International Women's Day Event: #Pressforprogress – Advancing Women in Finance

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New pricing options to attend just the Fireside Chat / Panel Discussion



Carrie Schwab-PomerantzCarrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Chair & President of Charles Schwab Foundation (Fireside Chat)

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is a leading advocate for financial literacy and one of America’s most trusted sources for financial advice. She has devoted her career to helping men and women from all walks of life achieve financial security. In addition, she oversees Schwab’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs, which aim to strengthen the communities where Schwab operates.

Carrie serves as director and board chair of Schwab Charitable, one of the country’s largest donor-advised funds. She also serves on the national board of governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has chaired the board of trustees for the Pacific region.

Carrie earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from George Washington University.

She holds FINRA Series 7, 23, 63 and 8 securities registrations, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant. Under her leadership, Charles Schwab Foundation has made important strides in promoting financial literacy. Carrie speaks and writes extensively about personal finance, financial literacy, and philanthropy. She is also on Twitter (@CarrieSchwab) and is a LinkedIn ‘Influencer,’ regularly offering insights on personal finance, leadership, and philanthropy to a worldwide audience. For more than ten years, The San Francisco Business Times named her one of the Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business, and in 2015 included her in its “Forever Influential” Honor Roll. In 2011, Carrie received the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, Jump$tart Coalition’s highest recognition for contributions to financial education. And in 2015, she was nominated by the San Francisco Chronicle for its inaugural “Visionary of the Year” award, recognizing Bay Area leaders who drive social and economic change through innovation.


Debbie MessemerDebbie Messemer, Managing Partner, KPMG Bay Area Market (Fireside Chat)

Debbie Messemer’s primary responsibilities include leading and representing KPMG in the marketplace, development of marketplace strategies, overseeing the delivery of high quality client service, and attracting and retaining key resources. Debbie has significant client service experience, has served as a mentor for numerous employees and partners, and has held several leadership positions within the firm. Debbie has spent a significant portion of her career serving financial services organizations, including banks, private equity, and venture capital clients.

Debbie graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA Degree in Accounting.

Debbie serves on the boards of the Bay Area Council, University of California Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, San Francisco Committee on Jobs, Posse, and Project Glimmer. Debbie also serves on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco Ballet and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, the National Association of Corporate Directors, and Financial Women of San Francisco. Debbie is a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of Women Corporate Directors, a past recipient of KPMG’s Chairman’s Award for outstanding volunteer and community service, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Fortune Magazine's Insiders column. She has been recognized as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and the 2016 Financial Woman of the Year by the Financial Women of San Francisco.


Sheila LewisSheila Lewis, CEO, Ashton 212 (Panel Moderator)

Sheila Lewis began her product development career climbing the ranks of corporate America at firms including Quaker Oats, Visa International, and Lane Bryant. After 15 years, she founded Flyin’ West, a business and marketing strategy consultancy. From 1997 to 2012 Sheila grew the firm into a highly respected firm with satisfied clients and consultants from coast to coast. In 2012, Flyin’ West expanded its services to include interim staffing which signaled the need for a new brand. Sheila enjoys the art and act of building and expanding business. Over the years she has worked with entrepreneurs and their leadership teams to link the thought of business growth to the business rigor and behavior necessary to achieve it.

Sheila is a sought-after speaker with a gift for inspiring her audiences on topics that are critical in the establishment, growth and sustainability of business. She also regularly serves as an emcee for charitable events. A longtime volunteer leader, Sheila works with select nonprofit organizations to help them to refine processes and enhance awareness of these groups in the community. She currently serves on the Northwestern Board of Directors of Operation HOPE; the Leadership Committee of 2.Oakland; the Economic Development Committee of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce; and the Executive Board of Advisors of the Bay Area Women Leader's Network.

Sheila earned her BS in Business Administration from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri and her MBA with highest honors in marketing and finance from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.


Kathleen DunlapKathleen Dunlap, Former CEO, Girls Who Invest (Panelist)

Kathleen Powers Dunlap is the former Girls Who Invest’s chief executive officer and an investment management industry veteran with over 35 years of experience.

Most recently, Kathleen was a partner and investment committee member at Fiduciary Research and Consulting. Prior to FRC, she was managing director and head of the Institutional Investor Team at Barclays Capital in New York City. Kathleen held leadership positions with Epoch Investment Partners, a $3B Chicago-based hedge fund, and was the CEO of PrivateTrade. Beginning in 1989, Kathleen spent more than a decade as a managing director with Barclays Global Investors. Early in her career, she held positions with Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody.

Kathleen received a BS in Economics from the University of San Francisco.


Carolina NuezCarolina Nuñez, Vice President, Regional News Director for Univision in Northern California (Panelist)

Carolina Nuñez is currently the vice president, regional news director for the Univision Northern California television stations.

For more than 15 years she has created content for Hispanic Media in United States. She has worked for market leaders in radio, television, and digital in Miami, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. Through her work with local communities, she and her teams have been recognized with several regional awards — including the Emmys, the radio and television news Directors Association awards, and the Society of Professional Journalism awardsn

Her daily mission is to inform and empower Latinos, and to give voice to their lives and challenges. Bogota, Colombia, Carolina was raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been an immigrant for as long as she can remember.

Her most current challenge is trying to teach Spanish to her toddler daughter Victoria.


Helen RussellHelen Russell, Founder & CEO, Equator Coffees (Panelist)

Under Helen Russell's leadership of more than 20 years, Equator has grown from a small roaster and wholesale supplier into a national brand known for its values-driven approach, award-winning coffee, and impactful action around issues of environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. Helen led Equator to become the first coffee roaster in California to earn Certified B Corporation status and a reputation as an early champion of Fair Trade practices and direct relationships. For 12 years in a row, Equator has remained on The San Francisco Business Times’s list of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses, and in 2016, became the first LGBT Certified business to win SBA Small Business of the Year for the State of California.

After two decades in the wholesale business, Helen guided Equator towards deepening its relationships with the local community by opening seven retail locations in the Bay Area. Equator’s constant innovation and focus on quality and culinary complexity has attracted a loyal cadre of prominent chefs and bakers — including Thomas Keller of The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière, Suzanne Goin of Tavern/Larder in LA, and Tyler Florence. The company also collected its most recent Good Food Award for the first harvest from Equator’s own high-altitude coffee farm in Panama, Finca Sophia.

In addition to Helen’s focus on Equator’s success, she has volunteered her time and business experience to local and international organizations supporting women and the environment — including La Cocina Community Kitchen in San Francisco, the International Women in Coffee Alliance, and Brown Girl Surf. Helen has led efforts to make Equator a socially and environmentally responsible company by investing in an energy efficient roaster, a biodiesel delivery truck, hybrid service vehicles, and by purchasing coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques.

Helen holds a BBA from Northeastern University in Boston.


Dianne SandovalDianne Sandoval, Investment Manager, Asset Allocation and Risk Management for CalPERS (Panelist)

Dianne Sandoval is an investment manager and a senior member of the Trust Level Portfolio Management (TLPM) team for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). TLPM is responsible for the planning and implementation of the strategic and dynamic asset allocation of the fund’s approximately $350 billion in investment assets. TLPM is also responsible for the management of investment risk deriving from the asset allocation exposures.

Prior to her current role, Dianne was the portfolio manager in charge of research, analytics, performance, and risk for CalPERS $34bn private equity portfolio. She also served as the high yield trader and analyst within the global fixed income team.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund. It provides retirement benefits to more than 1.9 million state, school, and local public employees, retirees and their families, and health benefits to nearly 1.4 million members.

Prior to joining CalPERS in 2008, Sandoval worked in High Yield/Distressed Debt Sales and Trading at Morgan Stanley for four years in London. She also worked for six years in private equity and mergers and acquisitions at JP Morgan, in both New York and Mexico City.

Sandoval has a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business with a concentration in finance and accounting. She completed her MBA at IESE in Barcelona, Spain. Sandoval holds the designation of a Chartered Financial Analyst from the CFA Institute and is the president of the CFA Society of Sacramento.


Michelle AngierMichelle Angier, Senior Director at Exponential Talent (Roundtable Facilitator)
Michelle Angier is senior director, Diversity & Inclusion Strategies and Culture Change, at Exponential Talent. Previously, she led diversity and inclusion at Intuit, where she was responsible for revitalizing and executing the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which included setting strategic priorities, creating datadriven solutions, and coaching and aligning a broad array of stakeholders, including the company’s 11 employee resource groups. Prior to that role, she led diversity & inclusion for eBay Inc. As the leader of eBay’s CEO-sponsored diversity initiative, Michelle worked closely with senior executives to set strategic priorities, define metrics, establish accountability, and lead culture transformation initiatives.

Michelle also has management consulting expertise from Deloitte Consulting, where she specialized in talent strategies, strategic communications, and change management. At Deloitte, she also served as a leader in Deloitte’s award-winning Women’s Initiative which encompassed strategies to sponsor and advance women leaders, foster community and redesign work. In addition, Michelle held multiple leadership roles in university recruiting.

Michelle’s other management and professional work experience includes HR project management at Macromedia (now Adobe) and corporate communications at Fremont Group, a privately held investment firm owned by the Bechtel family. She also has several years of experience in economic analysis and investment research.

Michelle is a frequent speaker in diversity & inclusion and talent forums such as the Anita Borg Institute Tech Executive Forum, Rainbow PUSH’s Tech2020 Summit, and the Latino Tech Summit. Michelle is also the co-author of “Realizing the Power of Talented Women,” McKinsey Quarterly 50th Anniversary edition 2014, and “Merger Aftershocks: Surviving the People Challenges of a Post- Merger Integration,“ Deloitte 2009.

Michelle is a corporate partner member of the Stanford University Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the oldest gender research institute in the country. Michelle was also certified as a Strategic Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is a past member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). Michelle holds a B.A. degree in history from Northwestern University and a M.P.P. degree in public policy analysis from the University of California at Berkeley. She resides in San Francisco, California, with her husband and daughter.


Melissa BlachMelissa Blach,Senior Director at KPMG (Roundtable Facilitator)
Melissa Blach is a director in the San Francisco office of KPMG’s U.S. Forensic practice where she serves in the firm’s Fraud, Misconduct, Investigations & Disputes Services group. Melissa assists clients and their counsel in all aspects and types of dispute matters and has dealt with a broad range of commercial disputes, including those resulting from class action litigation, breach of contract, employment disputes, bankruptcy and creditor-rights litigation, and financial statement misstatements. Melissa has also participated in a wide variety of investigations, including those involving the application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and allegations of fraud and misconduct. She has served clients in various industries, including financial services, healthcare, insurance, utilities and energy, and high-tech manufacturing.

Melissa has served as a people management leader since joining KPMG in 2010. She has been a mentor to numerous individuals over the course of her career and has been nominated for KPMG’s National Mentoring Award. She is also a member of KPMG’s Network of Women (KNOW).


Sue BunnellSue Bunnell, Senior Vice President and Managing Counsel at Wells Fargo & Company (Roundtable Facilitator)
Sue Bunnell is the co-chair of the women’s professional advancement group Leading Women in Technology, and the co-director of their flagship offering WILpower. WILpower is a year-long program providing women with monthly workshops, discussion groups and events engineered to help them develop the leadership skills they need to advance their careers. Sue is a Senior Vice President and Managing Counsel at Wells Fargo & Company, where she leverages her 20+ years of high-level negotiation experience to meet the company’s diverse legal and operational needs with respect to information security, technology, operations and third party programs.


NIWAJanet Niwa, Director, D&I Strategies for Exponential Talent (Roundtable Facilitator)
Janet Niwa is director, D&I Strategies, at Exponential Talent, leading its data analytics and pay equity practice. Additionally, she oversees operations, including HR. Janet brings extensive leadership and subject matter expertise, having served in numerous HR director roles and led many complex management consulting projects across multiple industries.

Before joining Exponential Talent, Janet was the senior director of the Global HR Change Management Program Office at molecular diagnostics company Cepheid, where she led the identification and prioritization of global HR leadership initiatives, as well as the design of compensation and performance management strategies and the consolidation and implementation of a global applicant-tracking system (ATS).

Janet also served as the global compensation and benefits leader for award-winning global architecture and design firm M. Arthur Gensler, where she designed and automated their global total rewards strategy, working closely with the senior executive team and Compensation Committee. She also led multiple cross-functional teams that operationalized compensation initiatives, incorporating deep data analysis and change management strategies, as well as overseeing the annual review process for the $1B, 5,000-employee company with operations in 17 countries worldwide.

Janet’s first leadership roles were with Deloitte Consulting, where she led global HR integration teams for eight major acquisitions, partnered with client executives on 20+ projects focused on complex cross-functional initiatives, and performed M&A due diligence on 30+ deals for private equity and strategic buyers. She also identified and marshalled the implementation of $15 million in global HR synergies and led the integration of three separate benefits shared service centers serving 23,000 US employees. Janet received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, International Business, from San Francisco State University.


Kristi RoyceKristi Royce, CEO and Founder of KLR Consulting (Roundtable Facilitator)
Kristi Royse is the CEO and founder of KLR Consulting, where she helps leaders and teams recognize and tap their full potential, develop effective communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, and – ultimately – achieve higher levels of performance. She is a nationally recognized speaker and a seasoned facilitator whose unique mix of inspiration, motivation, real-world strategies, and actionable steps brings measurable success. Since 1987, Kristi has been coaching executives to be stronger leaders and helping organizations optimize their most vital resource – people.




Homa SaghafiHoma Saghafi, Advisory Director in Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk at KPMG (Roundtable Facilitator)
Homa Saghafi is an advisory director at KPMG in Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk (IA & ER), with over 12 years of experience. Homa’s primary focus is on internal audit, enterprise risk assessment, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance, internal controls environments and compliance, and project. She has served local and global clients in various industries — including life sciences, manufacturing, retail and consumer markets, as well as private equity portfolio companies in various industries.

Homa is an active leadership committee member of KPMG's Network of Women (KNOW). She is a KPMG National Instructor and serves as a People Management Leader. She was the winner of the National Mentoring Award in 2016 and nominated for the Chairman Award in 2017 for exemplifying the firm’s core values.

Homa earned a Master of Science in Accounting from Keane University.


Paige VeneblePaige Venable, Managing Director of KPMG (Roundtable Facilitator)
Paige Venable is a managing director in KPMG’s San Francisco Risk Consulting practice with a focus on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM); Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC); Internal Audit; and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) assisted services. Paige has 17 years of experience providing advisory and audit services to domestic and global clients.

Paige is serving as immediate past president of the Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF), a non-profit organization, and has served as a board member since 2012. In 2016, Paige was honored as the FWSF’s Most Distinguished Member of the Year.

In 2017, Paige appeared on Bay Area Focus and discussed how it continues to be difficult for women to break through the glass ceiling and what women can do to excel in their career by growing their professional network, sharing their successes and being true to themselves.

Paige was selected as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business for 2017 by the San Francisco Business Times; was awarded the Perpetual Trophy for Volunteerism in 2013; is an active member of KPMG's Network of Women (KNOW) and other diversity programs; and is serving her third year as the co-chair of KPMG’s Advisory Employer of Choice Council.

She has been a National Instructor since 2004; served as a People Management Leader since 2005; and has been recognized year over year for mentoring her colleagues.

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