IWC Conference Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker

Ms. Gina Poole
Chief Marketing Officer, Game Developers, Amazon

Gina Poole is Chief Marketing Officer for Game Developers at Amazon. With 2.2 billion gamers across the globe, expected to generate $108.9 billion in game revenues in 2017, the gaming industry is the nexus of some of today’s most innovative technologies, creators, and social trends. She is responsible for Amazon’s  Game Services’ commitment to help game developers succeed – no matter where they are in their development lifecycle or how they define their own success. Her charter includes raising their awareness of all the unique and extensive capabilities Amazon’s ecosystem has to offer, including using the cloud to deliver great player experiences, building community engagement, and growing monetization through commerce capabilities.

Previously she was Vice President of Developer Ecosystems & Startups at IBM, creating online and offline communities to drive brand loyalty and capture new business opportunities. She was responsible for IBM’s strategy and global execution to attract new developers, startups, communities, and ecosystem partners.

Prior to that, she was Vice President and creator of IBM’s award-winning, global developer community, developerWorks – one of the IT industry’s most comprehensive web-based technical resources and professional networks for developers, IT professionals, startups, students and faculty, worldwide.  It attracted millions of developers monthly across 195 countries and provided thousands of targeted, how-to resources, spanning open technology topics such as Cloud, Mobile, Cognitive computing, and the Internet of Things.

She also held multiple executive roles at IBM including Vice President of Marketing for Rational Software, Vice President of IBM Software Group Digital Marketing and Vice President, Innovation and University Relations for IBM; all roles with global leadership responsibilities.

Gina graduated from Poole College of Management in 1981 with a BA in Business Administration. Gina also holds degrees in computer science and economics and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Networking Event Keynote Speaker

Ms. Shay Mustafa
Vice President, Consumer Marketing, R.J. Reynolds

Sharonda (Shay) Mustafa has over 19 years of professional experience ranging from senior roles with Fortune 100 companies to co-founder of a technology start up.  She is currently a Vice President in Consumer Marketing for the largest operating company of Reynolds American, Inc. and leads Newport, the company’s flagship brand.

Prior to pursuing marketing, Shay’s early career began in financial services with National Commerce Bancorporation (NCBC), now SunTrust.  She served on the bank’s southeast geographic expansion team and held positions within the company’s consulting subsidiary working with financial institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Shay joined R.J. Reynolds in 1998 as an M.B.A. intern and accepted a full time position after graduating.  During her tenure with Reynolds, she held a range of marketing positions across brands.  After nearly a decade with the company, Shay was recruited to join Visa, Inc., a global payments company.  In her capacity she worked with some of the enterprises largest clients including Bank of America, PNC Bank and Wells Fargo. In 2011 Shay co-found SAVVEO, Inc., a technology start-up. She was instrumental in taking the business from concept to commercialization and she continues to serve as an advisor to the company today.  Shay rejoined Reynolds in the fall of 2014 and was promoted to lead Newport in March of 2016.

Shay earned her MBA in Marketing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she was awarded the program’s highest honor, the Gower Outstanding Leadership Award and a BA in Business Administration from Rhodes College.

Shay grew up in a family that values hard work and resourcefulness.  These values, and a desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, are her daily motivation.  Her passions include supporting S.T.E.M. education and creating sustainable economic growth through early-stage entrepreneurship.  She and her husband Shafi live near Greensboro, NC with their two amazing daughters.

Conference Speakers

Dr. Leigh Shamblin
NC State Executive Education Program Director, Jenkins MBA McLauchlan Series Director

Bio Coming Soon!

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton
Professor of Information Systems/Technology, NC State University; Founding Director,

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton is a Full Professor of Information Technology/Systems at North Carolina State University and was named a University Faculty Scholar for her leadership in turning research into solutions to society’s most pressing issues. Prior to her current role, she worked at IBM, Time Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young prior as a systems engineer, programmer and consultant prior to joining academe. She has appeared on CBS Radio Network, National Public Radio, and other to discuss her research including user experience & design, health disparities/informatics, tech leadership, social and data analytics, and under-represented groups in computing and other STEM disciplines.

In 2016 she was named the North Carolina Technology Association Tech Educator of the Year.

Ms. Megha Mehta
Product Marketing Manager, Security at Cisco

Megha has been working in the tech industry for over 6 years. She started her career as a software engineer developing games and mobile apps, and recently pivoted to marketing. She did her undergrad in Computer Science Engineering from India and got her MBA from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. She loves to travel and is eagerly awaiting Patrick Rothfuss’ next book!

Dr. Kelly Smith
Director of Microbials Development at AgBiome

An experienced biotechnology innovator, Kelly Smith has returned to the entrepreneurial community after serving as Head of Pasteuria Bioscience for Syngenta Crop Protection. She was a co-founder of Pasteuria Bioscience, where she developed the proprietary Pasteuria manufacturing process. She served most recently as CTO prior to its acquisition by Syngenta. Prior to Pasteuria Bio she worked in research and development for Entomos, Inc, developing an early version of the Pasteuria fermentation process, and Hercules Chemical, developing biocides and biological diagnostics for the paper industry.

Ms. Dorothy Hurt
Senior Buyer, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

Dorothy Hurt has provided procurement support to numerous functions including Human Resources, Public Affairs, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Research & Development, and RAI Innovations Company.  She has worked in the industry for the last three years acting as a trusted advisor to the internal business units that she supports.  Her role includes strategic sourcing, contract negotiation, supplier relationship management, and risk mitigation.  Dorothy appreciates that her role allows her to work with a diverse group of individuals on a variety of projects.

Ms. Jessica Maloney
Senior Buyer, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

Jessica Maloney has provided procurement support for the last seven years to numerous functions including Consumer Marketing, Trade Marketing, Strategy & Planning, and Research & Development. Prior to her tenure at RJRT, she has worked in multiple industries including legal, retail and consumer services.  Jessica earned her M.B.A. from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from The University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Dr. Rosanna Garcia
Associate Professor, Poole College of Management, NC State University

Dr. Rosanna Garcia joined NC State University in August 2014 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Innovation+Design. As an expert in the diffusion of innovations, Dr. Garcia’s research has focused on how to introduce ‘resistant’ innovations to a reluctant marketplace. She is author of the textbook, Creating and Marketing New Products & Services, published by CRC Press and has 19 years of experience in academia. As a small business owner, she was elected as an SBA White House Business Council representative for the State of Massachusetts, and has three patents resulting from her time in industry. Dr. Garcia holds a Ph.D. in marketing from Michigan State University.

Ms. Beverly (Bev) Porter
Director of Graduate Programs, Poole College of Management Career Center

Bev Porter joins the North Carolina State University, Jenkins Graduate School of Management (Jenkins) after ten years of employment at Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business (Fuqua).  Prior to joining Jenkins, Bev was a Corporate Relations Director at Fuqua.  She was responsible for initiating and managing external relationships with C-suite executives and other corporate managers and leading internal teams within Fuqua and across Duke to meet a wide variety of corporate, Fuqua and shared needs.  She has over a decade of experience in MBA career services through career counseling, program development and delivery, and international coaching.

Bev began her career at Fuqua in 2004 as an Assistant Director of Career Services and was advanced to a Senior Career Consultant prior her last position, Corporate Relations Director, reflecting a growing scope of responsibilities. Prior to Fuqua, Bev managed a Project Management Team at Performaworks in Raleigh, NC.  In addition to leading a cross functional team of project managers, she was the Senior Project Manager for the largest international client implementation in the company’s history. Bev led the team in launching the largest 360 Development program in U.S. History.  She reorganized the Project Management Team resulting in a cross-functional, process-oriented organization capable of managing all aspects of client services.

Prior to joining Performaworks, Bev held supply chain, procurement, human resources, and  customer service positions at  Aventis Crop Science (now Bayer Crop Science).   She was also a key member of the Aventis Executive Integration Team responsible for all aspects of integrating three international companies. She designed and implemented critical human resource programs in support of the merger. She was the recipient of many awards demonstrating her commitment to excellence.

Bev earned a B.A. in Materials and Logistics Management  from Michigan State University and a Masters of Education in Counseling from NC State University.

Ms. Amanda Keister
Associate, Smith Anderson

Amanda advises clients ranging from entrepreneurs to micro-cap publicly traded companies. She also assists larger public companies with registered securities offerings, ongoing SEC and exchange listing compliance and corporate governance matters. Before obtaining her J.D./M.B.A., Amanda interned with the General Counsel of Nokia Corp. and the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dr. Nicole Schwerbrock
Director, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization

Dr. Nicole Schwerbrock is Director of Technology Development and Commercialization at the SBTDC. She and her team assist with the formation and growth of businesses based on technological innovations, providing strategic and tactical advice to pre-venture entities, university start-ups and small businesses. Prior to joining the SBTDC, Dr. Schwerbrock served as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow at the UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy (ESOP), where she engaged in identifying, supporting and promoting viable technology commercialization opportunities originating from the School.  Nicole is multi-lingual and -cultural, as holds a PhD from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-CH.

Ms. Awamary Lowe-Khan
Executive VP, Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Awamary Khan has more than 15 years working in the nonprofit- finance, and management sector. She has held leadership positions with organizations such as the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities and American Red Cross. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of PointClick Technologies, LLC., an IT cloud hosting and dedicated managed services company. 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 the Triangle.

Amber Banks
VP of Business Lending, Carolina Small Business Development Fund 


Amber Banks serves as Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s Vice President of Business Lending. The underwriting and loan servicing processes manager, she also assists with portfolio management, risk analysis, and loan servicing. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance from NC Central University, Amber has a insightful experience in the industry, having previously worked as a senior credit analyst with Mechanics and Farmers Bank. She’s made a great impact in community business development in her work with women and minorities at Carolina Small Business Development Fund. 

Ms. Modupe’ Rouse Congleton

Head of Global Logistics Marketing & Communications, Cisco

Modupe’ manages all stakeholder engagement, executive communications and marketing presence for Cisco’s Supply Chain Global Logistics. Currently, she serves on the planning committee to build a new Cisco Innovation Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Modupe’ is the Social Media Strategist for the Cisco Inclusion and Collaboration strategic partnership with the Executive Leadership Council – a prominent organization established to strengthen the African American presence in the C-suite. For the past 11 years, she has held influential roles in Advanced Services, Sales, Channels and Customer Operations. She holds an Executive Masters in Organization Leadership from Villanova University, a Bachelors in Mass Communications with a concentration in Communication Studies from NC Central University, and a host of professional certifications.

Ms. Kelli Holloway
Manager, Member Education & Outreach at NC State Employees’ Credit Union

Kelli Holloway began her career in financial education with North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union in 2009. Kelli is the manager of the Member Education and Outreach Department and serves as the Financial Wellness coordinator for the Credit Union, working to train staff statewide on financial literacy efforts for youth and adults. She serves on the NC Jumpstart Coalition Board, a coalition actively engaged in promoting personal financial literacy among youth. Kelli has a B.A. in Communication Studies and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Visit her blog at

Ms. Shana Overdorf
Executive Director at Partnership to End Homelessness

A community building professional with nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience, Shana Overdorf is a leader in community advocacy. Overdorf currently serves as the Executive Director of the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End & Prevent Homelessness (Partnership), working tirelessly to positively impact, assist and improve the quality of life for homeless members of the Wake County community. Prior to her current role, Overdorf held a number of leadership positions within organizations such as Fort Bragg Regional Alliance, Legal Aid of North Carolina and Durham Crisis & Response Center. She serves on the Board of Directors for A Place at the Table and Dorothea Dix Advisory Council.

Ms. Natalie Bullock-Brown
Assistant Professor, Saint Augustine’s University

Natalie Bullock Brown is an award winning and Emmy nominated producer and consultant, and a filmmaker.  She is currently working on her first feature length documentary film as a director, which will look at beauty standards and their impact on black females. She recently produced a multi-part DVD series documenting the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference of Freedom Summer, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC ) 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference. Natalie is an assistant professor in the Department of Media & Communications at Saint Augustine’s University, and has held teaching positions at NC State University and North Carolina Central University. She has worked with UNC-TV, PBS, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and National Geographic Television. Natalie holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northwestern University.