1. 40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley

    DDN and theREGISTRYBayArea.com Launch Recognition of Multi-ethnic Tech Professionals

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    Nominate a Diverse Tech Leader or Game Changer Now!

    Deadline: Friday, May 8, 2015

    Nominations are now being accepted for the inaugural Tech Diversity: 40 Under 40 – Silicon Valley, a recognition of the outstanding achievements of 40 multi-ethnic leaders, under the age of 40, who are standouts in their field of technology, whether they be engineers, technologists, diversity & inclusion officers, founders, entrepreneurs or VC’s.
    This recognition, sponsored by Digital Diversity Network and theREGISTRYBayArea.com–a leading cultural catalyst for the San Francisco Bay Area’s African American Community–will become an annual celebration to: (1) Showcase the contributions of diverse tech professionals; (2) Acknowledge tech industry progress and promise in advancing multi-ethnic diversity; (3) Inspire tech companies, and the industry at-large, to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion; and (4) Identify role models, thereby inspiring future generations to pursue careers in the tech sector. The competition will be launched in additional cities later this year.
    Nominees will be evaluated on their professional achievements and influence within their industries. Board affiliations, civic engagement and other leadership roles will also be taken into consideration. Additionally, a Game Changer Award will be conferred upon an individual or organization—regardless of ethnicity—that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing diversity in the digital media and high-tech sectors.
    Honorees will be featured in theRegistryBayArea.com and will be feted during a reception on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 from 6:00 pm – 9:00pm at Stanford University.

    Eligibility Criteria

    40 Under 40

    Nominees should be multi-ethnic, digital media and/or technology professionals, under the age of 40, who are employed full-time in either the corporate or entrepreneurial sector and may represent a broad range of disciplines and industries. They must work and reside in the following coverage areas: San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area or Silicon Valley.

    Game Changer

    Nominees may be individuals (of all ages and ethnicities) or companies who epitomize Digital Diversity Network’s mission to advance diversity in the digital media and hi-tech sectors in one or more of the following ways: (1) personal career achievements; (2) helping to advance the careers of others in the industry; (3) incubation and/or investment in minority tech ventures; (4) fostering a culture of inclusion; and (5) utilizing technology to improve and/or enhance underserved communities.

    Selection Process

    Honorees will be selected from among the nominees by a confidential panel of judges and invited to attend the live recognition event on September 16 at Stanford University.

    For nominations form and additional information, please visit http://theregistrybayarea.com/40-under-40.

  2. Executing for Success – RECAP

    Thank You

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    An Intimate Conversation with Pandora Founder, Tim Westergren
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    Tim Westergren
    Founder, Pandora
    Warner Bros. Portrait - Kiko Washington
    Kiko Washington – Moderated By
    EVP, Worldwide Human Resources, Warner Bros.
    Pandora founder Tim Westergren launched the popular personalized radio service in 2000 with the creation of the Music Genome Project ®, a novel way of discovering music using hundreds of distinct musical attributes. Today, this database, carefully built by a team of trained music analysts, includes more than 125,000 artists and drives Pandora’s unique personalization technology.
    During a reception on the evening of Thursday, February 26th at Pandora’s Oakland, California headquarters, Westergren sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Kiko Washington, EVP, Worldwide Human Resources, Warner Bros. and Digital Diversity Network (DDN) Board Director. Nearly 100 industry professionals were on hand for networking, dinner from a local restaurant, and to hear about Tim’s original vision and the 15-year entrepreneurial odyssey that ultimately let to Pandora.
    “Inspiring” was the word most attendees used to describe the avid music lover’s journey from Stanford History grad, to part-time nanny and musician, to founder of a worldwide company which now has more than 1600 employees—more than half of whom are women. Westergren attributes his success to a combination of hard work, persistence, and not giving up on his idea. While pitching investors, he cultivated his public speaking skills and asserts that it is one of the most important attributes for an entrepreneur.
    According to Westergren, Pandora’s success did not occur overnight. There were many lean years–motivating the move to Oakland from San Francisco to save on rent. In fact, he says that 50 people worked without pay for two years in order to help keep the business afloat. Because the Oakland location was integral to Pandora’s success, he is committed to giving back to the city and, rather than serving lunch at the office, encourages Pandora employees to patronize the local restaurants.
    Westergren’s ability to keep his team intact through the lean years is testament to his commitment to creating a culture where people are excited to come to work every day. As a few of the attendees observed, “We are all the sum of our environments. An organization is only as powerful as its people and it’s up to management to foster a healthy and productive environment. The CEO’s management style shines through in the environment Pandora has created.”
  3. DDN NYC Conference Recap & Photo Gallery

    Justin Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group delivers conference welcome.

    Justin Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group delivers conference welcome.

    Luncheon Keynoter, Eunique Jones Gibson, Artist & Creator of the Because of Them We Can™ Campaign

    Luncheon Keynoter, Eunique Jones Gibson, Artist & Creator of the Because of Them We Can™ Campaign

    Marc Howland, Private Equity Professional, The Carlyle Group; and Stephen Ozoigbo, CEO, African Technology Foundation

    Marc Howland, Private Equity Professional, The Carlyle Group; and Stephen Ozoigbo, CEO, African Technology Foundation

    Monica Bertran, Manager, Internal MultiMedia Communications Department, Bloomberg LP; and Jamal Simmons, TV Political Analyst & Co-Founder, FLYCLIQUE, Inc.

    Monica Bertran, Manager, Internal MultiMedia Communications Department, Bloomberg LP; and Jamal Simmons, TV Political Analyst & Co-Founder, FLYCLIQUE, Inc.

    Lauren DeLisa Coleman, Digi-Cultural Trend Analyst; and Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO, Mogul, Inc.

    Lauren DeLisa Coleman, Digi-Cultural Trend Analyst; and Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO, Mogul, Inc.

    Highlights from DDN’s Third Annual NYC Conference

    Inclusion, Collaboration & Engagement Drive Conference Agenda

    Approximately 150 professionals were in attendance for Digital Diversity Network’s  (DDN) third annual New York City conference on Thursday, November 6th at the Bloomberg L.P. headquarters in Manhattan. Also co-sponsored by Bloomberg, the event was themed, Convergence NYC:  Inclusion, Collaboration & Engagement, and featured a speaker line-up of 30 diverse industry thought leaders from the realms of advertising, media, entertainment, travel, education, government, non-profit, finance, mobile, social justice and private equity.
    Following a warm welcome from Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media, the full-day agenda got underway with panel discussions, one-on-one “Tech Talk” conversations, and a luncheon keynoter.  Panelists provided insights into: (a) workforce and talent pipeline development; (b) the New York City start-up scene; (c) mobile content strategy; and (d) leveraging digital media and technology to advance the public good.
    The Tech Talk conversations featured Stephen Ozoigbo, CEO, African Technology Foundation; Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO, Mogul; and Jamal Simmons, TV Political Analyst & Co-founder, FLYCLIQUE.  They shared, respectively, how they are using technology to stimulate economic growth in Africa; empower women; and motivate young people in underrepresented communities to pursue careers in technology.
    In her luncheon address, Eunique Jones Gibson, Artist & Creator of the Because of Them We Can™ Campaign campaign, shared how she has turned a passion into profit.  Launched in February 2013 as a Black History month project, Because of Them We Can, features videos and photos of children as iconic African-Americans.  It has become the most successful viral Black History Month campaign ever, and has morphed into a full-time year round project that now also includes historic Latinos and women of all ethnicities.
    The intimate event setting provided opportunities for attendees—entrepreneurs and corporate professionals–to exchange ideas and information and to make meaningful business connections.  Representatives from ABC Disney, CBS, CNN, Code for Progress, Comcast Ventures, Galvanize Ventures, General Assembly, Google, IBM, MyFabFinance, NBCUniversal, New York City Housing Authority, Red Cross, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scripps Networks Interactive, Silicon Harlem, Syncom Venture Partners, Time Warner, Travel Noire, Uber, Vaudeville Ventures, Viacom and XO Group were among those in attendance and on the speaker line-up.
    In addition to Bloomberg, event sponsors included DDN’s founding partners: Time Warner, The New York Times, The Walt Disney Company; and Warner Bros. Entertainment; as well as annual corporate sponsors: Comcast/NBC Universal, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Viacom.
    Photos from the event are in the gallery
  4. Succeeding in Silicon Valley Recap

    Silicon Icon Conversation: Michelle Fisher, Founder & CEO, Blaze Mobile; and Ken Coleman, Chairman, Saama Technologies

    Silicon Icon Conversation: Michelle Fisher, Founder & CEO, Blaze Mobile; and Ken Coleman, Chairman, Saama Technologies

    Insights from Digital Diversity Network’s Night at the Tech Museum

    “No one cares about your career, but you.”
    With this statement, Ken Coleman, Chairman, Saama Technologies, admonished attendees of DDN’s “Succeeding in Silicon Valley” event to “take charge of their own careers by asking the tough questions (e.g., “Why was I not considered?”); and making it easy for your boss to give you negative feedback.  You need to hear it in order to be promoted and to be successful.  Your only job security is your reputation and your skills.”
    More than 150 people from companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, PayPal Salesforce.com, Wells Fargo, and the Black Chamber of Silicon Valley–as well as a host of entrepreneurs–were on hand for the networking reception and conversations on Thursday, October 9 at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California.
    Given the recent spate of media attention to the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, the DDN event was focused on providing solutions and a view from diverse leaders who have cracked the Silicon ceiling and/or are opening the pipeline for people of color and women.    They shared insights from their personal career experiences and offered advice for getting in, getting connected and getting ahead in Silicon Valley.
    Coleman, an iconic advisor and mentor in Silicon Valley, was featured in a one-on-one conversation with Michelle Fisher, Founder & CEO, Blaze Mobile and a DDN board director, during the opening segment of the event program, which also included a panel discussion with diverse tech executives who are leaders within their organizations.
    Prior to founding Saama Technologies, a pure-play data and analytics services and solutions company focused on solving the business insight challenges of the world’s leading brands, Coleman’s storied career in Silicon Valley included stints with ITM Software, Silicon Graphics (SGI), Activision and Hewlett Packard. He also currently serves as a special advisor to Andreessen Horowitz and advises Pinterest. Ken is a member of the board of directors of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange, City National Bank, United Online and Entertainment Partners. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Ohio State University Business School.
    While maintaining that “there is a little bit of crazy in shifting to entrepreneurship”, he advised those who are starting their own businesses to “remember who pays the bills.  It’s the customers.  Above all else, you have to take care of the customers.”
    The panel discussion was moderated by Mark Horn, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Telecom, Media & Technology (TMT) Practice, and included:  Laura Gomez, Co-founder, Vyv; Monica Pool Knox, Sr. Director, HR, CBS Interactive; Brian Patterson, Partner, Business Attorney, Gunderson Dettmer, LLP; Tyler Scriven, Chief of Staff & Head of Corporate Development, Palantir Technologies; Laurence “Lo” Toney, Partner, Comcast Ventures; and Robin Washington, EVP &CFO, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
    Following a brief overview of some of the recently released Silicon Valley workforce demographic data, the panel cited some of the reasons for the lack of tech industry diversity and made suggestions for addressing the issue .  Among them were:
    • A lot of tech companies think they are diverse because they are global.  If you peel back the onion on some of the recently released diversity numbers and look at job levels and functions, the numbers are probably even more startling.
    • The tech industry had been given a pass on diversity until someone (i.e., Jesse Jackson) shone a media spotlight on the issue.
    • Having a better understanding of the customer will be the impetus for driving tech diversity.
    • Adversarial approaches to driving diversity will not motivate a community of innovators.
    Key career advice from our panelists included:
    • Be a continuous learner.  Take a risk and try something different.  Ask for help.  Manage your brand.”  — Robin Washington
    • “Use your social capital.  Network!  Other entrepreneurs are your best allies.”  — Laura Gomez
    • “If you are interested in working for a company, use their product.  Companies like to know that you use the product.”  — Laurence “Lo” Toney
    • “Believe in yourself, regardless of what is going on around you.  Find your path within the organization.”  — Brian Patterson
    • “Seek the truth in yourself and your work environment.” – Tyler Scriven
    • “Use your difference to your advantage.  You might be the only one, but you will stand out.”  — Monica Pool Knox

    Complete Gallery HERE!

      Additional photos may be found on Instagram and Facbeook.

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