Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.
Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.
Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as well as the Starbucks Board of Directors. He is married and has three children.
Kevin Johnson is president and chief executive officer for Starbucks. A passionate servant leader, he proudly carries on Starbucks legacy of human connection, driving the company’s core strategies for growth, and being of service to the more than 330,000 partners who wear the green apron around the world.
Kevin first joined the company in 2009, serving on the company’s board of directors during a period of record-setting transformation and growth. In March 2015, Kevin took on the role of president and chief operating officer, leading the company’s global operating businesses across all geographies, as well as the core support functions of Starbucks supply chain, marketing, human resources, technology and mobile and digital platforms. He assumed the role of president and ceo in April 2017, as Howard Schultz transitioned into the role of executive chairman.
His career spans more than 30 years, scaling global businesses, including 16 years at Microsoft and five years as CEO of Juniper Networks. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Security Telecommunication Advisory Committee where he served presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Kevin’s commitment to innovation and following his heart extends beyond the world of business. He was a founding board member of NPower, an organization that provides nonprofits with access to technology and the skills needed to fulfill their social missions. He is involved with Catalyst, a leading nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for women in business. Kevin also supports Youth Eastside Services, one of the largest providers of youth and family counseling in the Seattle area. At Starbucks, Kevin is passionate about continuing to nurture what’s at the heart of the company’s success: human connection – the tens of millions of interactions large and small that happen between partners and customers every week, and make a meaningful difference in the communities around the world where Starbucks does business.
He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
VP, Amazon Alexa & Echo Devices
Toni Reid, Vice President of Alexa Experience and Echo Devices at Amazon, leads the product development team behind the category-defining Alexa voice service and Echo devices. Since joining Amazon in 1998, she has been a part of several teams including IMDb, Amazon Media Group, and Amazon Fresh, joining the Alexa team in 2014. Throughout Toni’s career she has helped launch several initiatives such as Dash, X-ray on Amazon Video, and most recently Echo devices and Alexa. Named to Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in 2016 and Fast Company’s list of Most Creative People of 2017, Toni is passionate about innovating on behalf of customers. Toni earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of North Texas.
Attorney General, Washington State
Bob Ferguson is Washington’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, he directs 500 attorneys and 600 professional staff providing legal services to state agencies, Governor and Legislature.
Bob received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1995. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington, where he was student body president. Bob began his legal career in Spokane where he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge W. Fremming Nielsen of the Federal District Court for Eastern Washington. He then clerked for Judge Myron Bright of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Midwest. Ferguson returned to Seattle and joined Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates), one of Washington’s leading law firms.
In 2003, Bob was elected to the King County Council. In 2005, after the council was reduced from 13 to nine and Bob’s district was eliminated, he was re-elected.
Bob is a fourth-generation Washingtonian. His family homesteaded on the beautiful Skagit River, which may explain why Bob is such an enthusiastic mountain climber, backpacker, and birder. He has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state’s highest peaks.
Bob is an internationally-rated chess master. His games have appeared in local, national and international chess publications. Bob has twice won the Washington State Chess Championship.
Bob, his wife Colleen and their 9-year-old twins, Jack and Katie, reside in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle.
Founder & CEO, Instacart
Apoorva Mehta is the founder and CEO of Instacart. Launched in 2012, Instacart has fundamentally changed the grocery industry by connecting customers with shoppers who hand-pick and deliver fresh groceries to their doorsteps in as little as one hour. Today, Instacart operates in over 90 metropolitan areas across the United States, and works with hundreds of national and local retailers like Costco, Publix, and HEB to offer customers access to hundreds of thousands of items from their favorite stores. Additionally, through innovative partnerships, Instacart is leading the evolution of digital advertising and marketing solutions for CPG brands.
Director, Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University
Professor Mary (Missy) Cummings is the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots. She is currently a Professor in the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Computer Science Department. She is the co-chair for the World Economic Forum’s Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, as well as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s advisory committee on autonomous transportation. Her research interests include human supervisory control, human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-robot interaction, human-systems engineering, and the ethical and social impact of technology.
Dr. Gary Gilliland
President, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Gary Gilliland, a renowned physician-scientist, took the helm as Fred Hutch’s fifth president and director on Jan. 2, 2015. Gilliland is an expert in cancer genetics and precision medicine who has devoted his life to finding better treatments and cures for diseases.
Gilliland, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology as well as a medical doctorate, spent 20 years on the faculty at Harvard where he was professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University. He was also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the director of the leukemia program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He has earned numerous honors for his work, including election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.
The bulk of his initial work at Harvard focused on the genetic basis of blood cancers.
In 2009, Gilliland left Harvard to go to Merck Research Laboratories to learn how to “take a good idea and turn it into a cancer treatment,” he said.
As the senior vice president and global oncology franchise head, he oversaw preclinical and clinical oncology development, as well as clinical oncology licensing. During his four years there, he and the Merck team were able to bring an immunotherapy cancer drug called lambrolizumab (Keytruda) to market in record time, from first human trials in 2011 to approval in 2014 by the Food and Drug Administration.
In 2013, he returned to academia when he became the vice dean and vice president of precision medicine at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
There, he worked to bring together research and clinical care initiatives across disciplines to create a model for delivering personalized medicine to patients with a range of diseases.
“This is the perfect time and perfect place to develop curative approaches for cancer,” said Gilliland when he was named the Hutch’s fifth president. “Everything I’ve done in my career has pointed here.”
Anchor, Bloomberg Technology
Emily Chang is the San Francisco-based anchor of “Bloomberg Technology,” Bloomberg Television’s weekday technology program airing at 5pm ET/2pm PT from the network’s San Francisco studio.
Chang reports on global technology and media companies and the startups that may become them. She regularly speaks to top tech executives, investors and entrepreneurs, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Alibaba Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma. She is also the host of Bloomberg Television’s interview series, Studio 1.0, where she’s interviewed Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen, author Malcolm Gladwell, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom while he was under house arrest at his New Zealand mansion, among others.
Currently, she sits on the board of BUILD, a national non-profit organization that uses entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success.
Before joining Bloomberg in 2010, Chang served as an international correspondent for CNN in Beijing. There, she reported on a wide range of stories, including the 2008 Olympics, President Obama’s first visit to Asia and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. She also reported for CNN in London, where she covered international news for CNN’s “American Morning” program.
Prior to joining CNN in 2007, Chang served as a reporter at KNSD, NBC’s affiliate in San Diego, California. There, she filed reports for MSNBC and won five regional Emmy Awards. She started her career as a news producer at NBC in New York.
Born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii, Chang graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.
CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon
Jeff Wilke has served as CEO Worldwide Consumer since April 2016. From 2012 to 2016, Jeff served as Senior Vice President, Consumer Business. From 2007 through 2011, he served as Senior Vice President, North American Retail for Amazon. And, from 2002 until 2007, Jeff was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations. He joined Amazon as Vice President and General Manager, Operations in September, 1999. Prior to Amazon, Jeff was Vice President and General Manager, Pharmaceutical Fine Chemicals for AlliedSignal (now Honeywell). He did his graduate work (MBA and MS in Chemical Engineering) at MIT’s Leaders For Global Operations program where he focused on Total Quality and Process Improvement techniques. He also holds a BSE degree in Chemical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Princeton University.
Partner, Canvas Ventures
Rebecca Lynn is a Co-founder and General Partner at Canvas Ventures, where she focuses on early-stage venture investments in fintech, digital health and artificial intelligence. She was named a Top-20 VC by the New York Times in 2016 and a Top-100 VC by Forbes in 2017, 2016 and 2015. Prior to co-founding Canvas, Rebecca led early-stage investments in Lending Club (NYSE: LC) and Check (acquired by Intuit), Doximity, and Practice Fusion. While at Canvas, Rebecca led investments in FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), Casetext, CrowdFlower, Luminar, HealthLoop, and Vida. She began her career at Procter and Gamble where she launched new products internationally. She then joined NextCard, the first issuer of online credit cards, and became VP of Marketing and head of customer acquisition. Rebecca has a degree in chemical engineering from University of Missouri and a JD/MBA from University of California at Berkeley.
John Collison is president and co-founder of Stripe, the software company that is expanding internet commerce by making it easy to process transactions from anywhere.
John and his brother Patrick Collison started Stripe in 2010 while John was studying physics at Harvard. Their goal was to make accepting payments online simpler and more inclusive, after learning firsthand how difficult it was. Today, the 700-person (and growing) Stripe team powers online businesses around the world.
Prior to Stripe, John co-founded Auctomatic, which was acquired by Live Current Media in March 2008. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, John lives in San Francisco, California, where Stripe is based.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is a leading digital executive, entrepreneur and angel investor with 20 years of leadership experience scaling and founding companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Joyus and Polyvore. She is currently Founder of theBoardlist, and most recently served as the Founder & CEO and then Chairman of Joyus, Inc. Sukhinder also serves as a public board director at Ericsson, TripAdvisor and Urban Outfitters.
In June 2015, Sukhinder founded theBoardlist, a Benefit corporation and premium talent marketplace aimed at connecting highly endorsed women leaders with board opportunities in the tech industry. Supported by a community of over 1300 leading CEOS, senior executives and venture capital firms, to date 2000+ senior women leaders who have been nominated to serve on boards and publications including: Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, NYT, Wired, TechCrunch, Fast Company, and USA today.
Managing Director, Pioneer Square Labs
Julie Sandler is a Managing Director of Seattle startup studio Pioneer Square Labs. She joined PSL in June 2017 from Madrona Venture Group, where she was a Partner and led new investments for the firm (including Integris, Julep, and Poppy) and served on portfolio company boards.
Julie launched the Seattle Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, an informal forum for women entrepreneurs and startup executives to connect in the greater Seattle area. She is a lecturer at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, and a Director on the boards of the Washington Roundtable and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. Julie was one of 60 Americans selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar in 2016 by the Clinton Foundation, LBJ Foundation, and both the Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Presidential Centers, and was voted Geekwire’s 2014 “Geek of the Year” for her work supporting women entrepreneurs.
Prior to her career in venture, Julie was a senior product manager at Amazon on the Kindle team, where she developed new device shopping experiences and managed digital marketing for Kindle’s ebook business, both in the U.S. and internationally. Earlier in her career, Julie worked in product at Accenture and at TeachStreet.com (later acquired by Amazon). She received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Christof Koch
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Christof Koch joined the Allen Institute as Chief Scientific Officer in 2011 and became President in 2015. He received his baccalaureate from the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco, his M.S. in physics from the University of Tübingen in Germany and his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen.
Subsequently, he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1987 until 2013, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, from his initial appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Biology and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986, to his final position as Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Biology. See here for Christof’s academic pedigree and his students.
Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Koch authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach.
He has also authored the technical books Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks, and served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing. Koch’s research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach. His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attention, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind.
General Partner, Benchmark
Sarah Tavel is a General Partner at Benchmark. Sarah invests in consumer businesses, consumerization of IT, and in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Prior to Benchmark, Sarah was a Partner at Greylock Partners, where she led Greylock’s investment in two (unannounced) companies. Before Greylock, Sarah was the product lead for search, recommendations, machine vision, and pin quality at Pinterest. As one of the first 35 employees, her first order of business was to launch Pinterest internationally and close the Series C financing. Sarah then moved into product, becoming Pinterest’s founding PM for search and discovery, and launching Pinterest’s first search and recommendations features. She also led three acquisitions as she helped the company scale through a period of hyper-growth. Sarah graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Philosophy.
CEO, Zillow Group
As chief executive officer of Zillow Group, Spencer oversees the company’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and HotPads. Spencer joined Zillow in 2005 as one of its first hires, and served various roles including chief operating officer, until his appointment to CEO in 2010. Since becoming CEO, Spencer has led Zillow through its 2011 IPO and 11 acquisitions. In 2015, Spencer co-wrote and published his first book, the New York Times’ Best Seller “Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate.” Spencer is also the host of “Office Hours,” a monthly podcast featuring candid conversations between prominent executives on leadership and management topics.
Fortune and Forbes both listed Spencer as one of America’s most powerful CEOs under 40 and he is a recipient of Ernst and Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Spencer has also been awarded Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEO recognition for 2016. Before joining Zillow, Spencer was vice president of lodging for Expedia. In 1999, at the age of 24, Spencer co-founded Hotwire.com, a leading Internet travel company, which a few years later he sold to InterActiveCorp (the parent company of Expedia). Before his consumer Web career, Spencer was in investment banking and private equity. He worked in the mergers and acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs and as an associate at TPG Capital.
Spencer graduated from Harvard University. Spencer is on the boards of directors of TripAdvisor and privately held online beauty company Julep. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and is on the advisory board of Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Reporter, The New York Times
Nick Wingfield is a technology correspondent for the New York Times based in Seattle. Prior to that he worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 14 years in San Francisco, New York and Seattle.
CEO, C4 Database Management
Todd Stabelfeldt is an entrepreneur and computing technology expert. His primary computing focus is database administration and how data effectively integrates into front-end programs and reporting engines. He created a company C4 Database Management that primarily serves clinical and anatomical pathology labs and hospitals with ongoing database maintenance and special projects like SharePoint migrations.
Todd has consulted for both anatomical and clinical pathology labs across the Western United States as well as hospitals. He’s advised on LIS enhancement and management: Corepoint interface implementations, ADT, results, order entry, billing, Powerpath, Kronos, Meditech and Cortex upgrades, migrations, and systems management projects. Todd is also a C4 quadriplegic. During his decades-long struggle for increased independence, he has become a noted expert in technologies for the spinal cord-injured.
Sharing his unique insights, Todd regularly contributes to usability testing efforts for technology companies in product development to help shape better hardware and software functionality. He has been a featured keynote speaker at WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference; as well as featured in several online publications such as CNN Money, NBCNews, Cupertino Times, Think Leaders IBM Blog and noted by Stuart Varney on Fox Business News. Mr. Stabelfeldt holds an AOS in Software Development from RCH Technical Institute. He currently resides in the Puget Sound region of Washington with his wife Karen and two sons
CEO, Venture Kits
Leslie Feinzaig is a tech executive and entrepreneur on a mission to democratize entrepreneurship. Leslie is Founder & CEO of Venture Kits – games that turn kids into leaders through play. Her one-of-a-kind, inspirational concept has garnered critical acclaim, including features in Today Show Parents, Fox 10 News, the Seattle Times and Seattle’s Child magazine.
In early 2017 Leslie launched the Female Founders Alliance, a peer to peer startup incubator for high potential female founders. Its mission is to normalize female founder success. FFA has grown in a short period of time to close to 100 members in Seattle, and is gearing up for national expansion.
Leslie is a frequent public speaker, including solo keynotes at SXSW Interactive, Startup Grind and TEDx. Her work has been published by Forbes, All Things Digital (now Recode), and Geekwire. She has a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is originally from San Jose, Costa Rica.
CEO, ExtraHop Networks
Arif is the CEO and President at ExtraHop Networks. Arif holds over 30 years of experience formulating and executing business and operational strategies to accelerate growth in the enterprise and technology markets.
Before joining ExtraHop, Arif served as President of Fluke Networks. During his tenure, the company focused on troubleshooting and monitoring of enterprise IT environments, data centers, and cloud and Wi-Fi networks with on-premise and SaaS solutions. In his six years as president, Arif helped Fluke Networks increase revenue to more than $350 million while considerably increasing operating margins. Arif also realigned and expanded the company’s product portfolio to provide greater visibility across networks and cloud applications, improve the end-user experience, and increase business value. Arif also oversaw the acquisition and integration of Air Magnet and ClearSight Networks.Previously, Arif was Vice President and General Manager of Tektronix and Senior Vice President and General Manager at Radisys.
Arif is the recipient of the Geekwire “Hire of the Year” for 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of Oregon.
After building her own DIY “artificial pancreas,” Dana Lewis founded the open source artificial pancreas movement (known as “OpenAPS”), leading the making of safe and effective artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for people with diabetes around the world. She is part of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement & engages with patient communities globally to solve healthcare problems in new and innovative ways.
CEO & Co-founder, Play Impossible
Brian is the co-founder & CEO of Play Impossible Corp, an active gaming company dedicated to getting players of all ages outside and moving with connected technology. The company is part of the Amazon Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars.
Previously Monnin was the Director & Head of Interactive Media for Intel Media’s OnCue TV service overseeing product innovation. Intel Media’s OnCue was sold to Verizon in 2014.
Brian founded the app publishing company Daily Interactive Networks (later Happly) that achieved four Apple iTunes New & Noteworthy titles. This included the family app app Happly, apps for the Humane Society, renowned photographer Michael Nichols and National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs which also won a 2012 People’s Voice Webby Award.
Monnin was the VP Publishing Products for Brightcove. Before Brightcove Brian was CEO and co-founder of MetaStories, a rich media editing platform used by Discovery Channel, MSN, Yahoo!, USATODAY.com, Scripps Networks and National Geographic. Brightcove acquired MetaStories in 2006.
Brian is a former MSNBC.com Senior Interactive Producer responsible for interactive content, broadband and ITV. Prior to MSNBC.com, Brian spent three years at Microsoft as Program Manager creating multimedia programming and also developing the small business channel on MSN. He is a graduate of Brown University.
Naria Santa Lucia
Executive director, WSOS
Naria Santa Lucia has extensive experience in leading mission-driven organizations in their quest to raise revenue, increase effective programming, and act strategically to increase outcomes for their clients. Santa Lucia currently serves as Executive Director of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), a unique public-private partnership helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, health care professionals in Washington state’s high-demand employment fields through scholarships and support for low- and middle-income college students in Washington state. As Executive Director, Santa Lucia is responsible for overall leadership and management of WSOS, including resource development, program design, implementation, and evaluation, and program advocacy.
Chuks, a native of Nigeria, is an engineer by trade and a social entrepreneur at heart. After beginning his career at IBM, he spent almost a decade in key engineering roles building Nokia’s flagship smartphone software. He moved to Seattle in 2011, just after the Microsoft acquisition and has remained in the pacific northwest where he now calls home with his family. Chuks co-founded Pillsy after his own family’s experience with the healthcare system and conversations with friends led him to believe he could use his technical and entrepreneurial skills to make a meaningful impact in healthcare. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Engineering with honors from The University of Texas at Arlington.
VP of Product, OfferUp
Chloe is the Vice President of Product at OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S., and is responsible for product management, user experience, customer insights and data science. Before joining OfferUp, Chloe was the Vice President of Strategy at Zillow Group. One of Zillow’s first, pre-launch employees, Chloe was responsible for building and leading core teams from the ground up, including product management and business analytics; defining and managing core business areas, including mortgage and rental products; and leading growth and acquisition strategy.
Prior to Zillow, Chloe worked at eLong, a leading online travel company in Beijing, the Boston Consulting Group, where she focused on technology and innovation, and Expedia. Chloe’s startup career began as a founding member of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, developing new technologies to monitor and active volcano. Prior to getting hooked by tech, Chloe was a volunteer teacher in a remote Himalayan region in Nepal, where she now runs a nonprofit to connect underprivileged kids to the internet.
Chloe holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, a PhD in Volcanology from Bristol University, and an MBA from INSEAD. Chloe has also served on the board of REI, the leading outdoor retailer, serves on the board of The Mountaineers, an outdoor education nonprofit, and serves as a mentor for Techstars Seattle.
Chairman, GeekWire + PicMonkey
A successful serial entrepreneur and investor in many startups, Jonathan is Chairman of Geekwire.com, one of the tech sector’s top news sites, and Chairman of PicMonkey, the world’s most fun and popular photo-editor.
He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google.
In 2016, Jonathan made headlines when he announced he would be the first technology investor to only invest in female-founded companies moving forward. This put Jonathan in the national spotlight and he became an honoree of various women-led organizations such as American Women In Science, Vital Voices, and the 2017 recipient of University of Washington’s “Man of Integrity” award. He has invested in many startups founded by women, such as Glamhive, GiftStarter, Runway2Street, Poppy, Scout, Vivifi, and others.
Sposato recently handed over the CEO responsibilities of PicMonkey to a successor in order to dedicate himself to the mission of developing, identifying, and promoting more female representation and leadership in business. His new book BETTER TOGETHER: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits will debut in Winter 2017.
Jonathan is also the founder of WeCount.org, the first non-profit to apply smartphone technologies to help the homeless receive items critical to their survival on the streets. Jonathan was awarded the “Civic Innovation Award” from Seattle’s Mayor in 2016.
Prior to all this, Jonathan co-founded Picnik.com and created the first profitable online photo subscription service, reaching over 60M visitors a month. Prior to Picnik, Jonathan founded Phatbits which went on to become Google Gadgets.
In the early ‘90’s Jonathan was a senior manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, personally delivering the next level of thought on key Microsoft properties to chairman Bill Gates and the company’s leadership, as well as having been a key player on the first Xbox, the Xbox games business, and various consumer applications impacting millions of users. Jonathan is a graduate of Whitman College, where he is on the Board of Trustees.
Professor, University of Washington
Margaret O’Mara is Professor of History at the University of Washington. She writes and teaches about the history of U.S. politics, the growth of the high-tech economy, and the connections between the two. She is the author of Cities of Knowledge (Princeton, 2005), Pivotal Tuesdays (Penn Press, 2015), and is currently working on a history of the modern high-tech revolution and its relationship with the worlds of politics and finance. O’Mara is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and a past fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. She received her MA/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the Clinton White House and served as a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband Jeff and their two daughters.
Brad Smith is Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer. In this role Smith is responsible for the company’s corporate, external, and legal affairs. He leads a team of more than 1,300 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries. These teams are responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, patent licensing business, corporate philanthropy, government affairs, public policy, corporate governance, and social responsibility work. He is also Microsoft’s chief compliance officer. Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, among others.
Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States.
Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments around the world and with companies across the IT sector. He has played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on government surveillance, privacy, intellectual property, immigration and computer science education policy issues. As the senior executive responsible for ensuring Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities, he has helped the company achieve its consistent ranking in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, business and legal initiatives. In 2013 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. In 2014, the New York Times called Smith “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large.”
In addition to his work at Microsoft, Smith is active in several civic and legal organizations and in the broader technology industry. In March 2015, Smith joined the Netflix board of directors. He also works to advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, serving as chair of the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and as chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). In addition, Smith chairs the board of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program, at the appointment of the governor.
Smith grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Green Bay was the big city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy (also a lawyer), and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an associate and then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed at http://twitter.com/@bradsmi.
CEO, Cirkled in
Reetu Gupta is Co-founder and CEO of Cirkled in – a 21st-century recruitment platform for colleges and universities connecting them with good-fit high school students based on students’ rich portfolio. A platform for students to showcase themselves in the best possible way and get discovered by colleges and universities. Cirkled in has garnered national awards, latest one being Grand Stevie Award given to top 10 companies in US. Cirkled in has been featured in local and national media including Huffington Post, SiriusXM, Seattle Times, TechCrunch, GeekWire, CBS KIRO7 etc. Reetu is a marketer, technologist and entrepreneur at heart who bridges the gap between technology and customer needs.
Reetu spent 20 years in corporate America from startups to Fortune 50 companies, engineering to marketing, and individual contributor to a supervisor. Reetu has broad and deep experience in many aspects of business that she is utilizing in her current CEO role for Cirkled in that she launched in 2015.
Reetu earned her MBA (Valedictorian) in Technology Management from Foster school of Business at UW and MS and BS from NIT, India. Reetu volunteers her time and skills for various organizations as speaker, mentor and judge for business plan competitions. With Cirkled in, she hopes to leave a lasting legacy in the field of technology and education.
Founder, Dragonchain Foundation
Joe Roets is a successful software and systems architect with experience as CIO, CTO, and Senior Vice President across industries. For over 20 years he has worked at companies such as Disney, Lockheed Martin, Sprint, FBI, DoD, and createTank, and has spearheaded new technology groups and led software engineering teams both large and small. He has been involved with blockchain and cryptocurrency projects since 2010, working with Coinbase, Overstock, Symbiont, Bloq, and Disney. He currently heads the Dragonchain Foundation and Dragonchain, Inc.
Derek Richardson is the CEO and Founder of Deako Smart Lighting, an IoT and Smart Home startup started in Seattle in April of 2015. He holds an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and received a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Originally from Canada, Derek started his career as an Engineer and early employee at Research In Motion (BlackBerry) in the early days before BlackBerry was publicly launched. In a technical role, he helped bring BlackBerry to International Markets across Europe.
He then moved to Silicon Valley where he spent the next 13 years at Cypress Semiconductor holding a variety of positions in Sales, Business Development, Product Management and Engineering Management. In 2009, he moved to Seattle to start a new business unit within Cypress focused on making large form factor Touchscreen IC devices in anticipation of an emerging Tablet market. Cypress Large Touchscreen ICs were in almost every major tablet maker (outside of Apple) and he grew that business from nothing to $50M in revenue within two years.
In 2015, after renovating his home he realized there were real problems with smart home technology, and specifically smart lighting. He left Cypress to pursue his passion in creating Deako and has multiple patents pending on a new type of modular light switch and whole home automation system that is poised to change the landscape for the smart home. Deako is a 27 person based startup in Seattle Washington, has raised over $10M in capital and is about to publicly launch there new smart lighting solution.
Citlaly Ramirez is a Junior at Western Washington University studying Management Information Systems, with a minor in Computer Science. She is a proud first generation student, a Washington State Opportunity Scholar, and the oldest of four siblings. A graduate of Highline High School, Citlaly can speak three languages including, Spanish, ASL and English.