Juliette Samson is a trusted board member, currently serving on the boards of Targatek, Inc. a SaaS startup focusing on empowering executives through AI and Machine Learning, as well as the National Kidney Foundation. From 2019 to 2022 Samson served on the Board of Directors at The Channel Company. Samson serves as the Chair of the Technology Committee and Co-Chair of the Human Capital Committee at Targatek, Inc., a ML/ AI SaaS startup leading the “anywhere, anytime workforce” evolution. Tapped to serve on the Board in 2021, Samson has led the strategic direction and build of the company’s platform, while uniting and building consensus among board members for a clear vision and differentiating strategy for the company’s growth plan. Additionally, Samson was tapped to serve on the Board of the National Kidney Foundation in 2022 to provide strategic leadership, working collaboratively with other board members to set the direction for this national non-profit and to provide analytical thinking and decision-making to enable the organization to execute its strategic plan and mission over the next decade. In addition to being a Board Director, Samson was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the high-profile Golf Committee in January of 2024. Samson comes from a distinguished career, serving as a C-suite Executive leading Global Operations and Technology for Fortune 50 and mid-cap companies across Pharmaceutical, Financial, Telecommunications, Transportation, Food and Beverage, and Consumer Packaged Goods. She has held CIO and Executive Director roles at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, World Finer Foods, and Genpro, Inc. – a leading Freight Logistics Broker – where she currently serves as CIO. Known for leading Technology Transformation, multi-billion-dollar M&A integrations, and global teams of 500+ in IT, Supply Chain / Delivery Operations, and Global Network Services, Samson has built her reputation on architecting and implementing industry-setting, innovative technology and business strategies to propel sustained growth while realizing tens of millions of dollars in savings and revenue. Prior to joining Genpro, Inc. in March 2023, Samson led technology transformation at World Finer Foods, a $200M year revenue food distribution and marketing company as CIO and VP of Supply Chain where she drove significant efficiencies resulting in $8-$10M cost savings over 8 years with zero headcount reductions. Additional transformation successes for Samson include leading the integrations for the merger and acquisition of Wyeth and divestitures to Zoetis and Nestle while serving as Executive Director of IT Strategy/Operations & Portfolio at Pfizer and supporting 5 acquisitions – including the BlackRock disentanglement – while at Merrill Lynch. Earlier in her career, Samson held Director roles at AT&T Network Systems and Lucent Technologies serving in Customer Delivery/Operations and Marketing/Business Development where she led new business ventures, spearheaded factory builds and supply chain improvements enabling 1.1B+ revenue (Lucent) and 200% YoY growth (AT&T). A true pioneer and thought leader in her field, Samson has been quoted in Bill Adams Jr.’s recent book Outfocus: Harness the Power of Collaboration, where she was interviewed about her role as Chair at Targatek. She is also honored to be featured in a chapter of the 2024 book series Empowering Women in STEM, which is scheduled to be published in July of this year.

Hepsi Premkumar

Vice President of Strategy and Operations
Cisco

Hepsi Premkumar is the Vice President of Strategy and Operations and Chief of Staff to the General Manager of Cisco AppDynamics and Full-Stack Observability. In her role, she is responsible for navigating and driving transformative and business-critical initiatives for the organization. Hepsi manages strategy, technical program management, data insights, business operations, university hiring and talent training, and internal and executive communications teams. Hepsi has been with Cisco for 15 years and was most recently the Senior Director of Cisco Cloud Networking Technical Program Management and Operations. She also serves as the Chair of Howard University’s Computer Science and Engineering Industry Advisory Board, representing Cisco.

Panel # 1

Topic

Breaking Through: The Journey from Within

Description

This panel discussion will offer valuable insights into the personal journeys of successful tech industry leaders, their strategies for self-confidence and resilience, approaches to embracing change, promoting diversity and inclusivity, and balancing innovation with stability in an ever-evolving industry, serving as a timeless source of practical advice for aspiring professionals in the tech sector.

Rama Akkiraju

VP, Enterprise AI & Automation
NVIDIA

Rama Akkiraju has 20+ years of leadership experience at IBM as an IBM Fellow and Master Inventor. Formerly CTO of IBM Watson AI Operations, Rama developed AI services such as Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer, Emotion Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis. She holds a master’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA from New York University.

Rama has co-authored 100+ technical papers, holds 50+ issued patents and 25+ pending, and has received multiple awards, including being named one of Forbes ‘Top 20 Women in AI Research’ in 2017. In 2022, Rama was named ‘USA Industry Innovator of the Year 2022’ by Women in AI and ‘AI Industry Leader of the Year 2022’ by Women Leaders in Data & AI (WLDA).

Panel # 2

Topic

Empowering Journeys: The Path to Tech Executives

Description

The panel discussion is expected to provide a comprehensive view of leadership in the modern corporate landscape, touching upon personal growth, resilience, empowerment, diversity, innovation, and the challenges of digital transformation. The diverse experiences and strategies shared by the panelists will offer valuable insights for both aspiring and current leaders in various industries.

Jessica Wakefield

VP of Engineering and Operations
PlayStation

Jessica Wakefield is the VP of Engineering & Operations at Sony Interactive Entertainment. She leads globally diverse teams who deliver the PlayStation platform facilitating business operations, empowering decision-making, and providing crucial insights for PlayStation products and services. With over 100 million monthly active users, 47 million active subscribers and 15 million daily concurrent users for a $16+ billion-dollar business.

As a site leader and global lead for the Women @ PlayStation eNet/Employee Resource Group (ERG), she is also a notable cultural champion making PlayStation the best place to play and work. Prior to SIE, Jessica was with Intuit where she held key roles in the Consumer Tax Group and TurboTax Online Banking capabilities for Intuit. While at Intuit she went to USC’s Marshall School of Business and obtained her MBA, with an emphasis in Globalization.

In addition, Jessica is an active volunteer at her daughter’s school, Vice President of the San Diego Children’s Museum Board, and CEO of the Loving Amber Foundation, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for kids impacted by rare bone marrow and blood disorders.

Panel # 4

Topic

Igniting Passion: Unleashing Your Potential and a New Era in Tech

Description

The panel discussion showcased the pivotal role of passion, purpose, and leadership in the tech industry. The panelists’ insights provided valuable lessons on fostering innovation, empowerment, diversity, and inclusion, adapting to change, overcoming challenges, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, making it an informative and inspiring discussion for both aspiring and seasoned tech leaders.

Stacy Mill

VP of IT and CISO - Run the entire IT Dept and Cybersecurity for Corporate systems
Nashville Electric Service

Stacy Mill is the VP of IT and CISO at Nashville Electric Service, responsible for all IT strategy and execution across corporate systems, including cybersecurity. She has built global teams across several industries and has held leadership roles in the State of Kansas, Spirit AeroSystems, KAR Global, and Yum. Stacy has a background in security and serves on the boards of various organizations. She enjoys spending time with her family and mentoring emerging leaders.

Panel # 4

Topic

Igniting Passion: Unleashing Your Potential and a New Era in Tech

Description

The panel discussion showcased the pivotal role of passion, purpose, and leadership in the tech industry. The panelists’ insights provided valuable lessons on fostering innovation, empowerment, diversity, and inclusion, adapting to change, overcoming challenges, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, making it an informative and inspiring discussion for both aspiring and seasoned tech leaders.

Surbhi Kaul

VP, Global CX
Juniper Networks

With 20 years of experience leading product design, development, and strategy in Fortune 500 companies, Surbhi has built and led product and engineering teams at Google, YouTube, Netflix, and Cisco. She has launched successful products that use AI and machine learning. Currently, Surbhi leads Juniper’s Customer Experience charter, focused on creating omnichannel engagements and ML-based support capabilities. Surbhi has degrees from IIT Kanpur, Texas A&M University, and Harvard Business School. She also leads Global Inclusion & Diversity initiatives at Juniper and supports the IIT community.

Panel # 2

Topic

Empowering Journeys: The Path to Tech Executives

Description

The panel discussion is expected to provide a comprehensive view of leadership in the modern corporate landscape, touching upon personal growth, resilience, empowerment, diversity, innovation, and the challenges of digital transformation. The diverse experiences and strategies shared by the panelists will offer valuable insights for both aspiring and current leaders in various industries.

Christine Sarros

SVP, Product Development
Oracle

Christine has been with Oracle and previously SUN Microsystems for more than 25 years. As Senior Vice President of Oracle’s Enterprise Engineering organization, she is responsible for Oracle’s internal cloud transformation and delivery of multiple cloud services. Her team partners with enterprise and development organizations across the company to evolve on-premises services into native cloud solutions and leads our global migration program. In addition, Christine delivers traditional IT services for our more than 170,000 global employees.

Panel # 3

Topic

Women in Leadership: Career Evolution in the Tech Industry

Description

Diverse companies excel, boasting better performance, a knack for attracting top-notch talent, highly engaged employees, and impressive retention rates. Yet, in the tech realm, women still find themselves in the minority. Change, the driving force behind progress, calls for transformation and innovation, which, in turn, rely heavily on diversity. This dynamic forms a continuous cycle, one that particularly highlights the crucial role of women leaders in tech. Women, with their unique perspectives and experiences, have a distinctive lens through which they view and approach challenges, making them trailblazers and innovators.

Sudha Raghavan

SVP, Developer Platform
Oracle

Sudha is an engineer and product VP in the Oracle Cloud Observability and Developer LifeCycle Services organization. She manages teams that run large scale distributed services used by 1000s of engineers every day. Her inclusive leadership has led to her directs being one of the most diverse teams in Oracle.

She is also a founding committee member of the Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL), Seattle chapter and runs several mentoring rings. She has an Masters in Computer Science and has worked at Microsoft. She is a goal-driven leader hoping to attract more women into leadership positions.

Panel # 3

Topic

Women in Leadership: Career Evolution in the Tech Industry

Description

Diverse companies excel, boasting better performance, a knack for attracting top-notch talent, highly engaged employees, and impressive retention rates. Yet, in the tech realm, women still find themselves in the minority. Change, the driving force behind progress, calls for transformation and innovation, which, in turn, rely heavily on diversity. This dynamic forms a continuous cycle, one that particularly highlights the crucial role of women leaders in tech. Women, with their unique perspectives and experiences, have a distinctive lens through which they view and approach challenges, making them trailblazers and innovators.

Petek Utku

Vice President - OCI Technical Operations
Oracle

Petek Utku is the Vice President of OCI Technical Operations at Oracle. In this role, Petek drives the pursuit of operational excellence within Enterprise Engineering and OCI cloud classic, ensuring unparalleled support and world-class operations for internal and external customers. Petek is a technology executive with 25+ years of experience who has developed high-growth IT strategies and led global teams in finance, investment, technology, and cloud companies. Prior to joining Oracle, Petek was the Vice President of Global Infrastructure Services at Riverbed Technology, where she headed Enterprise Architecture and Corporate Hybrid Infrastructure. Petek also held senior positions at Barclays Global Investors-BlackRock and Dow Jones.

Panel # 3

Topic

Women in Leadership: Career Evolution in the Tech Industry

Description

Diverse companies excel, boasting better performance, a knack for attracting top-notch talent, highly engaged employees, and impressive retention rates. Yet, in the tech realm, women still find themselves in the minority. Change, the driving force behind progress, calls for transformation and innovation, which, in turn, rely heavily on diversity. This dynamic forms a continuous cycle, one that particularly highlights the crucial role of women leaders in tech. Women, with their unique perspectives and experiences, have a distinctive lens through which they view and approach challenges, making them trailblazers and innovators.

Yulia Pavlova

Director Technology Innovation
Thomson Reuters

Yulia Pavlova is the Director of Technology Innovation at Reuters News Agency. With over 10 years of experience in Applied Research and Development, Yulia leads an Applied Innovation lab at Reuters that focuses on AI/ML enhancements and MLOps lifecycle of enterprise products. She develops new technological opportunities to improve the company’s offerings and works cross-functionally with business partners and stakeholders to ensure business and customer impact.

One of her recent achievements is the development of a customer-facing AI tool for Reuters video content that generates automated time-coded transcripts, translation of many languages into English, and identification of public figures. This tool is part of the Reuters Connect service, which offers access to over 600,000 videos, six live streams, and 23 million pictures from Reuters journalists.

Panel # 2

Topic

Empowering Journeys: The Path to Tech Executives

Description

The panel discussion is expected to provide a comprehensive view of leadership in the modern corporate landscape, touching upon personal growth, resilience, empowerment, diversity, innovation, and the challenges of digital transformation. The diverse experiences and strategies shared by the panelists will offer valuable insights for both aspiring and current leaders in various industries.

Kirsten Holte

Vice President, Cloud Compliance & Assurance
Oracle

Kirsten Holte is the Vice President of Cloud Compliance & Assurance at Oracle, where she leads a global team that drives all compliance and assurance programs for Oracle Cloud. Her teams are the “keepers of customer trust” for Oracle Cloud, enabling internal and external customers to meet the needs of highly regulated markets and industries through a portfolio of products and programs that provide visibility into the ever-changing and cutting-edge technologies of a hyperscale cloud. Kirsten has over 20 years of compliance and regulatory experience, including over 10 years in the cloud ecosystem, and is one of the founders of OCI’s cloud assurance journey.

Panel # 3

Topic

Women in Leadership: Career Evolution in the Tech Industry

Description

Diverse companies excel, boasting better performance, a knack for attracting top-notch talent, highly engaged employees, and impressive retention rates. Yet, in the tech realm, women still find themselves in the minority. Change, the driving force behind progress, calls for transformation and innovation, which, in turn, rely heavily on diversity. This dynamic forms a continuous cycle, one that particularly highlights the crucial role of women leaders in tech. Women, with their unique perspectives and experiences, have a distinctive lens through which they view and approach challenges, making them trailblazers and innovators.