2019 Watermark Leadership Conference
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2019 Watermark Leadership Conference

When: Fri, July 26, 2019
8:00am - 5:00pm PT
Where: Gilead Training Center
323 Vintage Park Drive
Foster City, California 
United States
Contact: Erin Tselenchuk

Online registration is closed.
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THIS CONFERENCE IS SOLD OUT! A waitlist is available (please proceed with registration) and you will be notified via phone if space becomes available as late as 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, 7/25/19.

Prestige Members: Complimentary   |   Basic Members: $95   |   Members Bring a Guest for $135   |  Non-Members: $155*

*Non-members: become a Member by July 31, 2019 and your Leadership registration costs will be applied towards any level of membership (Prestige or Basic). Valid for new members only. CLICK HERE to get more information.

Influential and Impactful Thought-Leadership
Register today for our annual Leadership Conference at Gilead on Friday, July 26, 2019. 

Recognizing that today's leaders can be found at all stages of their careers, we’re combining engaging and inspirational speakers with diverse, interactive panels and sessions. Learn more about leadership, and yourself, at this very special conference.



Special Morning Agenda: C-Suite Exclusive Workshop*

7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Pre-Registration for C-Suite Breakfast Workshop* (separate registration is required for this session and you must be a C-Suite in order to attend)

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. C-Suite Breakfast Workshop: Val Wright How to Become Brilliant at Demonstrating Your Brilliance

Results alone will not build and sustain incredible success. Your brilliance will not endlessly carry you forward in your career. Eventually, it will crash on the shoreline, and you will lose that propulsion if you don't create an endless source of continuous thrust by being brilliant at demonstrating your brilliance. With not a moment of bragging in sight! Executives and teams are rewarded and recognized predominantly for their immediate results, whereas, the higher you rise in your executive career you have to pay more attention to how you are demonstrating and sharing your results, impact, and value.

*Included in Leadership Conference registration but only available to those currently in the Watermark C-Suite Networks; registration by invite only.


8:30 a.m. Registration, Breakfast and Networking

10 a.m. Welcome

10:10 a.m. Opening Workshop with On Your Feet: Collaboration in the Age of Uncertainty

What helps teams not only survive, but thrive in times of uncertainty and change? On Your Feet draws from the art of improvisation to provide best practices for groups looking for more innovative and efficient (and fun) ways to strengthen organizational culture. Drawing from over 20 years of applying this art form to business challenges, On Your Feet will provide a series of tools to help any organization, team, or individual contributor relate, create and collaborate better. 

11:00 a.m. Fireside Keynote: John Chambersformer executive chairman and CEO of Cisco and author of Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World, in conversation with Jessica Aguirre, Emmy Award-Winning News Anchor

12:00 p.m. Lunch & Stand-up Leadership Conversations, with Karina Cabrera Bell

1:00 p.m. Girls Who Code with Polina Selyutin, Intuit

1:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops 

Zanette Johnson | Ph.D., YOL
The Neuroscience of Leadership: Mindfulness, Flow, and Trust
Curious to learn a few surprising secrets of great leadership? Build your awareness of the pitfalls and perks of our human neurobiology, and learn how you can immediately implement them to build better alignment between the values you hold and the ways you respond to daily challenges and unexpected twists. Through experiential exercises, we’ll explore how mindfulness, flow, and trust are a leader’s greatest allies in motivating high performance and engagement for yourself and your team.

Kristin Link | Link Coaching
Deliver Technical Information to Non-Technical Audiences
The “Curse of Knowledge” is real. It’s quite possible that you know your subject so well that you assume your audience will understand it, even if they don’t. Given the fact that you have just seconds to either grab your audience’s attention or completely lose it, you can’t afford to waste time. Therefore, it’s imperative that you ensure your audience easily understands your information. In this workshop, we’ll discuss using storytelling techniques to deliver technical information in a captivating way so that it’s comprehensive to your non-technical audience. Bring your technical information and we’ll work to make it compelling, clear and concise so your message will be understood and remembered.

Val Wright | Val Wright Consulting
The Innovation Trifecta: Building a Symbiotic Relationship between Creative, Technical, and Business Minds
Companies that catapult innovation have one common trait: they pay attention to the symbiotic relationship between their creative, business, and technical minds. Too often these three are unintentionally out of balance. But a deliberate focus on how you lead, make decisions, and inspire inside and outside your company will accelerate innovation. Just like the sun, the expertise of your CEO is the pivotal power of your organization, and the rest of your leadership team need complementary talents that orbit the CEO like planets in a solar system. Companies that are too focused and heavy on technical expertise will lose creativity. Companies that are too creative may not have a profitable solution. Companies that weight decisions purely on business metrics won't delight customers and create exponential growth through innovation. The Innovation Trifecta® workshop provides the symbiosis so that you can create innovative products and services that your customers will love.

2:30 p.m. Networking Break

3:00 p.m. Afternoon Panel: The New D&I: Ensuring and Empowering Leadership Advancement with Data

The panel is focused on a new data-driven approach of leadership development, ensuring that all women have opportunities for growth and success. Discussions will be based around specific and successful examples provided around special programs for women of color, LGBTQA+, and socio-economic. Deep dives from each panelist will address the assumptions (and actions) around special opportunities and the impact and alignment of unique opportunities for ensuring the advancement of women in positions of leadership.

Moderator: Carin Taylor | Chief Diversity Officer, Workday


Lori Nishiura Mackenzie | Executive Director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University | Co-Founder, Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab

Lauren Jackman
| Director Global Diversity and Inclusion, Medallia

3:45 p.m. Afternoon Engagement Session: Marilyn Nagel | CEO, Ready Aim Aspire

4:30 p.m. Networking Reception

5:30 p.m. See you at our next event!



John Chambers |  Founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures | Former Chairman & CEO, Cisco
John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures. In his role, Chambers focuses on helping disruptive startups from around the world build and scale, while also promoting the broader development of startup nations and a startup world. He invests in companies across categories and geographies that are leading market transitions, such as Aspire Food Group, Balbix, Bloom Energy, Dedrone, IoTium, Lucideus, OpenGov, Pindrop, Privoro, Rubrik, SparkCognition, Sprinklr, and Uniphore. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Bloom Energy, OpenGov, Pindrop, and Sprinklr. Prior to founding JC2 Ventures, Chambers spent 25+ years with Cisco, serving as CEO, Chairman and Executive Chairman. He currently holds the title of Chairman Emeritus with the organization. With countless lessons learned during his tenure at Cisco, as well as from his experiences working with startups, Chambers wrote Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World in 2018, sharing the management, leadership and business principles that brought him and his teams unmatched success for decades. Chambers is also the Chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and was appointed Global Ambassador of the French Tech by President Emmanuel Macron of France in January of 2018. Chambers has received numerous awards for his leadership, including being named the number two “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” in 2015 from Harvard Business Review, the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation, Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” the “Best Boss in America” by 20/20, and one of BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Executives Worldwide.” Additionally, Chambers has received several international honors, including France's National Defense Gold Medal and India’s Padma Bhushan Award. @johntchambers

Jessica Aguirre | Emmy Award-Winning News Anchor, NBC Bay Area
Jessica Aguirre is the 6 and 11 p.m. evening anchor at NBC Bay Area News and an Emmy award winning journalist. Jessica has been a primetime, evening anchor, in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. She has anchored and reported in Los Angeles, and Miami, including Univision. She has earned several Emmy awards for her coverage, reporting and investigative series on the deadly Sonoma and Napa county firestorms, transgender teen fertility preservation, live coverage of the "Ghostship" warehouse fire, migrant children, and child molesters. As the daughter of immigrant parents, she deeply involved in organizations that promote literacy and help stem the Latino achievement gap including The Silicon Valley Education Fund. Her Emmy nominated education show "Class Action" at issues facing California educators and public schools, including interviews with U.C. President Janet Napolitano, State Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson, and reform activist Michelle Rhee. Her investigative reporting into the aftermath of the Napa earthquake and the impact on local schools led to school safety legislation being introduced by Assemblyman Bill Dodd.


Karina Cabrera-Bell | OpenAccess, Founder & Partner | Reach Mama Network, CEO & Founder
Karina is the Founding Partner at OpenAccess, a boutique talent strategy firm working with companies to close the gender equity gap in the workplace. A relentless champion for women and girls, Karina is also the Founder, CEO, and podcast host of The Reach Mama Network, a company that connects professional moms of color to opportunity and profiles high-powered moms of color about their career journeys. Karina has over 15 years working in all levels of government, including The White House, US Senate and City government. At the Obama White House, Karina lead the Congressional Affairs and Outreach/Recruitment efforts within the Presidential Personnel Office. She devised strategies to strengthen relationships with Congress and key community partners across the country. She developed leadership programs to grow team skills and recruited dynamic leaders to join President Obama’s political team, having led the most diverse federal workforce in history. She also worked in the U.S. Senate as Senior Policy Advisor for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Department of Energy and in local government for the New York City Comptroller’s Office, and on numerous political campaigns including two presidential campaigns (Obama 08’ and Kerry 04’). Karina has been featured in Forbes, ABC News 7 and Univision and she serves on the Community Advisory Panel for KQED Public Media and on the board of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Gary Hirsch | On Your Feet, Partner and Co-founder
Gary Hirsch is a facilitator, performer, street artist, doodler of robots, and the co-founder of On Your Feet (OYF), a consultancy that collides business with the art of improvisation. He is an early pioneer in the field of applied improvisation, helping organizations generate new ideas, collaborate, engage audiences and walk their talk...all while having a ridiculously good time. His clients include Nike, Uber, Intuit, Intel, Disney, Apple, The British Ministry of Defense, and others. As a visual artist, Gary is also the creator of Botjoy, a five-year visual experiment that uses over 50,000 large and small hand-painted 
robots to explore collaboration, inspiration and how art can help and heal. Gary’s public works can be seen in Madrid, Boulder, London, Dallas, Melbourne and around his home town of Portland.

Since 1996, On Your Feet has been using improvisational theater and other experiential methods to help companies create, relate, and communicate... all while having a ridiculously good time. Why improv for business? Like most successful businesses, improv actors are real-time, market-driven innovators: A team works together to create a product (a story) to satisfy a client (the audience) under extreme time pressure (instantly, on the spot). They work with a set of established practices to thrive in a state of constant change and uncertainty. The great thing about these practices is that absolutely anyone can learn and apply them to make work (and life) better. OYF has been fortunate to work all over the globe with organizations such as Nike, Xerox, Disney Parks and Resorts, GE, Intel, McKinsey, Procter & Gamble, NBC-Universal, and a non-profit that brings yoga into prisons.


Lauren Jackman | Medallia, Director Global Inclusion and Diversity
Lauren Jackman is the Director of Medallia’s global Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DIBs), Corporate Social Impact, and Employee Relations Practices. Lauren joined Medallia in 2014, and has helped scale Medallia’s culture as the company has grown from 300 to 1300 employees globally. Prior to joining Medallia, Lauren earned her PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford, where she conducted research on moral decision making and emotions, mindsets about gender roles, and how cultural context can shape behavioral preferences. Her research has been published in leading academic journals, including Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Zanette Johnson, Ph.D | YOL, Director of Learning
Zanette helps teams increase engagement, wellbeing and effectiveness while they reach shared goals. Drawing upon her background as a neuroscientist and her 25 years as a mindfulness practitioner, Zanette teaches people to stay relaxed and consistent as they build alignment between their daily actions and future goals— always using the power of rituals and routines to bring new practices to life in teams and organizations. Zanette holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Religious Studies, a Master’s in Teaching, and a doctoral degree from Stanford University’s transdisciplinary “Learning Science and Technology Design” program.



Kristin Link | Link Coaching, Facilitator
Kristin inspires her clients to discover their stories. In doing so, they learn more about themselves, find their voice and speak their truth. When authentic stories are shared, the impact is quite profound. Prior to being a Public Speaking Coach and Storyteller, Kristin spent years working in tech. With Computer Science degree in hand, she began a career at Hewlett-Packard, first in technical roles, then in sales and marketing before moving into leadership training. Her various jobs often included conveying highly technical information to non-technical audiences. The skillset she learned from this is the foundation of what she shares with her clients. She founded her business, Link Coaching, so she could inspire people to share their stories and create a meaningful difference. She’s had the opportunity to work with a variety of clients, from TEDx speakers to executives to entrepreneurs. Kristin can often be found deeply listening to her clients. Honored to hear their stories. Helping them make a difference.

Lori Nishiura Mackenzie | Executive Director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University | Co-Founder, Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab
Lori Nishiura Mackenzie is Executive Director of Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research and the co-founder of the new Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. She advises the diversity and inclusion efforts at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and teaches executive education. Lori speaks globally at organizations such as the European Central Bank, the Watermark Conference for Women and the World Banking Group. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, BBC, San Francisco Chronicle, and brand eins. Lori was one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2017 and was interviewed for the 2018 documentary, bias. Lori brings 20 years of business management experience from companies including Procter & Gamble, Apple, eBay and PayPal and is on the board of the Alliance for Girls. She has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


Marilyn Nagel | Ready Aim Aspire, CEO
With over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a C-Suite executive, entrepreneur and executive coach, Marilyn is the Chief Learning Officer of SAMI, a game-based leadership development company, and has her own consulting firm, Ready-Aim-Aspire. Her consulting work is widely recognized in the field of diversity and inclusion, women’s development as well as leadership and networking. Prior to starting Ready-Aim Aspire, Marilyn was CEO of Watermark. Before joining Watermark, Marilyn served as Chief Diversity Officer at Cisco. She was recognized as a thought leader in creating inclusive environments, and co-chair of the Conference Board Global Diversity Group as well as senior advisor to the Center for Talent and Innovation. Marilyn holds a Bachelors degree in fine arts and two Masters degrees. She is also ABD on a Doctorate in Public Administration. Marilyn serves on the Board of Directors of Ceres Community Project, and has served on the Board of Directors of Watermark, Professional Business Women of California, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), UPWARD, and Family and Children Services. Marilyn also currently serves on the Advisory Boards of YOL, The Everest Project, as well as the Advisory Council of Courageous Leadership. She is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as Inclusive Leadership, Building Intentional Connections, Inclusive Hiring, Creating Influence, as well as Women’s Leadership. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and frequently contributes to numerous publications. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-nagel/


Mame Pelletier | On Your Feet, Facilitator
Mame Pelletier is a facilitator/improviser/actor/writer out of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. She has been working with On Your Feet since airplanes had room for you to tie your shoes while seated and buckled in. She is currently in a mid-life crisis master’s degree program at the University of Minnesota in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Whiteness Studies. Mame loves cheese.




Carin Taylor | Workday, Chief Diversity Officer
Carin Taylor is chief diversity officer at Workday and has global responsibility for the development and execution of Workday’s inclusion and diversity strategy. Prior to joining Workday, Carin served as the head of diversity, inclusion, and innovation at Genentech where she was responsible for strategic initiatives including executive coaching, building and leading highly effective teams, and increasing employee engagement. She was also responsible for creating strategies to successfully recruit, develop, and retain diverse workforces as well as enabling large organizations to leverage diversity and inclusion to drive innovation. Before Genentech, Carin held various positions in human resources, inclusion and diversity, finance, and customer service at Cisco Systems.


Val Wright | Val Wright Consulting
Internationally acclaimed innovation expert Val Wright was named as one of the top 50 resources for Chief Operating Officers by Clicksoftware. She is one of only 64 experts inducted into Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. The global clients who have requested her help include Starbucks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Financial Times and DreamWorks Animation. Val’s corporate experience includes tenures during dramatic growth periods at Amazon, BMW, Microsoft, Harrods, Marconi and Sema Group. Val participated on the small team that created the fastest-selling device of all time, Kinect for Xbox, which won a Guinness book of world record selling over 20 million devices. This contributed to the turnaround of Microsoft’s Entertainment business from a billion-dollar loss to a multimillion-dollar profit machine. Her unique approach, which she has trademarked as Thoughtfully Ruthless®, has produced typical clients results of market domination in extraordinarily short time frames along with compassionate truth telling, fearlessness, and extensive creative, technical and leadership gains. Val’s books include Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth, which was named best business book by Independent Press Awards and business book of 2017 by The New York Big Book Awards, and Innovation Trifecta: How to Catapult Innovation by Creating a Symbiotic Relationship between Creative, Business, and Technical Teams. Val a regular contributor for CNBC, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Reuters, LA Times, MSN and Today.

Generous thanks to our conference sponsor:


Many thanks to our non-profit partner sponsor and recipient:


And thanks to our generous print sponsor: