship and sponsorship, helps people negotiate and strategize about their careers, provides training on teams and teamwork, and, in general, studies and works in the areas of “influence” in the workplace.
Professor Duguid’s research has been published in premier academic journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, The Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, and Psychological Science. Her research has also been cited in many media outlets such as Forbes, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Fast Company, NPR, the New York Times, and the Economist.
Sallie Jian is the Program Manager of SAP.iO Foundry New York which is the corporate venture arm of SAP, a publicly traded enterprise software company. In her role, she is managing and running SAP.iO Foundry New York, including programs devoted to women and diverse-led B2B enterprise tech companies.
Prior to SAP, Sallie was a VP at SeedInvest where she led the firm’s Venture Capital team and served as CFO and Head of Business Development at Savile Row Society, a men’s e-commerce startup, where she led firm initiatives around financing, revenue generation, customer acquisition, and business development.
Sallie began her career in financial services at Morgan Stanley Technology Investment Banking in Silicon Valley and General Atlantic in NYC. She graduated from the Haas Business Program at UC Berkeley and has been recognized as an emerging technology leader in the Venture Capital category as a 2018 Innovators & Disruptors Award recipient. She is a frequent public speaker and has been invited to speak at AdWeek Conference, SOS, LAUNCH, 1776, Empress Insights, Retail X Series, Brunchwork, Fordham Women in Tech, VC Summit, Women's Alternative Investment Summit, and more.
Selina is the Head of Business Development at Ox Verte, a plant-forward food company working to reinvent office breakfast and lunch (hint: your meals at JWiT today!). Selina is passionate about the intersection of food, business, and sustainability. In her current role, she is on a mission to grow the business, with a keen eye on social impact and environmental responsibility. She is an advocate of Slow Food’s philosophy to create a food system that is good, clean, and fair, along with the B Corporation community, a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Before her venture into the startup world, Selina spent seven years in management consulting at Deloitte Consulting, focusing on project management and human capital strategy by helping clients implement large-scale business transformations across all industries. Selina is a Johnson MBA graduate with an emphasis on Sustainable Global Enterprise and completed her undergraduate studies at U.C. Davis in Managerial Economics. She is also an active board member of the Johnson Alumni Club of NYC and the Chair of the Luisa M. Velasquez MBA’12 Memorial Scholarship.
Vana Koutsomitis was born and raised in Manhattan, New York. From a young age, Vana has loved connecting people. She moved to London in 2009 to pursue a career in financial services. Born to a Colombian mother, from Cali, and a Greek father, from Kalamata, Vana grew up in a multicultural environment.
After a couple of years working in finance, Vana left to start her own networking company for financial services professionals called The CityStreet. The idea was to bring together bankers from around the world, from "The City" in London to "The Street" in New York. It turned into more of a dating platform than a professional networking website, which was a big surprise! Vana had always been passionate about people and relationships. In 2013, Vana began matchmaking and put together dozens of couples - three of which are now married! Vana is passionate about entrepreneurship and startups, especially in Colombia, where she has been exploring the startup space and identifying companies that are high growth and seeking investment.
Vana has a low calorie wine company called VinobyVana which is sold by Virgin wines. She also runs DatePlay - a dating app where you play games to meet your match. Vana holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in New York and a Masters in Business Administration from Oxford University. She speaks five languages: Spanish, Greek, French, Mandarin and English. In the future, Vana plans to continue her passion of connecting people - professionally, personally and through products that she loves.