8:40-8:50 AM - WELCOME | Emcee | Kelli Lemon

Kelli Lemon (Instagram)

With a youthful spirit and infectious energy, Kelli Lemon has become one of Richmond’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Lemon became Virginia Commonwealth University’s assistant director of basketball operations at 22. Then she stayed for graduate school — “14 years there, four different departments,” she says. And four different titles. While there, she earned a master’s degree in sports leadership and management. Kelli has created a name for herself as self-proclaimed “social entrepreneur” that can be seen and heard all over Richmond, Virginia! Kelli is passionate about creating events and opportunities for people to socially interact, whether through food, sports, education or the arts. She adores RVA and makes sure she does her part in exposing the city!  

Well where can you find Kelli? You can see her during the day at Mama J’s restaurant in Jackson Ward. Kelli is the Business Manager, and makes sure the brand is known as one of the top restaurants in Richmond. During the evenings and weekends you can find her out and about either hosting for various marketing and promotion companies and/or attending the many festivals and events all over RVA. But from 7 – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays Kelli aka “Kels” is coming through your radio speakers on “The Weekend” on 99.3/105.7 Kiss FM and on iPower 92.1/104.1 “Sunday School” with the Heavy Hitter DJ Lonnie B. And……..When you want to know everything exciting to check out in Richmond you can catch Kelli talking to Strangers on her podcast series – Coffee with Strangers, a webisode dedicated to exposing how people “live Richmond”. She can also be seen hosting various major events around Richmond including the Richmond Jazz Fest, Freedom Classic Basketball Tournament, RVA Grooves Concert Series and the Big Apple Basketball Classic in Brooklyn New York. 

Kelli also works with Avail Marketing on events with a non profit fundraising purposes such as, Soul Bowl Lounge, the Team Excel program and the VCU Broad Street Mile. Visit her social media sites often for information on her latest adventures including, Shop By Closet RVA, RVA Pop Up Parties, Ready 2 Give Charity Events, Dinner and a DJ series and The Art of Noise.

9-9:45 AM - KEYNOTE | Elizabeth Lindsey | Executive Director | Byte Back

Elizabeth Lindsey (LinkedIn) | Executive Director | Byte Back

Elizabeth Lindsey is the Executive Director of Byte Back, a Washington, DC based nonprofit providing a pathway of inclusive tech training that leads to living-wage careers. Elizabeth earned her bachelor’s from Swarthmore College and a master's in public affairs and urban and regional planning from Princeton University. As a recognized leader in tech, Elizabeth was selected in 2019 for Washington Business Journal’s most competitive list – 40 Under 40. She was named an Enterprising Woman by Tagg Magazine, a 40 Under 40 Queer Woman by the Washington Blade, and a Tech Titan by theWashingtonian. She led a panel at SXSW in 2018 and was named a top 100 leadership speaker in Inc.

Elizabeth serves on the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and is a member of the Washington, DC Mayor’s Innovation & Technology Inclusion Council. Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors of The Workplace DC, the Goodwill Excel Center, The Engine Room, and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

Under Elizabeth's leadership, Byte Back's innovative training is earning national attention and expanding, helping even more people thrive in a digital society and change the face of the tech sector.

10:00-11:15 AM - TECH BREAKOUTS 1.0

Breakout 1.1  CEO Discussion: Women Who Wear Real Capes
Speakers: Mary Kopczynski, Founder & CEO, RegAlytics (LinkedIn);Paige Wilson, Founder/CEO Naborforce LLC (LinkedIn); Karen Townsend, CEO, Sea Island Software, Inc. and Kelley W. Powell, CEO of MacLaurin Group (LinkedIn)

Tune in as this panel of female CEO’s talk candidly about their journeys to the “C-Suite” and share lessons learned, successes, sources of inspiration and moments when the cape maybe did not fit perfectly along their career journey’s.

Breakout 1.2  You Don't Have to be Loud to Lead
Speaker: Rica Rosario, Design Lead, Deloitte Digital

Let’s talk about quiet people and quiet leadership. These aren’t new concepts, but they often don’t get the attention they deserve. Just because you don’t have the loudest voice in the room, doesn’t mean people won’t listen to you. You can still be heard.  This session will celebrate value and impact of quiet people, quiet confidence and quiet leadership; share some tips how to be or work with quiet leaders; and generate some ideas on making workplaces more inclusive of quiet colleagues, so everyone can be and do their best.

Breakout 1.3 Talk Nerdy to Me
Speakers: Sara Perry, Team Lead, Artivest (LinkedIn) and Fiona Towner, Data Scientist, Luck Companies (LinkedIn)

Join us for an interactive session as our data science enthusiasts share various experiences regarding their professional career journey or “seasons” they encountered that lead them to the current path they are on today. In addition, they will also provide a live demo of a data set side-by-side built using Python and R to showcase the differences and similarities between the two languages.

11:30 AM-1 PM - LUNCH
1-2:00 PM - TECH BREAKOUTS 2.0

Breakout 2.1  Authentic Leadership
Speaker: Adrienne Whitaker, Senior Level Business Development Executive, SOAR365 (LinkedIn)

Adrienne Whitaker is a business development executive with SOAR365. She also serves as a strategic advisor to the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office, serves on the Advisory Board of C&F Bank and is appointed to the Minority Business Enterprise and Emerging Small Business Advisory Board for the City of Richmond.  Come join as Adrienne facilitates a session on authentic leadership, leveraging the lessons of author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek

Breakout 2.2  The Happy Place: The Science behind Designing for Delight with an Inclusive and Diverse Mind
Zaylia Grillet, UX Designer, Deloitte Digital (LinkedIn)

How many people do you think actually like to be happy? How many people do you think likes to make others happy? Being “happy” is one of the driving forces that push almost everyone to look past any complications, misjudgments, and uncomfortable situations to find our “happy” place. Curating delightful experiences on and off screen are not only about the pretty but about the science. It’s about understanding whom you are designing for and curating them efficiently to create a level of satisfaction.

User delight is always a quick topic to reference but never easy to measure, now is it? For years in design and businesses, it’s been crossed referenced with relatable concepts such as satisfaction, usability or even overall user experiences.  Companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple all have become masters at measuring this idea inclusively and therefore craft thousands of delightful, diverse experiences around the world.

Join me for a 45-minute session as we deep dive into the cognitive psychology, behavioral science, diversity, and inclusivity behind a user’s delight, while leverage user research to measure these insights and leave you with 5 tips to that you can use to create a happier place for your users.


Breakout 2.3  Tech Prep for Hack Track --> Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Overview
Experience? Not needed here.

What to Expect -

  • Background on RPA’s Evolution
  • What is RPA?
  • Why you should consider and learn RPA
  • How to Structure Your Center of Excellence
  • Preparation for the Automation First Era

2:15-3:45 PM - WORKSHOP | Hack Track | RPA or Robotic Process Automation

Hack Track - Hands on with RPA

RPA is taking the world by storm. Thinking automation first enables your company to move faster and more effectively. It helps you serve customers better. It enables you to operate more efficiently.It unburdens your employees from mundane, repetitive work, allowing them to focus on solving problems and creating value.

In this session, you get an immediate in-depth introduction to RPA, hands-on experience when you build your first bot, and support from some of the best RPA engineers in the world so that you too can put automation first. Again, no technical experience required.

Please note the following requirements:

  • PC preferred; Will have additional PCs available for use.
  • Install UiPath Community Edition
  • Acess to Microsoft Excel
  • Internet access
  • Access to Internet Explorer

2:15-3:45 PM - KEYNOTE | Alissa J. Abdullah | PhD, CISO | Xerox

Alissa J. Abdullah (LinkedIn) | PhD, CISO | Xerox

As Xerox Chief Information Security Officer Dr. Alissa J. Abdullah (Dr. Jay) is responsible for protecting the company’s information assets. In her role, she established, and currently leads, a corporate-wide information risk management program. She identifies, evaluates and reports on information security practices, controls, and risks in order to comply with regulatory requirements and to align with the risk posture of the enterprise.

Prior to Xerox, Dr. Abdullah served as the first chief information security officer at Stryker Corporation, a multi-billion dollar medical technology company. At Stryker, she oversaw global activities related to information security. She also established the standards and governance around information security issues related to products. She managed all security transformation initiatives and worked closely with business leaders and heads of regional infrastructure to ensure security policy and strategy was implemented consistently.

Dr. Abdullah spent three years as deputy chief information officer of the White House. Beginning in March 2012, she helped to modernize the Executive Office of the President's IT systems, with cloud services and virtualization. She employed new cybersecurity strategies, and enhanced technology across the office of the President while serving as chair on multiple boards.

Dr. Abdullah holds a PhD in Information Technology Management from Capella University; a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computer Networks from The George Washington University; and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Savannah State University. She is a member of IBM’s Security Board of Advisors.

4:00-4:45 PM - KEYNOTE | Rhonda Vetere | Global CIO/CTO

Rhonda Vetere (LinkedIn)  |  Global CIO/CTO

Rhonda Vetere is a seasoned leader across industries, working in global executive positions at Santander Bank, nThrive / Pamplona Capital Management, Estée Lauder Companies, AIG, HP Enterprise Services, Barclays, Bank One / JPMorgan Chase, and several telecommunications companies.

She has lived and worked internationally – in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Mumbai, and across India – and has managed teams of up to 20,000 people. Vetere is also the co-author of an HP special edition book, “Enterprise Service Management for Dummies”.

Rhonda contributes her perspective and knowledge by serving on boards for professional, educational, and athletic institutions, including the US Olympics and Paralympics, The Canadian Cloud Council, Longwood University, George Mason University School of Business, SWAAY Magazine, Miss Fashion Week, and Xcelocloud Inc.

Outside of work, Rhonda is very active as an athlete and regularly competes in IRONMAN triathlons (among other events). She recently ran in the Serengeti as part of a girls and women’s empowerment fundraiser.