Candice Benson is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relationships and Strategy for WITI (Women in Technology International), a leading global professional organization for tech-savvy women. In this role, Ms. Benson develops relationships with organizations globally and ensures WITI's clients are exercising the benefits of their corporate memberships. She explores opportunities to engage WITI's considerable expertise to empower women in the workplace. Leveraging her hands-on corporate consulting background, Ms. Benson helps clients integrate gender-diversity programs and best practices into their organizations, strengthening their businesses. Latest research studies conclude that there are direct correlations between an organization's depth of employee diversity and positive business results.
Ms. Benson is also on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire High Tech Council, which is building a strong community of female professionals in technology and supporting girls' exploration of STEM as a career. Ms. Benson directs the programming and engages keynote speakers for the organization's monthly TechWomen Power Breakfast, as well as directs their TechWomen|Tech Girls program. She oversees four committees that manage programs to recognize women in tech and to evangelize technology for girls in New Hampshire's schools. In addition, Ms. Benson speaks about gender diversity, innovation, and change management for organizations worldwide.
Sarah Biller is an Educator, Investor, and Entrepreneur in the FinTech sector. She teaches a graduate level course on the evolution of Financial Technology at Brandeis University and is a frequent guest lecturer at MIT. She is an LP in Mountain State Capital, a venture capital fund investing in the promising start-ups from across sectors in the West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and sits on the firm's Board. Ms. Biller is the co-Founder of the FinTech Sandbox, a Boston-based not for profit that accelerates the product development cycle of FinTech start-ups, and currently sits on its Board of Directors.
Ms. Biller was also most recently the Head of Innovation Ventures at State Street Bank's Global Exchange division and its Chief Operating Officer for Innovation.
Prior to joining State Street, Ms. Biller has been a Principal in the launch of several successful venture-backed start-ups in the FinTech and Life Sciences sectors. Most recently she was the Co-Founder and President of Capital Market Exchange (CMX), a venture-backed predictive analytics platform utilizing investor sentiment to help bond investors anticipate near-term changes in spreads. CMX's clients were large institutional firms managing in excess of $6 trillion of Fixed Income assets.
She is the Independent Director for Finomial, a Boston-based technology firm automating the compliance and regulatory requirements for a global set of Hedge Funds. Ms. Biller also is on the Board of the Nashville-based FinTech back office technology providerCore10. She also sat on the board of a trading platform for Bitcoin Options, Alt-Options, LLC until its acquisition in 2016.
Ms. Biller chairs Ernst & Young's National selection committee for its Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year award and also sits on the Advisory Board of multiple FinTech start-ups.
Ms. Biller studied Finance at West Virginia University and George Washington University.
Donna Ceriani is a Leadership Success Coach, helping leaders in technology navigate career choices, enhance their leadership impact, and inspire their teams to achieve their best results.
For more than 25 years, Ms. Ceriani has held senior management roles leading teams across the U.S., Europe, and Asia in the financial services, health care, and technology industries. She was recently the Chief People Officer for SmartBear Software, winning a 2013 "Best Place to Work" award in Boston. Prior to that, she was an Executive Director for Global Client Operations for a company owned by Thomson Reuters and the DTCC, living in Boston, NYC, and Singapore. Ms. Ceriani now brings her vast experience to support her clients on their own journey to achieve their goals. When she isn't immersed in the adventures in today's workplace, she's counting the days until the next snowboarding season.
Danielle Dean, PhD is a Principal Data Scientist Lead at Microsoft Corp. in AzureCAT within the Cloud AI Platform division. She currently leads an international team of data scientists and engineers to build predictive analytics and machine learning solutions with external companies utilizing Microsoft's Cloud AI Platform. Before working at Microsoft, Danielle was a data scientist at Nokia, where she produced business value and insights from big data, through data mining & statistical modeling on data-driven projects that impacted a range of businesses, products and initiatives. Danielle completed her Ph.D. in quantitative psychology with a concentration in biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied the application of multi-level event history models to understand the timing and processes leading to events between dyads within social networks.
Cindy Doe is a Boston-based Principal and leader of Ernst & Young's Digital Risk offering in the Financial Services Office (FSO). Cindy is also the FSO New England Market Advisory leader. She brings over 25 years of experience working in the financial services industry, specifically in banking and capital markets, investment management, and insurance. Cindy has significant experience working with global financial services clients on technology and cyber risk management frameworks, vendor risk management frameworks, resiliency frameworks, internal and external audits, and third party control reporting exams.
Prior to joining Ernst & Young' Financial Services Office, Cindy worked for Zurich Financial Services as Director of IT Audit for Zurich Global Assets, including Centre Re & Zurich Capital Markets, and Director of Internal Audit for Zurich Scudder Investments in North America. In these roles, she was responsible for the development and execution of the annual risk-based audit plan for IT and as well as business operational audit work in the US and international locations as well as co-led the Business & Technology Recovery cross functional working group at Zurich Scudder Investments.
Selected Major Projects:
- Led various process, risk, and control assessments for large investment management firms and regional banks relating to various processes including information technology, information security, disaster recovery, investment life cycle, trading, as well as finance and billing.
- Led a large vendor risk engagement for a large US retail bank relating to the risk assessment and mitigation strategies associated with outsourcing of IT infrastructure services.
- Led a technology and operations risk and controls assessment of the consumer and mortgage servicing divisions of one of the largest global banks.
- Global IT Executive on a large global financial services firm, which includes broker dealer, custodian, and asset management services.
- Led an advisory engagement for a global financial services firm to provide insights and recommendations as part of management's rollout of a quality controls and quality assurance program in the first line of defense.
- Led the IT component of multiple service organization control report engagements, including SOC 1 and SOC 2, including banks, clearing broker deals, alternative investment firms as well as alternative asset administrators.
- Senior advisor for complex resiliency, privacy, and cyber risk engagements as well as the IT component of integrated and statutory audits for firms in the banking, capital markets and alternative investment industries.
Cindy is a Certified Information Systems Auditor and received a B.S. in Finance from Boston College.
Lauren Hasson is the Founder of DevelopHer, a career development platform for tech women by tech women, and a software engineer at a prominent Bay Area fintech company where she's builds their apps and is a principal member of the information security team. Her work has been featured in Apple keynotes, she was one of 100 top innovators invited to attend the UK G8 Innovation and Decide Now Act Summits with the United Nation's technology council, and she's won multiple, high-profile hackathons. She holds a degree from Duke where she completed a triple major with honors in electrical engineering, computer science, and economics in just four years. Lauren founded DevelopHer to help tech women advance their careers after learning she was paid 50% less than a male peer. And, because she invested in learning how to negotiate for herself, Lauren was able to triple her salary in less than two years. Now she's on a mission to bridge the gender income gap, one negotiation, one woman at a time with her Become a NegotiatHer keynote and online course. She also hosts a podcast, The DevelopHer Show, which features leading tech women speaking candidly about their careers and lessons learned.
Melissa Jurkoic is currently a Senior Solutions Architect for Amadeus Hospitality where she and her team operate at the intersection of business and technology to support enterprise clients in realizing their strategic objectives.
With over two decades' experience as a technologist, her mix of technical savvy and business strategy is unique for a former software engineer. Melissa's fusion of technology and conversational techniques connect with both technical and business audiences to lead strategic initiatives to the best outcomes.
Melissa earned her BS in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire, holds an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is currently a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4).
Extremely passionate about making a positive impact on the decline of women in STEM education and careers, she volunteers with several committees in the Northeast region to educate and encourage women and girls to pursue careers in technology. Melissa has always lived in the Northeast and now makes her home in Newmarket, New Hampshire with her family.
Christina Qi serves as Co-Founder and Partner at Domeyard LP, a hedge fund known for its focus on high frequency trading. Domeyard closed its Series C in 2017 and trades up to $1 billion USD per day. Her company's story has been featured on the front page of Forbes, Nikkei, and other publications. Christina brings experience in investment management, sales and trading, derivatives operations, and technology across Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities, Zions Bank, and MIT Lincoln Labs. She is a visiting lecturer at MIT, within Nobel Laureate Robert Merton's "Retirement Finance" class since 2014 and is a case study protagonist at Harvard Business School. Christina sits on the Board of Directors of Invest in Girls, the Board of MIT Sloan Boston Alumni Association (SBAA), the U.S. Non-Profit Boards Committee of 100 Women in Finance (100WF), and the Scholarship Committee of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association. Christina and her Co-Founders have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 lists, and is the Women's Wealth Forum 2018 Founder of the Year. She holds an S.B. in Management Science from MIT and is a CAIA Charterholder.
Matthew Rouser is a Seasoned technology leader bringing entrepreneurial experience to all sectors. He has been a core member of executive teams in Europe, the East Coast and the Midwest.
Currently he leads Innovation, Technology and Process at Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development, supporting its mission to build stronger neighborhoods in Boston. These efforts include designing and deploying new applications for use by the people of Boston, partnering with startups and long established technology firms to identify cutting-edge solutions, and maximizing use of available technology to ensure that all staff members at DND have the IT tools and training needed to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Examples include Metrolist, Boston's first iteration of an affordable housing portal and Buildinghousing.boston.gov, DND's 24/7 community meeting.
Matthew is a Teach for America alum, teaching third grade in Chicago, an innovation lab manager in Sweden, a community activist and a technology leader for a number of government agencies. He also served on the board at Code for Boston, a volunteer organization that helps local communities use technology for social good.
Robbie Samuels believes that networking is a marketing strategy. This is the lens through which he helps his clients achieve their business goals. He helps them shift their mindset around relationship building, so they discover new connections and business opportunities in the world around them - and know how to act on them. He has been recognized as a "networking expert" by Inc. and Lifehacker, and profiled in Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It by Dorie Clark. Robbie is the author of the best-selling business book Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.
A professional member of the National Speakers Association, he has been speaking and coaching on the topic of inclusive networking for over a decade. While practical and filled with easy to implement action steps, his talks are most often described as "dynamic, engaging, and funny." He shares "small, big ideas," everyday ideas, which are accessible and immediately actionable and have the power to inspire significant change. Tune into On the Schmooze, his weekly podcast on leadership and networking, to be inspired by the talented professionals he interviews. Visit www.RobbieSamuels.com//WITI to download "10 Tips for Conference Connections."
Anne Schwieger works for the City of Boston Department of Innovation & Technology as Broadband and Digital Equity Advocate. In this role she supports the City of Boston in advancing access to affordable broadband connectivity, up-to-date digital tools, and the digital skills that Bostonians need to engage in educational, economic, and civic pursuits. Anne is a board member of the Boston Neighborhood Network and the National League of Cities Information Technology & Communications Federal Advocacy Committee. She holds a Master in City Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and a BA in Biology and Society from Cornell University. Anne was named to the StateScoop Top Women in Technology 2018 list.
Laurel is passionate about maximizing human potential and realizing innovation as a result of aligning interdependent parties in new and novel ways, powered through data mining & technology. When Laurel observed companies waging the war for talent, coupled with hyper mobility of millennials saddled with student loan debt, the arbitrage opportunity in the labor market became clear: student debt repayment on a vesting schedule to drive employee stickiness. In fact, employee engagement is beyond retention, as offering this coveted benefit expresses as love and loyalty for the employer. Laurel's aspiration is to launch student debt repayment as a new normal at the core of corporate financial health and wellness offerings. As a staggering 50%+ of millennials opt out of 401(k) contribution, employees express student loan debt as a more relevant and meaningful offering.
Laurel is a graduate of MIT prior to launching FutureFuel.io, held a Head of Industry leadership position within Google's Global Business Unit within the Large Customer Sales division. During this time, she also served as a super connector and cross-functional bridge within Google: Google Ventures, Partnerships, X, and Enterprise. Her 10+ years at the intersection of technology and humanity enabled Laurel to internalize strong user preferences for all-things-mobile, efficiency, simplicity, instant access and engagement.
Ruthbea Yesner is the Vice President of Government Insights at IDC. In this practice, Ms. Yesner manages the US Federal Government and the Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities Global practices. Ms. Yesner's research discusses the strategies and execution of relevant technologies and best practice areas, such as governance, innovation, partnerships and business models, essential for Smart City and Community development. Ms. Yesner's research includes Big Data and analytics, artificial intelligence, Open data and data exchanges, digital twins, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and mobile solutions in the areas of economic development and civic engagement, urban planning and administration, public safety, transportation, and energy and infrastructure. Ms. Yesner contributes to consulting engagements to support state and local governments and IT vendors' overall Smart City market strategies.
Ms. Yesner contributes to the IDC Community and in publications such as Government Technology, Government Computer News, CivSource, M2M Evolution, CIO magazine, SmartGrid News, Connected World and FedTech magazine. She has contributed to U.S. publications such as American City & County, StateTech, .Gov magazine covering technology in the Middle East, and iThome a Taiwanese IT magazine. Ms. Yesner's publications include a chapter with PTI and the Global Institute on the first developmental model for smart cities in Smart Cities for a Bright Sustainable Future: A Global Perspective which is available on Amazon. Her latest publication is on smart city measurements and assessments, published in February 2017 in Managing for Social Impact: Innovations in Responsible Enterprise, by Springer. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.
Ms. Yesner has had several roles at IDC over the past 15 years. Ms. Yesner helped launch the IDC end-user research Vertical Group as the Director of Vertical Views following five years as a Consulting Director for large-scale international projects that provided strategic and tactical marketing services, including market opportunity assessments, competitive analysis, and cost/benefit analysis.
Ms. Yesner joined IDC following work as a product manager in Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, she worked in state social services as a director of programs serving young adults and adolescents diagnosed with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Ms. Yesner holds a BA from Wesleyan University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston College with an MBA and MSW joint degree.
On January 20th, 2016, Ms. Yesner was presented with the James Peacock 2015 Memorial Award for excellence in her contributions to IDC research and IDC clients.
Speakers and Sessions are Subject to Change
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