Announcing ATC’s newest series: Women in Tech
Thank you for joining the founding group of Austin Technology Council’s Women in Tech for the first-of-its-kind series offering an exclusive opportunity for women executives in Austin to network and learn from other women leaders in Technology. The four-week breakfast series in February was hosted at the offices of Vinson & Elkins. The purpose of these events was to connect executive level leaders in technology and foster growth for women in the technology industry. Topics and panel leaders are listed below:
February 6: Finding and Raising Capital
Lynn Atchison, HomeAway (Chief Financial Officer)
Atchison joined HomeAway as chief financial officer in August 2006 and is responsible for managing all financial aspects of the company. She has nearly 30 years of finance and operations experience, including expertise in financial management and reporting, securities filings, facilities management and legal and human resources. This experience earned her the title “CFO of the Year” for large private Austin companies in 2009.
Prior to HomeAway, Atchison was CFO of Infoglide Software, where during her tenure revenue grew more than 160 percent. Likewise, in her positions as senior vice president and CFO at Hoover’s Online, Atchison helped lead the business from a private to a publicly-owned company, increasing revenues by ten times and was instrumental in the sale of the company to Dun & Bradstreet in 2003.
She has also served as vice president and CFO for Travelogix Inc., a senior manager for Ernst & Young LLP and spent time in private practice. Atchison holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Stephen F. Austin University. She currently serves on the Austin Technology Council board of directors.
René Yang, Vista Equity (Vice President)
René Yang joined Vista Equity Partners in 2007. She currently works with the firm’s investment in Accruent, Bullhorn and Mitratech.
Prior to joining Vista, René worked at Yahoo! in the Corporate Finance Group, focusing on mergers & acquisitions and business development opportunities for the company. Before working with Yahoo!, René worked in the Global Technology Group at Lehman Brothers, advising technology clients on buy-side and sell-side transactions, equity and debt financings, and other strategic advisory initiatives.
Gail Page, Vineyard Investment Advisors (Partner)
Ms. Page served as the President / CEO of Vermillion, Inc from Jan 2006 thru December 2012. She was a member of the board from 2006 through 2012 and served as Chairperson from 2010-2011. Going forward she will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to the company. Vermillion is a healthcare company focused on developing and commercializing novel diagnostic blood test. Upon joining Vermillion in 2004 she inspired a pioneering spirit. Under her leadership the company was repositioned to embrace the progressive nature of its pipeline, successfully raised over $100M in funding, developed and commercially launched the first FDA-cleared blood test to help diagnose ovarian cancer. Ms. Page has spent her entire career in health care and has a passion for emerging technologies that advance the efforts in personalized medicine. Ms. Page is a member of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Advamed, ACLA, and the Texas Tricities NACD. In addition, Ms. Page serves as a board member for Sword Diagnostics in the Chicago area, and is actively involved in the local community where she serves as a board member for the Austin Chamber Commerce SIG, the Advisory Board for the Austin Technology Incubator, BBVA Compass Bank and the Austin Technology Council. She is a frequent guest speaker for the Rampcorp program of Texas State and other local and national organizations. In 2010 Ms. Page was recognized by Forbes Woman and Business Week for her work in the healthcare sector. In 2012, Ms. Page was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in central Texas and was recognized as one of the top 20 business leaders in the Austin area.
In the year’s preceding Vermillion, Ms. Page served in various management roles with the following companies: American Monitor Corporation, Roche/ Laboratory Corporation of America and Luminex.
Ms Page earned her degrees from Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida. In 2003 she completed an executive management program at the Kellogg School in Chicago.
She resides in Austin, Texas and has one daughter, Madison Page, who is a senior at Lake Travis High School.
February 13: Retaining Talent
Susanne Bowen, People Admin (Chief Executive Officer)
Susanne Bowen is an accomplished CEO, industry leader and board director in the software industry. She has led three SaaS companies as CEO and has served on public, private and professional association boards, contributing expertise in market strategy and leading growth.
Ms. Bowen brings over 25 years of sales and general management experience in technology companies to her current role as CEO for PeopleAdmin, Inc. Susanne Bowen leads operations and guides overall business strategy as this market leading provider of Talent Management Solutions to higher education and the public sector drives market and product expansion.
Susanne has established herself as an accomplished leader in the Human Capital Management (HCM) field with expertise in delivering software as a service. She served as the CEO of Webhire, Inc., a leading Talent Management provider assisting mid-size companies and healthcare organizations attract, hire and retain top talent. Prior to Webhire, Susanne held the position of Executive Vice President of Sales and Services for Workscape, Inc., where she was instrumental driving customer results through innovative employee communication, performance management and benefits outsourcing solutions.
In addition to her role as Director on PeopleAdmin’s board, Ms. Bowen currently chairs the Austin Technology Council’s Community Foundation which educates, inspires and leads Central Texas’ next generation of technology students so that they develop the skills required for our future. She previously served as Chairperson of Webhire, a public company, and served as Director for two privately-held software start-ups. Susanne has also been active in community organizations. She served as a Director and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for The Boston Club, the area’s largest organization for high-achieving senior executive and professional women. She has been a member of the Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit mentoring organization for women entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate executives and Social Venture Partners, where she worked to give back to the community by applying venture investment philosophies to philanthropic endeavors.
Susanne Bowen earned her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, and attended the Wharton School, Aresty Institute of Executive Education, Directors’ Consortium. She resides in Austin, Texas.
Laura Kilcrease, Triton Ventures (Managing Director)
Ms. Kilcrease is founder and managing director of Triton Ventures, LLC, a venture capital fund investing in spinout and early-stage technology companies. With more than 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology, Ms. Kilcrease has a deep understanding of how to cultivate new opportunities to “grow businesses around businesses” as well as how to deconstruct and reconstruct business models to achieve significant results.
Ms. Kilcrease founded Triton Ventures in January of 1999 to provide management and operational leadership to emerging technology-based spinout companies formed to acquire and commercialize technology developed by Fortune 500 companies and other large domestic and foreign corporations, universities, and government or private research institutions. As managing director of the firm, she sources, structures, performs due diligence for, negotiates, and manages venture capital investments focused on information technology, energy-related technologies, advanced materials, and communications. She provides ongoing counsel to portfolio companies regarding management teams, industry and financial marketplace issues, introduction of strategic and investment partners, and positioning the company for public offering, merger, or sale. She has served as director on the boards (including audit and compensation committees) of portfolio companies Applied Science Fiction, Charitygift, Exterprise, Hart Intercivic, and LNNi.
Ms. Kilcrease was one of the key participants in changing the economic landscape of Central Texas into the high tech environment that is widely recognized today. From 1992 to 1997 she served as executive director of The University of Texas IC2 Institute’s Center for Commercialization and Enterprise (C2E), which developed commercialization strategies for universities, government laboratories and research consortia, and R&D departments of major corporations. The largest of these projects, the NASA Ames Technology Commercialization Center in Sunnyvale, California, spun out 32 new businesses that raised over $55 million in venture capital in three years.
While at IC2, Ms. Kilcrease also co-developed and launched the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), serving as its founding executive director from 1989 to 1996. The ATI was one of the country’s first technology business incubators, designed to identify and build innovative new business models commercializing technology developed in university research, start-up companies spun-out from Fortune 500 companies, and other emerging businesses. Under her leadership, the ATI selected and established over 70 technology-based companies that created nearly 1,500 jobs and secured approximately $170 million in funding.
Ms. Kilcrease also launched The Capital Network, one of the largest “business angel” investor networks in the United States with over $150 million in completed transactions, and co-founded and launched the Austin Technology Council, a premier networking organization that cultivated the growth of the Austin economy.
Prior to her work with C2E, Ms. Kilcrease spent almost 20 years in executive management, operating, merging, acquiring, turning around, or selling high technology companies for both Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging firms.
From 1985 to 1988 she was chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Nova Graphics International Corporation, a venture-backed software company based in Austin. From 1975 to 1984 she was financial and sales manager of Control Data Corporation in London, where she was responsible for financial reporting, forecasting, and planning for six major business units in the European headquarters of this Fortune 1000 company.
An active member of the community, Ms. Kilcrease has given her time and expertise to a number of nonprofit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, and the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, among many others.
She has often been recognized for her outstanding achievements and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and UT’s McCombs School of Business Women in Business Leadership Conference Trailblazer Award.
Born in London, Ms. Kilcrease has been a permanent resident of the United States since 1984. She received her certification as a Chartered Management Accountant in the U.K. in 1980 and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992.
Allen Sockwell, Sockwell Advisors (Founder & President)
Allen is the Founder of Sockwell Performance Advisors, an enterprise performance consulting firm. For over 25 years Allen has worked with leadership teams at technology companies across the Semiconductor, PC Systems, Software, Networking and Storage sectors building the human capital needed to execute critical business strategies. His work has centered on assessing organization capability and developing strategies to improve leadership effectiveness and financial performance.
As an executive coach and advisor Allen has worked with CEOs and executive teams from start-up through rapid growth and restructuring. He has counseled global companies through the critical executive transitions of the CEO, CFO, geography president, business unit head, founder/CTO and other key executive roles. Allen has worked with senior management and boards advising them on high-risk executive departures, new leader recruitment and effective on boarding.
Prior to founding Sockwell Performance Advisors Allen was Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD), a public Fortune 400 Company with revenues exceeding $6B. At AMD he led the worldwide Human Resource function including global business unit support, talent management, learning and organization development, compensation and benefits, employee relations and HR service delivery.
At AMD Allen was a key member of the strategy and operating committees that implemented plans resulting in the longest period of sustained profitability in the company’s history. A key element of this success was the improvement of AMD leadership capability by replacing over 50% of the global executive population. Allen led a restructuring of the compensation and benefits programs simplifying design, improving linkage to business performance and eliminating over $20 million in inefficient annual spend. Throughout these restructuring efforts AMD employee retention exceeded industry benchmarks and employee engagement scores improved dramatically. Allen also guided AMD through the divestiture of the Digital TV and Handheld units, the spin out of wafer manufacturing operations and integration of computer graphics leader ATI.
Before joining AMD Allen served as Vice President of HR for a start-up that became a public company, Crossroads Systems (NASDAQ:CRDS), and Vice President of HR for the global supply chain and manufacturing operations of Compaq Computer where he led integration projects for DEC and Tandem Computers. He started his career at the IBM Corporation. Allen currently serves on advisory boards of 3 early stage companies.
Allen has a BS in General Management from Purdue University and has continued his professional development at the Harvard Business School, London Business School and Columbia University. He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and five children.
Moderator: Jacqueline S. Martin, Sockwell Performance Advisors
Ms. Martin is the principal of J S Martin Associates, LP, providing consulting services in the areas of development, fundraising, strategic collaboration and strengthening corporate cultures. Ms. Martin founded her consulting business in June 2005.
Prior to starting her consulting business, she served as president of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast for more than six years, the largest charitable giving organization in the Houston area.
Ms. Martin is a sixth generation Texan, born and raised in Austin. She attended Tennessee State University and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Sociology from Texas Southern University.
Ms. Martin has devoted over 30 years to serving the community professionally and personally in human services. She serves on the Discovery Green Park Conservancy Board and the Women’s Advisory Board of Vinson & Elkins. Ms. Martin was recognized in 2003 as Executive Communicator of the Year by the Houston Business Journal and International Association of Business Communicators, Houston Chapter.
February 20: Emerging Markets
Colette LaForce, AMD (Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer)
Colette LaForce is senior vice president and chief marketing officer, responsible for leading global integrated marketing for AMD. Prior to joining the company in May 2012, LaForce served as global vice president and chief marketing officer of Dell Services, the approximately $8 billion IT services business unit of Dell Inc.
As CMO of AMD, LaForce is responsible for marketing strategy, branding, internal and external communications, corporate events, sponsorships and entertainment marketing. She is chartered with ensuring AMD’s corporate and industry-leading product brands are fresh and relevant for customers and stakeholders, while helping to position the company for long-term growth.
In her prior role leading marketing for Dell Services, LaForce was responsible for demand generation, internal and external communications, marketing communication, events, sales enablement and alliance partnerships. Prior to her tenure at Dell, LaForce spent nearly a decade in marketing and communications leadership roles for a variety of technology and venture capital companies, including Rackable Systems (now SGI), Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accenture.
LaForce has a Bachelor of Arts and graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas.
Shelly Van Dyke, Freescale (Strategy and Market Research Manager)
Shelly Van Dyke is in Corporate Strategy at Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., where she provides strategic, market & economic analysis, working with contributors from across Freescale businesses and throughout the industry. Currently, Shelly is also serving on the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics Board of Directors. She has more than 24 years experience in the semiconductor industry, including positions in business and manufacturing strategy, technology licensing, multiple process and device engineering and management positions in wafer fabrication, and quality. Shelly has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas, and an MBA from Regis University.
Moderator: Sue Snyder, Vinson & Elkins (Partner)
Before rejoining Vinson & Elkins in 2012, Sue served as Executive Legal Counsel and Vice President of International Policy and Relations for a multi-national semiconductor company. In that capacity, she managed general law matters, environmental matters, corporate matters, litigation, and other areas; created the company’s policy department; and oversaw corporate social responsibility. Sue negotiated with world leaders, foreign dignitaries, government officials, and chief executives to resolve environmental issues and global trade challenges, and to facilitate new investments in many jurisdictions, including Japan, Republic of Korea, China, European Union, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, Taiwan, and India.
Sue also is a Lecturer at The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business in Business Law, International Business and Operations, and Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Sue has been quite active in numerous professional endeavors. She has served as a chair of and a representative on various legal and policy committees of domestic and international trade associations in the high technology area. Sue taught courses at The University of Texas School of Law as an adjunct professor in environmental law and was the first chair of the Travis County Bar Association High Tech Committee. She also has hosted the Austin television program “Ask an Attorney” and served many years as the coordinator of the Austin Metropolitan Area In-House Counsel Group.
Betsy Neidel, Blue Heron Holdings, LLC (Managing Director)
Betsy Neidel has spent more than 20 years working in US–China business, with both US and Chinese companies. Her experience spans a wide range of functions and industries, from building a Chinese office staff from two expats to 18 locals, to negotiating with Chinese government representatives and ministries, to creating quality control plans for US–China joint venture partners.
The geographic scope of her experience in operations and relationship management has spanned much of Greater China. Through prolonged local involvement she has gained in-depth, first-hand knowledge and experience on how to work effectively in that ever-changing environment. As the Founder and Managing Director of Blue Heron Holdings, LLC, Neidel’s goal is to use what she has learned over the years to help other companies grow and compete successfully in US-China dealings.
Prior to founding Blue Heron, Neidel held senior roles in Dell, Inc serving US and Asia-based business units; in Commercial Metals Company in Beijing and New York; and in Global Sources Media Group in Hong Kong and Taiwan. She holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Neidel lived and worked in Greater China continuously for nearly a decade. She is a functionally fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese and frequently presents on US–China Intercultural Strategies. She has been an Adjunct Professor at St. Edward’s University School of Management and Business in Austin, Texas and is an American Society for Quality Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
Neidel is also a member of the US–China Business Council, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, the American Society for Quality and numerous other commercial and educational organizations in the United States. Through Blue Heron Holdings, she is nationally certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the WBE Southwest Regional Council.
February 27: End Game Strategies
Melissa Fruge, HomeAway (General Counsel)
Cathy Fulton, NetQoS Inc. (Former Executive Vice President)
Dr. Cathy Fulton founded NetQoS in 1999 to provide network management software to Global 2,000 companies. As chief technology officer and executive vice president of products, she helped grow the company from inception to a 250-person strong global team offering half a dozen unique products engineered from its two development centers. By the time the profitable company was acquired by CA Inc. in 2009, it had recorded more than $50 million in annual revenue and had more than 1,000 enterprise customers, including more than half of the Fortune 50.
Prior to founding NetQoS, Cathy worked as a research scientist for Schlumberger, the leading oilfield services provider. She was also an independent consultant, providing services to major firms such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Samsung.
Cathy served five years in the U.S. Navy at Naval Nuclear Power School. She taught heat transfer and physics and was widely recognized as one of the top instructors at the school. She is the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and designated a Master Training Specialist.
Cathy received her doctorate in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin; she specialized in the performance analysis of multimedia networks. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Texas A&M University, and is a Senior Member of the UT Engineering Advisory Board, a member of the UT Chancellor’s Council and a Friend of Alec.
Cathy is the mom to three wonderful children, and has a special interest in the education of children with special needs. She is a long-time bicycle commuter/enthusiast, and more recently, a competitive triathlete.
Wendy Salinas, Vinson & Elkins (Attprney) Wendy’s practice focuses on tax-exempt finance, taxable finance, and tax litigation. Wendy’s tax-exempt finance practice includes reviewing, structuring, and advising on tax-exempt bond transactions that involve hospital, university, charter school, and solid waste facility borrowers. In her taxable finance practice, Wendy advises borrowers and lenders on the tax implications of domestic and cross-border financing transactions. Her tax controversy practice includes assisting companies in audits, administrative appeals, and litigation involving tax shelters and international tax issues.
Stephanie Lucie, Austin Ventures (General Counsel)
Stephanie Lucie joined Austin Ventures in 2011 as General Counsel. She is responsible for all legal and compliance aspects of AV’s operations. She brings over 20 years of legal experience, and previously held management positions with Entorian Technologies, Cirrus Logic, and Compaq Computer Corporation. Her legal career began with large law firms in New York City and Houston.
Stephanie received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she served on the Duke Law Journal, and she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame.