Workplace Summit Speakers


KEYNOTES of the Workplace Summit

ASHTON APPLEWHITE is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making age a criterion for diversity. The author of This Chair Rocks and a TED2017 mainstage speaker, she reveals the untapped possibilities of late life—in our communities, at work, and in ourselves. Her manifesto is so popular that Macmillan launched its brand new imprint with it in 2019. In her candid talks—as she does on her blog, This Chair Rocks, and her Q&A Tumblr, Yo, Is This Ageist?—she debunks our culture’s most pervasive myths about getting older. With her funny, straight-talking approach, audiences realize the often-overlooked benefits of advanced age, championing the need for greater age-based diversity in the workplace and our institutions. In 2018, Applewhite was named a member of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ 100 list. In 2016, she joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. She has been recognized by The New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She has written for Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, and The Guardian. @thischairrocks

SETH GODIN is the author of nineteen books that have been best-sellers around the world, and have been translated into more than thirty five languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. His latest book, This Is Marketing, was an instant best-seller around the world. In addition to his writing and speaking, Godin has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog, (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google), is one of the most popular in the world. In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than ten thousand people have taken his powerful workshops, including altMBA and The Marketing Seminar. @thisissethsblog

VERNĀ MYERS is an inclusion strategist, cultural innovator, thought leader, and social commentator. A Harvard-trained lawyer and founder of The Vernā Myers Company, Myers was recently made VP, inclusion strategy at Netflix. In this newly created role, she will help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide. Myers is the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People. Her inspiring TED talk, “How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them,” has been viewed almost three million times. @vernamyers

SPEAKERS of the Workplace Summit

ANN BARLOW is partner and president of Peppercomm West Coast, and managing director of the agency’s creative and digital group. For more than twenty five years, she has counseled b2b and b2c companies of all sizes, nonprofit organizations and universities. Together with teams from Peppercomm’s offices and affiliates around the globe, she has advocated for clients’ positions with consumers and the public, NGOs and government, and the financial and business communities. Barlow’s personal passions are executive presentation coaching, crisis management and digital communications. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she is on the board of Illini West, and is past board chair of the Professional BusinessWomen of California. She serves on the board of directors for Watermark, and is a Watermark Make Your Mark award winner. Barlow has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the Bay Area and PR Professional of the Year by PR News.

JENNIFER FRIEL GOLDSTEIN, is the head of business development, technology and healthcare for Silicon Valley Bank. She is responsible for business development, venture capital relationship management, and corporate relationship management across all sectors for the bank. Goldstein and her teams help innovators and the partners they depend upon drive growth and change within the innovation ecosystem. She has recently initiated the creation of a healthcare equity fund as part of SVB Capital. Additionally, Goldstein was directly involved with the company’s acquisition of Leerink Partners in January 2019. She brings twenty years of investing, banking, business development, portfolio management, and strategy experience as well as a biotechnology background to the team. She graduated magna cum laude with a BSE in bioengineering and an MS from the University of Pennsylvania. She was also named a Joseph Wharton Fellow while completing her MBA at the Wharton School. @svb_financial

Monica EdmondsonMONIQUE EDMONDSON is the IT director of marketing for Cisco Systems, where she manages the 30M monthly visits to and the tech stack for all marketing activities across the customer and partner lifecycle. She also co-leads the Women of Cisco Chapter for Cisco San Jose employees to develop and support professional women. Edmondson was recently recognized as a 2018 recipient of the “Top 100” Silicon Valley Women of Influence Award.


TRINIDAD HERMIDA is head of diversity and inclusion for Niantic. Niantic specializes in augmented reality and is known world over as “the Pokemon Go Company,” for creating the world’s most popular augmented reality game. Niantic, which also brought us Google Earth and Google Maps, has launched the much-anticipated game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.” Niantic’s current focus is on inclusion and creating a social community for gamers. Since joining Niantic in December 2018, Hermida has brought expertise and passion in championing burgeoning diversity initiatives. Throughout her career, she often felt the need to downplay her creativity while attempting to climb corporate ladders. Expectations, assumptions and bias motivated her to fight harder to create a seat at the table that would allow her to impact culture. On any given day you might catch Trinidad traveling the world to visit friends or volunteering her time to educate the next generation through life coaching. @thisistrini @nianticlabs

JAY KERLEY joined Applied Materials in 2006, and has been chief information officer (CIO) since 2011. He was promoted to group vice president in July 2013, and is responsible for providing a long-term technology vision that supports the company’s strategies and operating requirements. He leads the Global Information Services (GIS) organization to enable worldwide business solutions and infrastructure that support the company’s market needs. Additionally, he is an external advocate of GIS and promotes awareness of end-user technology trends that link to Applied‘s strategic capabilities. Under his leadership, he and his teams have been recognized for IT excellence by various organizations, including The National Diversity Council’s 2016 list of Distinguished Chief Information Officers, Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT (10 years running), and Premier 100 IT Leaders, the InformationWeek 500, and CIO’s 100 Business Technology Leaders. @applied4tech

JYOTI MEHRA is executive vice president of human resources at Gilead. In this role, she is responsible for leading people strategy, elevating team performance and developing a cohesive approach to talent attraction and development. She joined Gilead in 2017 as human resources leader for the commercial, general and administrative functions worldwide. Prior to joining, Mehra held leadership positions at Novartis in the United States, Europe, and China in which she was responsible for developing cross-functional and therapeutic-area HR strategies to support the business’ growth priorities. She has extensive experience in business partnership and organizational design, and is passionate about the impact that talent, inclusion and culture have on the effectiveness of high performing teams. Mehra earned a BS in political science from Delhi University, an MS in international studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and is a certified executive coach. @gileadsciences

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