President, West Coast, Peppercomm Strategic Communications
Watermark Board Chair
Ann Barlow is Partner and President of Peppercomm West Coast and Managing Director of the agency’s creative/digital group. For more than 25 years, she has counseled b2b and b2c companies of all sizes, nonprofit organizations and universities.
Together with teams from Peppercomm’s offices and affiliates around the globe, she has advocated for clients’ positions with consumers and the public, NGOs and government, and the financial and business communities. Her personal passions are executive presentation coaching, crisis management and digital communications.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Ann is on the board of Illini West and is past board chair of the Professional BusinessWomen of California. She serves on the board of directors for Watermark and is a Watermark Make Your Mark award winner. Ann has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the Bay Area and PR Professional of the Year by PR News.
Evening Anchor, NBC Bay Area News
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 began her career at the Spanish Language network, Univision, while attending the University of Miami. Before arriving in the Bay Area in 1998 she anchored and reported in Los Angeles and Miami, earning Emmy awards for her series on the struggles of migrant children and for her investigative work on child molesters. Her journey to Cuba, chronicling the struggles of boat people fleeing the island, won an Associated Press award. During her tenure at NBC Bay Area Jessica won an Emmy for her poignant, two part series, on the emotional journey of an East Bay transgender teen and her efforts to preserve her fertility before undergoing sex reassignment surgery and another Emmy for her live coverage of the "Ghostship" warehouse fire in Oakland.
More recently Jessica won an Emmy for field anchoring from the deadly Sonoma and Napa county firestorms. 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" took a deep look at the issues facing California educators and public schools. Her signature interviews with education leaders like U.C. President Janet Napolitano, State Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson, and reform activist Michelle Rhee have distinguished her as a leading education specialist in the Bay Area. 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.
Mary Ann Bianco
Mary Ann Bianco is an executive leader with diverse experience driving revenue growth, building and scaling global organizations with a focus on business transformation in the B2B Enterprise space. As Vice President, Customer Success for Oracle’s Cloud SaaS applications business she led the transformation from On-Prem to Cloud SaaS by building out the strategy to deploy and grow a high-touch customer success model – inclusive of sales, intake, implementation, deployment and renewal cycles. With her strong operational career running large scale teams for Oracle’s on-premise business, Mary Ann is known for her knowledge in IT, Governance, Risk and Best Practices for adoption leading a global customer support team for an $800M business unit for Oracle’s largest Fortune 200 customer base.
Mary Ann is committed and passionate about supporting women in the advancement of their career- as an early pioneer in 2006, she was one of the founders of OWL (Oracle Women’s Leadership)- originally a grass roots initiative that grew to over 50,000 women in 27 countries. Mary Ann is currently Vice-Chair of Watermark BOD.
Mary Ann also serves as a peer mentor for an AI Accelerator (Bishop Ranch Intelligence Innovation Accelerator) helping advance early stage AI companies gain momentum from prototype to funding. Mary Ann was a 2010 recipient of the YWCA Twin Award for Female Executives in Silicon Valley, the 2014 Watermark Award for “Women Who Made Their Mark.” She holds a Masters Degree (ED.M) in Education Administration from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science from Slippery Rock University. Mary Ann met her husband, Gary, at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters picnic in Oakland where they bother volunteered and are still today in contact with their Littles.
Partner and President, DeWinter Group
As a Partner at the DeWinter Group, Derek DeWinter helps to lead his organization and maintain its position as the premier finance and technology search firm in the Bay Area. In addition to working with clients and candidates, Derek helps set strategic direction, develop business, hire and train and occasionally shares a funny story picked up during his 20+ years in the search business.
In addition to the DeWinter Group, Derek currently serves as President of a National Search Organization called AAFA – The American Association of Finance & Accounting, and is on the board of directors for Watermark and the Los Gatos Chapter of boys team charity (btc). Derek graduated from Santa Clara University and lives in Los Gatos, with his wife and three 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.
Karineh Khachatourian is Managing Partner of the Duane Morris Silicon Valley office, practicing in the area of intellectual property litigation and counseling. She is also a member of the firm's governing Partners Board.
Karineh is an established IP litigator with a technology focus on enterprise and consumer electronics products. In short, through her experience and vast network, Karineh solves her clients’ IP problems.
Her domestic and international litigation and counseling experience includes utility and design patent infringement, licensing and other IP contract disputes such as inventorship and ownership issues; trade secret misappropriation, particularly with competitors and departing employees; trademark infringement disputes, obtaining and defeating preliminary injunctions in the United States and Germany and inter partes review proceedings at the United States Patent and Trademark office. Karineh also has experience with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
Karineh is deeply involved with Silicon Valley networking organizations. She serves on the board of directors for Watermark and the Executive Committee, and she co-leads of Watermark's General Counsel Network. She’s also a Watermark Make Your Mark award winner.
Karineh is an advisory board member of IP Counsel Café; a partner with Leading Women in Technology as well as with Chips, an organization that advances women in IP law; and is the co-founder of Salonnieres, a social organization for women professionals. Karineh received the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Women of Influence award in 2013 and was selected by The Recorders one of its 2013 Women Leaders in Tech Law.
Monica is the SVP of Product and Solutions Marketing at Nutanix where she’s responsible for driving the global Go-to-Market (GTM), messaging, thought leadership and category creation efforts for the company to take them into the next chapter of growth. She plays a critical role in driving the marketing growth and direction of the company as well as continuing to generate brand/category awareness and the evolving the positioning across Nutanix’s suite of products. Prior to joining Nutanix, Monica had a fulfilling career at Oracle where she launched several ground-breaking PaaS and IaaS solutions to the market including Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM. Most recently, she led the global product marketing and sales GTM for Oracle’s industry-leading, multi-billion dollar Data Management portfolio, including the world's first self-driving Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud. Monica has a strong track record of creating new categories and building businesses from inception to hyper scale - through integrated sales and marketing including thought leadership, awareness, sales GTM strategy, and enablement all coming together to achieve results. Monica is an expert in building, retaining, and motivating teams for maximum performance with a focus on serving customers, the company and its people. She believes that "empathy" is the most critical leadership trait and "managing" an organization is not the same as "leading" them. Monica is passionate about supporting women in STEM and in Leadership. Monica serves on the board of directors for Watermark, an organization whose mission is to increase the number of women in leadership positions. She was awarded “2017 Powerful Women of the Bay” by CDA Consulting Group and “2017 Women of Influence” by The Silicon Valley Business Journal in recognition for being passionate about educating, empowering, and connecting with women in business and the community. Monica draws inspiration from her incredible family and friends who give her unconditional support to strive to become a better person. Follow her on Twitter @mbkumar.
Felicia Mayo is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Tesla. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Authenticity and Inclusion for Juniper Networks where she had 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.
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 her career growth in high-tech in Silicon Valley, starting with Siebel Systems and then Oracle.
Felicia serves on the board of directors for Watermark, and she co-leads the Watermark CHRO Network. 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.
Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Solomon
Cindy Solomon is a world-renowned leadership expert, author and speaker who helps Fortune 5000 companies build Courageous LeadersTM, better enabling their teams and organizations to compete and win in today’s customer-driven economy.
With her Courageous Leadership keynotes and programs, Cindy has helped hundreds of companies around the world identify, nurture and leverage the leadership potential in both their front line employees and their leadership teams. Each year, Cindy and her team train thousands of leaders on how building courageous leadership at all levels within an organization builds bottom line results!
Cindy counts among her clients 26 J.D. Power Award winners, and 16 Best Places to Work companies along with industry leaders such as Google, Alaska Airlines, UPS, Oracle, Wells Fargo and Dow, among others.
One of the most highly sought-after leadership speakers in the world, Cindy has traveled the globe sharing her provocative, and often hilarious insights on business, customer service and courage with tens of thousands each year. She is also a best-selling author on the topic of leadership, with books Creating a Culture of Courage, and The Rules of Woo both available on Amazon.
Western Regional Director, BDO USA LLP
Nicole Ward is Western Regional Director of BDO USA, the fifth largest, global public accounting and professional services firm, providing assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies.
During the course of her business career, Nicole has held leadership roles in marketing, business development, management, strategic planning, training and staffing. Most recently, she 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 from Los Angeles, and graduated from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Nicole serves on several boards within the San Francisco community. She serves on the board of directors for Watermark, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ArtPoint of the De Young Museum, and on the Advisory Committee of the Glow Foundation.
Nicole has also 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 on the board 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.
Senior Wealth Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Leigh Wasson brings 28 years of investment management and client relationship experience to her role as a Senior Wealth Director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management. At BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Leigh collaborates with team members and advisors to develop and implement comprehensive wealth management solutions for entrepreneurs, founders, executives, philanthropists and their family members. Leigh’s areas of specialization includes working with business owners and founders to accelerate the value of their businesses.
Prior to BNY Mellon, Leigh was Regional Managing Director of Northern California for Citi Private Bank. Leigh's background also includes 16 years at JP Morgan with both the private bank and the institutional investment management division, where she was a Managing Director with assignments in Australia, London, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Newport Beach.
Leigh is a member of the Board of Directors of The Japan Society of Northern California, a member of the Advisory Board of Astia and is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor. Leigh earned her BBA in Finance from The University of Texas and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.