When She Speaks in San Francisco


Order YOUR pass to our next quarterly When She Speaks in SF event now!

Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006, FountainBlue’s monthly When She Speaks events in Silicon Valley features a panel of senior women professionals speaking monthly on leadership and innovation topics. Our quarterly When She Speaks events in SF was launched in January 2016 at the request of our community. We bring this program to tech companies in SF once a quarter and to tech companies in the east bay three times a year.

FountainBlue’s 2018 When She Speaks in SF/East Bay dates are listed below, and take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.:


March 16, 2018, Mentors and Champions and Sponsors, Oh My! @ Mapbox in SF

It takes a village to nurture a career, and you’re the one in the driver’s seat. This month’s panel will explain the benefits of mentors, champions, coaches, sponsors and other advocates, and help you strategize on how to proactively manage your career, your team, and your organization. Bring your questions and challenges and hear practical wisdom from our experienced panelists.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Sylvie De Wever, GM Latin America & Head of Marketing Emerging Markets, eBay
  • Panelist Maranda Ann (VandenBroek) Dziekonski, COO, rentL 
  • Panelist Nancy Gilbert, Director, Program Management, Lam Research Corporation 
  • Panelist Gopal Kumarappan, VP Software Engineering, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Zaina Orbai, Vice President, Global Head of People, Mapbox 
  • Panelist Shanthi Ramamurthy, Managing Director – Software as a Service, Accenture

For detailed bios and to register, visit https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/mentors

April 20, 2018, Tiger Team Best Practices @ eBay in SF

A tiger team can be seen as that panacea for a business or technical problem, big or small. Inherent in all successful tiger teams is the inclusion of a diverse and experienced team of active participants and leaders who are as competitive as they are collaborative, as communicative as they are inclusive. Tiger Teams are known for their ability to generate measurable results on a high-impact projects, in short order. This month’s When She Speaks panel features Tiger Team leaders who will share their best practices for creating and empowering the success of their teams, and its impact on the company and industry.

Friday, May 18, Power to the Team @ Lam Research, 4650 Cushing Parkway, Fremont

With a more diverse and distributed workforce, it has become increasingly more difficult to create bonding experiences for teams, to help teams collaborate on goals, and to celebrate achievements. This month, you will hear inspirational stories of how teams have overcome all odds and succeeded under extreme circumstances, best practices on how to engage tools and processes to serve a diverse team’s needs, as well as advice on how to build and retain a stellar team, and give them the resources and the fortitude to persevere and succeed.

Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 

Sept 21, 2018, Age of the Customer @ Five9 in EB, to be confirmed

The empowered customer is discerning, demanding, informed and all-powerful. This month, we will share best practices on how tech companies are changing the way they do business to better anticipate and serve these customers and how they keeping in front of the curve and soliciting the input of marquis customers to shape product and service offerings and direction.

Oct 19, 2018, Big Data Use Cases @ Splunk in SF, to be confirmed

Delivering personalized solutions to discerning customers real-time will continue to differentiate companies. This month’s panel will feature how AI, BigData, Machine Learning, IoT, Data Science, and Containers are leveraged in specific scenarios to deliver customized solutions and technologies to customers and partners. 

  • Hosting Cost is $1500 for one event, which includes corporate passes for the remaining 6 meetings plus a corporate pass for up to two When She Speaks in Silicon Valley events of your choice. 
  • Corporate Passes for five people to attend any ONE event costs $150. Individual Admission costs $40 for partners, $50 general admission.

For more information about hosting and participation, e-mail us at info@whenshespeaks.com.

See notes from our past When She Speaks in SF events at  https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/category/wss-sf/.

FountainBlue’s 2017 Quarterly When She Speaks in SF

Jan 27, 2017 @ Twilio, 375 Beale St, Negotiating for Win-for-All Result


Women have their own way and style to secure win-win results collaboratively and transparently. Come hear what some of those exceptional women leaders will share about negotiating best-practices and find out how to get more that’s due to you – at work, in relationships and in life.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, SignKloud
  • Panelist Angie Chang, VP Strategic Partnerships, Hackbright Academy
  • Panelist Genevieve Haldeman, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Twilio
  • Panelist Zaina Orbai, Sr. Director – Head of Global HR Operations, Yelp 
  • Panelist Katie Penn, Director of Demand Marketing, Twitch

Bios are available in the full invitation at https://madmimi.com/p/201b09


June 9, 2017 @ 10Fold, Communicating at the Speed of Change 

With the advancements in analytics and social media, marketing and leadership teams have a much more robust arsenal of information and tools to understand and serve a broader and deeper customer base. This month, marketing leaders will share best practices on how to structure and implement revenue-focused communication and service programs to serve and event anticipate the varying needs of a diverse customer base.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Julie Heck, Head of Marketing, Savvius
  • Panelist Alicia Johnson, Managing Director, Infrastructure Services, Accenture
  • Panelist Fran Lowe, Vice President, 10Fold
  • Panelist Marisa Shumway, Sr Director, Marketing, AppDynamics 

Bios are available in the full invitation at https://madmimi.com/p/2918c9


July 21, 2017 @ Bigcommerce, 685 Market Street, Third Floor / San Francisco, Lean IN and Level UP

Every senior leader has had their share of obstacles and challenges – whether it’s in completing a project, managing an employee, establishing a partnership, and, of course, leveling up within an organization. This month’s panel will feature advice and insights for leaning in, in collaboration with trusted others AND leveling up in skill set and experience which result in roles and titles which bring more impact and a larger and longer ripple effect.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Maranda Dziekonski, Vice President, Customer Operations, HelloSign
  • Panelist Angela Griffo, VP, 10Fold 
  • Panelist Linda Tong, VP of Innovation, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Andrea Wagner, Head of Design, Bigcommerce

Bios are available in the full invitation at https://madmimi.com/p/b75b2a. Register at http://mkt.com/fountainblue/wss-sf.

Oct 20, 2017 @ AppDynamics, iSMAC is Where It’s At

ISMAC is Where’s It’s at in SF

Immersive, social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies will all be integral elements of today’s tech solutions, as we strive to manage data and preferences and deliver immersive, interactive experiences, products and solutions to our ever-more demanding customers. This month’s panel will share their strategies on integrating SMAC technologies into scalable solutions real-time.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Michelle Chen, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, West Coast Innovation Hub, Merck  
  • Panelist Yvonne Chen, Head of Marketing/Sr Director of Marketing, Udemy
  • Panelist Shanthi Ramamurthy, Managing Director, Accenture Technology 
  • Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, CMO, BigCommerce
  • Panelist Megan Slater, Director of Business Systems, AppDynamics 

FountainBlue’s 2016 SF-based When She Speaks Events 

  • Jan 22 @ Yelp, 55 Hawthorne, 11F, in SF, A Work-Life Balance That Works, For Life!

JanuaryCollageSilicon Valley women leaders are challenged by the corporate and business pressures of high-stress, high-impact positions, while still juggling the personal demands of life and family, and squeezing in time for yourself. Each ball, from the heavy, urgent demands in a corporate environment to the home-and-personal demands of children, spouses, friends and others, to your own always-addressed-last personal needs for balance, health and growth – is important.Yet each balls keeps coming at you from more angles, and each ball is coming at you faster! So how do you juggle these often-competing balls and what we can do to adjust our own expectations and that of others on us, in order to ease the load and the stress? Our speakers will share their stories, commiserate with us, and challenge us to re-evaluate how roles, our priorities, and our own expectations for ourselves.

Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant

Panelist Elizabeth Brown, Chief People Officer, Unity

Panelist Wendy Jennings, Director, Employee Shareholder Services/Stock Administration, AppDynamics, Inc.

Panelist Sonia Oliveira, Director, International (Localization), Zynga

Panelist Jodie Yorg, Chief of Staff to the SVP of Revenues, Yelp

  • April 22 @ AppDynamics, Building and Reinforcing Your Executive Brand 

AprilPanelYour brand tells people who you, and what to expect from you whether at work or at home. It helps people decide whether to trust you, and what to trust you about. Effective executives, both women and men, proactively build their brand, to ensure that others think highly of them, and have the confidence that they can execute under specific circumstances, and even in situations where they have little connections and expertise. Indeed, your executive brand can limit or launch your success. This month, our panel of women leaders will talk about what they have done to build and reinforce their executive brand, and how they leverage that brand to build credibility, position themselves and their teams and organizations for success, and strategically manage their career development.

Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant

Panelist Steph Douglass, Vice President, People & Culture, OpenTable

Panelist Shannon Eis, VP Corporate Communications, Yelp

Panelist Nandini Ramani, VP Engineering, Twitter

Panelist Gwen Tillman, Head of People Development, AppDynamics

  • July 15 @ StubHub, 199 Fremont Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, Agility: The Key to a Successful Career

July15WSSSFPanelBetter. More. Faster. That seems to be the mantra as global technology and market mega trends are fostering fluidity within and across companies, across locations, and across roles and industries. Our panelists will share their personal career navigation stories and share insights on 1) how they proactive manage their careers through many shifts in roles, industries and companies, 2) how to embrace market and technology and political challenges and convert them into opportunities, and most importantly, 3) how to maintain a North Star focus on your values and the needs of a customer during a sea of change.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Laura (Danckwerth) Bermudez, Director of Software Development for StubHub Social & President of eBay Women In Technology
  • Panelist Melissa Daimler, Head of Learning + Organizational Development, Twitter
  • Panelist Carole Gum, Vice President, Global Campaigns and Digital Marketing at AppDynamics
  • Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, SVP, Marketing, PR and Communications, Bigcommerce
  • Panelist Miriam Warren, VP of New Markets, Yelp

Oct 21 @ AppDynamics, 303 Second Street North Tower, 8th Floor in SF, Women Leading Innovation, invitation with bios available at https://madmimi.com/p/4311b8

Women Leading Innovation in SF, 2016

In an age when technology and market innovations shift at the speed of light, companies will pivot or perish on the innovation fulcrum. Tech leaders are challenged to innovate differently, a little more collaboratively, with more agility, while integrating diversity in the team and a laser-sharp focus on the needs-of-the-customer. Innovation is what will continue to separate those who succeed and those who have become obsolete. Come hear secrets from this month’s panel of innovation leaders.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant 
  • Panelist Anne Evans, Global Head of Recruiting, Unity
  • Panelist Camila Franco, Head of Product Management – Browser Experience, StubHub 
  • Panelist Balwinder Kaur, Principal Software Engineer, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Jessica Mah, CEO, inDinero
  • Panelist Katie Penn, Global Head of Platform Growth, Twitter
  • Panelist Kayti Sullivan, VP of Account Management, Yelp

What to Expect As a Panelist

FountainBlue recruits senior leaders (senior-director-level-plus) from partner tech companies within San Francisco to participate in our monthly panel discussions. We know that our panelists are very busy executives and request some simple requirements for participating:

  • Please calendar the full 2 hours for participating in the event, plus 15 minutes following the end of the event.
  • This panel is conversational-style with no need for PowerPoint presentations. We will coordinate a half-hour prep call so that we can brainstorm themes and questions.
  • Please send a 100-word bio and photo for inclusion on the web site and on the invitations.
  • Our panelists will each receive two guest passes. Please let us know the names and contacts of your two guests at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • Additional passes are available for $40 each or $150 for up to five people to attend.
  • The typical audience is 40-60+ tech professionals at varying stages of seniority/experience, representing all business functions. We will send our panelists and hosts a list of pre-registered attendees with details in preparation for the prep call.
  • At the event, please join us for the first half hour of the meeting and actively participate in the ‘movers and shakers speed networking’ portion of the event, to help break the ice and increase the energy and networking experience for all.
  • Feel free to promote the event to your network, and send out follow-up notes following the event, with credit to FountainBlue, the other speakers and the When She Speaks series.

We take pride in highlighting the crisp and inspiring stories of our panelists, and the insightful and practical advice and recruit panelists who will perpetuate our tradition and our brand. For more information about our past speakers and notes from past events, please refer to our blog at https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/category/when-she-speaks/

Please join us in thanking our hosts for FountainBlue’s When She Speaks in SF events: