2021 Bay Area Women in Leadership Symposium
With the turn of events in the year 2020, women of all backgrounds have experienced what it means to be resilient, adaptable, and forward-thinking. We observed women taking on challenging situations that affect their personal and professional lives with innovation, flexibility, and strength. This year’s symposium will explore the ways women can empower themselves and one another to conquer new norms throughout the journey of life.
The focus of this annual event is to bring together a diverse mix of successful women leaders who, through the discussion of topics relevant to today's issues will educate, inspire and encourage women to reflect on their own goals and status.
With over 25 years’ experience in sales, business development, and marketing for the Channel, Lori has developed as a passionate, results-oriented executive. Over the years, she’s honed several specialties that include recruitment, development, and management for the Channel, the strategizing and execution of business development, and her ability to craft strategic partnerships and alliances. Her commitment and contribution t her work lead to her being named as a CRN Channel Chief for the past 4 years and earned her recognition by CRN Magazine as a Top Woman in the Channel each year from 2009-2021. In 2011 Lori was awarded with the title of 2011 Women Worth Watching, and in June of 2014, Lori Cornmesser was the proud recipient of the Diversity First Leadership Award. Lori has been honored with Top 50 Women in Technology Award in 2019 -2021. She also claimed a coveted spot on the Power 100 list in 2009, 2014 -2021. While she is dedicated to her career and no doubt works extremely hard in order to contribute greatly to the growth and success of her company, as well as the growth and success of herself within her field, Lori Cornmesser served as a the President of the Silicon Valley branch of the larger umbrella organization, the California Diversity Council and was recently named President of the Board for the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative (WGLI), As Lori Cornmesser is of African American and German descent, she relates to issues of diversity and understands the importance of not only celebrating diversity, but also in spreading an understanding of diverse backgrounds and cultivating diverse work environments. As a highly influential and established woman in the business world, Lori Cornmesser sought to make a positive impact on diversity within the corporate world. From the eyes of a business, she worked to, “employ the market,” in order to serve them in the best possible manner. That is to say, companies need to select individuals with the utmost levels of expertise and keep them working within their company. To do this, companies must draw from an applicant pool from a gender-equal standpoint as well as from a standpoint of offering equal opportunities for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. To use her own words, Lori Cornmesser stated that businesses must, “acknowledge and leverage similarities and differences.” Lori Cornmesser is highly attuned to the changing climate of the business world and the success of businesses on a global platform. In order to keep up with the rapidly growing business world, leaders in their industry can no longer sustain a pool of employees all of the same make and mold. Acknowledging and welcoming diversity is the key to business growth and success in this time. Lori Cornmesser accurately describes the possibility that a diverse company holds in saying, “From this dynamic diversity come the next great idea, the breakthrough innovation, the community cohesiveness, and the commitment that can make us extraordinary rather than merely ordinary.” Lori is married and a loving mother of two children. Lori holds a MBA from Columbus University.
Carol Hess is the founder and CEO of CHess Executive Insights LLC., a company committed to advising and sharing insights from the perspective of a fortune 100 executive to emerging companies and groups that are looking to grow their infrastructure, drive equality, build talent, and expand globally. A seasoned executive with over 3 decades of industry experience at HP Inc., Carol has held numerous Vice President positions where she was responsible for $23B P&L. She has built and led teams in Cradle-to-Grave Product Management, Business Operations & Execution, R&D, Supply Chain, Marketing, and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG). Carol has developed an international perspective, specifically in the US, Europe, and the emerging markets of China and India. As a European expat, she spent four years in Munich Germany. As an experienced corporate board member, Carol is on the Audit Committee and HR, Compensation and Governance Committee of Wi2Wi, Inc., a vertically integrated, global manufacturer of Wireless Connectivity Solutions on the Canadian Stock Exchanges (CVE:YTY). She provides guidance on Business Strategy, Global Marketing, and Crisis/Risk Management. She supports the Chairman of the Board to drive decisions that create tangible shareholder value. In the non-profit area, Carol is on the Board of Directors for The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), an economic development organization serving the Houston area to drive regional economic prosperity. Carol is a member of “Women on the Board” and “Executive Women’s Partnership”. She is engaged in Covid-19 Crisis Management response and Work-from-Home initiatives. After Hurricane Harvey, Carol joined the relief efforts by organizing and donating laptops for FEMA application completion and family connections. Carol is actively involved in The Texas Diversity Council Board of Directors and promotes diversity and inclusion through council guidance, education, public speaking, networking, and mentoring. With a passion for public speaking, Carol is often a keynote speaker at events, industry panels and seminars. She thrives on sparking meaningful dialogue and leaving audiences with new ideas and the motivation to enact change. Carol regularly shares career advice as an Executive Coach/Mentor. Speaking examples: - Greater Houston Partnership “Rise to the Top” Speaker - March 2020 - National Diversity Council Conference, Panel Speaker - Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2020 - Ingram Micro Summit, Keynote Speaker – 2016 - Shi International Corporation Expo, Keynote Speaker – 2016 - HP, Inc. Strategic Presenter (i.e. Annual Conference Emcee; Hundreds of customer, partner, and press engagements) - through tenure at HP Inc./Compaq Carol is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Women Corporate Directors (WCD), 2020 Women on Boards, and HimForHer. Carol holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing and Management Information Systems (MIS) from The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in General Business from Michigan State University. Beyond her profession, you can find Carol spending time with family, giving back, wine tasting, traveling both internationally and domestically, paddle boarding, and driving her Tesla.
Dr. Angelica Cortez is the Vice President of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Uplift Family Services. She was previously the first Vice President of Racial Justice and Equity for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. In this new role, she will lead the organization’s regional initiatives and policy advocacy on issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She previously served on our Investor Relations team for five years. Her professional background blends public policy, nonprofit management, and fund development within the fields of human services and community health. Prior to joining the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, she worked for former California State Assemblymember Rich Gordon and advocacy organizations in both Los Angeles and San Jose, including the California Immigrant Policy Center. In 2015, Dr. Cortez founded LEAD Filipino, a nonprofit that has since been recognized by State Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and former State Senator Bob Wieckowski for leading Census, Voter Education, and Community Health efforts with the region’s growing Fil Am population. Under her leadership, the organization continues to employ part-time staff and most recently redistributed thousands of dollars in financial assistance to low-income community members adversely impacted by COVID-19. Dr. Cortez has been recognized by NBC Bay Area, Asian American Recovery Services, the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and the Commission on the Status of Women for her work within local Asian Pacific Islander communities. She holds a BA from San Jose State, MPA from the University of San Francisco, and EdD from the University of Southern California.
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