ChiWitCon 2020

All the session’s recordings from CHIWITCON 2020 are available here

Speakers – 2020

Dr. Rosh Rupani

Dr. Rosh Rupani is the Director of Leadership and Organizational Development at McGraw Hill – she manages global learning and development initiatives to help all employees stretch and solves organizational gaps. Dr. Rosh has interdisciplinary expertise with a Psy.D. in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling, from Fordham. She immensely enjoys coaching leaders to help them explore and attain their “next best self”, within McGraw Hill and externally. She is also passionate about strategizing while rolling up her sleeves to get things done. Dr. Rosh’s motto, #MakingMagicHappen, translates to being extremely resourceful and having a no-excuses mindset when it comes to execution. Dr. Rosh is also a mother and continues to learn every day from her 3-year old daughter who teaches her about optimism, resilience, and playful learning!

Sreyoshi Bhaduri, Ph.D.

Dr. Sreyoshi Bhaduri leads Global People Research and Analytics at McGraw Hill – where she works on research leveraging employee data to generate data-driven insights for decisions impacting organizational Culture and Talent. An engineer by training, Dr. Bhaduri has interdisciplinary expertise with a Ph.D. in Engineering Education and Master’s degrees in Statistics and Mechanical Engineering, from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include : women in technology, assessing the impact and effectiveness of inclusion and diversity initiatives within the tech industry as well as employing innovative, ethical and inclusive mixed-methods research approaches to uncovering insights about the 21st century workforce.

Melissa Donaldson

Melissa Donaldson is a trailblazer, strategic change agent and a staunch
advocate for leadership, efficacy, inclusion, and reinforcing humanity in
business. She is the first to be appointed Chief Diversity Officer at Wintrust
Financial Corporation, a commercial banking and specialty financial service
company with over $30 billion in assets. Melissa reports to the CEO and
partners with senior leaders and other key stakeholders to establish diversity
and inclusion priorities aimed at driving business success, enhancing
employee engagement and positioning Wintrust as an employer of choice and
responsible corporate citizen. She coined the masthead “One Wintrust
Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap”, and launched an annual Executive Diversity
Forum, coached senior executives on relevant business unit action plans to
advance D&I, engages with the myriad of Board Directors, instituted
continuous learning opportunities for leaders, and implemented initiatives to
address multicultural and co-ed leadership pipeline development.
Prior to joining Wintrust, Melissa was Director of Diversity Networks and
Communication for Walgreens Co., part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Retail Pharmacy USA Division. In that upstart role, she implemented
regional diversity councils, set strategies to enhance employee engagement,
spearheaded the award-winning Walgreens Diversity & Inclusion Annual
Report, and produced the inaugural WBA Global Executive Women’s
Conference for the company’s top 250 global women leaders.
Melissa’s journey as a corporate diversity and inclusion strategist began at
technology solutions firm CDW, where she served as the company’s first-ever
Director of Inclusion Practices. She branded the diversity and inclusion
strategy as Connections@CDW, and lead CDW to earn the prestigious

Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award from the U.S. Department of Labor
in 2008.

Her thought-leadership has been published in Profiles in Diversity Journal,
Diversity Executive, and Workforce Management magazines, and shared
through numerous speaking engagements for Federal Reserve Bank,
Association of Corporate Councils, and numerous conferences. Accolades
include: Most Influential Women in Commercial Banking (Crain’s Chicago
Business), Women Worth Watching (Profiles in Diversity Journal), Diversity
Officer Leadership Award (Diversity Best Practices), and Rising Star Diversity
Leadership Peer Award (Diversity Woman Magazine).
Melissa holds an MS in Communication (Northwestern University), an MS in
Administration (Central Michigan University), and a BS in Management
Science (Wright State University). She sows her skills and expertise as
adjunct lecturer in the Northwestern University Master of Science in
Communication program, and on a variety of Boards and Councils including
YWCA Lake County (Immediate Past Chair), Chicago Sinfonietta, Financial
Services Pipeline Initiative Steering Committee, Chicago United Leadership
Council, and UCAN Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. She is a member
of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Associates Group and The Links,

She and her husband Kevin are proud parents to two amazing adult children.

Leo Sheridan

Sheridan is chief executive officer of the Advanced Group, a staffing and outsourcing solutions provider with offices across the U.S. and Europe. In 1988, Sheridan founded Advanced Resources, and as the firm quickly expanded, he added additional businesses to create the Advanced Group. Today, the Advanced Group includes Advanced Resources, Advanced Clinical, the WunderLand Group, and Advanced RPO. Sheridan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from St. Michael’s College in Vermont, and completed the executive management program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has provided leadership to a variety of professional organizations, including TechServe Alliance, the American Staffing Association, and the Young Presidents’ Organization. Sheridan serves on the board of directors and the board of trustees for Cristo Rey Network. He is Chairman, Board of Directors, American Staffing Association.

Dr. Moira Mulhern

Following an eight-year career in business, Dr. Mulhern earned a doctorate degree in Community Psychology with an emphasis in health. For more than twenty-five years, Moira has devoted her energies to providing support and education for people with serious or chronic illnesses and their support systems, as well as organizations interested in supporting the health and well-being of their employees. She has extensive experience designing and implementing stress management, resilience, support and training programs for local hospitals, non-profit organizations and companies. She is a sought-after lecturer on issues related to the management of stress, resilience, and improving human functioning and performance. She co-founded and is currently Executive Director of Turning Point. This non-profit organization, now in its nineteenth year of operations provides vital support to people in our community who are dealing with serious medical challenges. In November 2012, Turning Point joined forces with The University of Kansas Health System enabling it to widen its reach not only in the Kansas City metro area but throughout the region.


The Road to Inclusivity is Paved with Resilience

Rajsi Rana

Rajsi is a senior PM at Oracle Cloud, where she works on strategic goals to help OCI grow its business. Prior to OCI, she was at Amazon where she owned critical security goals enabling your shopping experience on Amazon websites world-wide. She's a mentor at Alchemist Accelerator - an enterprise based accelerator & is passionate about diversity and inclusion in tech. She sits on the Board of Tiny Trees, an outdoor nature-based preschool providing growth and scale advice.

Vive La Resistance: Practical Advice for Dealing with Pushback as you Implement New Ideas

Mary Cecola

Mary joined Ariel Investments in 2019 and is responsible for establishing and executing innovative firm-wide technology strategies. As an accomplished change agent with a diverse range of expertise, she works with the firm’s key executives to identify technological solutions that can be leveraged to drive business opportunities and organizational goals. In this capacity, she also manages all aspects of Ariel’s technology infrastructure and oversees the firm’s technology team as well as its IT vendor relationships. Prior to Ariel, Mary worked for Antares Capital, a provider of middle market private equity-backed transactions, where she served as the Chief Information Officer. She formerly held a variety of C-suite technology positions with FHLB Des Moines and Deutsche Bank, including Chief Business Technology Officer and Global Chief Information Officer, Asset Management, respectively. Mary graduated with a BS in Political Science and a MS in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, and completed the Executive Leadership Program through the London Business School.

A Career of Resilience

Aden Nepom

Aden Nepom is a Senior Facilitator with On Your Feet Improvisation for Business who's core mission is to help people have less fear and more joy in the important work that they do. She's an internationally touring improv theatre performer and teacher, who has been professionally 'making things up' for over 20 years, the host of The Changed Podcast and President of the Art of Change Skills for life.

Small Things To Try

Amber Vanderburg

Amber is an award-winning international businessperson, coach, and speaker. Named as Tulsa’s 40 under 40, Oklahoma’s 30 under 30, and 3-time SHRM award winner with an MA degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Oklahoma and certifications in Lean Six Sigma and Scrum. As HR Director, consultant, and businessperson, Amber has implemented team best practices in organizations small and large domestically and abroad with a passion for mobilizing ideas and equipping teams to exceed goals. In 2016, Amber was the female, only American, and only blonde Academy elite football coach for the Adidas Gameday Academy/Paris Saint Germain Academy in Bangalore, India. Amber worked with an international team of coaches to transform the organizational design, training, and culture to cultivate a more high performing team. Amber speaks across the United States and has spoken in 7 different countries with clients including Google, LinkedIn Learning, Prezi, SHRM, ATD, ScanAgile, and TYPO3.

The Power of Performance Feedback

Lauren Katzberg

Staff Product Manager


Lauren Katzberg is a Staff Product Manager at Reverb, the largest online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling new, used, and vintage musical instruments that was acquired by Etsy in 2019. At Reverb, she leads a team focused on innovating the pricing and offers function in the vibrant marketplace where buyers and sellers from all over the world—from rockstars like Green Day and St. Vincent to local music shops, collectors, and hobbyists —go to connect over the perfect piece of musical gear. Prior to Reverb, Lauren was CoFounder and CEO at Stylished, a beauty appointment marketplace that she ran for nearly seven years.

Got a Team Full of Ideas? How to Create Repeatable Processes for Bringing Them to Life

Christine ('Tine) Zekis

Christine ('Tine) Zekis is an educator-turned-developer working as a Software Engineer in Chicago. She champions Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in tech, while delivering clean, well-tested code. She enjoys mentoring and sponsoring other career changers, especially those who are underrepresented in the industry. In her spare time...just kidding: 'Tine has a toddler, an infant, and no spare time.

Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast

Lin Classon

Passionate about the opportunity for innovation in the public cloud, Lin is responsible for leading purpose-driven, evidence-based product strategy and ensuring a world-class public cloud solution for clients. In 2019, Lin was named to Crain’s Tech 50 List and an Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS Awards for Prominent Woman in Tech Finalist. Prior to joining Ensono, Lin led global product marketing for Google travel products, supporting global product strategy and driving partner growth and user adoption. Lin began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company after receiving an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Speak Up: Bringing More Women's Voices to Conferences

Rehgan Avon

Co-founder & principal

Ikonos Analytics

Rehgan Avon is the co-founder & principal of Ikonos Analytics, a solutions company that provides organizations with the architecture and framework to advance their analytical capabilities through aligned and incremental improvements. With a background in integrated systems engineering and a strong focus on analytical technology, Rehgan has worked on architecting solutions and products around operationalizing machine learning models at scale within the large enterprise. Rehgan’s previous experience has been fueled by a passion for early-stage startups and product development, holding positions as Head of Solutions at Mobikit, Solutions Architect at ModelOp, and Lead Data Engineer at Clarivoy. She also teaches courses in python, data science, and web development at MBA programs nationally through an education startup company, Cognitir.

She is the founder and CEO of Women in Analytics, an organization that increases visibility to women making an impact in the analytics space by providing a platform for women to lead the conversations around the advancements of analytical research, development, and applications. She remains active and involved in fostering collaboration around emerging analytical methods and technologies. She is also the recipient of Columbus CEO’s Future 50 award.

Marina Malaguti

Director of Data Engineering


Marina is a software engineering leader with a product-first mindset that leverages her innovation expertise to shape technology, product and strategy in complex tech markets. Having set a career path for herself in data, she has worked on creating smart and nimble data products in her roles at various companies that utilize modern technologies to deliver value for the business and customer.

As the Director of Engineering and Product of Data at Jellyvision, she leads a team of data engineers and data scientists, consistently producing results and innovative solutions. She has exceptional managerial skills, and adeptly handled layoffs and performance reviews/issues even through the current recession. She has been working on strategies to shift data strategy from a cost-based model to a revenue center through Machine Learning and Data Science. As an engineering leader at Jellyvision, she works closely with other senior leaders and executives to shape the vision of products within the organization.
Prior to joining Jellyvision, Marina led the vision and execution of the Data Science Platform as a Product Manager at Uptake for IoT and Cloud.

Marina plans to continue to live in Chicago, and seeks to continue shaping the future of the next company she joins through spirited leadership in data science and engineering.

10 Things I Wish I Knew as a Women in Tech

Camille D. Jamerson

Senior Principal Consultant, President, and CEO

CDJ &Associates

Camille Jamerson, CEO of CDJ & Associates, is an expert fixer, creative branding mastermind, and business growth strategist! She has managed the brands and projects for political figures, public figures, musical artists, authors, and entrepreneurs. She has been quoted in the New York Post, Yahoo Travel, USA Today and more!

Known as the Olivia Pope of the Midwest, Camille is certified as a CEM® (Certified Emergency & Crisis Manager) and she holds 3 executive business certifications from Harvard University.

Camille is also a former International Pageant Queen, and award-winning author of 3 books. Just recently, Ms. Jamerson became the CEO of a second company, The Camille Company, a high net worth Lifestyle & training brand. Camille is an energetic, lively international speaker that captivates audiences with her examples and humor, but motivates them to action with her wisdom, experience, and knowledge! She loves bowling, travel, purses and thrift shopping! She is also #TeamIronMan PERIOD.

Developing Resilience


Sponsors – 2020

Agenda - 2020

Day 1: (Sep 17, 2020)

  • 09:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Intro and Opening Remarks
  • 10:00 AM – 10:40 AM: Morning Keynote
    • Speaker: Rehgan Avon
    • Architecting Your Career in Technology: Rehgan Avon will lay out a framework in which we can design career goals, plan for challenges, and continue mastering our craft.
  • 10:40 AM – 11:00 AM: Break / Networking
  • 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    • Speaker: Marina Malaguti
    • 10 Things I Wish I Knew as a Woman in Tech: As a minority woman in tech, Marina will share the 10 things she wishes she knew up until now about the Tech Industry.
  • 11:30AM–12:00 PM
    • Speaker: Lin Classon
    • Speak Up: Bringing More Women’s Voices to Conferences: Learn the importance of female representation at tech events and gain the tools to attend more conferences and open the door for presentation opportunities.
  • 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM : Networking and Expo Time
  • 12:10 PM–12:40 PM
    • Track 1
      • Speaker: Colleen Costello
      • Engagement to Impact: Relativity’s Head of Social Impact, Colleen Costello, will host a sponsored breakout session: “Engagement to Impact”
    • Track 2
      • Speaker: Gaby Ruiz-Funes
      • Your Untapped Feminine Superpower: In this session, we will discuss the advantages of traditionally feminine attributes and the ROI for businesses that cultivate these characteristics.
  • 12:45 PM–1:45 PM
    • Track 1
      • Speaker: Lauren Katzberg
      • Got a Team Full of Ideas? How to Create Repeatable Processes for Bringing Them to Life: Reverb Staff Product Manager Lauren Katzberg walks through creating a process for capturing, prioritizing, & bringing to life good ideas.
    • Track 2
      • Speaker: Christine (‘Tine) Zekis
      • Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast: Christine (‘Tine) Zekis leads the charge in arming yourself with tools for fighting off Impostor Syndrome and gaining confidence.
    • Track 3
      • Speaker: Amber Vanderburg
      • The Power of Performance Feedback: Amber Vanderburg discusses how we can give effective feedback for maximum impact.
    • Track 4
      • Speaker: Dr. Sreyoshi Bhaduri, Dr. Rosh Rupani
      • Combating Pay Inequities – One Ally at a Time: An interactive session with Dr. Sreyoshi Bhaduri and Dr. Rosh Rupani on ways to address pay inequity while considering your learning journey.
    • Track 5
      • Speaker: Aden Nepom
      • Small Things To Try: Experiences that shift thinking, increase the ‘social glue,’ on your teams and help you to utilize each other as resources better.
  • 01:45 PM – 01:50 PM: Concluding Remarks
  • 01:50 PM – 04:00 PM: Optional Happy Hour and Networking


Day 2: (Sep 24, 2020)

  • 09:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Intro and Opening Remarks
  • 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM: Morning Keynote
    • Speaker: Mary Cecola
    • A Career of Resilience: Resiliency: “people say you can’t, you say watch me”. Mary Cecola will take us through her career, highlighting pivotal moments of decisions and resilience.
  • 10:50 AM – 11:00 AM: Break
  • 11:00 AM – 11:35 AM
    • Speaker: Camille Jamerson
    • Developing Resilience: By sharing her own setbacks, Camille will give examples of how she succeeded (and failed) at having a plan and what it took for her to get back on her feet.
  • 11:35AM–12:10PM
    • Speaker: Rajsi Rana
    • Vive La Resistance: Practical Advice for Dealing with Pushback as you Implement New Ideas: All change meets resistance, if there is no resistance, there is no change”. Rajsi Rana will deconstruct resistance- what it is, and advice on dealing with it.
  • 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM : Networking and Expo Time
  • 12:45 PM – 01:45 PM
    • ARA Panel: Aravinda Kilaru, Melissa Donaldson, Leslie Vickrey, Jane Hamner, Leo Sheridan, Moira Mulhern
    • The Road to Inclusivity is Paved with Resilience: For the fifth straight year, ARA is proud to partner with CHIWITCON™ to present a panel of changemakers and thought leaders.
  • 01:45 PM – 02:00 PM : Closing Remarks