Networking Event Keynote Speaker

Cindy Pipes

cindy-pipes_picmonkeyedAs of January 1st, Cindy Pipes will become the Vice President of Operations Services at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She will have oversight of Operations Strategy & Planning, Supply Planning & Logistics, and International Operations and Supply Process for the Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) family of companies including RJRT, American Snuff Company, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company production facilities.

Cindy has spent the last year as the Sr. Director of Operations Strategy & Planning. Her team was responsible for assessment of business development opportunities, development of functional goals, brand planning, Operations business continuity & contingency sourcing, and Corporate Environmental Health and Safety.

Prior to this role, Cindy was the Sr. Director, Supply Planning & Logistics. In addition, she has held a number of positions in manufacturing management, International Operations, Information Management, and Finance in RJRT and it’s former international division. Cindy has been with RJRT and its related companies for 30 years.

Cindy is a member of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) serving three years as RAI corporate chair.  She has also served as a member of the Forsyth County Community WLC steering committee and the RAI United Way steering committee. Cindy is a mentor in the RJRT mentoring program and also mentors with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. She has a BS in Industrial Engineering from NC State University and attended graduate school at Wake Forest University.

Cindy has been married for thirty years and has two children. Her oldest daughter recently obtained her Master Global Innovation Management (MGIM) degree from NC State Jenkins Graduate School of Management and her son is a rising sophomore in high school.

Conference Keynote Speaker

Terri Mitchell

terri-picture_10-25Terri Mitchell, Vice President, Explorys Integration Executive is responsible for leading the end to end integration of the acquisition of Explorys into Watson Health in IBM. She previously led the integrations of both Texas Memory Systems and Blade Network Technologies into Systems & Technology Group. In her role as an Integration Executive, Terri enables newly acquired businesses and employees to grow and flourish within IBM.   Her approach also identifies best practices from the new organizations that can be adopted within IBM.

Terri has held executive positions in System x and Storage, and served as the IBM Tucson Senior Location Executive. In 2001 she worked as Technical Assistant to Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Terri is passionate about enabling women in technology and recently founded and led Empowering Women to Innovate and Thrive (eWIT), an event for North Carolina college students enrolled in STEM majors. She is an executive sponsor of NEW (Network of Emerging Women Leaders) and very active in both the Raleigh and Houston events.   Throughout her career, Terri has also been a founding member of two women’s diversity networking groups: Tucson, AZ and Portland, OR.

Session Presenters and Panelists

Cassie Barnes

cassie-barnes_photo_picmonkeyedCassie Barnes is a Buyer for Indirect Materials and Services for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She provides procurement support for Research & Development and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. Prior to RJRT, she worked for a regenerative medicine research lab assisting in the program management of a government-led consortium. Cassie has her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from UNC Wilmington.

Leigh-Kathryn Bonner

leigh-kathryn-bonner_picmonkeyedLeigh-Kathryn Bonner is a third generation NC State graduate, fourth generation beekeeper and the Founder and CEO of Bee Downtown based out of Durham, NC. At NC State she majored in International Studies, had a double minor in Spanish and Nonprofit Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2015. The company, created her junior year, installs and maintains beehives for companies in cities, where bees thrive, while also providing a green marketing opportunity for the businesses that purchase the hives. Currently Bee Downtown has over 40 beehives across the Triangle for 16 different companies. As the company continues to grow the vision is to move to cities around the world. Since starting Bee Downtown the company has been featured and cited in Country Music Television as one of North Carolina’s most interesting businesses, National Geographic, The New York Times, Google, Our State Magazine, The INDY, and more.

Margaret Dawson

margaret-dawson_picmonkeyedA 20-year tech industry veteran, Margaret is a frequent author and speaker on cloud computing, big data, open source, women in tech, and the intersection of business and technology. She is a proven entrepreneur and intrapreneur, having led successful initiatives and teams at several startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and HP.  Margaret is an advisor to Cloud Connect and the Cloud Network of Women (CloudNOW) as well as to multiple early-stage companies and CEOs. She is also an active mentor for men and women in technology.

Currently, Margaret leads global product marketing at Red Hat, the world’s leading open source solution company.  Prior to Red Hat, she was Vice President of Product Marketing and Cloud Evangelist for HP Helion, the cloud computing division of Hewlett-Packard.

Candi K. Faunce 

candi-faunce_photo_picmonkeyedCandi K. Faunce is a Buyer of Indirect Materials & Services for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She provides procurement business support for Research & Development and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. In addition to procurement, she has worked in quality management and manufacturing. Candi graduated cum laude with a BA in Psychology, focused on Industrial/Organizational Psychology, from Southeastern Louisiana University and has an MBA from High Point University.

Amanda Gammons

amanda-gammons_photo_picmonkeyedAmanda Gammons is a Buyer of Materials & Services for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She provides procurement support for Research & Development, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, and affiliate company Niconovum USA, Inc. Prior to her tenure at RJRT, she has worked in multiple industries including furniture and petroleum. Amanda is a graduate of Liberty University. She is married and is the proud mother two children.

Maria Glenn

maria-glenn_picmonkeyedMaria Glenn is co-founder and president of Trinitáz Coaching Systems, INC.. It was formed in 2009 to motivate corporations and facilitate workshops that encourage participants to create their own brands of authentic leadership in order to increase positive influence on the people around them. Maria brings a wealth of experience from corporate America, as she voluntarily retired from Merck & Company after an illustrious 25-year career that included sales, training and marketing to create her own dream job.  Maria has a special interest in leadership training and executive coaching that requires crafting tailor-made programs for organizations that want to optimize productivity. A graduate of The Coaches Training Institute, Maria was certified by the International Coach Federation in 2009 and remains very active in the local chapter. A self-proclaimed yoga and weightlifting junkie, Maria stays active with her husband, David, and their two great kids.

Dorothy Hurt

dorothy-hurt_photo_picmonkeyedDorothy Hurt is a Buyer of Indirect Materials & Services for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She provides procurement support for Innovations, Research & Development, and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. Prior to her tenure at RJRT, she has worked in multiple industries including hospitality, medical, and contingent labor. Dorothy is a graduate of Virginia Tech. She has been married for twelve years and is the proud mother of a six-year-old daughter.

Becky Holmes

becky-holmes-screenshot_picmonkeyedBecky is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She studied Dance, Economics, and Education at Duke University, graduating in 2015 with distinguished honors. While at Duke, Becky was heavily involved in the arts and entrepreneurship. In addition to co-founding a street dance group, she co-founded Connect Fellows, a fellowship program connecting underclassmen with high-impact internships alongside top entrepreneurs in Brazil. She was a part of the inaugural class of Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs, where she started her current business, Ello Raw. Ello Raw is a plant-based, living nutrition dessert bite company that gives back to fight food insecurity. Becky works full time on her raw food startup which is scaling quickly and most recently got accepted as a Whole Foods vendor. She is passionate about food insecurity and socio-economic development, and is using her platform as a food entrepreneur to raise awareness and combat these issues. Becky is a risk-taker and adventurer at heart, having traveled to 6 continents and 13 countries (and counting), and is always excited about the next opportunity to learn, empower, and DO!

Vicky Ismail

vicky-ismail_picmonkeyedPrior to co-founding Carroll’s Kitchen, Vicky owned and operated three successful restaurants with her husband. For 18 years, they ran The Cary Café in Cary, NC, before selling it in 2012. Angelo’s Italian was their second restaurant, located Hollywood, FL, where they enjoyed 13 years of success. The Golden Greek in Miami, FL was their first endeavor with partners. Her roles included recipe and menu development, food costing and catering production, as well as staff training. Currently, Vicky is CEO of Highgrove Estate, an historic venue in Fuquay Varina, NC that produces approximately 85 special events annually and has been doing so for over 12 years.

Awamary Khan

awamary-headshot Awamary Khan has more than 15 years working in the nonprofit- finance, and management sector. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial & Operating Officer for Carolina Small Business Development Fund; a statewide nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that fosters economic development in underserved communities. Prior to Carolina Small Business, she served as the CFO for Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities, and spent 9 years working as the Regional Finance Executive for the American Red Cross – Regional Triangle Area Chapter, during the major disasters – 9/11, the Tsunami, and hurricane Katrina. Awamary co-founded PointClick Technologies, LLC., With her husband, an IT cloud hosting and dedicated managed services company located in Raleigh/Durham. She is also the creative mind behind the Carolina Small Business Innovative and Entrepreneurship Center, a partnership with Shaw University, a catalyst for the Southeast Raleigh and minorities in our community-the triangle, that supports local economic development by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

She received her MBA in Corporate Financial Management from Upper Iowa University and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Shaw University. She also has a certificate in Non-profit management from Duke University and is a certified Community Development Finance professional and a certified Assisted Housing Manager with the U.S. Department of Urban Housing Development. She serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for CASA Esperanza Montessori Charter School in Raleigh, the treasurer for Reinvestment Partners in Durham, a Board member at large for Women for Success in Raleigh, and as an Advisory Board Member to Innovate Raleigh. She is a member of the Betty Eichenberger Adams Society, with CAM Raleigh. She also serves in an industry-led initiative to help develop best practices and standards for CDFI’s financial statements and management, and is a member of the Masters Series of Distinguished Leaders, and Leadership Raleigh.

Awamary spends her leisure time with her 3 beautiful children and husband. She also volunteers at her children’s school, weekend Sunday school, doing Cancer runs, and attending and supporting fundraisers in the community such as the Susan G. Komen and the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. She also supports international organizations supporting education and eliminating hunger for children.

Melissa de Leon

melissa-de-leon_picmonkeyedHaving been recognized locally for her unique personal style, Melissa de Leon started her blog, “Mel in Chanel”, in 2010 to vocalize the importance of fashion expression and being true to yourself. While attending Meredith College, Melissa studied abroad in Paris where she discovered her growing interest in fashion psychology. She received her B.S. from Meredith College for Fashion Merchandising and Design in 2014. After having such success within her blog and influencing women in her hometown of Raleigh, she started her own Personal and Editorial Styling business in August of 2016. Both of her businesses are built following after her mantra “Fashion should reinforce the fact that we were all created as individuals.”

Jessica Maloney

jessica-maloney_photo_picmonkeyedJessica Maloney is a Buyer of Indirect Materials & Services for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She currently provides procurement business support for Marketing Materials and Services. Prior to her tenure at RJRT, she has worked in multiple industries including legal and oil & energy. Jessica graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice, with minors in Forensic Science, Sociology and Psychology, from University of North Carolina Wilmington and will receive her MBA from University of North Carolina Greensboro in December 2016.

Jen McCraw

jen-mccraw_picmonkeyedJen McCraw is a self-proclaimed multipotentialite (after watching a Ted Talk about it of course) who spends her time dreaming about her next big adventure instead of doing her Finance homework. She spent the first 10 years of her career working as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner in emergency rooms and surgical units around the country. She has a Masters in Nursing from Vanderbilt University and considers Nashville, TN one of her favorite homes away from home. As a North Carolina native, she now resides in Durham, NC, with her husband, two pit bulls, and cat, where she is constantly confused as to which basketball team she is supposed to hate.

She began her second career this year as a Senior Product Manager at Relias Learning, a healthcare e-learning company, where she works on new product innovation and has a passion for clinical education that ultimately impacts patient outcomes. She will graduate with her MBA from NC State in a couple of weeks and is most looking forward to choosing her newest side hustle, whether that be stand-up comedy or a personal branding business. She is one of those few people who took her mom’s advice to heart that she can “be whatever she wants to be if she just puts her mind to it.” However, she hasn’t yet figured out how to keep her mind from telling her a different thing she wants to be every day. She has a passion for helping women find and present their best selves so they, too, can have deeply rewarding professional experiences.

Carol Perriccio

carol-perriccio_picmonkeyedCarol Perriccio, CEO of Influence Forward, CMCT®, is a leader in sales, training and operations with over 27 years of experience spanning multiple industries including sales, training and workforce solutions to national insurance, real estate, and nonprofit healthcare organizations throughout the country. She has spent the last 18 years in the life sciences industry developing and leading all training, compliance and operations programs for startup pharmaceutical companies in the Raleigh Durham area. Carol is a popular keynote speaker and conducts influence workshops through her company Influence Forward teaching the power of influence for business and personal success.

Amy Podurgal

amy-podurgal_picmonkeyedAmy has over twenty years of experience as an organization and human resource development practitioner. Amy’s strengths include a strong business acumen, experience in large-scale change, organization diagnosis, and training and development. Executives and teams enjoy working with Amy because of her ability to apply organizational development theories to real business issues. Her genuine compassion for people enables her to quickly build meaningful relationships with both teams and individuals. Amy has experience facilitating and working with companies across the globe and at all levels within an organization.

Prior to founding her own consulting company in 1999, Amy worked for Nortel Networks as a senior manager across customer value management, sales and marketing, human resources, and organizational development. Additionally, Amy led the effort to build two new businesses for Nortel which involved aligning human resources and organizational systems with business goals to create a new entrepreneurial culture. Amy also spent seven years in the pharmaceutical industry as both a training and organization development consultant. Amy delivered management development programs and provided organization development consultation to senior management teams. She also designed and delivered employee training programs and facilitated employee involvement teams.

Dr. Colbey Reid

colbey-reid_picmonkeyedDr. Colbey Emmerson Reid began work as the director of the Consumer Innovation Collaborative (CIC) and professor of practice at NC State Poole College of Management on January 2, 2013. Dr. Reid manages the day-to-day execution of the joint research being conducted with corporate partners and works with MBA students to utilize cutting-edge cultural analyses of innovation and to improve skills in communication and critical thinking. Additionally, Reid teaches courses in critical thinking and communication in the business graduate program.

Previously, Reid was associate professor of English and humanities at York College of Pennsylvania in York, Penn. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Washington, and bachelor’s degrees in English and French from the University of Florida. The recipient of Leon Edel (2009) and Fredson Bowers (2011) awards for her essays on, respectively, the language of accounting in Henry James and the relationship between early twentieth-century design innovation, consumption habits, and avant-garde poetry, Reid’s scholarship focuses on the topics of communication, innovation, creativity and design. She is currently writing a book on the adoption of avant-garde home and fashion design innovations by middle class consumers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and co-editing Radical Interface, an interdisciplinary essay collection on technology and design.

Emily Sexton-Founder

emily-sexton_picmonkeyedWith a past career on Wall Street as a Vice President of Communications and Change Management, Em Sexton brings her ‘win them over’ know-how, delightful enthusiasm and every day wit to encourage American consumers to use their purchasing power for good. From Wall Street to the streets with no name, you can now find Em traveling in developing nations to find gorgeous new goods for her online boutique + Raleigh based fashion truck, The Flourish Market.  She is a monthly contributor to The Huffington Post, and her and her husband are launching their first brick & mortar store on November 1st in Downtown Raleigh!

Stacy Sink

stacy-sink_photo_picmonkeyedStacy Sink is a Buyer of Indirect Materials & Services for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT). She currently provides procurement business support for Marketing Materials and Services, as well as, Research & Development, and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. Prior to RJRT, she worked in multiple industries including animal pharmaceuticals and agriculture chemicals. Stacy has a BS in Agriculture Business Management, with a minor in Animal Science, from NC State University and has an MBA from High Point University.

Lauren Steele

lauren-steele_picmonkeyedLauren began her website as a creative outlet while she was in Law School in 2013. Through blogging, Lauren has appeared in Lucky Magazine, Self Magazine, Walter Magazine, the News and Observer, and has collaborated with Diet Coke, Maggy London, and Henri Bendel. Lauren majored in International Businesses at Mississippi State University and received her law degree from The University of Mississippi, also known as “Ole Miss.” She spent 6 months during college hiding her southern accent while she played Princess Belle at Walt Disney World and spent a summer in California working for MTV Networks as a marketing researcher. She and her husband live in Chapel Hill and have one pup, Nilla.

Dr. Stacy Wood

stacy-wood_picmonkeyedDr. Stacy Wood’s research focuses on how consumers respond and adapt to change or innovation. This applies both to individuals’ processing of new product information and emotional reactions to new innovations, trends, or rituals. Current projects include investigations of new product learning, expert/novice differences in new product adoption, consumer response to technology innovations, medical innovations and patient learning, adoption of risky innovations, and the neuroscience of change behavior. Her work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Retailing.

Wood joined the NC State Poole College of Management in 2010. Previously, she was a co-recipient of the 1997 H. Paul Root Award for the article published in Journal of Marketing that “made the most significant contribution to the advancement of marketing practice” and, in 2001, won the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business Alfred G. Smith award, the school’s top teaching award. She also was the 2007 winner of the Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, the University of South Carolina’s top undergraduate teaching honor.

Wood served as the director for the Center for Neuroeconomic Research at USC and is an affiliated faculty member of MIT’s Convergence Culture Consortium.