Take a Yoga Break

Take a break during lunch and join us for a 30-minute chair yoga session taught by Nitika Achalam of Richmond’s True Grit Yoga. Nitika will be guiding a practice that would be great for folks who sit in chairs most of the day. We’ll work on improving flexibility and strength, while promoting relaxation to help you wind down from your busiest of days!

*This session will be very beginner friendly and most moves will be completed seated or standing.

Free Conference Childcare

RVATECH with help from our amazing sponsor Corgibytes is happy to provide complimentary childcare to all interested conference attendees. If you’d like to take advantage of this incredible service, please click here and we’ll be in touch!

Mother’s Room: The VCU Health Lactation Lounge is located on the first floor next to Ballroom 15C and features comfortable seating, a table, power supply for pumping, nursing pads and easy access to restrooms.

Headshot Party

Headshots will be taken by the incredible McAllister “Ally” Rybak in the foyer outside of the Grand Ballroom from 7:30-9:30 a.m. for interested attendees.

Shoe Donations

Soles4Souls will be collecting new and gently-worn shoes to help individuals start and sustain small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty. Donated shoes are a viable resource to help entrepreneurs provide crucial necessities for their families.

Professional Clothing Drive

Dress for Success will be on-site to collect any gently used, nearly-new professional attire. Your fabulous suits and other professional apparel could furnish another woman with the confidence to enter/return to the workplace, make a great first impression, and land a job that could change her life.

** Refunds may be issued up to three days prior to the conference. **

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

Kelli Lemon (Instagram)

Kelli Lemon has created a name for herself as a self-proclaimed “social entrepreneur” that can be seen and heard all over Richmond, Virginia! Formerly the Business Manager of Mama J's restaurant, Kelli is now working for herself (Like The Fruit, LLC) and is passionate about creating events and opportunities for people to socially interact, through food, sports, education or the arts. Late 2018 she made her dream into a reality and open her social cafe, Urban Hang Suite, at 304 East Broad Street in historic Jackson Ward.

Kelli adores Richmond and makes sure she does her part in exposing the city! She is a change agent and cheerleader for RVA and is excited to see the city progress and become more inclusive.

Well where can you find Kelli?

Every Monday morning, you can catch Kelli talking to various Richmonder’s about how they “live” the city as she hosts the podcast and web series Coffee with Strangers.

During the evenings and weekends you can find her out and about either hosting and/or attending the many festivals and events held all over RVA.

Kelli is a part time on air personality with Radio One Richmond. Fridays you can catch her with The Heavy Hitter DJ Lonnie B and Danja Mowf during “The Weekend” on Kiss FM and on Sundays with DJ Lonnie B on “Sunday School” on iPower Richmond.

Kelli can also been seen hosting various major events around Richmond including the annual Richmond Jazz Festival, After Hours at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Family Day at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and Controversy History at The Valentine Museum. She's also assisted in creating unique urban events in RVA including Hip Hop BINGO, Ready 2 Give Charity Events, The Art of Noise, Made By RVA Creative Market, HeART & Soul Brew Fest, Virginia (Richmond) Black Restaurant Experience.

Lastly, Kelli makes time to give back by serving on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and Virginia Union University’s Center for Undergraduate Research. She also is on the External Affairs Commitee for the Better Housing Coaliltion and newly appointed to the Virginia Tourism Corporation Board of Directors.

Kelli received her bachelor’s in Science degree from the University of Virginia and Master’s in Education in Sports Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Quick Lemon fun facts:

  • She eats 100% of her meals out and prefers local. NO CHAINS!
  • She could eat cheese pizza and blue crabs for the rest of life.
  • She does not want to meet her favorite musicians because she doesn't want them to be real people.
  • She has vivid dreams… so no scary movies.
  • Please don't flush the toilet while she's in the shower. She will have to start all over again.
  • When you cry .... she cries.
  • She hits the snooze button for two hours before she can officially get out of the bed.
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  Creativity + UX Design Session
Alicia Lane , Design Strategist for People Development - Director, Capital One (LinkedIn)



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 | Sue Choe | Chief People Officer | Petal

Sue Choe (LinkedIn) | Chief People Officer | Petal

Motivating people to do their best work is a seemingly Sisyphean challenge -- and that’s why Sue loves it. Sue aspires to create organizations that exhibit consistently high levels of individual / team performance AND professional fulfillment.

How? By engaging in direct and clear communications; understanding issues from multiple angles; diagnosing root causes; identifying patterns; benchmarking; experimenting and iterating; collecting feedback and results, and continuously improving. We can call this “HR”, "People Ops", or by its components -- talent acquisition, onboarding, learning/development, career pathing, recognition and rewards, employee relations, culture / community-building, organizational development, etc. -- but it all boils down to this: problem-solving rigor + an open mind.

Add a ton of elbow grease, a touch of empathy, lots of listening, and a focus on systems and process, and that’s what Sue brings to fast-paced, ideals-driven companies where people and culture are paramount to business success (however you choose to define it). 

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.