Women in Leadership

Fowler College Events

  GC-1502 |    619-594-0718  |   [email protected]

The 6th Annual Women in Leadership Conference will occur on March 10, 2022.

Learn at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Network at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Get inspired at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

LEARN, NETWORK & BE INSPIRED. The Women in Leadership Conference is a full day of engaging presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. The program is designed to focus on the specific issues females face in the workplace while equipping students with the skills and confidence they’ll need to thrive both as professionals and individuals.

The panels and workshops feature a variety of successful female leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry experts aiming to inspire each attendee while reimagining a more equitable world. These events are free and open to all members of the SDSU community and students from all majors.

Osinski family

The Osinski Family: SDSU marketing faculty member and local entrepreneur, Steven Osinski alongside his family, created a $500,000 endowment to continue and expand the Women in Leadership Conference in perpetuity at San Diego State University. Osinski also serves on the planning committee and is major contributor behind the scenes, ensuring the event continues to evolve each year.


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Past WIL Events 

2021 Conference Highlights

2021 Guest Speakers


Headshot of Ally LoveBoss Up

Ally Love
Host of the Brooklyn Nets, a Peloton fitness instructor, and the founder and CEO of Love Squad, a fitness and lifestyle website

Ally Love, is a multifaceted woman, pioneering the slash generation. As
the CEO/Founder of Love Squad, she is the in-arena Host of the Brooklyn
Nets, Peloton Instructor, adidas Global Ambassador, and Model. Ally uses
her influence/platforms to create a space to celebrate and champion
diversity in race and culture through conversation and sweat.
Known as a Boss of Business, Ally Love’s platforms reaches millions,
which is why it has been important for her to create Love Squad as a
space where real conversations and real change can occur through
moderated panels and open discussions around women empowerment.
Ally believes that our differences make us unique but our will to be better
brings us together.

Headshot of Katie SowersShattering Glass Ceilings

Katie Sowers
Professional Football Coach



Katie Sowers became just the second woman to hold a full-time NFL coaching position and the first openly gay coach in the NFL when she worked as an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers through the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season. While she primarily worked with the 49ers’ wide receivers, she also helped with game preparation and all offensive skill players. In February of 2019, Sowers became the first female member of an NFL staff to coach in a Super Bowl when the 49ers played the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. Sowers originally joined San Francisco in June of 2017 as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship and was hired by the team at the program’s conclusion as a seasonal offensive assistant before being promoted to offensive assistant in 2019.

In 2016, Sowers spent the offseason/training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, working closely with Atlanta assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris in organizing, conducting and concluding practice drills. Following her time on the field, she spent nine months as a scouting intern with the Falcons. Sowers joined Atlanta after spending five years (2012-16) as the athletic director of the City of Kansas City. A former member of the 2013 United States Women's National Football Team and a player herself in the WFA (Women's Football Alliance) for eight years, Sowers earned her master's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.

Sowers was listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Sport by Sport360 and in 2019 was the recipient of the Rising Star Award from The Sports Power Brunch: Celebrating the Most Powerful Women in Sports. She was Outsports’ Female Hero of the Year in 2017 and named to the Bleacher Report Power 50. Additionally, Sowers has been featured in numerous publications, including ESPN, USA Today, NFL.com, Forbes and Outsports.


Headshot of Jess DeBoltLeaders in Digital Technology Panel

Jess DeBolt
Senior Client Partner - Entertainment


Jess is a Senior Client Partner on the Twitter Media & Entertainment team, based in Los Angeles.  She is responsible for overseeing partnerships with brands including HBO Max, Universal Pictures, NBC & Focus Features. She joined Twitter in 2015, to help grow the Travel and Mobile vertical with partners like Airbnb & Lyft. She was promoted to be a key player on Twitter’s Global Content Partnerships team consulting with the largest tech and media brands in the world: Apple, Google, Netflix, AT&T, Verizon & more. 

She has worked in the tech industry for 13 years since her first role at Apple where she created the morning brief for Steve Jobs. She then held several roles across account management and sales teams at Travelzoo, the largest publisher of travel deals. She led negotiations and managed relationships with more than 200 advertising partners including brands such as Four Seasons and Starwood. 

Raised in Northern California, Jess enjoys a slower pace of life whenever possible -- she listens to country music, leans vegetarian and loves exploring the outdoors with her two-year-old daughter.

Headshot of Nidhi GhaiLeaders in Digital Technology Panel

Nidhi Ghai
Global Head of Ad Sales


Nidhi Ghai is a Head of Global Ad Sales, Emerging Accounts. She is responsible for helping mid-size businesses grow their brands within Amazon Advertising programmatically via the Amazon DSP, OTT as well as using cost-per-click advertising solutions. Nidhi and her team deliver programs that automate and drive efficiency for the sale teams.

Ghai joined Amazon in 2012 and has led advertising sales teams for six years across multiple categories such as Grocery, Sporting goods, Toys, Publishing and built the Softlines advertising sales team enabling fashion brands to reach Amazon audiences through display and self-service campaigns.

Ghai earned her Master’s degree in marketing from the University of Westminster, UK. A native of Delhi, India, Nidhi resides in Seattle with her husband and two daughters.

Headshot of Amelia LukimanLeaders in Digital Technology Panel

Amelia Lukiman
Global Communications


Amelia Lukiman leads U.S. consumer product and brand communications at TikTok. In her role, Amelia is responsible for B2C communications efforts, helping people understand TikTok’s mission, values, and impact to its community of hundreds of millions of Americans. 

Before TikTok, Amelia was on the Nike communications team supporting external and internal communications efforts for the company’s Western region. Before Nike, Amelia spent nearly seven years at The Walt Disney Company in communications roles supporting various lines of business including Disney Interactive and Games, Disney Digital Network, Disney Consumer Products, and Disney Publishing.

 Amelia first transitioned to the in-house side to join Sony Online Entertainment. Prior to that, she worked at PR agencies Ketchum and PMK*BNC, supporting high-profile consumer and entertainment accounts including Activision, Best Buy, Disney, Frito-Lay, MATTEL, to name a few. 

 Amelia graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations.

Headshot of Jackie TruongLeaders in Digital Technology Panel 

Jackie Truong
Partnerships Lead, Brand Marketing


While Jackie has spent much of career at two leading companies in technology, Netflix and Google, she started with humble beginnings as a daughter of Vietnamese refugees. She put herself through college at San Diego State with help from her first job in tech at the local Apple Store. It was there that she saw how integral and personal technology is to each person. 

 After graduating, Jackie went on to develop social media and content marketing for a startup in Venice Beach that created a platform for marketers to send mobile videos. When the company was acquired, EA Games tapped Jackie to launch popular games such as Sims, Monopoly, and Tetris Blitz on mobile and emerging devices. It was at EA that she developed partnerships with Google, Microsoft and household brands such as Hasbro. 

 When Netflix was still delivering DVDs and had just released their first major Original series, House of Cards, Jackie joined to help start their partner marketing team. Her tenure was an incredible 5 years of growth, spent launching Netflix globally. Jackie built the creative partnerships team in the US, Europe, then moved across the world to open the office in Asia.

 She is currently at Google in San Francisco, leading brand partnerships for core products such as Google Search and Maps.

Headshot of Naz ArandiLeaders in Media and Entertainment Panel

Naz Arandi
Global Creative Director
Apple TV


Naz Arandi is a creative with over 15 years experience spanning the advertising and design industry. She has been telling human stories using technology as an invisible engine to propel immersive narratives for brands expanding from Apple, Airbnb, Netflix, Mexico Tourism, Tabasco and PayPal. 

Born and raised in Iran, Naz moved to the US at age 20 and later began her career as a professor at Cal Poly Pomona before a shift into advertising. Following creative director roles at agencies such as Ogilvy, she landed at some of her most beloved companies where she has been responsible for building diverse teams, as well as brands that are culturally relevant. She led the global Tagline for Netflix, made “Netflix and Chill” a cultural phenomenon, launched Airbnb Plus, Airbnb Luxe and the new Airbnb app for the post-covid world. 

Currently Global Creative Director at Apple TV Naz utilizes the culmination of her experiences to lead a cross-functional team. Her focus covers product launches, editorial, content, team growth and strategic innovation to further propel the brand’s next phase and big ideas. 

 Headshot of ShavoneLeaders in Media and Entertainment Panel

Founder, Magic. Agency
Musician & Ford Model
Director, VSCO


SHAVONE. is a multi-hyphenate creative and force in tech, fashion and music. She’s known across industries as a renaissance woman who continues to disrupt the norm as a classically-trained musician, model and change-maker in tech, named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Marketing & Advertising list. SHAVONE. is dedicated to disruptive thinking, supporting women in creative fields and amplifying the stories of underrepresented voices. Whether it’s SHAVONE.’s influence in fashion or her pursuit to break the mold as a millennial who’s trailblazing a new path for future generations of women in tech and entertainment, SHAVONE. is disrupting industries as a champion of disruptive creativity and inclusion. Her influence in fashion, tech and music have been profiled in outlets like Forbes, Billboard, Coveteur, DAZED, Complex UK, Hypebeast, PAPER, ELLE, and EBONY, noting her history-making moves as the first African-American woman and trailblazer to create roles held at both Twitter and Instagram. SHAVONE. also currently heads up communications and creative Partnerships at VSCO out of Los Angeles. As a tastemaker and founder of her own creative agency Magic In Her Melanin, SHAVONE. has collaborated with top brands across industries, ranging from Nike to Google, Spotify, Dapper Dan, Twitter and Instagram.

Headshot of NIcole GervaisLeaders in Media and Entertainment Panel

Nicole Gervais
Global Franchise Development & Marketing


As Senior Manager, Franchise Marketing at Disney Consumer Products, Nicole Gervais brings to life the Disney brand through unique and trend setting products, experiences, and brand marketing strategies. Leading all aspects of the Mickey Mouse & Disney Classics business, Nicole drives the development of both brand marketing & commercial strategies across numerous businesses globally. Since joining The Walt Disney Company in 2016, she has developed award-winning brand campaigns for Disney’s #1 character franchises and has launched hundreds of product collaborations with brands like Coach, Levi’s, Beats by Dre & more. Nicole has worked for The Walt Disney Company for five years. Prior to that, she worked in fashion marketing for a global retailer. 

Gervais is a graduate of San Diego State University where she was involved in SDSU Ambassadors, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Hospitality & Tourism Management program & more.

Headshot of Terri HinesLeaders in Media and Entertainment Panel

Terri Hines
Executive Vice President of Communications
FOX Sports


Terri Hines is the Executive Vice President, Communications for FOX Sports, the sports  television arm of the FOX Corporation. She joined the company in December 2016 and serves  as chief spokesperson responsible for leading the development of all communications, brand and social responsibility strategies for the #1 brand in live sports entertainment. As a member of  the senior management team, she leads strategic direction and corporate positioning; is a  senior advisor on diversity and inclusion matters; and drives brand awareness that promotes,  enhances and protects the FOX Sports brand. She is a member of the communications  leadership team for the FOX Corporation and serves as Executive Sponsor of its employee  resource group, FOX Noir.  

A leader in marketing and communications, prior to FOX, Hines spent 10 successful years at  NIKE Inc. where she held leadership roles in both the Converse and Jordan Brand divisions and  also spent another decade at Nissan North America during her career journey.  

A noted brand builder, culture creator, and communications professional, Hines has been an  invited speaker by Cannes Lions, CES, The Female Quotient, ColorComm and AllBright; and an  invited guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Southern California,  Stanford University, University of Oregon and her alma mater, Florida A&M University. She has  also received distinguished honors over her career. 

A native of Washington DC, Hines earned her Master of Arts degree in Communications from  American University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Florida  A&M University. Passionate about mentoring, children’s causes, health & wellness and the arts,  she is a member of the Board of Advisors for The Rape Foundation, a member of the Board of  Directors for The LAGRANT Foundation, a founding member of AllBright and a member of the  Corporate Working Group for the UCLA Anderson School Center for Management of Enterprise  in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES).  

Hines currently resides in Los Angeles.

 Headshot of Jennie WilkesLeaders in Media and Entertainment Panel 

Jennie Wilkes
Director of Global Creative Marketing


As Director of Global Creative Marketing at Netflix, Jennie leads a team of creative and strategic 360 marketing managers who run campaigns for some of Netflix’ biggest TV franchises, films, and overall deals within the studio. From Stranger Things to Outer Banks, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the upcoming Shadow and Bone, to all of Ryan Murphy's upcoming series and films including The Prom and Ryan’s biggest original series to date, Ratched, Jennie’s creative leadership has been an integral part of the launch and success of these properties and many more. Her work has received several awards including top honors in the Clio Entertainment Key Art Awards and Golden Trailer Awards.

Previously in creative advertising at Universal Pictures, Jennie arrived at Netflix in 2014 and was one of the original members of the Creative Marketing Team. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2009.


Heashot of Kristy RyanWork With Purpose

Kristy Ryan
Community Impact Specialist
Pura Vida



Supported by Union Bank
Headshot of Anahi Abe-BrowerBusiness Launch Lessons from 3 Diverse Founders

Anahi Abe-Brower
Founder, Worthy Picks 



Designer by trade and world traveler by heart, Anahi’s journey to  create a low waste and sustainable lifestyle started with a single  bamboo straw when she discovered bamboo straws in Indonesia  back in 2016. Nevertheless, she fell in love with Bamboo years  before as an exchange student while completing her BA in  International Studies in Japan from Pepperdine University.  

With over 12 years of graphic design experience in branding, she  is obsessed with designing high quality, beautiful and eco-friendly  products to inspire sustainable changes. She believes natural  materials like organic cotton and bamboo teach us that we don’t  have to depend on disposable plastics so much. She believes  choosing natural products help us slow down, stay connected  to nature, while choosing products WORTHY of us and our  environment. 

Anahi loves to connect with and inspire her customers and  her community with talks about sustainability and her curated  collection of eco-friendly products, specializing in bamboo and  organic cotton via WORTHY PICKS. She believes big change starts  small, and we all play a part.

headshot of Meri BirhaneBusiness Launch Lessons from 3 Diverse Founders

Meri Birhane
CEO, Meri Consulting Services


Ms. Birhane is a pioneer on social media leveraging her 13,000 followers on LinkedIn to sell over $3 million in products and services. In 2017, she founded Meri Consulting Services, a woman led firm, helping tech companies and sales reps book more meetings and have more LinkedIn engagement through her proprietary tech sales playbook and LinkedIn lead generation program. 

Ms. Birhane is a rising star in her field and has received recognition for her leadership in sales working with companies such as PIH Health, Crow Holdings, PopChips, Pacific Premier Bank, and San Diego Girl Scouts. Moreover, Ms. Birhane is frequently requested to coach and mentor sales teams. 

Prior to launching Meri Consulting Services, Ms. Birhane received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of California, Los Angeles. While there she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and graduate degree in Public Health. Ms. Birhane later attended San Diego State University receiving a Masters degree in Business Administration. While at State, in 2015 Ms. Birhane’s startup won Second Place and Best Video Submission during ZIP Launchpad Startup Pitch Competition and won Third Place during the Lavin VentureStart Competition. 

In 2020, Ms. Birhane showed resilience winning Second Place and Audience Choice Award Winner at Union Bank’s Startup Pitch Competition during a global pandemic. In her spare time, she hosts virtual monthly Empowerment Mastermind meetings to a network of 300+ diverse business owners and leaders. To learn more visit Meri Consulting Services and follow @mericonsultingservices @empowermentmastermind on social media.

Headshot of JasmineBusiness Launch Lessons from 3 Diverse Founders

Jasmine L. Sadler
Founder, The STEAM Collaborative


Trained as a rocket scientist and ballerina, Ms. Jasmine L. Sadler, MBA lives her life on purpose through her company, The STEAM Collaborative, which increases the number of diverse children – of all genders and cultures – pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, alongside artistic endeavors. Since relocating from Detroit to San Diego 8 years ago, Jasmine specializes in entertainment, engineering, entrepreneurship, and education. Her awards include 2020 Connect All at the Jacobs Center Pitch Competition, 2020 San Diego Regional Chamber Lead Advance, 2019 Blue Heart Activist of the Year, 2019 Moxie Theatre Awards, 2018 PLNU MBA Student of the Year, 2018 UofM Making A Difference Award, 2017 Global Social Innovation Challenge and the 2017 Hera Hub STEAM Trailblazer Award. 

As a previous Quality Manager and Design, Test and Quality Engineer, Jasmine’s background as a 6-Sigma Black Belt has allowed her to serve through Continuous Improvement, Lean Manufacturing, and ISO Audits. Her educational background in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Point Loma Nazarene University allows her to lead in both manufacturing operations and business metrics. After celebrating the five year anniversary of her company, The STEAM Collaborative, Jasmine took the leap as a full-time engineer to full-time entrepreneur in STEAM Education. 

Collaborating with over 50 organizations, The STEAM Collaborative works with informal education youth organizations to design, implement, and manage STEAM programming. Currently, Jasmine serves as an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, Women Give San Diego Fellow, and San Diego Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees. For more info or inquiries on collaborating with the #DancingRocketScientist, follow and message Ms. Jasmine @theSTEAMcollab.

Headshot of Sivan AylaEntrepreneurship and Brand Building

Sivan Ayla Richards
Lifestyle Blogger


Sivan Ayla is a Digital Entrepreneur – she is a Lifestyle Blogger, Co-Founder of the beauty brand Lux Unfiltered & Creator of the swim and sportwear brand TAN + LINES. She is also the mom of 2 and wife to her overly-researched husband, who happens to be her attorney and business partner. 

Sivan launched her blog in 2010 as a creative outlet and has since cultivated a global community of women that subscribe to her daily content across various platforms like Instagram, her all-girls private Facebook group, her blog (www.sivanayla.com), and exclusive newsletter.

Sivan’s mission is to share a realistic approach to everyday luxury. With her unfiltered voice, you’ll learn how to do your makeup, cook a healthy dinner, shake up a killer cocktail, decorate your home on a tight-ass budget, travel the world with a buzz, and style your same jeans 50 ways. She strives to provide her audience with quality and original content they won’t find anywhere else. 

It has become known that Sivan’s entire personal brand revolves around her authenticity in the beauty and lifestyle space, which has also resulted in multiple sold out collections from her own brands and collaborations. Needless to say, she has built a strong trust with her audience that other brands seek to be part of. 

As Sivan continues to grow her brands (& social media following), she aspires to be a resource for other women looking to grow their own brands through her business-related content, mentorships series, podcast, and conversations happening among the community.


2020 Guest Speakers



Victoria Ashton headshotPanelist

Victoria Ashton
Vice President, People



Tulane Law School graduate and Robert Half International alumni, with experience in diverse facets of talent acquisition and operational strategy + growth. She is the fifth employee and Vice President at GoSite, one of the nation's fastest growing software startups. As a young female leader in her industry, Victoria actively engages in advocacy for women in technology, business and venture capital.


Eriko Bailey headshotPanelist

Eriko Bailey
Vice President, Supply Chain

Pura Vida Bracelets


Bio not available


Heather Doyle headshotPanelist

Heather Doyle
Zone Business Manager


Heather Doyle graduated from San Diego State in 2016 and has since been working at Frito Lay, Inc. Heather started as a Sales Associate through their Management Trainee Program, which later got her promoted to the role of District Manager. She was a District Manager for two and a half years before getting promoted to the title of Zone Business Manager. In this current role, Heather is responsible for managing the zone’s financials and yearly budget. Some of her accomplishments include being one of the top three districts for sales for all of San Diego as well as being the zone’s mentor for young professionals.


Angelia Trinidad headshotPanelist

Angelia Trinidad
Founder and CEO
Passion Planner


Who would’ve thought that a queer, first generation Filipina American right out of college, struggling to find direction, would soon go from completely directionless to becoming a multi-millionaire by the age of 23? Six years ago, Angelia Trinidad found herself a broke UCLA graduate moving back into her parents' home in San Diego, questioning what to do with her life. Her parents were immigrants from the Philippines with goals that their daughter would be financially secure in a safe, corporate, legal or medical job. However, Angelia had different aspirations. She dreamt of being an entrepreneur, where her business would have the ability to change the world. But the overwhelming uncertainty and self-doubt spiraled her into depression. She isolated herself from the people she was closest to, neglected her self-care practices and fell into the trap of comparison by mindlessly scrolling through social media. But worst of all, she lost sight of who she truly was- confident, ambitious, hopeful.

Finally, after three months of giving into this self-loathing, she took out a piece of paper and started to write down everything that was dancing around in her head. When she looked down at it, she realized that one of her most important goals was to make a tool that helped people.  She decided to build a new version of the tool that had always been there to help her: a planner. Angelia wanted people to look at the big picture of their lives and ask themselves, “If I could be, do, or have anything, what would my life look like?” She wanted to make a planner that got people to take their dreams, break them down into actionable steps, incorporate those steps into their daily lives, so that they had a clear plan of action to reach their goals.

That’s how Passion Planner was born. Passion Planner has evolved from its humble beginnings in her parent’s garage, to a team of 31 motivated employees. Throughout the past six years, Passion Planner has grown from an idea, into a worldwide community where more than 1,000,000 members of the #PashFam live with intention and create a life they want. It utilizes love, gratitude and self-motivation as the primary force to propel action in people’s lives. It helps intimidating projects look like adventures, failures to be seen as valuable experiences and success as remnants of a beautiful process, not the end goal.

Angelia’s company is now a thriving multi-million dollar company, and through their Get One, Give One program, they’ve donated over 400,000 planners to empower underprivileged communities, NPOs, and other positively impactful organizations. Her dream is to help create a world where everyone has the courage, tools, and community to build their ideal life, and work day in and day out to make those dreams a reality.


Generously sponsored by Callan Capital

Amanda Nachman headshotWorkshop Facilitator

Amanda Nachman

"Level Up Your Story"



Amanda Nachman empowers you to #LevelUp your story and achieve your dream career. She's the CEO and publisher of College Magazine, reaching millions of readers, TEDx speaker and author of the book #QUALIFIED. Over the last decade, she’s developed a career strategy by coaching thousands of students. It’s the same strategy that helped her to quit her boring day job and launch her dream magazine. Her graduates have gone on to careers at NBC, USA Today, Vox, Washingtonian, Us Weekly, National Geographic, and more. She’s also the host of the Find Your Passion Career podcast found on iTunes and Spotify. Amanda lives in San Diego, CA.


Virginia Tinley headshotWorkshop Facilitator

Virginia Tinley

"Making a Big Difference"
Challenged Athletes Foundation



Virginia Tinley joined the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) as Executive Director in 1998.  She was CAF’s first employee and joined when the organization’s annual budget was $165,000 and was serving 65 challenged athletes.  Over the past 22 years, under her leadership, CAF has supported over 26,000 challenged athletes in all 50 US states, Puerto Rico and 70 international countries and raised over $112,000,000 to fulfil its mission. Also, during Tinley’s tenure CAF has grown to be recognized as an international leader in Disabled Sports.

Before joining the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Tinley was co-owner and National Sales Manager of Perfection Sportswear.  She managed a team of 50 sales representatives and helped grow the business to $10 million. Ultimately, Perfection Sportswear was sold to Reebok.

Tinley holds a BA from UC San Diego and a Certificate in Executive Leadership for Non-Profits from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, hiking and spending time with her dogs, friends and family.


Allyson Long-Pettine headshotWorkshop Facilitator

Allison Long-Pettine
"Raising Your Awareness"
ADASTRA Venture Capital


Allison is an investor and entrepreneur who is passionate about finding and empowering visionaries uniquely destined to change the world. In 2018, she co-founded Ad Astra Ventures, a fund dedicated to empowering founders of high growth startups with at least one female co-founder. Allison founded Crescent Ridge Partners, a seed stage venture fund in 2012 to provide early stage capital to entrepreneurs building scalable, capital efficient businesses.

Allison began her career at Viscogliosi Brothers, a New-York based venture capital company focused on orthopedic medical device investments. She was an early employee and Director of Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning at Paradigm Spine, a startup that developed non-fusion spinal implants. Allison is a mentor at Tech Stars and Praxis Labs, and sits on the advisory board of UCSD’s The Basement incubator.


Shontay Lundy headshotWorkshop Facilitator

Shontay Lundy
"Real Talk"
Black Girl Sunscreen


Shontay Lundy loves to be outside. She often hikes, practices yoga and walks her bulldog on the beach. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a sunscreen that would protect her from the sun without cramping her style. Like many women with dark skin tones, applying sunscreen meant dealing with the white residue left behind by traditional products—and it wasn’t a good look.

“I knew there had to be something that could work,” said Shontay. “And I knew that if I could figure out how to make it happen, it’d be a game changer.”

Armed with an MBA and a personal vendetta against this unappealing residue, the New York-raised businesswoman started looking for a solution. She discovered that there were natural ingredients that could boost melanin production, offer proper UV protection and be fully absorbed by the skin. So, she worked with skin care experts to create BlackGirlSunscreen.

“I named my product BlackGirlSunscreen because there are a lot of people who still think having dark skin means that you have full sun protection. While we do have more natural protection than people with lighter skin tones, we’re still at risk for burns, cosmetic sun damage and—most importantly—skin cancer,” said Shontay.
At BlackGirlSunscreen, our mission is to educate customers on safe skin practices and sun protection. We also want to provide an answer to a question we hear far too often, “Do black people need sunscreen?” Yes!

Like many African-American women, Shontay likes to go to the beach, hike and practice yoga. As a sun lover, she thinks the sun should be safely enjoyed by all people. However, as an African American woman she has experienced difficulty in purchasing sunscreen. The tale-tale white cast that can be visible on the skin and the general lack of available products, stirred in her a desire to create a product that can be used by everyone and has benefits to those of a darker hue.

She developed the idea for this sunscreen, after completing her undergrad in upstate NY and her graduate degree in Miami FL. The realization that she was avoiding going out in the sun or hiding under an umbrella sparked this endeavor. The desire to get out from under the umbrella caused her to start looking at ingredients that would be nourishing to people of all skin types as well as melanin boosting.

Shontay wanted to create a product that would completely absorb, leaving no residue. And a product that would bolster the skin’s defense through health and proper UV protection. Shontay has transplanted several times on her journey from New York to Miami to Los Angeles and back to Florida. In her travels she worked on a formula that would nourish as well as protect and developed ties to people who could help create this company.

At BlackGirlSunscreen, we want to educate and empower our customers to protect and nurture their skin no matter what shade it comes in. The common misnomer that black people do not need sunscreen due to higher levels of melanin is sadly false. BGS wants you to be smart, protect your skin, and come out from the shade. Bye bye umbrella!


Sunaina Chugani Marquez headshotWorkshop Facilitator

Sunaina Chugani Marquez
Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion Through Language

Sunaina Chugani Marquez is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at San Diego State University where she researches and teaches Consumer Behavior. Together with her husband, she hosts The Happy Wanderers, a podcast about using mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication to find joy and compassion in a world that could use a little more. She also regularly facilitates Nonviolent Communication workshops for inmates at Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. Her research explores consumer well-being at the intersections of hedonic adaptation, gratitude, materialism, and mindfulness. She received her PhD from the University of Texas and taught in New York City for four years before moving to San Diego.



Allyson Felix headshotKeynote Speaker

Allyson Felix
Nine-Time Olympic Medalist
Track & Field


Born on November 18, 1985, Allyson Felix grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Paul, is an ordained minister who was an excellent sprinter as a teen. She inherited her long legs from her school teacher mother, Marlean. Allyson followed her older brother, Wes, into the sport, although she did not try out for the track team until her ninth-grade year at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills. 

At her first practice Coach Jonathon Patton asked her to run 40-meters and thought he must have mis-measured the distance when he say Allyson’s time. He re- measured and asked her to run again, and she did, but with the same results. Just ten weeks after that tryout, Allyson was racing at the California State Finals. 

Allyson went on to accomplish impressive feats over her high school career. She broke Marion Jones’ high school 200-meter record by running 22.51 seconds at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in April of 2003. Just weeks later, Felix turned in an even more impressive performance when she competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium and ran a blazing 22.11 second 200-meter race, which was a new world record in the under-20 category. 

Felix emerged as the new American Female sprinter to watch and has never looked back, winning three Gold Medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games and followed that up in 2016 with two more Gold Medals and another Silver Medal. Under the tutelage of Coach Bob Kersee, she has won a total of 9 Olympic Medals and 18 World Championships and is the most decorated track and field athlete in history.


Lisa Graham headshotPanelist

Lisa Graham
Sr. Director, Global Leadership
Adobe Systems


As a Sr. Director at Adobe Systems Lisa has managed global sales divisions and go to market programs for commercial, government and education markets.  Her revenue responsibility has exceeded over $700M in sales. Lisa also has a strong record of success in building and maintaining deep partnerships with many of Adobe’s largest partners, including CDW, SHI, Insight, and Dell. 

In her current role Lisa is responsible for developing global go to market programs in Education and SMB - enabling our sales teams to be successful in delivering new customer acquisition, revenue opportunities, and strategic growth areas.  Lisa brings to Adobe more than 30 years of sales, marketing, and strategic account management experience in the high tech industry. Prior to joining Adobe she spent 9 years in telecommunications where she was the senior vice president and general manager of Covad Communications, with leadership responsibility for sales, product management, and marketing.  In previous roles she held senior sales management positions with Hewlett-Packard and Apple Computer, where she was responsible for the distribution and reseller businesses.

In addition to Lisa’s responsibilities at Adobe, she proactively leads and participates in Adobe’s workplace diversity initiatives.  Lisa brings her passion for growth and development, combined with her unique insights as a successful business leader, to ensure Adobe realizes the strategic benefits of a diverse workforce inclusive of gender, cultural, and global dynamics.  Her personal focus on developing women leaders in the company has yielded proven business results and deeper employee engagement.

Lisa received a BA in Management from St. Mary's College, Moraga, Calif.


Susan McLain headshotPanelist

Susan McLain
SVP for Global Product Mgmt.


Bio not available


Ronda Sedillo headshotPanelist

Ronda Sedillo
SVP/Chief Financial Officer


Ronda Sedillo enters her sixth season as senior vice president/chief financial officer after joining the Padres in January 2013. She manages a staff of 13 in the finance/accounting department. She was also recognized as a 2016 San Diego Business Journal CFO of the Year Award Winner.

Sedillo brings 30 years of experience in the accounting industry to her role. She spent 12 years at Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, Inc. (AGIA), serving as chief accounting officer for seven years. In that role, Sedillo managed sell-side due diligence of AGIA to private equity in 2006, and then again was on the sell-side due diligence team to public company Brown & Brown (BRO) in late fall 2011.

Prior to her time at AGIA, Sedillo spent seven years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, serving as a tax manager for the final three years of her tenure.

A San Diego native and life-long Padres fan, Sedillo received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from San Diego State University. She remains active at her alma mater, serving on the Campanile Foundation Athletics Committee and as a guest lecturer and mentor for the Sports MBA program.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross and is a Red Coat for the San Diego Bowl Games Association. She is an active member of the San Diego CFO Roundtable and the Financial Executives Institute.

Sedillo and her husband, Chris, reside in Tierrasanta. They have two grown children, Ashley, a 2006 graduate of SDSU and Dustin, a 2010 graduate of CSU Fullerton.


Erin Taylor headshotPanelist

Erin Taylor
Strategy Director, Food service



  • Georgetown University:  B.S.B.A., Management
  • University of the Pacific:  M.B.A., Management

Career History:

PepsiCo (2004 – Present)

  • Director, Foodservice Leadership For Execution (FLEX) – Workplace Channel North America
  • Workplace Director – California Region, PepsiCo (Added Food & Chilled Lines of Business)
  • Workplace Director – West Business Unit (Beverages only)
  • Workplace Business Development Manager  – West Business Unit
  • Foodservice Director – Central Valley Market Unit
  • Foodservice Director – Sierra Market Unit
  • Marketing Manager/Sr. Marketing Manager – Pacific Northwest Business Unit

Sacramento Kings (1999 - 2004)

  • Director, Partnership Services
  • Sr. Manager, Partner Services
  • Manager, Partner Services

What are your goals (professional):

  • Creating, simplifying and prioritizing the agenda to deliver results across US Foodservice
  • Creating strong relationships and wiring cross-functionally to create efficiency and effectiveness 

Personal interests:

  • Rick (husband of 11 years), Ella (8), Austin (6), Aldo - dog (14)
  • Co-Owner of Riaza Wines (since 2011)
  • Travel & Food

What are you most proud of:

  • West Division Women’s Inclusion Network Executive Sponsor (6 years)
  • Mentoring our next generation of female leaders to drive their success (8 years)
  • Building relationships that make work fun and rewarding (always!)


2019 Guest Speakers




Dr. Adela de la TorreWelcome Speaker

Dr. Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University

Dr. Adela de la Torre was recently appointed by the California State University Board of Trustees as the new president of San Diego State University. Joining the campus in June 2018, Dr. de la Torre is the ninth permanent president of SDSU and the first woman to serve in that role. She brings with her 30 years of service in leadership roles within institutions of higher education, including the California State University system, the University of Arizona and the University of California, Davis.

Prior to her appointment as President, she served as the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity at UC Davis. Dr. de la Torre’s research focuses on aspects of Latino community health – an area in which SDSU is a national leader.

Dr. de la Torre served as Director for the UC-Davis Center for Transnational Health for fourteen years, as chair of the UC Davis Chicana/Chicano Studies Department, as director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, and as director of the Mexican American Studies and Research Center at the University of Arizona. Dr. de la Torre was a professor at California State University, Long Beach, and at the University of Arizona before joining UC Davis in 2002, where she became the first Latina to receive the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Dr. de la Torre's grandparents immigrated to the Central Valley from Mexico. She grew up in the Bay Area, where her grandmother and mother taught her important cultural traditions – the importance of family, the value of hard work and the power of education. Her mother went to Modesto Community College and UC Berkeley and was a public school teacher for 40 years.

Dr. de la Torre earned her bachelor’s degree in the political economy of natural resources from UC Berkeley. Her master’s degree and Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics are also from UC Berkeley.

Stan SewitchKeynote Speaker

Amy Shelby
VP, Digital Marketing

The CW Television Network

Digital Marketing professional Amy Shelby has been working in the Digital Marketing and TV industry for over 20 years, creating cutting edge campaigns for a variety of series and projects. In her current role as Vice President, Digital Marketing for The CW, she is responsible for creating compelling ways to encourage fans to stream free, full episodes on the CW App. Shelby has created the digital marketing launch plans for DC series The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and most recently for the wildly popular Riverdale, among dozens of other series. Recently, Riverdale was listed as the fastest growing TV series on Instagram.

Shelby has oversight of content planning and development, social media marketing, email marketing, media elements, branded entertainment and more. During her 10+ years with The CW — beginning after Gossip Girl and just before The Vampire Diaries —she has grown the social media footprint to over 25 million followers, created innovative new ways to message to fans, led the expansion of The CW streaming app into the OTT space, among many other accomplishments.

At Sony Pictures Digital she developed marketing programs for Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Young & The Restless, Days of Our Lives, and a variety of others. She helped develop the popular Wheel Watchers Club loyalty program, and the Jeopardy! online contestant test, both of which are going strong today.

Shelby earned her BA in Communication, specializing in New Media Studies from San Diego State University.

Kim ParellKeynote Speaker

Kim Perell

Kim Perell is an award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling author, angel investor, and technology CEO.

Laid off from her dream job out of college, Kim started her first company from her kitchen table, going from broke to a multi-millionaire by the time she was 30, and selling her last company for $235 million in 2014.

Passionate about supporting others to achieve success in life, Kim is an angel investor in over 70 startups, 14 of which have successfully been acquired.

Kim attributes her success to her ability to execute, which inspired her to write her bestselling book, The Execution Factor, The One Skill that Drives Success. All of the book proceeds go to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through The Execution Factor Fund, an early stage investment fund.

You can learn more about Kim at KimPerell.com or follow her on social media @KimPerell.

Steven OsinskiSponsor & Host

Steven Osinski
SDSU Fowler Lecturer & CEO,
3 Hour Learning

Steven Osinski currently teaches business courses at SDSU in Direct Marketing and Sales. In addition, during this “second career,” he has also served as the Chairman of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s Advisory Board and on the College of Business’ Advisory Board.

Osinski is a true entrepreneur. Prior to teaching, he was the founder and CEO of the SMART Group; a national advertising agency that specialized in serving the direct marketing needs of some of the nation’s largest Mobile / Wireless carriers. He started the company with just $3,000 and built it into over $15 Million in annual revenues before being acquired by TMP WORLDWIDE / MONSTER.COM in 1998. He then served as the Vice President of Marketing for their Directional Marketing division overseeing a half billion dollars in ad revenues for two years.

He is also the founder and CEO of 3 Hour Learning (www.3hrlearning.com). An online digital educational program targeted towards teaching entrepreneurs and business professionals the fundamentals of success in sales.

Osinski’s passion is towards educational philanthropy. Prior to launching SDSU’s WOMEN IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP & LEADERSHIP forum, he and his wife also helped provide initial funding for the PROFESSIONAL SALES & SALES MANAGEMENT program in the Fowler College of Business. They have also provided numerous scholarships to SDSU students.

He attended the University of Miami where he earned a BA in Mass Communications and an MBA in Marketing. He did manage to flunk out of law school, but let’s not talk about that.

Shelley ZimmermanShelley Zimmerman
Retired Chief of Police,
San Diego Police Department

Shelley Zimmerman joined National University in January of 2019 as a Chancellor appointed professor focusing on public safety and leadership.

Prior to this appointment Chief Shelley Zimmerman was hired by the San Diego Police Department in October of 1982. She was promoted to Chief of Police on March 4, 2014 and retired on March 2, 2018 after an illustrious thirty-five-year career. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, FBINA #241.

During Chief Zimmerman’s career she worked many of the San Diego Police Department's patrol commands. Shelley also has extensive investigative experience. Some of Chief Zimmerman's assignments have included Vice, Narcotics, Internal Affairs, Multi-Cultural Community Relations, the Mayor's Executive Protection Detail, and the Narcotics Task Force.

Chief Zimmerman assisted in the security planning for several large events in San Diego such as the Super Bowl, Republican National Convention, Comic Con, MLB All-Star game, major conferences, protests and the 4th of July Independence Day holiday at the beach, where more than one million people come to enjoy each year.

Chief Zimmerman believes in community policing and that public safety is a shared responsibility with everyone playing a crucial role in keeping San Diego safe. Chief Zimmerman instituted new policies and deployed new equipment such as body worn cameras, (the largest city at the time to do so), and gunshot detection sensors.

During Chief Zimmerman’s tenure as Chief (2014-2018) San Diego experienced historic low crime rates, including the lowest homicide rate per capita of any of the largest cities in the country. In 2017, the City of San Diego had the lowest overall crime in the past 49 years and was named the safest large city in America.

Chief Zimmerman received numerous awards and citations throughout her career which included; the San Diego Press Club Headliner of the year award for her undercover work, the San Diego Business Journal's Woman Who Mean Business Exemplary Award for her civic involvement with both the business and residential communities, the San Diego Police Foundation Women in Blue Award for her commitment to making San Diego one of the safest large cities in the United States and the Gold Key Award from the Hotel/Motel Association for her commitment to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.

Chief Zimmerman is an avid sports fan and often participates in athletic charity fundraisers.

Zeynep IlgazZeynep Ilgaz
President & CEO,
Confirm Biosciences

Zeynep Ilgaz is nothing short of a serial entrepreneur. Since emigrating from Turkey to San Diego with her husband and business partner, Serhat Pala, Zeynep has amassed great success. In 2008, she established Confirm BioSciences, a global leader in quality diagnostic health & wellness testing solutions. Today, the brand maintains authority with a significant presence across the industry spectrum.

Scaling her multi-channel infrastructure is Zeynep’s primary focus. As the Chief Executive Officer, she pioneers the development of proprietary labels for wide-scale retail and corporate distribution. Confirm BioSciences also delivers occupational health solutions through a vast nationwide laboratory network.

Zeynep has received numerous accolades in recognition of her contribution to small business in America. In 2015, Zeynep earned the Women Who Mean Business Award as well as the Most Admired CEO Award by the San Diego Business Journal. Confirm Biosciences was later recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as the #1 Best Place to Work in 2016 and 2017; in 2018, Zeynep led Confirm BioSciences to win an Inc. 5000 award for being one of the Best Workplaces in the country.

When she’s off-the-clock, Zeynep and her family actively contribute to community nonprofit initiatives. More than most, Zeynep understands the importance of social responsibility on a corporate level and beyond. She serves of the board of Interfaith Community Services and San Diego State Lavin Center.  


Jennifer Fall JungJennifer Fall Jung
Former CFO and SVP
Old Navy Global and Online Retail 

Jennifer Fall Jung is a CFO and Board Member with over 25 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. She has held multiple roles within Gap Inc., including CFO for both Gap and Old Navy, as well as her most recent appointment as Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor relations.

In addition to her CFO duties, Jennifer has also successfully led global expansion for both the Gap and Old Navy Brands, launching Old Navy Mexico in 2015 from the ground up. She has also led multiple technology projects across the company, focused on optimizing inventory levels and profitability while simplifying workstreams.

Jennifer is a strong believer in conservation, and is currently the Executive Vice Chairperson and Finance Committee Chairperson for the Conservation Society of California. Her role with the organization spans from financial governance and oversight to partnership in developing the long-range strategic plan for the organization.

Jennifer graduated from San Diego State University with both a BS in Finance and an MBA in International Business.

Kim FolsomKim Folsom
Founders First Capital Partner

Fabulous Social Economic Innovator– Micro Underserved Small Business Growth Advocate/Investor – Zebra Company Farmer - Keynote Speaker

Kim Folsom is a high-tech executive and serial entrepreneur who has been founding, leading and growing innovative companies for more than 25 years.

She is currently the founder of LIFT Development Enterprises, Inc. and co-founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator, FUUUSE.com the first online community for fueling small business expansion and the only women-led, revenue-based venture fund focused on helping underserved, employer-based micro small businesses ($50K to $2M), secure funding and achieve exponential growth. As a social entrepreneur, Ms. Folsom is dedicated to leveraging the power of market forces and sound business practices to address disparities in revenue and job growth among businesses led by underrepresented founders. She has raised more than $30 million in institutional venture financing, created over 500 premium wage jobs and has founded or served as a key executive for multiple successful ventures, including showUhow (acquired by Sellpoints), DriveCam (now Lytx) and Seminarsource. Before devoting her energies to entrepreneurship, Ms. Folsom was an executive at National Dispatch Center, Luce Forward and Alltel Systematics and Great American First.

As part of her mission to help entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses, Ms. Folsom teaches as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and business strategy at National University School of Business and Management. She earned her MBA degree from the University of Pepperdine and a bachelor’s degree in information systems a minor in economics from San Diego State University.

 Becky HarshbergerBecky Harshberger
Payroll Tax Executive
Entertainment Partners

Considered an expert in Payroll Taxation, Becky has provided Tax guidance for US employees working on motion picture and television productions in both the US and around the globe at Entertainment Partners. She is responsible for employment tax and information tax processing, reporting, systems upgrades and legislative changes. A member of APA’s National Speakers Bureau she also Co-Chairs the Government Affairs subcommittee focused on IRS issues. From 2012 through 2014, she served as Chair, Employees Benefits and Payroll Subgroup, for the IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC). In May of 2014, she was award the APA Meritorious Service Award for her contributions to the advancement of the Payroll Profession. A Certified Payroll Professional since 1999, she has taught the Greater Los Angeles Chapter CPP prep course every summer since 2000. Previously she was a Senior Manager, at both Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers National Payroll/Employment Tax Practice’s in Los Angeles. Prior to her employment with in public accounting, Ms. Harshberger has 15 years of experience in unemployment claims/payroll tax consulting, human resources and recruiting. She currently resides in Los Angeles. Along with a BS degree (Business, Marketing) from San Diego State University, she obtained a Certificate in Horticulture from UCLA in 2009. When not working, Becky enjoys Yoga, running, gardening and cooking (and eating!).

Vanessa DawsonVanessa Dawson
Founder & CEO,
The Vinetta Project

Vanessa is a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor with a background in digital development, retail finance and venture investment. Vanessa’s current role is as the CEO and Founder of The Vinetta Project, a high impact Capital Platform that accelerates female founder's growth and facilitates access to Capital. Vanessa began her career in retail finance and private equity in Vancouver and New York. Following that she worked at a top digital development agency consulting with fortune 500 companies as well as leading startups on their tech infrastructure. Vanessa launched her own technology venture called Evry in 2010. Evry was a crowd-funding and payments platform for group activities that enabled users to schedule group plans and collect money more efficiently.

Through Vinetta, Vanessa has cultivated a diverse global network of founders, investors and corporate partners focused on changing the ratio for women in tech and venture. She has experience operating, investing in and scaling early-stage technology companies. She also has valuable investor relations experience from all sides of the table. She has been featured in INC, Business Insider and CNNMoney’s Upstart 30. She is a regular contributor to Forbes where she covers tech innovations and the venture landscape.

2018 Panelists

Kathy David, president and CEO of IT TechPros Information Technology

Felena Hanson, founder of Hera Hub Workspace for Women

Gail Naughton, founder and CEO of Histogen BioTech (and former Dean of SDSU’s Fowler College of Business)

Kimberly King, co-director of StartR and mystartupxx

Samantha Madhosingh, founder and CEO of ElevateHER Mindfulness

Amy Shelby, vice president of digital marketing for CW Television Network

Lydia Krasner, owner of Mitzvah Event Productions

Tamara Romeo, founder and president of San Diego Office Design and chair of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center

SDSU Hosts Women in Entrepreneurship Lecture

SDSU Hosts Second Annual Women in Entrepreneurship Lecture

2017 Panelists

Lonnie Ali, entrepreneur, philanthropist and (former) Vice President and Treasurer of GOAT, Inc. (Greatest of All Time)

Anne Marie Griffith, managing director for APG Asset Management

Marjy Stagmeier, founder of TriStar Real Estate investment and president of TI Asset Management