shetek Annual conference 2021
SHETEK ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2021
October 26 & 27
1:00 – 5:30 PM EDT
Presented Live on
The SheTek Annual Conference 2021 took place on October 26 – 27, 2021 and featured a Keynote on tech problem solving by Dr. Beth Simone Noveck, NJ’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of The Governance Lab. Our many attendees were engaged by numerous interesting panels focused around growing and boosting a rewarding tech career!
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Speakers, Moderators, & Panelists
PamTen President and CEO
New Jersey Chief Innovation Officer
Director, The Governance Lab
President and CEO at New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA)
SheTek Power Team Member
Vice President of Information Technology at a leading Healthcare products company
SheTek Power Team Member
Co-Director, Satyana Institute and Co-Founder, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Co-Director, Satyana Institute and Co-Founder, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Former Assistant Dean/Director, The Douglass Project for Women in STEM at Rutgers University
SheTek Power Team Member
Founder and CEO, Innovation+
Advisor, Tech Council Ventures
Executive Project Manager at PamTen
VP, Head of Digital, Data and Analytics, Zoetis Inc.
President and CEO, MFR, Inc.
SheTek Power Team Member
Director of Business Diversity, CDW
SheTek Power Team Member
Assistant Commissioner of Research and Information at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Executive Director of the Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools
Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Synchronoss
CEO & Founder, SWAYworkplace
Chief Government Affairs Officer, New Jersey Business & Industry Association
Founder, Certified Value Builder Advisor & Business Coach, MavenCEO
Lead – Accenture Cloud First | Data & AI Lead
Founder and CEO, Amicus Brain Innovations
Facilitator, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Facilitator and Trainer, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, AECOM
Chief of Staff & Operations – Northeast Enterprise at Microsoft
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Lead and Trainer, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Welcome Address – Chaya Pamula, SheTek Founder and PamTen President and CEO
Dr. Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey Chief Innovation Officer & Director, The Governance Lab – Keynote speaker
Current Industry Trends and Workforce Development
Moderated by Michele Siekerka, President and CEO at NJBIA & SheTek Power Team Member
Featuring Panelists Aaron Fichter, Lesley Hirsch, Jackie Burke, Chrissy Buteas
This panel of tech and workforce professionals will discuss how the tech industry is changing and what is needed to develop a stronger, more capable workforce.
Entrepreneurship and Bootstrapping
Moderated by Jim Barrood, Founder and CEO, Innovation+ & Advisor at Tech Council Ventures
Featuring Panelists Maria Ramirez, Denise Brouder, Ronke Dosunmu, MD
Our panel will explore how to build the business of your dreams – and funding opportunities that can help you support it.
A Conversation with Next-Gen SheTekkies
Moderated by Sally Nadler, SPHR Former Assistant Dean/Director, The Douglass Project for Women in STEM.
Featuring Student Panelists Jessica Nagar, Şeyma Güleryüz, Ceren Kahyaoglu, and Elizabeth O’Hara
What are college students and recent graduates thinking the future of tech will be? Our passionate panel will discuss this lively topic.
Virtual Networking – Get to know your fellow SheTekkers!
Welcome Back – Chaya Pamula, SheTek Founder and PamTen President and CEO
Rise, Climb, Lift – Become a Leader with the Support of a Mentor
Moderated by Elaine Tanimura, Executive Project Manager, PamTen
Featuring Panelists Shail Jain, Julie Dabrowski, and Kristin Malek
There are times in everyone’s career where they need guidance, support, and a little inspiration. Find out how mentorship works from our panelists who have both mentored – and been mentees! We’ll also discuss the upcoming SheTek Mentorship program.
Gender Balance in the Workplace – Moderated by Myra Kinds,
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Lead and Trainer, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Featuring Panelists Dr. Will Keepin, Chaya Pamula, Ariana Blossom, and Jorge Rico
Be inspired to work towards healing and transforming gender relations! Diversity and Inclusion are more important than ever in today’s corporate world. This interactive panel discussion will help you understand and guide you into creating a more inclusive society.
Gender Harmony in the Workplace – An Experiential Workshop – an interactive exercise and activity that addresses your understanding of gender equity and how your personal experience affects your perception.
Data Analytics, Visualization, and the Role of AI
Moderated by Stacey Stewart, VP of Information Technology at a leading Healthcare company, SheTek Power Team member
Featuring Panelists Patrick Doran, Krishna Cheriath
There is so much data collected on a daily basis. But what happens to it and how is it used? And how can this be the next step in your tech career? Our panel will discuss all this and more.
Let’s recognize SheTek’s contributors, members, and volunteers as we wrap up this year’s SheTek event!
Dr. Beth Simone NoveckNew Jersey Chief Innovation Officer Director, The Governance Lab
Beth Simone Noveck serves as the State of New Jersey’s first Chief Innovation Officer – a position she was appointed to by Governor Philip D. Murphy in August 2018. In this capacity, Dr. Noveck, a native of New Jersey, focuses on enhancing innovation in government and in the Garden State’s economy. Using better data, more collective intelligence and agile technology, her team leads projects, designs policies, and advises agencies on innovative strategies to improve the lives of New Jerseyans. Dr. Noveck serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Future of Work Task Force and sits on the Governor’s Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council.
In addition to her role as New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Noveck is a professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, a Fellow at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, and is a Visiting Senior Faculty Fellow at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. She also directs NYU’s Governance Lab, an action research center studying the impact of technology on governing. Previously, Dr. Noveck served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer, and as director of the White House Open Government Initiative under President Obama. UK Prime Minister David Cameron later appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel named her a member of her ten-person digital council.
She is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and was named one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government 2018” by Apolitical. Previously, she was selected as one of the “Foreign Policy 100” by Foreign Policy as well as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. Dr. Noveck has written multiple books, and has been published extensively, on how technology can improve governing.
Michele Siekerka, Esq.President and CEO at New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) SheTek Power Team Member
Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, leads the nation’s largest, most influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive.
Under Siekerka’s leadership, NJBIA’s award-winning research on outmigration documented the loss of $20.7 billion in wealth from New Jersey over 11 years and set the agenda in Trenton for the enactment of a series of important pro-business reforms, including the recent repeal of the estate tax, and the adjustment of the state income tax threshold for taxing retirement income.
Siekerka has also been at the forefront of efforts to build more effective workforce development alliances in New Jersey between academia, business and government. The NJBIA Postsecondary Education Task Force’s yearlong study of New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation millennial outmigration produced a 13-point action plan in 2018 that is driving policymakers’ discussions on how to retain our future workforce by enticing more young adults to pursue education and careers in New Jersey.
Siekerka came to NJBIA in 2014 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where she served in the critical position of Deputy Commissioner, following her service as Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Management. During her time at DEP, Siekerka was a principal player in the state’s charge to restore New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy with the responsibility of coordinating funding, outreach and resources for rebuilding environmental infrastructure.
An attorney by trade, Siekerka’s background includes serving as the president and CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, senior legal counsel and vice president of human resources with the Automobile Association of America, and as a partner in a Mercer County law firm.
Siekerka is the co-founder and co-chair of Opportunity New Jersey. She also serves on the board of directors of Investors Bancorp; Choose New Jersey; the New Jersey Innovation Institute; Junior Achievement of New Jersey; Young Audiences of NJ; and Better Choices Better Care.
Siekerka’s leadership has been recognized through her inclusion in Power and Policymaker list rankings by Insider NJ, Politicker NJ and NJ BIZ, as well as being cited as one of the 17 People to Watch in 2017 by the Bergen Record. She was also among NJ Biz’s 2015 Best 50 Women in Business.
A Robbinsville resident, Siekerka earned a B.A. in Political Science and German from Rutgers University and a J.D. from Temple University School of Law.
Stacey StewartVice President of Information Technology at a leading Healthcare products company SheTek Power Team Member
Stacey Stewart is a Vice President in the Information Technology function at Bausch Health. She is the executive owner for data governance aimed at bringing together business and technology stakeholders to deliver data solutions that are value driven and scaleable for use across the company.
Stacey brings 27 years of diverse strategic and operational experience in Data Management, Analytics, Information Technology, Supply Chain and Sales & Marketing. Stacey has worked in many functions in technology and data management including enabling areas such as Connected Visibility, Agile Applications, Performance Management, Cognitive Analytics, and Predictive Modeling. Stacey received the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award in 2016. She is a frequent speaker at industry and data governance conferences and is a passionate advocate in high school forums to educate students about opportunities in STEM related careers. She has held transformational roles at Johnson & Johnson, Coopers & Lybrand, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and American Standard. Stacey received a Bachelor of Science cum laude from the University of Delaware with a degree in Economics and Management Information Systems.
Chaya PamulaSheTek Founder PamTen President and CEO
Chaya is President and CEO of PamTen. She is a technologist, philanthropist, visionary, mentor, entrepreneur and, above all, a passionate human being. She holds a MBA and an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard University.
PamTen Inc., founded in 2007 provides technology information services to a diverse set of clients, from small businesses to large corporations and has been ranked as an Inc. 5000 company, placing them among the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. PamTen is a certified Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).
SheTek is a PamTen program spearheaded by Chaya to create opportunities for women and girls to have careers in IT. From education in the classroom, to decisions made within the boardroom, the mission of SheTek is to have women equally represented in the technology industry.
Chaya combined her business acumen and passion for charity to found SOFKIN (Support Organization For Kids In Need – sofkin.org) , a non-profit organization that creates loving and caring homes for destitute and under privileged children. SOFKIN operates in The United States and in India and supports over 100 beautiful children. SOFKIN children are given medical attention, cared for, fed, educated, and sheltered within a nurturing environment. Chaya remotely manages the operations of the NGO on a daily basis and the children are treated no different than her own. SOFKIN has youth groups established In New Jersey, Philadelphia, and India, where the students from local high schools and colleges volunteer for the organization.
In addition to her work at SOFKIN, Chaya serves as a trustee on the board of MAHER (maherashram.org), a non-profit organization aimed at supporting destitute women and children, and Satyana Institute (satyana.org)supporting communities through gender reconciliation and inter spiritual training and workshops.
Her support of other women inspired Chaya to found the Global Women’s League, a networking organization that creates a platform to inspire, influence, and empower women with leadership skills through affiliations with successful leaders and like-minded organizations. She mentors young high school and college graduates in pursuing their professional career. Chaya’s primary focus is to encourage women and girls to enter into the technology field where only 22% of IT jobs are filled by women.
Chaya is currently serving as a board member on many professional and women empowerment associations including the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, Technology Committee of Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce; Women In Technology of NJTech Council; and Mentor at the Leading Women Entrepreneurs. She is also a member of the NJBIA and AICC. Chaya mentors young women aspiring to move into leadership positions in the corporate world through other partner organizations & universities such as ‘Wings For Growth’, ‘Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and Ration Valley Community College.
Her expertise has led her to be an honored speaker at programs across the world. Some of her engagements include: Commission on Status of Women – CSW, United Nations, USA; Inspiring Young Girls-Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, NJ; Bootstrapping for Success – StratAp, India; Access to Justice-India’s Unique Challenges – Harvard Business School, USA; Start Up Leadership – She-Tech, India; Cultivating Leadership Skill in For-Profit & Not-For-Profit Sectors – Harvard Law School, USA; Risk Management in the Global Era of Uncertainty -Humber Chapter, Canada; Money Vs Mysticism-Inter-spiritual Global Conference-Italy; Pursuing your passion & career-Gayathri Women’s Engineering College, India; and others.
Chaya’s personal and business awards include: Executive of the Year from NJBIA, Best 50 Business Women in Business from NJBIZ, Woman of Achievement Award – from Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program, New Jersey Smart CEO Future 50, 20 Most Promising Web Development & Design Service Providers by CIO Review Magazine, NJBIZ 50 Fastest Growing Companies 2015, Unstoppable Woman Entrepreneur Award from LWE (Leading Women Entrepreneurs), and E&Y Women Entrepreneurship Finalist.
Dr. William KeepinCo-Director, Satyana Institute and Co-Founder, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Dr. William Keepin is co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International, and he has co-led intensive gender diversity trainings in several countries. He is a physicist with extensive research on sustainable energy for mitigating climate change, and is author of four books, including Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men, and Song of the Earth: A Synthesis of Scientific and Spiritual Worldviews.
Dr. Cynthia BrixCo-Director, Satyana Institute and Co-Founder, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Cynthia Brix, PhD (hon) is co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International, and she has co-led intensive gender diversity trainings in several countries. She is an ordained interfaith minister with a background in public relations, wellness management, gerontology, women’s issues, and race relations. She is contributing author of Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men, and co-author of Women Healing Women: A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere.
Sally Nadler, SPHRFormer Assistant Dean/Director, The Douglass Project for Women in STEM at Rutgers University Former Assistant Dean/Director, The Douglass Project for Women in STEM at Rutgers University Adjunct Instructor – Energy Industry Fundamentals, Rowan College at Burlington County SheTek Power Team Member
Sally is a well-respected energy industry and workforce development professional within the state of NJ with a broad range of both Corporate and Higher Education Talent Management and Workforce Development experience. She is a recognized leader and passionate advocate for gender equity and women in STEM.
From 2017-2019, Sally led the nationally recognized Douglass Project for Women in STEM as they implemented and expanded multiple gender equity initiatives at the undergraduate level in the Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, Public Health, Pre-Med, and Scientific Research areas.
Prior to her retirement from PSEG in 2016, she had over 35 years’ experience in a diverse range of operational, technical, and managerial positions for the company. As the Manager of Workforce Development, Sally was responsible for overseeing a cross section of talent acquisition pipeline initiatives for PSEG including the college relations and diversity outreach functions, which included the company’s recruitment initiatives for women, people of color, veterans and individuals with disabilities. During her tenure, she led the design and implementation of many award winning, best practice and industry recognized outreach and recruiting programs, as well as multiple internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings and initiatives.
In 2013, Sally was appointed by the governor to serve on the NJ State Employment and Training Commission (SETC), on which she still serves today, and was named the chair of the NJ State Energy Sector Partnership Council, SESP, where she oversaw the allocation of grant funding for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Training Programs. Sally was also appointed to serve on the NJ Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education, of which she served as chair through 2019.
She holds an AAS degree in Business Management from Middlesex County College, a BS in Management from Rutgers Business School, a Master of Arts in Leadership from Bellevue University, as well as her SPHR Certification.
James BarroodFounder and CEO, Innovation+ Advisor, Tech Council Ventures
James is among the primary leaders of the East Coast’s innovation ecosystem. Over the past 20+ years, he has helped nurture the region’s entrepreneurial, innovation, and technology communities. He has been recognized as a Power 100 List leader and a Top 100 Influencer for the past few years. James also hosts the A Few Things podcast.
Before launching Innovation+ he was the CEO of the NJ Tech Council (TechUnited:NJ) for over 5 years and grew the organization to over 1,000 member companies.
Prior to this, James led the top-ranked entrepreneurship and innovation center at Fairleigh Dickinson University for over 10 years. He currently leads Innovation+, a curated global community of entrepreneurs and innovators. He also serves as an advisor to startups, growth companies, higher ed institutions and investors, including Tech Council Ventures and Jumpstart Angels.
James is the editor of the book, Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Global Insights from 24 Leaders and co-author of Lessons from the Great Recession. He has written thought leadership articles for Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Grit Daily, Star-Ledger, ROI, NJBiz and other publications and has been widely quoted regionally/nationally and interviewed on TV (ABC, MSNBC, NJTV and My9).
James frequently speaks at regional and global conferences and serves on several boards. He holds an MBA from Texas A&M University and a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Elaine TanimuraExecutive Project Manager at PamTen Non-Profit Program Director at SheTek
Krishna CheriathVP, Head of Digital, Data and Analytics, Zoetis Inc.
Currently, Krishna is the Head of Digital, Data and Analytics at Zoetis. Krishna leads digital and analytic transformations that reshape the organization with a focused strategy, recruiting top talent, creating a clear vision, and building lasting partnerships with business unit leaders.
Before joining Zoetis in 2020, Krishna served as chief data officer and head of enterprise digital strategy at Bristol Myers Squibb for 5+ years. He established and built a world-class data and analytic organization from the ground up and advanced digital capabilities while expanding data leadership. Additionally, he served as an executive leader for global IT service provider relationships.
In prior roles, Krishna contributed by overseeing commercial data, leading business architecture and business intelligence, consulting on strategy, and serving in other progressive leadership roles. Krishna has served on the board of directors at Gartner Research, is a founding member of the IEEE Fair Trade Data Standards Group, and is a featured leader in the recently published book TRUST: The winning formula for digital leaders.
In addition to his digital and technology, Krishna serves as a digital and data strategy adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University’s Executive Education Program. He mentors 15+ chief data officers and chief data analytics officers, is a sought-after industry forum speaker, and has produced several digital and analytic transformation publications.
Krishna’s education accomplishments include securing a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Krishna completed his Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the University of Kerala.
Maria RamirezPresident and CEO, MFR, Inc. SheTek Power Team Member
Maria is also the owner of MFR Securities, Inc., the Broker Dealer subsidiary of MFR. MFR Securities is a certified Woman-Owned Minority Broker Dealer. It participates in underwritings of equity and debt securities and executes fixed income product transactions for its many institutional clients.
In the not-for-profit sector, Maria has been Director or Trustee for 25 entities currently including the Board of Brooklyn Hospital, Morris Museum and for several years was on the boards of The Brooklyn Community Foundation, Notre Dame Highs School, Lupus Research Foundation & More Project Brazil. Maria graduated from Pace University and was honored as a distinguished alumna of the Pace University Lubin School of Business.
Kristin MalekDirector of Business Diversity, CDW SheTek Power Team Member
Kristin brings more than 16 years of senior leadership experience making her a SME on diversity growth and development. As the Director of Field Projects for a Fortune 200 company, she was responsible for establishing and executing the organization’s diversity objectives, initiatives, and strategies, as well as focusing on the company’s optimization & localization initiatives.
Most recently Kristin served as the Chief Operating Officer for a National Non for Profit organization, where she created and led the vision and strategy for the organization in partnership with the National Board of Directors and other senior leaders. In her role as COO, Kristin placed a large focus on identifying, on boarding and managing strategic partnerships of all kinds. Kristin is a graduate of Western Illinois University for her undergrad and holds her MBA from WIU.
Lesley HirschAssistant Commissioner of Research and Information at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
- Put customers at the center of our design of all research products and services;
- Use cutting-edge digital technology to improve data accessibility and broaden the customer base;
- Extract maximum meaning from performance and other administrative data for continuous program improvement and strategic decision making.
Her 25-year career has been dedicated to using research to inform policies and programs, with an emphasis on improving the lives of low-income people. Prior to coming to LWD, she was the founding director of the NYC Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS) at the CUNY Graduate Center. The NYCLMIS provides research and consulting to policy makers and providers in the region’s workforce development system. Before NYCLMIS, Lesley was the research director of the Education Law Center in Newark, New Jersey, a public interest law and advocacy firm that successfully sued the State of New Jersey for equitable school finance on behalf of 300,000 of New Jersey State’s poorest schoolchildren. She is a graduate of Barnard College at Columbia University and has completed all but the dissertation in political science/public policy at the CUNY Graduate Center. Ms. Hirsch also has taught political science and public policy courses at the City College of New York.
Jackie BurkeExecutive Director of the Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools
Jackie lives in Moorestown with her husband and two sons.
Pat DoranChief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Synchronoss
Mr. Doran is an accomplished development, hosting and managed services executive with deep experience in the telecommunications industry building products at scale for over 20 years. He possesses extensive architecture, software development, hosting and international management experience in large scale telecommunications and internet/intranet products. His responsibilities include leading our architecture, development, testing, hosting, IT and services organizations that successfully leverage talent around the globe.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Doran served in various roles at Synchronoss, including VP of Development, Chief Architect and Senior Software Engineer. Before joining Synchronoss, Mr. Doran was a Senior Development Engineer at Agility Communications from 2000 to 2002 and a Member of Technical staff at AT&T/Lucent from 1996 to 2000.
Mr. Doran received a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.
Denise BrouderCEO & Founder, SWAYworkplace
Denise sees the Future of Work as an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine work in a way that allows us to live balanced, purposeful, and meaningful lives; and has a burning desire to develop a Future of Work mindset in the everyday person.
As an undergraduate from the University of Limerick in Ireland, Denise came to New York on a one-way ticket to embark on a ten-year Wall St. career in financial oversight and operational controls at Merrill Lynch & Goldman Sachs.
As an eternal optimist and a keen innovator with a desire for flexibility, Denise transitioned to the startup world as a founding team member of a successful high growth technology startup company.
Denise holds an MBA from Fordham University and a BBS in Finance & Economics from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.
Chrissy ButeasChief Government Affairs Officer, New Jersey Business & Industry Association
Buteas also serves as the Executive Director of the NEW JOBS PAC, the State’s largest and most influential ideological business political action committee.
Prior to joining NJBIA, Buteas served as the president and CEO of the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey, representing New Jersey home health agencies, hospices and health care service firms servicing the state’s Medicare, Medicaid and private pay patients. She serves on the board of trustees of Middlesex College, Girl Scouts of Heart of NJ and is a member of the Northern Board of Junior Achievement whose mission is to inspire and prepare young people in grades K-12 to succeed in a global economy through real world relationships with business, government, and education partners that can help them develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Buteas is also the former president and current board member of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in government.
Buteas serves as a member of the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program and the New Jersey Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission, which responds to requests from the State Legislature to provide independent analysis of the medical, financial and social impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates.
Buteas served on the Murphy-Oliver Transition 2018 Healthcare team. She also serves on the board of Focus NJ, an independent research non-profit conducting timely, innovative, nonpartisan economic and workforce research.
Previously, Buteas served as vice president of the Capital Impact Group, a public affairs and business development firm that advocates on behalf of nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She was also a policy specialist at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
In 2021, Buteas was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, NJBIZ’s 2021 Next Generation of Leaders, a Barrier Breaker as part of Jersey’s Best magazine’s Spring issue honoring trailblazing women in the state and recognized on ROI-NJ’s Influencers: Power List for Government Affairs. In 2018, Buteas was named to NJBIZ’s Best 50 Women in Business list. She was named to NJBIZ’s “40 Under 40” and “Power 50 Health Care” lists in 2017, as well as the 2017 “Insider 100 Policymakers” list by Insider NJ.
Buteas holds an MPA from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and a BA from Rowan University. She is also a graduate of Leadership NJ, a leadership development program, and served as a Raimondo Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is a member of the Rowan University Alumni Association and Eagleton Institute of Politics Alumni Association.
Dr. Ronke DosunmuFounder, Certified Value Builder Advisor & Business Coach, MavenCEO
She is experienced in all aspects of business from start up to scale up. Dr Dosunmu is passionate about helping the professional woman thrive in leadership and entrepreneurship, without sacrificing her personal health or family commitments.
Dr. Ronke Dosunmu, is a board certified pediatrician and the founder and Medical Director of Foundation Pediatrics, a 26 year old private practice providing quality care to an underserved urban population in Essex County, New Jersey.
She has worked in management as well as in consulting in the field of drug safety, for many major multinational pharmaceutical companies. She also works to increase minority representation in clinical trial research.
She is a serial entrepreneur who has built many thriving business ventures in the retail, beauty and healthcare spaces, and is experienced in all aspects of business from start up to scale up.
She is passionate about helping women build their brand and business so they can harness their training, experiences, passion and purpose to generate wealth, leave a legacy and make a social impact in their communities.
She has followed her own advice and turned this passion into her newest business venture called Maven CEO, where she provides coaching for leaders and entrepreneurs.
Dr. Dosunmu has been married for over 30 years and is the mother of 3 adult children.
Shail JainLead – Accenture Cloud First | Data & AI Lead
Mr. Jain holds a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and was part of the Fellows Program at The Wharton School of Business.
Prior to joining Accenture, Shail was CEO of Knowledgent – a leading data and analytics company that Accenture acquired in December of 2018. Shail Jain is a serial entrepreneur and has helped build three technology services firms successfully over the last twenty-five years. The companies he co-founded and co-led were aimed at transforming businesses through technology and data in the Life Sciences, Healthcare, Financial Services and Communications industries. Shail has also held senior leadership positions at Fijustu and EMC Corporation.
Dr. Chitra DoraiFounder and CEO, Amicus Brain Innovations
Dr. Dorai was at IBM as an IBM Fellow (first woman of Indian origin to receive this recognition in the globe) and her last role was Global CTO for cognitive services in IBM’s Global Business Services unit. During her tenure at IBM (in TJ Watson Research Center, GTS, and GBS), Dr. Dorai was a recipient of IBM’s highest honor in 2011 – the Gerstner Award for Client Excellence; she was recognized as an IBM Distinguished Engineer in 2012 and was appointed by the IBM CEO as an IBM Fellow, the company’s preeminent technical honor in 2015. Her ground-breaking work from 2009 until 2015 on customer focused analytics and AI solutions in mortgage servicing saved thousands of struggling home owners facing foreclosure with the right home ownership retention programs and alternative workout options during one of the most challenging times in the history of the U.S. housing market. In 2014, Dr. Dorai received the Tamil American Pioneer Award for Excellence in Finance and Business from the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America. In 2016, she was profiled as a “Societal Innovator” in the IBM HQ. In 2018, she received “The Visionary” award from the National Association of Women in Real Estate Business.
Dr. Dorai graduated from IIT Madras with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Michigan State University with the Distinguished Academic Achievement award. She is the co-inventor of 48 patents and has received multiple high-value patent awards, having been recognized as a Master Inventor thrice at IBM. She has co-authored 100+ technical papers in IEEE and ACMconferences and journals, edited a book and received 5 best paper awards at international conferences. She has presented keynote addresses and technical talks at academic research conferences, industry symposia and panels, and has served in many organizational roles on committees at the International Conferences over the past three decades. She is frequently interviewed or cited in press, news and blogs, and YouTube video on a wide variety of topics from AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data and Analytics to human technology balance. With her passion for nurturing global talent in STEM, in addition to her mentoring and advocacy work at IBM, she mentored over 15 university students, served as a Co-Advisor for 5 Ph.D. students and was active on University Advisory Boards (Industrial Advisory Board of Univ. of Illinois, Univ. of Mysore).
Following two decades of a highly decorated career at IBM, Dr. Dorai is currently focused on her entrepreneurial ventures and her continued passion to make AI accessible to everyone with her conference presentations, webinars and podcasts.
Ariana BlossomFacilitator, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Jorge RicoFacilitator and Trainer, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, AECOM
Julie DabrowskiChief of Staff & Operations – Northeast Enterprise at Microsoft
Julie Dabrowski is the Chief of Staff for Microsoft’s Northeast Enterprise Commercial region. Her responsibilities include business strategy, operations, communications, customer and partner engagement, and internal stakeholder management across a multi-billion business. Julie has been at Microsoft for 9 years in a variety of sales and sales leadership roles across account and solution area sales, services, and now Operations. She is active in women in technology and with Microsoft’s Aspire (recent college and MBA grad) mentorship programs. Julie is a co-sponsor for the newly formed Microsoft US Ambassador council for the DC offices and also serves as a sponsor for the Northeast inclusive hiring program and Northeast Leadership Excellence forum.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Julie held various Sales and Sales Leadership roles at EMC as well as VMware. Julie has her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and statistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has also continued her education through Wharton and INSEAD Executive education certifications focused on Executive selling and Business Strategy & Financial Acumen.
Myra KindsBIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Lead and Trainer, Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Myra Kinds is the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Lead and Trainer with GERI. She is a licensed American Baptist Minister to Youth, and a recognized leader in underserved communities, specializing in addiction and recovery, mental health, and domestic violence. Myra collaborates with The Black Ministerial Alliance and The Institute for Global Youth Programs and is a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid and Recovery Coaching. Prior to entering the non-profit sector, Myra held executive-level positions responsible for hundreds of employees, as well as working in local government, where she led several initiatives for the City of Boston.