Speakers

23 May 24 May Virtual Speakers

23 May Speakers

Candy Barone
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Candy Barone

CEO of You Empowered Strong
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Candy Barone, CEO of You Empowered Strong, is a leadership development expert, trainer andexecutive coach, as well as an international speaker and Amazon best-selling author.She is a catalyst and change agent who works with executives and emerging leaders to helpbring “heart” back to leadership while feeding the soul of their business. With nearly 20 years incorporate, combined with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, certification as a SixSigma Black Belt, and MBA, she is a master at building exceptional, high-performing teams,maximizing and leveraging ROI, growing emerging leaders, creating metrics for greateraccountability, and catapulting individuals to achieve explosive growth.She was named a 2014-15 VIP Woman of the Year by the National Association of ProfessionalWomen, was recipient of the 2015 Public Speakers Association Local Collaborator Award, andwas nominated as a 2015 Profile in Power Central Texas Woman of Influence.Candy also has been showcased in CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Austin Statesman,Austin Business Journal, Be the Boss Magazine, OffBeat Business Magazine, The ChicagoTribune, ciLiving TV, Femmes Under 40 Magazine, along with numerous radio shows andpodcasts. In addition, she serves as a call leader for the Evolutionary Business Council, aPartnering Director for the Public Speakers Association, is a member of the Good Deed Society,and volunteers within her community.Candy currently lives in Austin with her dog, Payton, and enjoys her free time outdoors, on thewater, spending time with friends, reading, or working out.
Dr. Celeste Fralick
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Dr. Celeste Fralick

Chief Data Scientist, Senior Principal Engineer McAfee
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Dr. Celeste Fralick is the Chief Data Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer for McAfee, bringing nearly 40 years of data science, statistical, and architectural experience in eight different market segments. Dr. Fralick has developed many AI models to detect ransomware and other security threats. She leads the McAfee Analytic Center of Excellence to enable Agile model development and eight Community of Practice groups world-wide. She has chaired numerous global engineering bodies, served on editorial boards, developed countless standards, and led corporate-wide process and product development efforts at Intel, Medtronic, Fairchild, and Texas Instruments. Dr. Fralick received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Biomedical Engineering, focused on Deep Learning and neuroscience. Dr. Fralick has been named as one of Forbes America’s Top 50 Women in Tech for 2018: https://www.forbes.com/profile/celeste-fralick/?list=top-tech-women-america#12385de12d33 Celeste’s blog: https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/author/celeste-fralick/ Co-Author, Intelligent Analytics: Bringing Analytics to the Internet of Things
Orly Liba
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Orly Liba

Research Scientist in Google
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Dr. Orly Liba is a Research Scientist in Google's Computational Photography team, which is in Google AI Perception, since January 2018. Prior to that, she interned at Apple's Camera Software team and also worked on camera algorithms for three years in a high-tech company in Israel. Orly completed her PhD at the Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford University, where her research focused on developing computational and optical tools for medical imaging.
Rosemary Francis
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Rosemary Francis

Co-founder and CEO of Ellexus
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Dr Rosemary Francis is the co-founder and CEO of Ellexus. Rosemary obtained her PhD in Computer Architecture from the Cambridge University Computer Lab after studying maths and computer science as an undergraduate. Rosemary founded Ellexus to solve IT infrastructure problems in the semiconductor industry.Since then Ellexus has grown to become the I/O profiling company, providing unique application and supercomputer monitoring tools to accelerate cancer research, chip design, machine learning and high performance computing around the world.
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Elizabeth Freedman

Principal, Management Consulting • Contributor at Forbes • Leadership Advisor • CSP
Elizabeth Freedman
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Elizabeth Freedman, MBA, CSP, is a Principal at Bates who advises and coaches executiveson developing strategies to gain global influence and credibility, building strong stakeholderrelationships, and motivating their employees and teams to deliver business results throughoutstanding leadership and communication. Through her consultative approach, and backedby rigorous evaluation, she helps C-suite leaders and senior leadership teams at over 20% ofthe Fortune 500, and has worked with leaders holding a broad range of C-Suite functionaland business roles.Her work includes a deep assessment of performance and communication gaps, teamdiscussion to define vision and strategic objectives, and individual “on your feet” coachingtime to create a strong approach that builds and sustains momentum for business initiatives.She is a certified Bates ExPITM feedback provider. The Bates ExPITM (Bates Executive PresenceIndexTM) is the first and only research-based, scientifically validated assessment to measureexecutive presence.Elizabeth is also a certified Bates LTPITM feedback provider. The Bates LTPITM (LeadershipTeam Performance Index) shines a light on a team’s collective strengths and gaps, in realtime, with the goal of interpreting that data in context with the team’s mission, goals andchallenges.Results AchievedElizabeth has an extensive list of clients at the executive level at companies including Textron, Boeing, DowChemical, BMS, Infosys, State Street, and Raytheon. Clients seek Elizabeth out to help their best get better throughexecutive advisory and coaching work, strategic team facilitation, and creating alignment and collaboration acrossteams to achieve key business objectives. Her work includes:• elevating the executive influence of C-suite leaders• building ownership and accountability across leadership teams• accelerating the performance of leaders transitioning and onboarding to the C-suite• readying high-potential leaders for future challenges• ensuring the execution of organizational strategy and change initiativesExpertise and CredentialsBefore joining Bates in 2011, Elizabeth worked at the consulting firms Accenture and marchFIRST. She also servedas an MBA Marketing lecturer at Dominican University in Chicago and was a former Peace Corps volunteer inRomania. Elizabeth is author of Work 101: Learning the Ropes of the Workplace Without Hanging Yourself(Penguin Random House, 2007). Her expertise on leadership has appeared in dozens of publications, including TheNew York Times and U.S. News & World Report, and was a featured coach in The Boston Globe. She has alsoappeared on The Moth, the Public Radio show that airs on over 470 public radio stations worldwide.Elizabeth is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), earning the highest-level designation awarded by the NationalSpeakers’ Association. She is a dynamic, motivating speaker who has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations,and was a finalist for College Speaker of the Year, awarded by the Association for the Promotion of CampusActivities.
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James E. Lukaszewski

America’s Crisis Guru®
James E. Lukaszewski
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James (Jim) E. Lukaszewski (Loo-ka-SHEV-skee) is one of America’s most visible corporatego-to people for senior executives when there is trouble in the room or on the horizon. AsAmerica’s Crisis Guru®, Lukaszewski is known for his ability to help executives look atproblems from a variety of sensible, constructive and principled perspectives. He has spent hiscareer counseling leaders of all types who face challenging situations that often involve conflict,controversy, community action or activist opposition. He is known for taking a businessapproach rather than traditional PR strategies by teaching clients to take highly focused, ethicallyappropriate action. He is the very model of a trusted strategic advisor.An important part of his personal goals is breaking down gender, verbal and other barriers towomen having happier, more important, influential and successful careers how to Charge of theirown careers and destiny.He is the author of “Why Should the Boss Listen To You, the 7 Disciplines of Trusted StrategicAdvisor,” Jossey-Bass 2009 and has devoted much of his career to teaching, coaching, andtraining those who advise and counsel leaders. His goal is to help these individuals, especiallywomen, succeed in having the influence, access and impact they seek, and deserve to be trustedstrategic advisors. Those who follow Jim, read or hear his messages have called him abreakthrough thinker, a realist, and advisor who lives where so many aspire to be. He asks toughquestions and his answers are surprisingly candid.Lukaszewski has written 13 books and hundreds of articles and monographs. He has lectured atthe corporate, college and university level and has earned many professional recognitions in hisfield. Corporate Legal Times once listed him as one of 28 experts to call when “All Hell BreaksLoose.”Lukaszewski currently resides with his wife of 55 years, Barbara, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Erin Keys

Lead advisor to all ATI Water & Food companies and manager of Water RIOT.
Erin Keys
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Lead advisor to all ATI Water & Food companies and manager of Water RIOT. She 12 years of experience in the power industry, including two years in a General Electric leadership development program and four years selling demand side management programs to electric utilities across the US.Erin is a co-developer of a variety of STEM curricula for primary and secondary school students, and a mentor for Explore Austin, a nonprofit that provides leadership development to at-risk youth in Austin through outdoor adventure over the course of a six-year programShe is MS in Mechanical Engineering from UT Austin, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow under the direction of Dr. Michael Webber and competed in startup pitches related to the application of her research
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Helen Brauner

DescriptionSenior Director of Origination for 7X Energy
Helen Brauner
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Helen Brauner serves as the Senior Director of Origination for 7X Energy, an Austin-basedutility-scale solar developer with over 5 GW of solar capacity in its development pipeline. Helenhas worked in the renewable energy sector for over 15 years. Prior to joining 7X, Helen was astrategy and marketing consultant for cleantech companies. Before consulting, Helen spent nineyears at Green Mountain Energy, a retail electric provider selling green power and subsidiary ofNRG Energy, where she served as the Senior VP of Strategic Planning and Marketing. She hasan MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and a BA inEconomics from Rice University.Helen has worked in the renewable energy sector for almost 15 years. Prior to joining7X, Helen was an independent strategy and marketing consultant for cleantechcompanies. Before becoming a consultant, Helen spent nine years at Green MountainEnergy, a retail electric provider selling green power, where she served as the SeniorVP of Strategic Planning and Marketing. She has an MBA from the McCombs School ofBusiness at the University of Texas and a BA in Economics from Rice University. Helen has served on the boards of CleanTX and the Texas Solar Power Association.She currently volunteers on the marketing committee of Impact Austin. When she’s not working to get more renewable energy onto America’s electric grid,Helen likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and her pug, Gabby, and watchdocumentaries on climate change while checking the output of her 7 kW solar systemon her smartphone.
Jenny Q. Ta
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Jenny Q. Ta

Veteran Wall Street self-made millionaire
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Jenny Q. Ta is a veteran Wall Street self-made millionaire and founder of two tech companies VCNetwork.co, a virtual “E-Harmony meets Shark Tank” matching entrepreneurs with VCs and Sqeeqee.com, the first “social networthing” platform. Ms. Ta is the mastermind behind the first-of-its-kind social networthing® site, Sqeeqee.com. Launched in 2015, the site gives individuals, businesses, celebrities, politicians, and non-profit organizations the ability to monetize their profiles in unprecedented ways. Sqeeqee is the first integrated ecommerce and social media platform offering live streaming capabilities built from within. Sqeeqee’s intent is to provide our global users an unprecedented platform to share compelling stories in real-time, empowering them to broadcast and receive live video footage anytime, anywhere on any device. Ms. Ta is a seasoned entrepreneur with two successful ventures to her credit. She was the Founder and CEO of Titan Securities, a full service investment firm that was acquired. Prior to founding Titan Securities she was the driving force behind Vantage Investments, a full-service broker-dealer start-up she founded and grew to a quarter of a billion dollars in assets. Overall, she has extensive experiences in senior executive management, sales, marketing, finance and the FinTech industry of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Jenny is an author whose book, Wall Street Cinderella (which is currently in production talks to become a movie) detailing her escape from Vietnam during the war and her path to success from welfare to Wall Street. As a self-made millionaire by her mid-twenties, the book will serve as a road map for women looking at a business career. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Financial Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from California State University, Fresno.
Kathy Chou
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Kathy Chou

VP of Research & Development Operations and Central Services for VMware
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Kathy Chou is VP of Research & Development Operations and Central Services for VMware. Chou has more than 25 years of operations and management experience in the high-tech industry. Previously, she has served as SVP of Sales Strategy and Operations for Informatica, VP of Sales Operations and Strategy at Intuit and spent 18 years at HP in various management roles. Chou holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. She most recently served on the Stanford Presidential Search Committee, has chaired the Stanford Alumni Committee on Trustee Nominations and served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is currently Vice Chair for the Stanford Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRISS), development director for the Asian Pacific Fund, member of the Santa Clara University Board of Regents and Engineering Advisory Board. Kathy received the Stanford Medal in 2013, Wise Woman Award from Deloitte LLP in 2011, and was the Winner of the Franz Edelman Award for excellence in Operations Research in 2009. The Silicon Valley Business Journal selected her as one of the Top 100 most influential women in 2011. Chou lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and four sons.
Rhonda Holt 
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Rhonda Holt 

VP of Software Development & Operations at the Public Broadcasting Service(PBS)
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Rhonda Holt is the VP of Software Development & Operations at the PublicBroadcasting Service(PBS), where she leads PBS' Corporate IT  and MediaBusiness Systems teams. Prior to joining PBS, Ms. Holt pursued herentrepreneurial aspirations and leveraged her extensive business and technologyexperience by working to build and develop an early-stage health technologystart-up, where she was a Principal in the company management, as well as theleader for the Engineering team. She remains on the board of Advisors forTrustedCare Inc.Ms. Holt’s most recent corporate role was as Senior Vice-President, DigitalMedia Technologies, at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In this role, herresponsibilities included oversight for the delivery of Turner’sweb based products, including website development, deployment, andoperations for Turner’s new media and mobile businesses in News, Sports, andentertainment. Ms. Holt has also held Executive leadership roles atSun Microsystems and Dell.Ms. Holt is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a BS degree inComputer Science, a graduate of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute at theCenter for Creative Leadership, as well as a graduate of the NAMIC ExecutiveLeadership Development Program at the UCLA Anderson School ofManagement.Ms. Holt previously served as a Director on the board for Public BroadcastingAtlanta, WABE TV, 90.1FM, and isa Director and Executive Committee Member for the University of FloridaFoundation Board, as well as theDean’s Advisory board for the University of Florida, College of Engineering.
Kathy Gruver
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Kathy Gruver

Motivational health speaker
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Kathy Gruver, PhD has graced stages on four continents (including TEDx), three cruise ships and a handful of islands. Her combination of humor, performance background, real life experience and formal education makes her a well-rounded, in-demand speaker. She hosts the TV show based on her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and has earned her PhD in Natural Health. Dr. Gruver is the twelve-time award-winning author of seven books including, Conquer Your Stress, Workplace Wellness, Conquer your Stress at Work, and Journey of Healing. She has studied mind/body medicine at the famed Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard, and has been featured as an expert in numerous publications including Glamour, Fitness, Time, WebMD, Prevention, Huffington Post and Dr. Oz’s The Good Life, and has appeared on over 250 radio & TV shows including Lifetime, NPR, CBS Radio and SkyNews London. In 2015 she had the privilege of creating a stress reduction program for the US Military and has been studying psychology and human behavior her entire life. She is also the co-host of the new Fire and Earth Podcast. For fun and stress relief Gruver does hip hop and flying trapeze.
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Lauren Hasson

Founder of DevelopHer
Lauren Hasson
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Lauren Hasson is the Founder of DevelopHer and a senior engineer in appsand information security at a leading fintech company. She foundedDevelopHer to help fellow engineers advance their careers and negotiate forthe salaries they deserve after learning she a male peer was paid 50% morethan her. 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 single-handedly bridging the gender wage gap and her work hasbeen featured in the international IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, she’sbeen hired by top companies like Google to train and inspire their women,and she received the Women in IT Awards Silicon Valley “Diversity Initiative ofthe Year” Award. She’s currently a Finalist for the United Nations’s WSISStakeholder Platform Prize and the Women in IT Awards New York “Innovatorof the Year” Award.In addition to her DevelopHer work, Lauren’s professional tech work has beenfeatured in Apple keynotes, she was one of 100 top innovators invited toattend the UK G8 Innovation and Decide Now Act Summits, and she’s wonmultiple, high-profile hackathons. Lauren holds a degree from Duke whereshe completed a triple major with top honors in electrical engineering,computer science, and economics in just four years, is a graduate ofLeadership Texas, and is a current member of Leadership America.
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Lauren Zack

Head of User Experience for SONY Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation)
Lauren Zack
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Lauren is a recognized UX and Product leader, with a proven track record of infusingdesign thinking throughout organizations to create world class product experiences.In her current role, she leads User Experience for the PlayStation platform, includingteams focused on interaction and visual design, user research and insights, UX writingand prototyping tools development.Beginning her career in 1989, Lauren has led multi-disciplinary UX teams, contributing toaward-winning experiences in healthcare, FinTech, and consumer electronics by drivingcross-functional focus on customer experiences through innovative application of usercentered design principles. Passionate about employing a user-centered focus to allaspects of work, Lauren has been publishing and speaking on these topics throughouther career.Lauren obtained her Bachelor of Science in Physics and Cognitive Psychology fromCarnegie Mellon University, her Master of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering(Center for Human-Machine Systems Research) from Georgia Institute of Technologyand her Master of Arts in Education from Tufts University.
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Marcela Fujiy

Co-Founder at Be.Labs Aceleradora & Franchisee at Kopenhagen Chocolates
Marcela Fujiy
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Graduated in Law, graduated from the State University of ParaíbaPost-graduate degree in Business Administration from the University of São PauloCertification in Project Management from George Washington UniversityFOT - Friends of Tomorrow by PerestroikaStartPB Mentor - Sebrae PBSpeaker in the area of ​​women's empowerment and management+12 years of experience in large multinationals in Brazil and abroad in the area of​​finance and infrastructureCo-founder of Be.Labs Accelerator and partner at  Kopenhagen Chocolates ParaíbaMarcela loves to learn and share her experiences. With an entrepreneurial spirit, she isconstantly evolving. She has worked in multinational companies and now leads anationally recognized business through innovative, horizontal and autonomousmanagement. In her wanderings around the world she has visited 45 countries, runmany marathons and brought back not only several medals but also the vigor of thosewho never tire of pursuing their purpose: to develop people and themselves to createan equal world. At 40 years old, she is married to Christian and the mother of Yuri andYasmin - from whom she also learns every day.
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Rashi Khurana

VP, Engineering for eCommerce Images, Front-end Platform and Mobile at Shutterstock
Rashi Khurana
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Rashi Khurana is VP of Engineering, currently leading Shutterstock's technical teams for eCommerce platform and Contributor experience. Since joining Shutterstock in 2016, Rashi helped lead three teams through a technology transformation, all the while managing day-to-day operations of delivering a quality product to customers. Rashi is passionate about managing teams of engineers to deliver above expectations every day and building resiliency into all initiatives. Hailing from India, Rashi moved to the United States in 2007 to pursue a master’s degree in Information Technology and Management at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, she worked at Orbitz in Chicago for seven years—before moving to New York City.
Hagit Messer Yaron
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Hagit Messer Yaron

Professor, Tel Aviv University.
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HAGIT MESSER-YARON received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University(TAU), ISRAEL, and after a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University, she joined the faculty ofEngineering at Tel Aviv University in 1986, where she is The Kranzberg Chair Professor in SignalProcessing at the school of Electrical Engineering. On 2000-3 she has been on leave from TAU,serving as the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science. After returning to TAU she was thehead of the Porter school of environmental studies (2004-6), and the Vice President forResearch and Development (2006-8). Then, she has been the President of the Open University(2008-13), and from Oct. 2013 till January 2016 she has served as the Vice Chair of the Councilof Higher Education, Israel. On 2016 she has also become a co-founder of ClimaCell.Hagit Messer-Yaron, Life Fellow of the IEEE, is an active researcher in the field of StatisticalSignal Processing, with applications to environmental monitoring. She is also interested invarious aspects of higher-education and science policy, including: ethics, science-societyinterplay, and commercialization of academic research. Prof. Messer-Yaron is committed to theadvancement of women in science and technology.
Iga Hallberg
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Iga Hallberg

Board Member at Pecan Street Project Inc
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Iga Hallberg is determined to help develop Austin as the “Cleantech Capital of theWorld”. Her practice is focused on working with start-ups during pivotal stages of theirdevelopment and growth when commercialization strategy, key partnerships and vitalproduct positioning decisions determine the growth of the company.Iga is the former Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for HelioVoltCorporation, a next generation thin film solar panel manufacturer. During her time withHelioVolt, Iga was critical in raising over $250M in venture funding to launch thecompany’s first operations in Austin. Her expertise in international expansion strategywas key in landing a number of vital strategic partnerships for HelioVolt. Prior toHelioVolt, Iga was a General Manager with NovaCentrix, an innovative nanoparticleapplication developer for the printable electronics industry. Her career in launching newproducts and markets started at 3M, where she held multiple global marketing andbusiness roles in the company’s offices in Austin, St. Paul and Brussels.Iga serves on the Board of Directors of Pecan Street, Inc. She is an active member ofthe start-up community in Austin as a mentor at the Austin Technology Incubator. She isalso a founding member of The Treaty Oak Chapter of the National Charity League andserves the community along with her two daughters.
Voeronica bermudez
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Voeronica bermudez

Senior Research Director at QEERI
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Veronica is Senior Research Director at QEERI where she is the Director of the EnergyCenter leading the efforts in research and innovation in Energy programs as EnergyManagement (smart grids, EV, demand-response, power management,…), EnergyStorage (high capacity concepts and outdoor test and reliability), Energy Conversion(mainly downstream PV and adaptability and durability to Harsh Climates), EnergyEfficiency and Sustainable Development, Catalysis and  Process Technologies forAdded Value products and Disruptive Technologies (mainly Solar Rectennas andSensors)...Prior to joining the organization in 2018, she was Acting General Manager of AtsugiResearch Center at Solar Frontier KK in Japan, PrincipalScientist at EDF R&D, Senior Scientist at NEXCIS (EDF start-up) and Head of theOptoelectronic Characterization Laboratory at IRDEP (EDF) in France.Veronica has a PhD  in physics from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) andholds a number of international awards for her research activity. She is an AssociateEditor in Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy and acts as independent expertfor a number ofinternational funding agencies as the European Commission. She is also the author orco-author of more than 120 scientific papers in renowned journals, including Nature,Nature Energy and Science, a large number of invited and keynote conferences as wellas a  relevant patent portfolio. She has extensive experience in laboratory to industryresearch and technology transfer. She is IEEE Senior Member and an expert for theEuropean Commission and other funding bodies.
Suzanne Russo
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Suzanne Russo

Chief Executive Officer at Pecan Street Inc.
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Suzanne is chief executive officer for Pecan Street. Prior to joining the organization in 2010, shewas director of sustainability initiatives for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservationand Development where she led the development of green building and sustainable retrofitstandards for municipally-funded affordable housing. Over the past seven years, Suzanneserved as chief of staff and then chief operating officer for Pecan Street, during which timeForbes named her one of five women ‘Using Technology to Blow Up Social Change.’ An urbanplanner with a masters degree in community and regional planning from the University of Texasat Austin, Suzanne has worked in Africa, China, India and the USA on community-basedsustainable development.