When She Speaks in SF and East Bay


Order YOUR pass to our next When She Speaks in SF or East Bay event now!

Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006 in Silicon Valley, FountainBlue’s monthly When She Speaks events in Silicon Valley features a panel of senior women professionals speaking monthly on leadership and innovation topics. In 2016, we launched quarterly events in SF, and in 2018, we launched events also in the East Bay. 

Our interactive conversations are known for being inspiring, educational, practical and fun. A typical agenda is below.

  • 11:30   Networking, Registration, Light Lunch
  • 12:00 Welcomes and Thank Yous from myself and host company
  • 12:05 Introduction to the Panel and Topic – Audience Survey and Input
  • 12:10 Brief Panelist Self-Introductions and Interactive Panelist Discussion
  • 12:50 Live Questions from the Audience and Takeaways
  • 1:00 Event Close with Additional Networking until 1:15

FountainBlue’s 2019 When She Speaks in SF/East Bay dates are listed below, and take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Mentoring Best Practices, March 22, 2019, Lam Research (East Bay)
Men Who Open Doors, May 17, 2019, EFI (East Bay)
The Future of Work, September 20, 2019, Workday (East Bay)

Thank you to our panelists, hosts, partners and attendees for their participation in FountainBlue’s 2018 When She Speaks in SF/East Bay!


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 Tiffaney Fox Quintana, Vice President of Marketing, HelloSign
  • 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 


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

Notes from the meeting are available at https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/mentors-and-champions-and-sponsors-oh-my-2/

Young business people in modern office

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.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Laura Bermudez, Director of Software Development, eBay and NPD & Board Member, Meritus College Fund
  • Panelist Jennifer Dormoy, VP of Engineering, Swift Navigation
  • Panelist Hanna Sicker, Head of Global Security and Site Reliability Engineering, StubHub 
Tiger Team Leaders: Hanna Sicker, Jenny Dormoy, Laura Bermudez

Tiger Team Leaders: Hanna Sicker, Jenny Dormoy, Laura Bermudez

Notes from the meeting are available at https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/tiger-team-best-practices/


Friday, May 18, Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Lam Research, 4650 Cushing Parkway, Fremont

For a detailed invitation including bias, visit https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/unconsciousbias

You don’t know what you don’t know… which is why Unconscious Bias is much more prevalent than blatant prejudice. It’s not cool and not politically correct to be unfairly prejudiced. It goes against our value system.
But in our fast-paced, global world, with so many diverse gender, cultural, generational perspectives leaders are all levels are chartered to drive alignment, engagement and of course, tangible and measurable results.
Our panel will discuss best practices on how to become more aware of ourselves, our values and our filters, and help us better integrate divergent perspectives in order to maximize business results.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Anne Nemer Dhanda, Managing Director, Global Learning and Organizational Development, Lam Research
  • Panelist Gina Lau, Director of People Experience & Development, HelloSign
  • Panelist Jennifer Geisler, Vice President, Marketing, ForeScout
  • Panelist Lisa McGill, Chief Human Resources Officer, CrowdStrike
  • Panelist Suchitra Narayen, Vice President, Legal and Associate General Counsel Commercial, Digital Realty


Notes from this discussion are available at https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/unconscious-bias


Resiliency as a Secret Weapon

Thursday, August 30, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

When She Speaks in the East Bay:

Resiliency as a Secret Weapon

EFI, 6750 Dumbarton Cir, Fremont

Invitation details including bios are available at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/resiliency

Change is one of those givens in life. Whether things are extremely good or extremely not-so-good, ‘this too shall pass’. This month’s stories-from-the-trenches centers around the remarkable journeys of exceptional women who sunk so low, and have now risen from those depths to be stronger and more versatile. Their inspiring stories and practical tips will help you find strength and courage and perspective for your own journey and show you how to embrace Resiliency as a Secret Weapon.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Gayathri Badrinath, Head of Global Marketing Services, Siemens Healthineers
  • Panelist Sharawn Connors, Vice President, Global Total Rewards and Diversity, Flex
  • Panelist Sherry Guo, Head of Global Analytical Science and Technology, Analytical Chemistry & Bioassay, Genentech
  • Panelist Jaya Nair, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, ASML 
  • Panelist Meena Narayanan , Global HR Leader, Livongo
  • Panelist Vicki Sam, Chief of Staff, EFI

ResiliencyMeeting notes are available at https://fountainblue.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/resiliency/

Customer-Led Digital Transformation

Customer-Led Digital Transformation

Friday, September 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Customer-Led Digital Innovation, When She Speaks in East Bay 

Five 9, Roundhouse Conference Center, 
2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583

Register at https://whenshespeaks.com/sf/

Invitation details https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/digital

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. 

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Carla Di Castro, Technology Sourcing Leader, Workday
  • Panelist Maranda Dziekonski, Vice President of Customer Success, Pared
  • Panelist Niki Hall, VP Corporate Marketing, Five9
  • Panelist Sri Mudigere, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Product Management, Customer Insights & Experience Design, Wells Fargo 
Customer-Led Digital Innovation

Customer-Led Digital Innovation


  • 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: