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Women in
Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Fowler College Events

Janey Jennings, Marketing & Events Specialist
SSE-3310 |  619-594-0718 |  [email protected]

Join us for SDSU’s 4th Annual WOMEN IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP & LEADERSHIP Forum on February 27, 2020


Learn at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Network at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Get inspired at Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Join us for a full day of exciting activities, presentations and interactive workshops designed to give you the skills and confidence that you will need in today’s competitive world.

Meet and be inspired by a wide variety of successful women business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry experts. – All here for one purpose, to help you succeed!

Already out of school, come on back for a one-day refresher course. Our speakers and workshops will address many of the challenges that you face daily as a woman in the workplace. Our forum is open to all members of our community but focused on women and their unique challenges and opportunities. Refreshments will be served, and prizes given away.


Osinski family

This event is generously sponsored by the Osinski Family.


Event Schedule

11am – 12pm | Emerging Leaders & Entrepreneurs Panel

Victoria Ashton

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

Eriko Bailey

Vice President, Supply Chain

Pura Vida Bracelets

Bio Coming Soon. 

Heather Doyle

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.

Angella Trinidad

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.


12pm – 2pm, Workshops

Amanda Nachman

Amanda NachmanCollege Magazine

Amanda Nachman empowers young professionals as a Career Fulfillment Speaker, author of the upcoming book, #QUALIFIED and founder and CEO of College Magazine, the trusted guide to college, reaching 9 million readers nationwide. Amanda has developed an action-based career strategy by coaching hundreds of college students. On FindYourPassionCareer.com she breaks down the 5 steps to unlocking your passion! Her graduates have gone on to careers at National Geographic, Random House, NBC, Vox, and more. Nachman also hosts the Find Your Passion Career podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

Kimbra Brookstein

Kimbra BrooksteinIntuit

Kimbra Brookstein is Sr. Program Manager for Tech Women @ Intuit, an internal initiative focused on attracting, retaining and advancing women technologists. In this role, she utilizes her passion both at the local and global levels to help carry out strategic programming. Kimbra launched the first formalized Mentorship program for TWI, where she successfully ran two SD pilots which lead to a global expansion. In addition, she helped expand Intuit’s returnship program “Intuit Again” to the San Diego campus. Intuit Again specifically focuses on bringing those back into tech who took a break in their career for caregiving.

Kimbra builds community on campus for TWI with the goal of creating an inclusive and safe environment for Women in tech.  In addition to internal programs, Kimbra leads external partnerships and sponsorships with local organizations that promote and expose women to tech. She leads partnerships with Athena, Women Who Code SD, Girls In Tech SD, LatinaGeeks, Designing Women, Blacks In Tech SD and AnitaB.org and more! Kimbra has been recognized in the community and won the 2019 NAWBO BRAVO award for Corporate Leadership.  She was also nominated for an Athena Pinnacle for “Individual In Technology” in 2018 & 2017 where Inuit won “Best Company” at the May 2018 Athena Pinnacle Awards.


  • Power To Fly "Leveraging Community: Inside Intuit’s New Mentorship Program for Women in Tech."- Oct 29th, 2019
  • Feature in Intuit's "Day In The Life" series, for Women's History Month - Intuit (March 28th, 2019)
  • Cover Feature, "Coding Bootcamps Tapped For Talent." -San Diego Business Journal (July, 2017)

Speaking Engagements:

  • Moderator, "Return To Tech Panel."- Athena
  • Moderator, "Women In Tech: The Resources You Need To Level Up In SD."- SDSW 2019
  • Moderator, "Girls In Tech-SD: The different type of dev roles you can have in tech." -SDSW 2018
  • Panelist, "Women In Tech Panel." -Startup San Diego Convergence/Girls In Tech SD
  • Panelist, "Creating Tech Opportunities For Community Change." -Western Regional Diversity Conference
  • Panelist, "How I Started Working In Tech." -GeekGirl TechCon
  • Mentor, Mentor Room. -GeekGirl TechCon
  • Co-Captain, Developer Track -SDSW 2017
  • Moderator, "Women In Tech Panel." -SDSW 2017

Awards & Nominations:

  • NAWBO Corporate Leadership award WINNER, Nov 2019 - BRAVO Awards
  • Individual In Technology Nominee, May 2019 -Athena Pinnacle Awards
  • Individual In Technology Nominee, May 2018 -Athena Pinnacle Awards
  • Best Company/Organization WINNER, May 2018 -Athena Pinnacle Awards


  • Athena Pinnacle High School Scholarship Committee, Athena (March-May 2018)
  • DevTrack Team Member/Organizer, SDSW- San Diego Startup Week (2016-2018)

Holly SmithsonHolly SmithsonAthena

Holly Smithson is Athena’s Chief Executive Officer. Athena is a women’s empowerment organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development. She previously served as Vice President, Business Strategy at the California Life Sciences Association, the nation’s largest statewide advocacy organization for the life sciences sector. Smithson previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Cleantech San Diego. Smithson worked in public policy for a decade as a Presidential Appointee at several federal agencies and as a registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Smithson began her career in broadcast journalism as a news director and anchor for several television and all-talk radio stations. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast communications from East Carolina University. She has been recognized by multiple organizations, including San Diego Business Journal (CEO of the Year, 2019), San Diego Business Journal (Business Woman of the Year, 2019) Xconomy (Diversity Champion Finalist, 2019), San Diego Magazine (Woman of the Year Finalist, 2019) San Diego Daily Transcript (San Diego's Top 100 Influentials, 2014), Delegate on California Governor Brown’s Trade Mission to China, 2013.

Virginia Tinley headshotVirginia TinleyChallenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) 

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.

Allison Long-PettineAllison Long-PettineADASTRA 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.

2pm – 4pm | Executive Leaders Panel

Lisa Graham

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

Susan McLain

SVP for Global Product Management


Bio coming soon.

Ronda Sedillo

Ronda Sedillo

SVP/Chief Financial Officer
San Diego Padres

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

Erin Taylor

Strategy Director, Foodservice  



  • 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!)

4pm - 5pm, Networking Reception



Past WiEL Events 

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


Get Involved

Whether you're a student or a business or community leader, you can get involved with Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership!

  • Student Volunteers - If you'd like to volunteer with this event we welcome student support to serve on the student committees including marketing, volunteer recruitment, digital media, day-of-event support, and more. Please complete the form below to get involved.
  • Speaker or Panelist - If you are a Business, Community, or Entrepreneurial Leader and would like to serve as a speaker or panelist for future events, please complete the form below to get involved. 
  • Featured Guest Speaker at Entrepreneur Society - SDSU's Entrepreneur Society welcomes guest speakers at their weekly meetings. Contact their student leaders to get involved!
  • Be an Aztec Mentor - The Aztec Mentor Program's purpose is to engage alumni and professional mentors to connect with juniors, seniors and graduate students to support them as they move their career forward. AMP asks mentors and mentees to invest eight hours in mentorship over the fall and/or spring semester.
  • Sponsorship - Sponsorship opportunities of the Women in Entrepreneurship & Leadership event are available for both individuals and companies/organizations. Please contact Sheona Som at [email protected] for more information.

Please include if you are interested in speaking at a future event.



Complimentary parking is available at Parking Structure 3, Level 6 only.

Directions map

  • From I-8, exit College Avenue and proceed south.
  • After passing under the second pedestrian bridge, turn left on Zura Way. 
  • Continue on Zura Way and go past parking lots 2 and 2A.
  • At the stop sign, make a right and look for Parking Structure 3 on the left-hand side.
  • Enter structure and park in any available space on Level 6 only.
  • Locate elevators on the west side of garage.*

Directions to Montezuma Hall

  • Take elevator to Level 3 and exit the parking structure onto East Campus Drive.
  • Cross East Campus Drive, walk through the campus residential area to the end of the pathway.
  • Turn right onto pedestrian bridge.
  • Walk across the pedestrian bridge, which ends at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.
  • Montezuma Hall is located on the second floor on your right hand side.

* The walking distance from Parking Structure 3 to the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union is approximately two blocks. The pathway is moderately level. Should you require disabled access, please view the campus map for disabled access and be assured the above route can accommodate guests in wheelchairs.