The Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology at Arizona State University (ASU) through its National STEM Collaborative was pleased to co-host the Inaugural Women of Color in STEM Entrepreneurship Conference on May 20-22, 2016 at ASU SkySong.

The conference was a collaborative effort to advocate for increased participation of women of color in entrepreneurship experiences and small business enterprise; to advance entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial student engagement; and to transform the ways that entrepreneurship is viewed, taught and experienced in higher education.


Thank you for your interest in the Inaugural Women of Color STEM Conference. The conference was a collaborative effort to advocate for increased participation of women of color in entrepreneurship experiences and small business enterprise; to advance entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial student engagement; and to transform the ways that entrepreneurship is viewed, taught and experienced in higher education. 

Title: The New Normal: Women of Color STEM Innovations and Achievements through STEM Entrepreneurship

Date: May 20-22, 2016

Venue: ASU Skysong Building 1 & 3

1475 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, Arizona 85257

Check in began at 3 pm on Friday in Building 3 Room 135

Download Directions and Map

Parking: Parking was free.

Conference HotelHoliday Inn Express and Suites


Amber Anderson

Serial entrepreneur, work + life advocate, business analyst, product manager and small business thought leader Amber Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of Kayson, a company committed to providing businesses the insight they need to achieve their goals.

After eight years of success in the corporate setting with companies like Apollo Group, Education 2020 and Clairvoyant, Anderson founded her own business with the goal of using her background to help companies do better and last longer.

Since going out on her own in 2012, Anderson has helped dozens of companies from startups to enterprise, law to tech, address market challenges, launch new products and services, adapt to a changing competitive landscape and much more.

Dr. Patricia Arredondo

Dr. Patricia Arredondo has had a successful career as an organizational consultant and senior administrator in higher education. She served as president of the Chicago campus of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Senior Vice President Student initiatives with Arizona State University. In these positions, Dr. Arredondo led institutional change initiatives, advanced strategic plans for inclusive diversity, and created partnerships for new business development. As founder and president of a consulting firm based in Boston, she had clients from different industry sectors as she assisted organizations with their diversity strategies.

For the past three years, Dr. Arredondo has been Co-PI for OURS (Outstanding Underrepresented Scholars), a Post-Graduate Leadership Training program funded by NSF. The program is for women in STEM and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges.

Throughout her career, Dr. Arredondo has been a scholar and professional organizational leader. Her scholarship has been in the areas of cultural competence in psychology and organizational development, women’s leadership, Latina/o psychology, and social justice advocacy. She has authored and co-authored six books and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and bilingual video productions. Dr. Arredondo has also been a pioneering leader with national professional associations. She is the first and only Latina to serve as president of the American Counseling Association and is the Founding President of the National Latina/o Psychological Association.

Dr. Arredondo is affiliated with the American Council on Education as a mentor to their well-known Fellows program. She is also on the faculty team for the New Leadership Academy administered by the National Center for Inclusive Diversity, University of Michigan. She has delivered many seminars on women’s leadership as well nationally and internationally.

For her servant leadership, Dr. Arredondo has been recognized by various associations. Most recently (Fall 2015), she was named a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United and in February 2016, she received the Social Justice Award from Teachers College Roundtable. She is a Fellow with the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association and holds an honorary degree from the University of San Diego.

Dr. Arredondo holds bachelor’s degree from Kent State in Spanish and Journalism, a master’s in Counseling from Boston College, and a doctorate from Boston University in Counseling Psychology. She is a licensed psychologist based in Chicago and recently launched the Arredondo Advisory Group.

Hillary Barron

Hillary is the Department Chair of Natural Sciences and Technology at Leech Lake Tribal College, a 2-year community college located in Northern Minnesota. As a full-time STEM faculty member, Hillary has worked at LLTC for the past 4.5 years to engage American Indian students in science, technology, engineering and math, focusing on environmental education. Her research interests include culturally relevant pedagogy and promoting equity in both STEM and academic leadership. Hillary is beginning her PhD in STEM Education at the University of Minnesota and remains dedicated to the advancement of minority students in the sciences. She is a descendant of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.

Sandra Begay-Campbell

Sandra Begay-Campbell is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories where she leads Sandia’s technical efforts to assist Native American tribes with their renewable energy developments.

Sandra received a Bachelor of Science - Civil Engineering degree from the University of New Mexico. She worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories before she earned a Master of Science - Structural Engineering degree from Stanford University. Sandra has been with Sandia National Laboratories for over 21 years.

Sandra is a recent recipient of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Life-time Achievement Award; the University of New Mexico’s 2007 Zia Alumnus Award; the 2005 UNM School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award and she received the Stanford University 2000 Multicultural Alumni of the Year Award. She was also selected as a recipient of the Governor's Award for Outstanding Women from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women.

Sandra is recognized in a book profiling women engineers, “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers." Begay-Campbell is included in the chapter "Women in Power", which describes her effort to provide electricity through solar panels and other alternative energy solutions to hundreds of remote tribal members on the Navajo Reservation.

Maria Benson

Maria Benson is a residential faculty member at South Mountain Community College, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Smart Chicks, LLC. Maria describes herself as having an innate understanding of how things work (translation… she researches and analyzes EVERYTHING). She is a bona fide techie and holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering, both from Georgia Tech. She loves to share her passion for technology and social media and how to successfully leveraged them, both personally and professionally.

Maria is an advocate for women’s heart health and is the founder of the Red Dress Cocktail Party, a grassroots event that has raised more than $60,000 for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign. She is a huge promoter for STEM education for girls. In addition, she serves on the City of Phoenix Women’s Commission and is actively involved with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). Maria has been member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for over 25 years and is a member of The Links, Inc. She currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, Tyrone, and their daughter, Bailey.

Anita Blanco

Anita Blanco serves as the Director of Diversity Recruitment and Engagement in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. In this capacity, Anita seeks to increase the diversity of PhD students in Genetics and the Biosciences, while advocating for an environment that values and supports diversity. Professionally, Anita has 20 years of experience in increasing and fostering diversity in academia, with a focus in the STEM fields. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors at local, state, and national levels with various nonprofits and professional associations. In the past 8 years at Stanford University, Anita has established several key outreach events, national STEM partnerships, signature diversity retention initiatives, the founding of diverse STEM resource groups, authored a $1.5 million grant to increase diversity in STEM, and has significantly increased the PhD applicant pipeline of diversity in STEM.

Anita was born and raised in a rural, low-income, Chicano household in Bowling Green, Ohio. She became the first in her family to earn a college degree when she skipped high school and earned her bachelors degree in Art History and Historic Preservation with Honors at age 19 from Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Anita later earned a masters degree in Higher Education with Distinction from Arizona State University.

Dr. Jamika Burge

Dr. Jamika Burge serves as the director of assessment technology product and research for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. She oversees the Smarter App suite of open source software as well as leads efforts to identify, prioritize, and manage system requirements using a user research approach. She is also responsible for developing a strategic vision to sustain and enhance the Smarter Balanced assessment system to better improve teaching and learning among member states. Prior to joining Smarter Balanced, she was a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Information Innovation Office (I2O). She provided technical and research management consultant for DARPA programs which were funded at over $70 million. She has also worked as a researcher at IBM Research (Almaden, CA and Watson, NY). Her research interests lie in human-computer interaction (HCI), specifically in the design of technologies that support a range of communication and interaction needs. She is active in computer science education and STEM preparedness efforts, providing expertise for a host of funded programs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Computing Research Association (CRA), particularly those seeking to broaden participation in computer science. Jamika holds a Ph.D. in computer science, with a focus on human-computer interaction (HCI) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she was an IBM Research Fellow.

Dr. Erika Camacho

Erika Tatiana Camacho is an Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at Arizona State University (ASU).
She grew up in East Los Angeles and was taught by Jaime Escalante at Garfield High School. She received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University. She has held positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Loyola Marymount University, and ASU. She was a 2013-2014 MLK Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Through her research she was the first to laid the framework for mathematically modeling degenerative disease of the retina such as Retinitis Pigmentosa. This has become her biggest research focus even though her current research is also at the interface of mathematics, biology, and sociology and also involves mathematically modeling gene networks within yeast, social networks, alcohol effects on a neuron firing, and fungal resistance under selective pressure.

Jaime Casap

Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of the web, technology, and Google tools as enabling and supporting capabilities in pursuit of fostering inquiry-driven project-based learning models. Jaime collaborates with educational organizations and leaders building innovation and iteration into our education practices. He speaks on the subject of technology, education, and innovation at events around the world.

In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves on a number of Boards, including the Arizona Science Foundation, Seed Spot NEXT, and Inquire Schools. He serves as an advisor to dozens of organizations focused on education, technology, and equity. Jaime is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes on policy, innovation, and leadership.

You can read Jaime’s education blog at and can reach him on Google+ You can also follow him on Twitter at @jcasap

Andrea Chaves

Andrea Chaves serves as a teacher and creative director at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Astoria, NY. She has revolutionized the student experience in TYWLS by transforming all her classrooms into digitalized, student-centered learning zones. Due to the overwhelming need for Andrea’s expertise, she recruited a group of student leaders known as the “Tech Crew” whom she expertly trained in using and implementing technologies. Andrea’s TechCrew is composed of an array of departments, that include young women experts in multiple fields: filmmakers, graphic designers, coders, website designers, information representatives, and project managers. Under Andrea’s guidance, these young women collaborate to create innovative projects to inspire young women to take interest in the male dominated fields of STEM.

Stephanie Clergé

Stephanie Clergé is a leadership and professional development coach and speaker specializing in strengths-based development of individuals and teams, enabling them to maximize their performance. Stephanie believes that our strength comes from the intersection of our competence and character, and harnessing that strength enables us to lead intentional and fulfilled lives. She enjoys working with high potential leaders and change agents across many industries who appreciate a practical approach to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Stephanie has worked in the technology industry for nearly 15 years serving as a program and people manager and corporate leadership coach. She holds an Industrial Engineering degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Babson College, where she grew her love for all things entrepreneurial. She completed a Coaching Certification from the Hudson Institute of Coaching and is an Associate Certified Coach of the International Coaching Federation.

Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, volunteering at education-related non-profits and finding new outlets for her creativity and curiosity.

Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson

Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson is the former Deputy to the Chief Technologist for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Her primary focus as a Technologist has been Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Nanotechnology, miniaturization of Technology for CubeSat and SmallSat space platforms. Currently, Dr. Ericsson serves as the NASA GSFC Program Manager for Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Research (SBIR/STTR). With over 30 years of engineering experience she research started with developing control methods for orbiting platforms and to managing unique instruments for Spaceflight missions. During her 25+ year tenure with NASA, she has held numerous positions such: Attitude Control Systems analyst; Program and Business Executive for Science; Project Manager and Systems Engineer for Instruments; Technologist and Program Manager for Innovative Technology Development. Dr. Ericsson has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at several Washington DC Area Universities. She sits on several Technical Academic boards at National Academies, MIT and previously Howard University. She has won numerous awards and recognitions over the years. The most prestigious was The 2016 Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers. Dr. Ericsson is the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA GSFC. She received her B.S. in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from MIT.

Rakia Finley

Rakia is the Founder of Surge Assembly. Her work includes consulting on the use of software systems to achieve corporate mission, information technology planning and the strategic use of technology. She specializes in mastering technology and web systems to increase development among organizations. Her strength is in planning for specific technology projects that involve complex information systems. With over ten years experience in the information technology industry, she has become an industry expert on organizational issues associated with program creation and growth. She is active in the technology-for-enhancement movement and is frequently invited to speak at conferences across the country, primarily focusing on business strategy, development, and technology.

Marcus Finley

FIN. Digital Founder, Marcus Finley is an “advisor, User Experience (UX) architect, and implementer.” Marcus has managed over $2 million dollars of contracted technology development and strategy projects for 45 clients with an average size of $100,000. In his professional roles, he has provided technology strategies and user experiences to achieve client’s goals. He has help developed UX practices, lead a number of UX workshops with clients and guided companies with emerging needs of validating applications nationally. He co-founded a Meetup called Color of Tech to bring together a diverse group of technology professionals to network and thrive. Marcus is currently the Digital Director with FIN. Digital and UX instructor with General Assembly.

Lisa Firmin

As Associate Provost for Faculty/Student Diversity and Recruitment at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Lisa Firmin created the UTSA Top Scholar program aimed at high achieving students, combining merit scholarships with student enrichment experiences enhancing the quality of each incoming freshman class. She developed the first ever Presidential level Distinguished Diversity awards program for faculty, staff and students and championed the addition of Gender Identity/Gender Expression to the university’s nondiscrimination policy. Firmin serves as co-chair of the Veteran Student Advisory Committee, educating others about the nontraditional veteran student and in 2013, co-authored a book chapter titled “Serving Student Veterans at the University of Texas at San Antonio: Accomplishments and Challenges,” in Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities. In 2014, her collaborations resulted in the creation of an online training module highlighting Veteran Culture Competence for faculty and staff. Recently in 2016, her latest book chapter The Transition: Colonel to Associate Provost is featured in Adapt and Overcome: Essays on the Student-Veteran Experience. She has also published the article Deploying Leadership, in the Phi Kappa Phi Forum Spring edition. Firmin retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel and its most senior ranking Latina officer, after leading UTSA’s ROTC program to the best in the nation and being awarded a Bronze Star Medal for her efforts in combat in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. She has received many honors and accolades such as the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Latina Leader award, the Governor of Texas’ Yellow Rose award, the National Diversity Council’s Trailblazer and Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas awards and the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Trailblazer Award. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Diversity Council, a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, a member of the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrators Association, a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and serves on the UTSA leadership team of the UT System Women’s Leadership Network.

Kate Gallego

Vice Mayor Kate Gallego represents District 8, a diverse area that includes everything from one of the world's busiest airports to the world's largest municipal park. As a member of the Phoenix City Council, Kate has focused her energy on economic development and improving Phoenix's transportation system. She led the campaign to pass Proposition 104, the city's transportation plan through 2050. She also spearheaded the successful effort to develop Phoenix Equal Pay Ordinance, working toward pay equity for all residents.

Kate has brought an entrepreneurial spirit and extensive economic development knowledge to her service on the council. Prior to being elected, Kate worked on Strategic Planning and Economic Development for Salt River Project and earned an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Kate is the only MBA on the Phoenix City Council.

Vice Mayor Gallego is the first woman to represent District 8 and the only member of the Millennial Generation to serve on the council. She has been recognized with the "Courage" Award from the Girl Scouts Cactus-Pine Council for her work on the Phoenix Equal Pay Ordinance and as Elected Official of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Arizona Chapter for her work on expanding access to transportation. The Wharton School of Business named her to its inaugural "40 Under 40"alumni list in 2015.

Kate graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University with a degree in Environmental Studies. She is married to United States Congressman Ruben Gallego.

Chanel Garner

Chanel Garner serves as the District Plant Engineering Manager for UPS’s Desert Mountain District. She is responsible for the facilities and equipment operations of the Desert Mountain District, which is comprised of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. The district employs nearly 12,500 employees and serves over 90,000 customers daily.

Chanel began her career with UPS in1989 in the East Bay district as a plant engineering Supervisor. Chanel was transferred to the Northwest Region as a project engineering supervisor in 1991 and was promoted to plant engineering manager in the Gulf South district in 1993.

Chanel worked on a special assignment for industrial engineering in 1995 and in1997 worked in the Southwest Region as the project manager until 1998 when she was promoted to a staff plant engineering manager in the Central Ohio district. In 2000 she was transferred to the Northwest Region and worked as the project manager and was responsible for the Portland hub expansion until her transfer to the Pacific Region in 2002 where she was responsible for the Mesa building project in Desert Mountain.

Chanel has always put Community Service in the forefront and recently accepted a special assignment to the UPS Community Internship Program, where she spent 6 weeks participating in a community outreach program in San Francisco's Chinatown.

She currently sits on the Women’s Leadership Development Board and Asian Business Resource Group at UPS.

Chanel has her BSE from Duke University, Majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

Her hobbies and interests include; reading and playing piano. She and her husband Scott have a son Grant age 17.

Gabrielle Jordan

Award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor, Gabrielle Jordan, now age 16, is the owner of Jewelz of Jordan - an upscale jewelry business, which she started at the age of 9. Gabrielle is also the co-founder and President of the ExCEL Youth Mentoring Institute; a youth based online mentoring organization providing mentorship opportunities and educational resources for entrepreneurship and leadership development. Within the ExCEL Youth Mentoring Institute platform, Gabrielle host the weekly video podcast, ExCEL with Gabrielle.

Gabrielle Jordan has taken her experience in business and her passion for inspiring others to publish the nationally recognized and #1 Amazon Bestselling book, The Making of a Young Entrepreneur: A Kids Guide to Developing the Mind-Set for Success which launched her platform as a sought-after speaker with accomplishments such as TEDx and keynoting events and conferences both nationally and internationally.

Gabrielle Jordan as been featured on several television, radio and news publications including Fox, NPR, INC. and Huffington Post to name a few. Some of Gabrielle’s clients include: Syracuse University, Columbia University, Google, United States Embassy Nassau - The Bahamas, Morgan State University, Congressional Black Caucus and National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women.

Courtney Klein

Courtney Klein is the Co-Founder and CEO of SEED SPOT, a nonprofit organization ranked as one of the top 3 social impact incubators in the United States by UBI Global and Cisco. To date, SEED SPOT has accelerated the dreams of over 160 social entrepreneurs who have developed a product, service or technology that improves lives. Forbes, USA Today, Huffington Post and others have profiled Courtney for her work and over 400 media stories have been written about SEED SPOT to-date. SEED SPOT recently received funding from the Kauffman Foundation to expand operations from their Phoenix headquarters to communities across the country.

Courtney has been on stages around the world sharing her personal story as an entrepreneur and participated in the United Nations Executive Education Program in Thailand & Cambodia focused on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Previously, Courtney served as the Co-Founder & CEO of New Global Citizens, a journey that started with a $1,000 seed grant and a dream when she was a senior in college that grew into a national-class organization that served over 10,000 youth and partnered with organizations in 33 countries.

In 2016, Arizona State University honored Courtney as the “Young Alumni of the Year” award and Arizona Economic News named her “One of Arizona’s most Influential Millennials.” In 2015, the Phoenix Business Journal named Courtney as one of the “Top 10 Business People of the Year” and in 2013 as one of the “25 Most Dynamic Women in Business.” She has also been recognized by media outlets as one of the nation’s “Top 30 Civic Leaders Under the Age of 30,” one of Arizona’s “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35,” one of “20 Women to Change Arizona by 2020,” and one of “Arizona's Most Intriguing Chief Executives.”

Courtney is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in nonprofit management. She has served on the Board of Directors for many nonprofit organizations.

Courtney resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband and daughter Avery. She is an avid yogi and Ironman finisher.

Ellen Looyen

Ellen Looyen was one of the first women in Sales at IBM and later at Xerox, where she was a top producing sales rep, sales manager and sales trainer.

Since 1988, Ellen has branded divisions of major corporations, launched countless startups and has helped all types of people advance their careers. Ellen is the author of Branded for Life! 8 Elements to Transform Your Personal Brand, Career and Life. Ellen is a frequent Brand Commentator for CBS News, The Wall Street Journal and KGO Radio; and she has sold out the prestigious SF Commonwealth Club, all four times she’s spoken there. Some of Ellen’s clients include: Goldman Sachs, HP, Oracle, eBay, Visa, Cisco, Kaiser Permanente, AAA, SAP and Campbell’s Soup Company.

Chinonye Nnakwe

Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe is a molecular biologist and is currently an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow on assignment at the National Science Foundation (NSF) within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science Engineering. At NSF, Chi-Chi is working with the I-Corps™ program to broaden participation in I-Corps™ programs and activities and is helping to design a mentor network for entrepreneurs. She is also pursuing research questions that address the intersection of entrepreneurship, science identity and retention in the STEM workforce.

Chi-Chi studied the role of epigenetics in DNA damage signaling and cell cycle regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast). After completing her graduate work, she became a management consultant for Campbell Alliance and provided strategy services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She was then called to pursue a more personal mission of empowering individuals from populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields to become the leaders of the future. For four years she worked in the Office of the Provost at the University of Chicago as the inaugural Director of Graduate Diversity Initiatives. Among her many duties, she ran the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP), helped create multi-institutional initiatives like the SPINES Neuroscience Symposium with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and lead the effort to create the National Research Mentoring Network-CIC Academic Network (NRMN-CAN) with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).

Chi-Chi obtained her B. Sc. In Biochemistry with Departmental Distinction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Ph. D. in Pathology from the University of Chicago.

Jenny Poon

Jenny Poon is a serial entrepreneur and founder of CO+HOOTS, Phoenix’s first collaborative space that currently houses 200+ scaling entrepreneurs and small businesses. She built CO+HOOTS in 2010 which has been an integral role in creating hundreds of jobs locally. In 2014 she co-founded CO+HOOTS Foundation, an organization who’s mission is to extend entrepreneurship to different sectors. Some major accomplishments of the foundation are hosting the largest youth coding event in the nation with the most diverse attendence, the largest pro-bono event in the nation and now helping fight for equal pay in Arizona. Her other business is eeko studio, a boutique design agency focused on fresh designs for impactful companies large and small. Jenny led the strategy behind some big brands like World Trade Center Association, Local First AZ and Grid Bikes. Her background as an award-winning designer and strategist led her to build a coworking community where she could connect with like-minded, talented folks that believe business growth comes from collaboration between different industries. She has worked over 10 years in team environments and has used her experience to organize a community that breeds inspiration and collaboration for entrepreneurs everywhere. Jenny earned’s top 35 Arizona entrepreneurs under 35 honors in 2009 and 2012; Business Journal 40 under 40 honors in 2013; and Business Journal’s Outstanding Woman in Business honors in 2016.

Hope Shimabuku

As the Director of the Texas Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Hope Shimabuku carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the Texas regional office. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Shimabuku ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Ms. Shimabuku brings to the USPTO nearly two decades of experience as an engineer and intellectual property attorney. Most recently, Ms. Shimabuku was part of the Office of General Counsel at Xerox Corporation serving as Vice President and Corporate Counsel responsible for all intellectual property matters for Xerox Business Services, LLC. She also worked for BlackBerry Corporation advising on United States and Chinese standards setting, cyber security, technology transfer, and intellectual property laws and legislation. As an engineer, she worked for Procter & Gamble and Dell Computer Corporation.

Ms. Shimabuku is a leader in the Texas region. She served as the Chair-Elect for the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section and is a Barrister Member and Inaugural Member of the Barbara M.G. Lynn IP Inn of Court. She sat on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Texas Law School and served as a facilitator for the DFW Women in Intellectual Property group. She is a past president of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, chaired the Dallas Diversity Task Force, and served on the board of the Dallas Bar Association and as a member of the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas – District 6.

Throughout her career, Ms. Shimabuku has championed diversity efforts, and was honored with the DCEO Champion of Diversity Award by the Association of Corporate Counsel. She has also received numerous professional honors, including being selected as a Dallas Business Journal “Top 40 Under Forty,” named Dallas Business Journal's Corporate Counsel Rookie of the Year, and selected as one of DCEO's "500 Most Powerful Business Leaders."

Ms. Shimabuku received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and graduated cum laude with a J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She is a native Texan, born and raised in Houston, Texas. She currently lives in Flower Mound, Texas, with her husband and two daughters.

Dr. Christine Wilkinson

Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson is the Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University. She also holds the positions of President of the ASU Alumni Association and Managing Director of the Trustees of ASU. Prior to these appointments she served as the Vice President for Student Affairs for 13 years. Among her other administrative assignments, Dr. Wilkinson has served as the university’s interim athletic director on three separate occasions. She is a tenured faculty member in the Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College.

Sharon Wong

Sharon M. Wong is currently the Deputy Director for Coordination & Policy for OPM's Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI), the office that leads and manages the government-wide diversity and inclusion effort. In this role, she is responsible for D&I policy initiatives, and coordination with the 60+ Federal agencies that submitted D&I Strategic Plans, providing technical assistance on implementing D&I strategies and goals, and creating and sustaining D&I Councils, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and the Diversity & Inclusion Dialogue Program to improve the Inclusion Quotient of agencies. She also coordinates with the National Affinity Groups to build strategic relationships for outreach and collaboration, and improve the representation of diverse communities.

Ms. Wong came to OPM in September 2011, after serving as the D&I Officer at NASA/GSFC, where she led the D&I efforts since the program inception in 2000, leaving NASA/GSFC with a #2 ranking for Diversity in the Best Places to Work in Government, as well as a detail to NASA HQ to standup the NASA D&I program. Her work experiences include 15 years as a Lead Software Integration and Test Engineer at NASA, and in Strategic Planning and Outreach at NASA HQ.

Ms. Wong is the Immediate Past National President for OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) social justice and civil rights advocacy organization; she’s a past Chair of the Asian American Government Executives Network (AAGEN), an organization of federal APA executives; and a Past President of the FAPAC. Ms. Wong served on the Maryland Commission for Women, and recently on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Board of Governors. She is a lifetime member of Blacks in Government (BIG) and the Federally Employed Women (FEW)

Ms. Wong has received the NASA/KSC Equal Opportunity Award, the Astronaut Silver Snoopy Award, and an Outstanding Leadership Award from NASA/GSFC. She has also been recognized by external organizations such as AAGEN with the Stanley Suyat Memorial Leadership Award. She has a B.S. in Physics, a M.S. in Engineering Systems Analysis from the University of Central Florida (UCF), and a Diversity Management Certificate from Cornell University.

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