Girl Geek Dinner - Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #61: Sponsored by Microsoft

29.03.2014 (1:09 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::


On April 24, Microsoft Silicon Valley (@MicrosoftSV) and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners invite you to enjoy an evening of great food, cool schwag and great conversations!

Check out Microsoft’s new Technology Center. See how Skype is using machine learning algorithms to enhance their user experience. Meet our keynote speaker, Julie Larson-Green, CXO, along with other women at Microsoft who will share lessons learned throughout their careers!

Microsoft will also be sharing more information about June’s Codess engineering forum event (@codessforum).

Sign up for a chance to win a ticket to the Microsoft Girl Geek Dinner!

– Deadline to enter the lottery is April 6, 2014 -

Microsoft Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm-6:30pm: Check-in, networking, heavy appetizers and drinks

6:30pm-7:30pm: Tech talk, keynote, fireside chat

7:30pm-9:00pm: More networking over desserts

Microsoft Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Julie Larson-Green, Chief Experiences Officer

Julie is the Chief Experiences Officer of the My Life & Work Team, which is a part of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group. She previously led the Devices and Studios group with responsibility for all hardware development including Xbox, Surface and accessories. She also oversaw Microsoft Studios, which includes development of games, entertainment and premium content experiences for all devices across the company. In her 20 years at Microsoft, Julie has also been involved in defining products and customer experiences that touch more than a billion people, from developer tools in her early years to multiple versions of Internet Explorer, Office and Windows. In each role, she has balanced breakthrough design, such as the Ribbon in Office and the full redesign of Windows from the chipset to the experience, with a deep understanding of current customer needs and expectations. Julie led the product planning, design and delivery of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, including the transition to a more collaborative cross-company rapid development and updating process. Her leadership responsibility extended from program management, design, research, development and testing across all international releases of Windows to Internet Explorer, Windows Services and Microsoft Surface. Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University, and a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University. A native of Washington state, she lives there with her husband and two children.

Lisa Brummel, EVP Human Resources

Lisa is the executive vice president of Human Resources at Microsoft and has led Human Resources at the company since May 2005. Lisa joined Microsoft straight from university in 1989. Since then, she’s held a number of management and marketing positions across Microsoft’s consumer, hardware and productivity businesses. For eight years prior to joining Human Resources, Lisa served as corporate vice president of the Home & Retail Division where she was responsible for overseeing worldwide development and business strategy for consumer hardware, software and Macintosh products. Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Yale University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is co-owner of the WNBA franchise Seattle Storm and is active in charitable ventures associated with Hopelink community services, the University of Washington Medical Center, Yale University and the Women’s Funding Alliance.

Nancy Holliday, VP US Services Sales

Nancy has 30 years of management, technical and sales experience. Currently, she runs sales for the US Services Subsidiary, approaching $2 billion in size and representing over 50% of the Services business for Microsoft, globally.  This includes commercial, public sector (Federal Government, State & Local Government and Education) and the breadth (small and medium businesses) markets. Nancy holds a BA in Mathematics/Computer Science from Stephens College and an MA in Management Information Systems from George Washington University. She studied in England during her 3rd year of undergraduate degree at Oxford College and Cambridge College. Nancy is a proud mother of a girl and twin boys.

Lori Fazeli, Partner Sales Executive

Lori has over 18 years of technology experience in the San Francisco Bay area with roles from helpdesk technician to DBA, sales engineer and sales representative to partner manager.  She is currently a Microsoft Dynamics Partner Sales Executive responsible for growing a portfolio of top Dynamics CRM partners with a focus on Professional Service industries. A native of New Jersey, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.S. in Sociology and African American Studies.  She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area promptly after graduating because she was tired of slipping on ice every winter.  With her husband Jeff, she has three children, Dariush and Arianna, twins who are seven and Minou who is five and a half.  When not at work, you can usually find Lori and her family in North Lake Tahoe enjoying the great outdoors.

Karen Leonard, Director, Xbox Console Development

Karen leads the Xbox Console Development team at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, managing a team of electrical engineers who work on building the current and future hardware of Microsoft’s best-selling entertainment platform. Over her 12 years at Microsoft, Karen has been behind a number of major launches, first on Microsoft’s TV products and Xbox. She took a management role in 2006 for Xbox 360 and other related products. Her team’s focus is on product designs for high-volume manufacturing that make Xbox a profitable business for Microsoft. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and lives with her husband and 2 children in Mountain View, CA. Read more about Karen.

Lilian Rincon, Group Program Manager, Skype

Lilian is the Group Program Manager of the globally distributed indirect monetization portfolio of products at Skype.  As the leader of the indirect monetization portfolio, she has driven and empowered her globally distributed teams to build Skype products that have grown new revenue for Skype from $0 to over a hundred million dollars in under 2 years.  She has done this by instilling in her team the principles to always carefully balance user experience with monetization.  Additionally she has focused Skype’s monetization efforts in three areas: innovative native monetization products, IAB standard advertising and targeting placements, and consumer to business monetization products that delight and prioritize users.   Prior to Skype, Lilian played a major role in the ideation and creation of the Microsoft Creative Asset Management Platform, the editorial platforms for Bing Ads, and in local monetization platforms for Bing mobile.  Before Microsoft Lilian was a developer for Crystal Decisions (Business Objects) in Vancouver, BC where she led in the creation and management of the Office integrated reporting products as well as in the creation of the first Shanghai and Bangalore engineering centers.   She completed her BSC in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University with honors. In her spare time Lilian is a new mother, is learning how to work with sleep deprivation, and is a member of the Microsoft Silicon Valley Women’s board.

Saila Talagadadeevi, Sr. Architect, Skype

Saila is a Big Data Architect at Skype. Saila has Masters in Electrical Engineering. She is working on Skype Ads and Targeting and Skype Graph Search. Saila’s expertise is in Machine Learning, NLP, IR, Social Network Analysis, and Big Data. Read more about Saila.

Use hashtag #MSFTGGD to follow the event online and learn more about Microsoft Silicon Valley at

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #60: Sponsored by AT&T and Hortonworks

10.03.2014 (9:03 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::


Join fellow girl geeks for the AT&T Big Data and Hortonworks sponsored Girl Geek Dinner on March 20 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View!

Enjoy food and drinks while girl geeks from AT&T Big Data and Hortonworks share their stories, and of course go home with cool schwag!





Click here to claim your free ticket

                                               - Ticket sales begin at 12NOON 03/12/2014 -


Girl Geek Agenda:

6pm – 7pm: Check-In & Networking

7pm – 8pm: Girl Geek Speakers!

8pm – 9pm: More Networking

Event hash tag: #attggd

Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Danielle Tomlinson (Senior Director, Global Education Services at Hortonworks)
Danielle Tomlinson is the Senior Director, Global Education Services at Hortonworks driving all aspects of the education services business including P&L management, operations, delivery, partner management, business development, curriculum and certification development.She has spent the last 18 years working in Education Services at high tech software companies. Prior to joining Hortonworks, Tomlinson had responsibility for the Global Training business at Red Hat, and the Americas Education business at Lawson Software and Business Objects-an SAP company, before that.  She has a passion for training business development and also a deep interest in new learning modalities, just in time learning, self-paced and user generated content.In 2012 Tomlinson was awarded a Top Ten, Under 40 Young Trainer Award by Training Magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and recently completed ‘The Women’s Senior Leadership Program’ at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Follow Danielle on twitter at @derryone


Ramya Sunil (Senior Test Lead at Hortonworks, Apache Committer for Hadoop, Apache Ambari PMC Member)
Ramya Sunil is a Senior Test Lead at Hortonworks where she designs and develops complex, scalable, distributed test frameworks to certify Apache Hadoop and related projects. Formerly at Yahoo! she was responsible for ensuring high quality Hadoop releases to production clusters. Note that Ramya was the the only female engineer brought over from Yahoo! in the original 24 engineers that founded Hortonworks. When we refer to “founders” she’s one of that group. Follow her on twitter at @ramyasunil.


Teena Piccione (AVP of Solutions Architecture for Big Data)
Teena Piccione began her technology career 25 years ago as an international technical consultant. In 1999, she joined BellSouth Long Distance as a Sr. Technical Director, where she was responsible for spearheading a joint venture between BellSouth and Qwest.  Shortly after, she was assigned to develop and lead the Program Management Office.  She continued to manage and lead teams, projects and programs through 2007.  In 2008, she became Chief of Staff in IT for AT&T. In this role, she led and managed complex projects, program and multiple organizational initiatives.  In 2013 she was given the opportunity, in her Role as Executive Director Big Data, to be responsible for overall Business Operations, Program/Project Management, Technical Sales Support and many other areas. Today, she is AVP of Solutions Architecture for Big Data.Teena is highly energetic and loves classical music, hiking and spending time with her family. She had previously served as Director of Communication for Women of AT&T and on a public school board.  Teena is married and the proud mother of two teenage girls.


Laura Merling (Vice President, Ecosystem Development & Platform Solutions at AT&T Business Solutions)
Laura Merling was appointed Vice President of Ecosystem Development & Platform Solutions at AT&TBusiness Solutions in December 2012. In this role, she is responsible for shaping AT&T’s strategy fordeveloping and exposing APIs to identify new opportunities for growth for AT&T’s business customers;and to define new business models for AT&T Business Solutions. Laura also works closely with theAT&T Foundry Innovation Centers to uncover and implement breakthrough technology for business customers.


Valerie Vargas (Vice President of Customer Insights and Big Data in the AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets Organization)
alerie Vargas is Vice President of Customer Insights and Big Data in the AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets Organization. Her history with the company emanates from BellSouth Cellularas a Market Research Manager and Manager of Strategic Alliances. She was on the MarketingMerger team in forming Cingular Wireless and was the Director of National Sponsorships at timeof the brand launch. Valerie departed from telecom for five years to gain incremental marketingexpertise in the financial services arena serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing in HomeBancMortgage Corporation. In 2007, she returned to the new AT&T as Vice President of Advertisingover the Consumer Wired portion of the business and ultimately returned to the Mobilityorganization, where she serves today. Valerie is married to Jose A. Vargas, a Director of IT in AT&T,and they have 3 young children.Vice President- Valerie Vargas is Vice President of Customer Insights

Cathy Southwick (Vice President – Service DevelopmentInformation Technology OperationsAT&T, Inc., AT&T Services, Inc.)
Cathy Southwick is Vice President, Service Development in Information Technology Operations for AT&TServices, Inc. Her organization is comprised of over 1200 IT professionals focusing on various aspects ofthe IT lifecycle such as being the single point of entry and project/program management for IT Operationinfrastructure requests (~ 8000 projects annually) from ideation through implementation for work impactingAT&T IT infrastructure both domestically and internationally.Cathy began her career with Pacific Bell in 1996 as a Senior Technical Director managing the Y2K IT programand has held various positions in IT.Prior to AT&T, Cathy spent 11 years working in the transportation industry for a Fortune 100 company andheld various positions responsible for resource management, procurement, technology planning, projectmanagement, process reengineering, merger integration, strategic planning and portfolio management.Cathy resides in the Bay Area with her husband of 25 years, Ken, and two daughters (14 & 17 yrs old). Cathyholds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from St. Mary’s and a Masters Business Administrationfrom University of Phoenix. Cathy is also a SIM/RLF graduate.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #59: Sponsored by Twitter

25.02.2014 (10:44 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::


Twitter’s @womeng group and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners are hosting on Thursday, March 6th a Twitter Girl Geek Dinner at their headquarters in downtown San Francisco!

We will have light appetizers, beer and wine, and a panel with some of Twitter’s experienced mobile engineers. Plenty of Twitter engineers will be around to chat with as well. We hope you finish the night with some new knowledge, ideas and friends!

Sign up for lottery for a chance to win a ticket to the Twitter Girl Geek Dinner!

 - Lottery winners will be notified via email by EOD March 2nd, 2014 -


Twitter Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

      6:00pm – 7:00pm: Registration, food & drink and networking

      7:00pm – 8:00pm: Panel discussion on mobile platforms w/ Q&A to follow

      8:00pm – 9:00pm: More networking!

Twitter Girl Geek Speaker Bios


Sara Haider (‎Staff Software Engineer, Twitter)

Sara has spent 4 years on Twitter’s engineering team and is currently the technical lead on Vine for Android. Prior to Vine, Sara spent 2 years working on Twitter for Android. She manages Twitter’s @WomenEng group and is an advisor to Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization focused on inspiring young girls to pursue and stay in engineering fields. She advises startups in Silicon Valley, New York, and Toronto. Previous to Twitter, Sara interned at Google as a Software Engineer. Sara holds a degree in Software Engineering and Cognitive Science from the University of Waterloo. Follow her on Twitter at @pandemona.


Jan Chong (Engineering Manager, Twitter)

Jan is currently the Engineering Manager for the Twitter for Android team at Twitter. Prior to joining Twitter, Jan ran client and server software development at OnLive. She holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. Because she really likes Stanford, she also stuck around to earn a Ph.D from the Management Science & Engineering Department. Follow her on Twitter at @lessachu.


Mo Kudeki (Mobile Engineer, Twitter)

Mo was born and raised in Chambana, IL, and graduated from UIUC Computer Science in 2011. She then moved to San Francisco to tweet like it’s her job, and also to write some code. She spends her free time traveling, dancing, and attempting to DJ parties. The best moment of her career thus far was starring in a Vine with Sir Patrick Stewart AND Sara Haider. Follow her on Twitter at @kudeki.

Sommer Panage (Mobile Accessibility Lead, Twitter)

Sommer is currently the lead for Mobile Accessibility on iOS and Android at Twitter. Before moving into this role, she worked on various iOS projects such as DMs and Anti-spam. Prior to coming to Twitter, Sommer worked on the iOS team at Apple. She earned her BA in Psychology and MS in Computer Science at Stanford University. In her free time, Sommer enjoys performing as an aerialist, playing her flute, and traveling. Follow her on Twitter at @sommer.

Lien Tran Mamitsuka (Mobile Engineer, Twitter)

Lien has been developing mobile apps since 2009 and has been working on Twitter for Android the last 2+ years. She currently works on Crashlytics to build mobile SDKs. Prior to 2009, she was building web services and enterprise client/server desktop applications. She loves working on mobile products and seeing the products she helped build out in the wild. Lien holds a BS in Computer Science from Santa Clara University. Follow her on Twitter at @lientm.

Jeremy Gordon (Sr. Director of Product Engineering, Twitter)

Jeremy joined Twitter through the acquisition of visual mobile development platform maker Cabana, which he co-founded in 2009. In a past life, Jeremy was co-founder and CEO/CTO of San Francisco based Secret Level, a console video game development company. He led Secret Level through multiple console generations and ultimately to a acquisition by SEGA in 2006, where Jeremy joined SEGA’s executive staff as CTO of SEGA Studios. Follow him on Twitter at @JeremySF.

Use event hash tag #TwitterGGD to follow the action on social media.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #58: Sponsored by Intuit

03.02.2014 (10:15 am) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::


Intuit and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners invite you to a fun-filled evening on Thursday, February 6th at Intuit in Mountain View!
Mingle over cool music, fabulous food and signature cocktails, and explore our latest technovations!
Here’s what to expect:
  • Lighning talks from Intuit’s top women technologists
  • Live demos of cutting edge work that will surprise and amaze you
  • A code contest with excellent prizes
  • Seriously awesome swag!

Use event hash tag #IntuitGGD to follow the action online!




Click here to sign up for the lottery!

                                         - Lottery winners will be notified via email starting 02/03/2014 -

Intuit Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

      5:30pm – 6:30pm: Registrations, demos, mingling, appetizers & cocktails

      6:30pm – 7:30pm: Lightning talks and Q&A

      7:30pm – 8:30pm: More mingling, dessert and prizes

Intuit Girl Geek Speaker Bios



Director of Product Management


Anu’s focus is on building the next generation of data products. She was a founder at Level Up Analytics, which was recently acquired by Intuit. Previously, she was a senior data scientist in the Decision Sciences team at LinkedIn, where she drove efforts on optimizing the user experience for products that increase LinkedIn’s growth and engagement. Anu was an early employee at AdMob, where she built data products, optimized revenue, developed key performance metrics, and published external-facing mobile analytics reports. She started her technology career at Microsoft, working as a product manager developing applications for Microsoft TV. Anu is the founder of The Technovation Challenge, a global technology and entrepreneurship program for girls. Through Technovation, young women from all over the world identify and solve problems in their local communities by developing mobile app prototypes and business plans. They work in collaboration with local or long-distance mentors to research, design, code, and pitch their apps to prospective investors. Ten finalists come to Silicon Valley for the World Pitch competition every Spring. The program is in its fifth year and has had over 1,500 participants from 19 different countries. Anu holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford and BS degrees in Physics and Math with Computer Science from MIT.


SVP Platform Development


She leads the development of the company’s platforms and core services to enable the company’s product development teams to build innovative products and services. Before joining Intuit in 2011, Cheryl spent eight years at Yahoo where she was a senior vice president for global service engineering, leading the teams that managed the company’s applications in production worldwide. In addition, she led the teams that developed and managed the media products reaching more than 70 million people worldwide. Previously she spent 15 years in technical leadership positions at companies including Broderbund Software,, Healtheon/WebMD, Informix Software and Impac Medical Systems. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Washington State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.


Sr Engineering Manager,

QuickBooks Online, Intuit

Manasa has been with Intuit for more than 8 years, working on a variety of products for desktop, point of sale and online. Prior to Intuit, she worked at Microsoft. Manasa holds a degree in Computer Science. In her spare time, she catches up on painting and badminton.


User Experience Leader,

QuickBooks Web/Mobile, Intuit

During her time at Intuit, she also led the design of other Intuit small business products and websites. Prior to Intuit, she held design leadership roles at Yahoo! and Wells Fargo. Amanda holds an undergraduate degree in design and an MBA.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #57: Sponsored by DesignCon

22.01.2014 (9:26 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::


DesignCon* is excited to partner with Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners to host an evening celebrating women in technology!

On Thursday, January 30th, join fellow girl geeks at the Santa Clara Convention Center for dinner, networking and to hear from some of the top women in engineering!

Girl geeks are invited to take advantage of DesignCon programming throughout the day on Thursday – technical sessions, keynotes, panel discussions, expo and more.

*DesignCon is a UBM Tech event.




Click here to claim your free ticket

                                               - Ticket sales begin at 10am 01/23/2014 -

Lightning Talks from Girl Geeks:  

   •   Katie Stern (Event Director, UBM Tech)
   •   Nicole Faubert (Marketing Development Manager, Agilent Technologies)
   •   Jen Costillo (Director of Engineering, Bia Sport)
   •   Sherry Hess (VP Marketing, AWR Corporation)

   •   Cloud Connect: Navigating the Cloud for Enterprise Transformation
   •   Designers of Things: Wearable Tech, 3D Printing & IoT
   •   EE Live!: Connecting the Global Electronics Community
   •   Enterprise Connect: Communications Transforming Business
   •   Interop: Celebrating the IT Community
   •   No Jitter: Insight for the Connected Enterprise
   •   TechMarketing 360: The Only Event Dedicated to Tech Marketers

Event Hashtag:


Girl Geek Bios – Who’s Speaking?


Event Director, DesignCon

Katie is an Event Director for DesignCon and the newly launched Designers of Things events at UBM Tech. She is responsible for overseeing the strategy and successful execution of the events. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the Content Program Manager for both DesignCon and DESIGN East (formerly ESC Boston). She has been in the events industry for over 10 years, working for organizations such PR University/Bulldog Reporter, Embassy Suites, MusicFest Orlando/Contest of Champions, Gaylord Palms, Walt Disney World® and University of Oregon. Stern holds a BSBA from Nova Southeastern University and a MS in Hospitality and Tourism, specializing in Events and Conventions from Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. She is passionate about all things “tech” and advancing the dialogue around women in tech.


Marketing Development Manager, Agilent Technologies

Nicole has more than 15 years of marketing and program management experience in the high-tech industry, specializing in test & measurement. Upon graduating as an Electrical Engineer from McGill University, she began her career with Nortel Networks where she held positions in software development, systems engineering and program management. She later moved into Marketing Management positions in various high-tech companies where she used her combined technical and marketing expertise for the creation and optimization of global marketing strategies to introduce many new technologies to the market. Since founding Nuage Marketing in 2007, she has provided strategic marketing consulting services for a broad range of hardware and software companies including Agilent Technologies, where she is currently Market Development Manager for their Digital Photonic Test division. Nicole lives with her husband and two teenage children in Montreal, Quebec Canada where she practices her French and enjoys off-roading in her Jeep, gardening, kickboxing and snowboarding.


Director of Engineering, Bia Sport

Jen is the Director of Engineering for Bia Sport, a sport wearables company. As a veteran consumer product engineer, she utilizes her decade and a half of embedded systems and sensors knowledge to create new consumer experiences. Her product portfolio includes several human interface devices, ranging from air mice to multi-touch devices, to creating the sensor experience on the Amazon Kindle products. In addition, she has created wearable performance art works such human gesture recognition to generate music in real-time and environment-responsive costumes. She has presented at Android Builders Summit, Design West, and OSCON. Her educational background includes a BS in Computer Engineering from University of Illinois-Urbana and MBA from San Jose State University.



Sr Product Marketing Manager, Synopsis

Helene Thibieroz brings to Synopsys more than 17 years of combined experience in engineering, product development and marketing for Semiconductors and EDA companies. After getting a degree in Doctoral studies in EE, she worked for 5 years at Motorola as a device and spice characterization engineer within their advanced process and research center. She then moved to the EDA industry and has been focusing for more than 12 years in the AMS domain, from environment to analog, RF and mixed-signal simulations. She has published multiple technical publications and owns several blogs on AMS verification. She is currently the chair(wo)man for DesignCon Analog and Mixed Signal track and is involved with DVCON and MTV conferences. She is currently a senior marketing manager at Synopsys for their AMS product line. Helene holds phD and MS degrees from Toulouse University, France. She likes to be challenged in work, life and in sports and is passionate about swimming.