Birds of a Feather and Speed Mentoring

Bernice Alaniz, Communications and Public Affairs Director at VTA

Bernice has 32 years of marketing, communications and public relations experience in Silicon Valley, fourteen of those in transportation. Throughout her career, she has developed and implemented comprehensive communication, promotional and outreach programs for major transportation capital projects, transit services and non-profit programs. Currently, Ms. Alaniz is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, responsible for external communications, including the website, social media; promotion of bus and light rail service, customer service, fare programs, and commutations and outreach for VTA’s BART Berryessa Extention.

Usha Andra,  Marketing Manager  SP Industry, Cisco

Usha is a seasoned marketing manager with Cisco’s SP thought leadership team that is responsible for developing leading global research and market intelligence initiatives. She has been a lead contributor to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) and Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI)—the company's ongoing thought leadership effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of the Internet, IP networks and cloud based networks worldwide. Usha has been with the company for 13 years. She started her career with Cisco’s Strategic Marketing Organization focusing on the consumer business and then joined the Service Provider marketing organization. Usha has had prior experience in Internet advertising and digital marketing, in creating solutions for full service campaign management. She has earned an M.B.A. degree from San Jose State University (SJSU) and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Bangalore University, India. Usha has served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Business at SJSU, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses.

Marjorie Bailey,  CFO, Elder Care Alliance, Senior Living Communities  Healthcare Engaging hearts, Transforming lives, Erasing boundaries

Marjorie Bailey is a results-oriented Finance Executive with extensive history implementing efficient and cost-effective business practices that generate revenue growth, profitability and strengthen company operations. She has a proven track record designing and executing intuitive, consultative solutions that promote strategy development and process improvement across corporate departments. She is a CPA with more than 20 years of accounting and auditing experience at public and private companies.

Currently as CFO and head of technology at Elder Care Alliance, a not for profit senior living organization, Marjorie oversees the finance and technology organizations across 5 communities.  She recently executed $50 million purchase of an age restricted apartment building. She continues to drive the communities to positive financial results. Previously, as Audit Partner and San Francisco managing partner, Marjorie advised and conducted audits for public and private companies. Her client base included technology, biopharmaceutical, software, solar, retail, medical device, healthcare, nonprofit, hedge funds and manufacturing companies.

Marjorie holds a B.S in Accounting from San Jose State University and is a CPA and member of the AICPA. She currently teaches Advanced Accounting and Auditing at UC Berkeley Extension. She has taught graduate and undergraduate accounting and auditing courses for more than 15 years

Jennifer Bechkoff,  Marketing professor in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University.

Dr. Bechkoff as well as a certified [business/social/children's] etiquette consultant. In addition to teaching Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Soft Skills, Introduction to Marketing, Business Communication & Ethics, Business Research & Communication, B-school Success, The Science of Language in Business, and Business Research analytics, she also regularly consults and hosts workshops on business etiquette and networking. Some recipients of her keynote speeches, lectures, workshops, and business dining etiquette luncheons/dinners include: Gary J. Sbona Marketing Honors program, M.I.S. Honors practicum, SJSU Alumni Association, Palo Alto University Business Psychology program, Alpha Phi at Santa Clara University, and the Bay Area Retail Leadership Center. Dr. Bechkoff is a passionate, dynamic instructor and one of the fundamental drivers of business professionalism in the College of Business.

Emily Foley,  Digital Marketing + PR + Global Brand at Cisco

Passionate about #tech, #storytelling, #marketing. Inspired by people and the power of networking. A strong believer in kindness, diversity and equality.


Lisa Flores,  CEO and founder of Talent Space, Inc.

Lisa Flores is the CEO and founder of Talent Space, Inc., a leading Silicon Valley based technical consulting firm. Lisa provides the strategic vision for the company and leads business development efforts. She is an active angel investor in growth companies and a serial entrepreneur in real estate. Lisa previously served as the VP of Sales at Metro Information Services providing software development resources to Fortune 500 and venture backed emerging companies. Instrumental in the sale of company to Nasdaq listed firm for 100X return. Post sale served as Division Director of parent company. Lisa is active in the community supporting non-profits and fundraisers. She was born in San Jose and received a B.A. in Industrial Organization from San Jose State University.

Yanni Kadar,  Project Manager, Cisco

Yanni has been part of the corporate workforce for 15 years with experience in Customer Service and Procurement. She's currently a project manager at Cisco Systems and is passionate about continual learning and development. When she's not working, you can find her snowboarding the Sierras, getting fit at a barre studio or doing anything around fashion.

Denise Lombard,  Director, Supplier Diversity, Risk & Ethics Global Procurement Services

Denise is well known for her ability to build and lead high performing global teams. Her expertise in solving complex business problems and providing outstanding service to internal and external customers sets her apart in 
transforming operations. She just celebrated her 12th anniversary with Cisco, where she has held various leadership positions within Services, Sales, and Operations. Prior to Cisco, she was with Sun Microsystems where she lead their Technical Support Organization and various Sales Operations teams.

Denise currently leads Supplier Diversity, Risk & Ethics for Cisco, where she is responsible for the overall architecture of the programs and the execution of Global Procurement Services Supplier Diversity and Risk program. This role is ideal for Denise because it plays to her passion to social responsibility and her goal of making a significant difference within Cisco and the community. Denise also Co-Leads the San Jose Connected Women’s Community Outreach pillar, which is focused on increasing young women’s excitement and awareness around careers in STEM. She was a recipient of Silicon Valley Business Journal's Women of Influence for 2017 and featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal as Women Worth Watching 2018. Denise is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children and board member of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. She graduated from San Jose State University with a BS degree in Business Management.

Shenita McKinney,  Business Operations Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Shenita is  a 12-year veteran of Cisco and has worked in IT, Human Resources and Customer Experience. In IT, she supported various Supply Chain, Customer Care and Finance applications. Her IT responsibilities have been around process optimization, customer requirements and satisfaction. In HR and Customer Experience, as a Business Architect, she was responsible for managing the development of business requirements, aligning to strategic priorities and program objectives and delivering technical solutions. Her passion has always been driving value through Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement. Currently, she is a Business Operations Manager in IT where she provides exceptional service to Cisco’s global user base through commitment to customer satisfaction and dedication to personalized support.

Judy Radlinsky,  Executive Communications Consultant, Cisco Customer Experience

Judy has built her career helping high-tech organizations shape and share their innovation stories for more than 30 years. Her expertise spans messaging and positioning, executive communications, public relations, marketing content and employee and leadership communications. She is currently an executive communications consultant within Cisco’s Customer Experience organization, focused on content and programs that inform and inspire her team to deliver world-class experiences for customers, partners and employees.

Srinivasan Raghavan,  Director of Product Management in Collaboration, Customer Experience team at Cisco.

He is focused on ensuring that users/customers improve their productivity by leveraging the Collaboration products and services.

Srini has spent his career in technology industry which includes engineering & product management for Software/SaaS products and investment banking advisory (M&A, IPO) for technology clients.

Cerell Terese Rivera,  Cisco Customer Experience

When it comes to engaging stakeholders and accelerating change, Cerell knows what works. With a unique focus on strategy, implementation and performance tracking, Cerell has successfully developed new business models and run programs for a variety of organizations, including Cisco, Pay Pal, and Honolulu Community Action Program.

As a transformation catalyst in Cisco’s Customer Experience organization, Cerell focuses on transitioning Cisco’s business to a lifecycle-first recurring revenue model. Cerell has more than 20 years of experience in a wide variety of disciplines, including the technology, management consulting, and nonprofit management. Prior to joining Cisco, under the auspice of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Cerell designed and implemented the State of Hawaii’s Weatherization Assistance Programs that help middle- and low-income households reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on monthly energy bills.

Cerell has received several distinctions for leadership, including a fully funded fellowship and residency at the East-West Center, America’s preeminent research and public diplomacy institution dedicated to promoting better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. Her international experience includes overseas residence, Japanese language skills, and intercultural exposure. Cerell refined her general management skills at The University of Hawaii - Shidler College of Business and obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis.

Negisa Taymourian,  Security Product Marketing Manager, Cisco

Negisa Taymourian is a Security Product Marketing Manager at Cisco. Negisa’s interests include encouraging young women to pursue STEM majors and careers, leadership and organizational culture. When she is not working, Negisa loves to stay active with yoga, hiking and running. Negisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo and a MBA from Santa Clara University.

Yanxia Zhang,  Research Scientist at FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL)

Yanxia  is a research scientist at FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL). Her background is in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Her research interests are human behavior sensing and analysis. Prior to my position at FXPAL, she was a post-doc researcher in the Pattern Recognition & Bioinformatics Group in TU Delft. She was a research fellow at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, in the Computer Vision and Active Perception Lab (CVAP), where I investigated natural human-robot interaction and social robotics.

Yanxia received her PhD degree in Computer Science from Lancaster University in 2015, where she was also a Marie Curie research fellow. While in Lancaster, she investigated novel video-based gaze estimation techniques, gaze-based interaction for large displays, and using eye tracking for detecting dementia and health monitoring. She obtained my Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam, where she was awarded the Huygens Scholarship.