Chief Channel and Alliance Officer, ZL Technologies
Erna is responsible for developing Plantronics’ global channel and strategic alliance marketing programs, channel strategies and go-to-market models. Within this role, she and her team focus on creating tools and programs to help the extended Plantronics sales team execute effectively in markets around the world. She and her team work with strategic partners on developing customized marketing strategies and programs for key partners such as Avaya, Cisco, and Microsoft. Prior to Plantronics, Erna was VP Global and Strategic Partners at Cisco, and prior to that VP of Global SMB and Industry Solutions at Symantec. Before joining Symantec, she worked at other leading organizations, including Fujitsu Softek, Cybersource, SGI, NeXT and Apple.
Erna was honored with the 2011 Women of Influence Award by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. She has also received the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) award, and is a graduate of Leadership California. In addition, she was named a 2012 Woman Who Made her Mark by Watermark. She most recently served as the Chair of the Watermark Board of Directors. She has also served as a board member of Women in Consulting (WIC) and is a current board member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP). She is a member and regional co-chair of the Wellesley Business Leadership Council.
Erna has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College.
President, West Coast, Peppercomm Strategic Communications
Director, GreenPepper, Cleantech PR
Watermark Board Vice Chair
As Partner and President of Peppercomm’s West Coast offices, Ann is responsible for helping clients to connect with their most important audiences through communications strategies that incorporate a full set of marketing tools. In addition to working with clients, Ann helps to set agency direction, create new offerings, manage teams and build business. In 2005 she led the founding of GreenPepper, Peppercomm’s environmental sustainability offering.
Over the past 25 years, Ann has counseled executives at companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 enterprises, leading hundreds of branding and re-branding, corporate reputation and issues-related campaigns targeted to consumers, business and government.
A graduate of University of Illinois, Ann has been published in a wide range of publications on topics ranging from sustainability strategies to rebranding. She has served as board member and chair for the Professional BusinessWomen of California (PBWC), and serves on the Illinois Women’s Council. She is currently a member of Watermark's Board of Directors, and serves as Vice Chair.
Ann was named the “2012 PR Professional of the Year” by PR News, and one of the “Bay Area’s Most Influential Women” by the San Francisco Business Times. She lives in San Ramon with her husband, two college-aged children and at least two dogs and a cat.
Mary Ann Bianco
As Vice President, Customer Support Services for the Retail and Services sector, Mary Ann is responsible for the delivery of support services to Oracle’s largest and most strategic customer base in the Retail and Services industry. Successful delivery of services to Oracle’s most complex and demanding customer base is the primary focus of this customer advocacy/support organization.
Mary Ann currently sits on the Oracle executive steering committee for the Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) program, a global diversity initiative at Oracle directed at talent management and leadership, where she has been an active participant in leading change since 2004.
During her 16 years at Oracle, Mary Ann also served as Vice President, Business Development, Appliances-Marketing and Sales Development, where she led the worldwide Go-To-Market function for Oracle’s Server Appliance. She led a cross-functional and cross-divisional overlay business development organization that drove sales through a worldwide channel strategy. She also was Vice President, HP Business Unit, and was responsible for co-engineering, marketing and alliances for the Oracle/HP partnership.
Before recruited to Oracle, Mary Ann was a Director of Global Strategic Alliances at Siemens Corporation where she was responsible for the global partner organization.
Mary Ann studied at Boston University and graduated Summa cum Laude with a Master’s in Educational Administration and a Bachelor’s in Education from Slippery Rock University. She is a recipient of the 2010 YWCA TWIN award and also sits on the Engineering Advisory Council for San Jose State University.
Partner, Chief Operating Officer, Seiler LLP
Watermark Board Chair
Lynne is a Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Seiler LLP. The firm specializes in the ultra high-net-worth space and provides tax, advisory and family office services to some of the world’s most affluent individuals and multi-generational families, successful entrepreneurs, business, community and philanthropic leaders. Based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the firm has been recognized as a "Best of the Best Firm" for eleven years.
Lynne has extensive expertise in the design and implementation of transformative initiatives, business and revenue growth strategies, and re-engineering management models and business operations. Prior to joining Seiler LLP, Lynne was with law firms Howard Rice in San Francisco and Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City. She was also a partner and co-founder of theOrigins, the first high quality online arts retail website, building relationships with artists around the world.
Lynne is Chair of the Board of Watermark, the premier executive women's networking organization in Silicon Valley; was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley in 2014; and received the 2014 Make Your Mark Award from Watermark.
Vice President of Global Operations, Supply Chain and Google Store, Google / Nest
Ana is Vice President of Global Operations, Supply Chain and Google Store for Google / Nest – and she received our Development Award at our Make Your Mark Awards last fall.
Ana is a well-known people leader with a knack for growing startup businesses into multi-billion-dollar companies. Prior to Google, Ana was Senior Vice President of Product Operations at Cisco Systems. And in 2006, she co-founded and served on the board of a solar startup. As the acting CEO, Ana successfully sold the company in 2010.
Ana has been honored with the "Most Powerful and Influential Women Award" from the National Diversity Council, the "Tribute to Women Award" from the YMCA and the "Industry Leader Award" from the Professional Business Women of California.
Partner and President, DeWinter Group
As Partner and President of DeWinter Group, Derek helps to lead his organization and maintain its position as the premier Financial Recruitment Firm in The Bay Area. In addition to working with clients and candidates, Derek helps to set strategic direction, develop business, hire and train and occasionally share a funny story picked up during his almost 20 years in the Search Business. The firm has been listed in the Silicon Valley Business Journals Fast 50 for the past two years and was ranked the 11th Fastest Growing Company in Silicon Valley in 2012.
Derek has been in the Financial Search business since he left Coopers & Lybrand in 1994. Those 19 years of recruiting experience in the Bay Area have given him exposure to the early growth of the Internet, the dot-com bust and the current surge in Consumer Internet and SAAS.
In addition to the DeWinter Group, Derek currently serves as President of national Organization AAFA – The American Association of Finance & Accounting. AAFA is a national affiliation of independently owned Financial Search firms that offer a national resource for local professionals looking to identify opportunities in other parts of the country.
Derek graduated from Santa Clara University and lives in Los Gatos, California, with his wife and 3 children. He has lived in Oakland, Michigan, Germany and Oahu but is from Maui (and yes, has been known to surf, spearfish and can talk pidgin if necessary).
MBA Candidate, University of California-Davis
Coral Gau is an MBA candidate at the University of California-Davis. Watermark's partnership with UC-Davis includes extending a non-voting board slot to a female MBA student each year. In return, we receive their expertise to help us with our various initiatives.
Coral's classwork focuses on entrepreneurship, finance and marketing strategy. Prior to UC Davis, Coral was an instructor at the Tianjin University of Technology-China, where she taught English, organized student events and provided career development services. Most recently, she co-founded an agriculture technology company in China.
Coral earned her B.A. at Tianjin Normal University and her M.A. from Ohio State University.
Managing Partner (SV) and IP Trial Attorney, Duane Morris
Karineh is an established IP litigator with a technology focus on computer software and hardware, with an emphasis on encryption technology, internet content delivery and load balancing, consumer electronics and computer peripherals and video gaming technology. She represents clients in the semiconductor, information technology, social media, video gaming and enterprise cloud computing spaces. Karineh’s litigation and counseling experience includes high-technology and design patent infringement and licensing disputes; inventorship and ownership issues; trade secret misappropriation, particularly with competitors and departing employees; and trademark infringement disputes.
Karineh is deeply involved with Silicon Valley networking organizations. She is an advisory board member of IP Counsel Café; former chair of the Strategic Development Board and co-lead of General Counsel Network for Watermark, a group for executive women; a partner with Leading Women in Technology as well as with Chips, an organization that advances women in IP law; and the co-founder of Salonnières, a social organization for women professionals. Karineh was recognized as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2013 Women of Influence, and was selected by The Recorder as one of its 2013 Women Leaders in Tech Law.
Karineh is a 1997 graduate of George Washington University Law School, where she was a member of Environmental Law Journal, and a magna cum laude graduate of New York University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Authenticity and Inclusion, Juniper Networks
Felicia Mayo is currently serving as the Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Authenticity and Inclusion for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale. This position gives Felicia the unique opportunity to work with Employees, Leaders and the Marketplace globally while transforming the approach to talent and diversity for Juniper Networks and in the industry. Felicia has been with Juniper for 8.5 years.
She started her career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Benefits Research Analyst after graduating with a B.A. of Political Science from North Carolina State University. PWC afforded her the opportunity to lean into her leadership capabilities by leading one of the largest outsourced Defined contributions accounts. PWC set the foundation for Felicia to continue career growth in High Tech in Silicon Valley starting with Siebel Systems for 5.5 years. Felicia embraced the technology developed by Siebel Systems and even in HR crossed boundaries in development of technology with Product Marketing and IT, as an HR Professional and provided HR support in Canada, Latin America and EMEA for a significant portion of her career with Siebel Systems.
In 2006, Siebel Systems was acquired by Oracle of which Felicia was successful in supporting Oracle University for 2.5 years. The common thread that has been pulled through Felicia’s career has been that of working in global capacities with companies that make a difference in the marketplace.
Felicia’s life work continues at Juniper and the boundary-less environment continues to allow opportunities for the future. As she continues to reach her professional aspirations, she does not lose focus on giving back to the community. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Rho Delta Omega Chapter located in Palo Alto. She has served as Vice President, Committee leader and Mentor to undergraduates at Stanford University.
Felicia is supported by a loving husband, Kelvin Mayo, Senior Director at NetApp. They have two children, Kennedy and Cristian, and reside in Pleasanton.
Nikita T. Mitchell
Nikita is a Senior Manager in Strategy & Planning at Cisco. She started her career at Deloitte Consulting and later transitioned into the nonprofit sector as a ProInspire Fellow. She is a 2015 MBA graduate of UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
During her two years at Haas, Nikita served as the 2014 MBA Association President, a Consortium Liaison and a Principal for the $2.5M Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund. She is also a recipient of the 2015 Haas Service and Leadership award and has been selected as one of Poet & Quants' Top 50 MBAs and as Forte Foundation’s 2015 Edie Hunt Inspiration Award recipient.
In her free time she is an avid reader, cupcake lover, a half-marathon runner, and a fierce advocate for women and youth. She also writes at nikitatmitchell.com.
Global Chief Financial Officer, 7 Customer
Madhu is the Global Chief Financial Officer at 7 Customer, a privately held technology solutions provider to large enterprises in the customer service industry. Madhu’s career in finance spans more than 25 years. She has a solid track record of strategic partnership with CEOs, developing and implementing business plans, revenue growth, business transformation, cash flow generation; raising debt & equity capital through public and private transactions; implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, global compliance; and building relationships with public and private markets.
A chartered accountant with an MBA from University of Massachusetts, Madhu’s professional experience includes financial services, hardware, software and service companies – Liberty Mutual Financial Services, Pricewaterhouse, Backweb Technologies, Redback Networks with a successful sale to Ericsson, Rackable Systems, including a merger with Silicon Graphics.
Madhu has been and continues to be a champion of women’s development. At 7, with 13,000 employees operating in multiple countries, Madhu has helped to drive the NOW program (Network of Women), to harness support for female employees in multiple geographic locations of 7 embracing a variety of cultures and needs.
Carina is a Partner who leads Deloitte’s Advisory and Treasury M&A services and has over 19 years of experience in treasury strategy and design, finance, banking and consulting. She has been the treasury lead advisor in over 80 M&A deals – from due diligence to implementation – and has successfully led the stand-up and integration of multiple deals across various industries.
In addition to Carina’s Treasury expertise, she has led both the finance and project management threads of several large-scale divestitures. This work includes operating model design, organizational structure remodeling, Day 1 planning and execution and transformation planning for post-Day 1 activities.
Carina also leads Deloitte’s Advisory M&A Consulting Services which includes offerings such as Accounting & Reporting Transformation, Cyber, Valuation and Treasury.
Merline is the head of operations for the EVP & Chief Technology Officer at Intuit. She is an international technology executive, business advisor and operations expert, having distinguished herself as a leader in fast growing sectors of cloud computing, mobile, online payments and commerce. In this role, she brings her wealth of experience to drive operational rigor, business operations and scale to Intuit’s business and technology efforts. She was previously the head of global engineering operations for mobile and emerging products at Yahoo, where she was part of their massive platform shift to mobile. She has been involved in the process of creating software as well as managing global teams to produce world-class products in a variety of positions at Sun Microsystems, Adobe, PayPal and Joyent, Inc.
In addition to her business interests, Merline serves on the alumni board of directors at Carnegie Mellon University, board of directors for Technovation Challenge (the global technology entrepreneurship program part of Iridescent) and on the board of Watermark. She also advises several startups and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area and serves as an advisor and judge to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18) in her district for the mobile app challenge for high school students sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Upon graduating Valedictorian, Saintil earned a B.S. in computer science from Florida A&M University, Summa Cum Laude. She also attended Stanford University where she completed an executive education program in Management Science and Engineering. Merline earned her M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University. Business Insider recently recognized her as #6 of the 22 Most Powerful Women Engineers in the World and the BayAreaRegistry honored her as "40 under 40” in 2015. She has been featured in a variety of publications for her support of both women in technology and of equal access to STEM education for our youth.
CEO, Cindy Solomon
Cindy is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant, author and entrepreneur who helps organizations, teams and individuals find their courage-- as leaders, as business owners and as individuals. She has helped organizations as varied as The Mayo Clinic, Google, The Ritz Carlton and State Farm to create and nurture the leadership and customer skills they need to meet the challenges of today’s economy. As the number one speaker at conferences around the country, Cindy has brought her humorous, provocative and meaningful insights to literally thousands of leaders each year.
Cindy’s first book, The Rules of Woo: A Guide to Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Customers, was released in 2010 to rave reviews and her new book, Creating a Culture of Courage – The Courage Challenge Workbook was just released and is available at Amazon.
Maya is a highly accomplished Senior Executive with a consistent history of maximizing revenue and profitability through the effective management of large global organizations. Her international experience has included increasingly responsible roles, culminating in her current role as a Head of Ericsson Silicon Valley and Vice President of IP and Broadband Development.
Maya directs programs and projects in North America, Europe, China, and India, with dramatically improved innovation and has led the design and release of globally successful products in the Microwave, Optical, Packet Networks and IP. Since 2009, she has delivered an enterprise innovation framework, integrated five global companies and their portfolio into Ericsson, established standardized practices, and produced measurable operational enhancements every year.
Prior to her present positions, Maya served as Vice President/Head of Development Unit Core & IMS for three years, directing large-scale product development efforts in multiple areas. Her change management skills were especially critical as she led her organization through down-sizing and up-sizing phases. During this time, she turned around an underperforming engineering group, lowered R&D costs by several hundred million dollars, and led successful customer programs for AT&T, France Telecom, Softbank, and T-mobile US.
Maya has held Strategic Product Management roles, her key achievements were bringing to the mobile market some of the most profitable products within the company which today serve more than 2 billion mobile users globally. She delivered significant profit increases and reduced operational costs, and enabled billions of dollars in revenues by delivering extremely profitable product lines and launching top-performing products in Europe, China, US and Australia.
Prior her senior management roles, Maya spent 10 years in SW design, market product introduction and customer support. Her multi-cultural experience comes from years working in Australia, Sweden, Spain, Croatia and since 2009 US – California. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Swedish and Croatian.
Maya holds a Master of Science in Telecommunications from University of Zagreb Croatia and has completed executive training at New York's Columbia University. She earned Swedish Business Week's IT & Telecom Star of the Year Award in 2008 and has been listed among the Top 30 Most Powerful Women in Swedish Industry every year since 2007. In 2012, Maya received Watermark's Women Who Have Made Their Mark award. In 2013, Silicon Valley Business Journal listed her among the top Women of Influence. In 2014, the YWCA named Maya one of its Tribute to Women and Industry Award Honorees.
Maya served on Board of Directors for Ericsson Gmbh (Germany) and Ericsson LMF (Finland). Currently, she serves on Board of Directors of Watermark and Board of ACG Silicon Valley organizations.
Maya is actively engaged in promoting diversity and women in leadership and is member of Ericsson Global Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Western Regional Director, BDO USA LLP
BDO is the fifth largest, global, public accounting and professional services firm and provides assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies.
Nicole’s career in human capital, professional services and began consulting 18 years ago. During the course of her business career, she has had leadership roles in marketing, business development, management, strategic planning, training and staffing. Most recently she has worked with Tatum LLC, as their Northern California Practice Director, and Accretive Solutions (also known as Horn Murdock Cole) as the Director of Business Development.
Nicole is originally from Los Angeles, and graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara. Philanthropically, Nicole serves on several boards within the San Francisco community. She serves on the Board of Directors for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Board of Directors of ArtPoint of the De Young Museum, and the Advisory Committee of the Glow Foundation. Formerly, Ward served as Vice Chair of the Business Arts Council, Chair of the Arts Forum of the Commonwealth Club, Founder and Chair of Epicenter:Arts and the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Nicole’s philanthropic support of the arts is fueled by her personal passion as an artist. She is a film and stage actor, commercial voice over actor and classically trained singer.