1. Tech Diversity: 40 UNDER 40 – RECAP

    More than 350 Diverse Tech Professionals Converge for Inaugural “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” Reception and Awards Ceremony
    “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the entire staircase.”
    With this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Game Changer honoree and MetricStream CEO Shellye Archambeau captured the inspirational essence of the inaugural “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” awards program. During her acceptance speech at the celebratory event hosted by Airbnb at their San Francisco headquarters last Wednesday, September 16, Archambeau was awed by the assembly of more than 350 diverse tech professionals and urged them to keep striving for their goals–even when the path is not always clear.
    Founded by theREGISTRY Bay Area and Digital Diversity Network (DDN), the “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” recognition program celebrated the achievements of 40 leaders from diverse backgrounds, under the age of 40 in the Innovation Economy. Two special categories, the Silicon Icon and Game Changer, were awarded to Roy Clay, Sr., Founder and Former CEO, ROD-L Electronics, and Shellye Archambeau, CEO MetricStream, respectively.
    With a heightened focus in the tech industry to embed diversity into their companies, services and products, as well as their working practices, “40 under 40: Tech Diversity-Silicon Valley” was designed to highlight the underrepresented role models and achievements of the wide range of people who make the tech industry brilliant. Specific goals of the recognition program include:
    • Acknowledging tech industry progress and promise in advancing diversity
    • Facilitating networking and introductions among diverse tech professionals, hiring companies and tech investors
    • Inspiring future generations to pursue innovation and tech careers, regardless of socio-economic background
    • Inspiring tech companies and the industry at-large, to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.
    Tracy L. Lawrence, Founder, Digital Diversity Network & Managing Director, Tracy L. Lawrence Associates stated: “Reward and recognition are integral to increasing diversity in the tech industry, as they help to increase employee retention and reduce the need to continually backfill the talent pipeline. Having a major tech company like Airbnb on board cements the importance of programs like “40 Under 40” and reinforces their commitment to diversity.”
    Jonathan Mildenhall, Chief Marketing Officer of Airbnb and executive sponsor of the Black Employee AIRfinity (ERG) group at Airbnb (Black@) commented, “Belonging is at the core of Airbnb, and as we strive to increase diversity and inclusion in our offices and our industry, it’s important for us to celebrate individuals like our honorees and groups like the Digital Diversity Network who continuously inspire us and advance this critical work.”
    Michael DeFlorimonte, Managing Editor, theREGISTRYbayarea.com, and DDN’s partner for “40 Under 40” added, “theREGISTRY is proud to launch this unprecedented recognition of underrepresented Blacks and Latinos in the tech industry. Through this inter-generational celebration, we acknowledge the contributions, both past and present, as well as the future promise of diverse tech professionals.”
    A public call for nominations was issued March 26 through May 22, 2015 by theREGISTRY Bay Area, Digital Diversity Network and more than 25 outreach partners, including tech diversity organizations and tech company employee resource groups (ERGS). The response was robust and yielded a list of young professionals from Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area corporations, start-ups, accelerators, venture capital firms, non-profits and pro-social enterprises—all of whom are influencers in the industry.
    Honorees were evaluated on the basis of their outstanding achievements; career success; volunteer and civic engagement; influence and impact; and honors and recognitions by a selection committee comprising 12 highly respected tech professionals.
    The inaugural “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” Class of 2015 includes: Chris Amos, Co-founder & President, Ampush; Ime Archibong, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Facebook; Angela Benton, Founder & CEO, NewMe Accelerator; Aisha Bowe, Co-founder & CEO, STEMBoard; Marla Britt, Technical Project/Program Manager, Applied Materials; Edwin Broni-Mensah, Founder & CEO, Give Me Tap; Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO, TaskRabbit; Kendra Desrosiers, Digital Strategy & Partnerships, Google; Brian Dixon, Principal, Kapor Capital; Nancy Douyon, User Experience Research Program Manager, Google; Jotaka Eaddy, Consultant, PayNearMe, Inc. & Kapor; Pablo Fuentes, CEO & Co-founder, Proven; Martin Gilliard, GM, AdTruth, Experian Marketing Services; Ricardo Garcia-Amaya, CEO & Founder, VOIQ; Zakiya Harris, Chief Education Officer, Hack the Hood; Charles Hudson, Partner, SoftTech VC; Nicole Isaac, Head of Economic Graph Policy Partnerships, LinkedIn; Ibi Krukrubo, Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young; Chris Lyons, Chief of Staff, Andreessen Horowitz; Vanessa Mason, CEO & Founder, Riveted Partners & Founder, WISE Health; Isaac Matthews, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center; Aston Motes, Founder, Assorted Bits; Matthew Mugo Fields, Co-founder, Rocket Group & President, Red Bird Advanced Learning; Marlon Nichols, Director/Founding Partner, Intel Capital/Cross Vulture VC; Mekka Okereke, Senior Manager, Software Engineering, Google; Stephen Ozoigbo, CEO, African Technology Foundation; Devin Pauley, Engineering Program Manager, Apple; Kalimah Priforce, Headmaster CEO, Qeyno Labs; Erika D. Rodriguez, Materials Research Scientist, ERC Inc. at NASA; Merline Sainthil, Head of Operations, Office of the CTO, Intuit; Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, Head of Multicultural Strategy, Twitter; Michael Seibel, Partner, Y Combinator; Ayori Selassie, Senior Solutions Engineer/President, Boldforce at Salesforce; Wayne Sutton, Founder, BUILDUP.vc; Erin Teague, Director of Product Management, Yahoo; Christina Trampota, Senior Director, Global Marketing Innovation, VISA; Laura Weidman Powers, Co-founder & CEO, Code2040; Bari Williams, Counsel, Facebook; Glenn Williamson, Senior Software Engineering Manager, Intel Corporation; and Jason Young, Co-founder & CEO, Mindblown Labs/Hidden Genius Project.
    In one of the evening’s more poignant moments, Roy Clay, Sr., a Silicon Valley pioneer; a key figure in the development of Hewlett Packard’s computer division; and, coincidentally, Ms. Archambeau’s mentor, was conferred with the Silicon Icon award. Often lauded as the “Black Godfather of Silicon Valley,” the 86-year-old Mr. Clay admonished attendees to follow the advice given to him by his own mother when he was wrongfully apprehended as a teen in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, “Never let racism be an excuse for failure.”
    The link, below, contains a video tribute that captures Mr. Clay’s significant achievements, including his journey from Ferguson, Missouri; to being one of the first Black persons to be admitted to St. Louis University; to being denied opportunity at as “a professional Negro”; to his nearly 50-year career in Silicon Valley, including the eventual founding of his own company, ROD-L Electronics.
    Shellye Archambeau received the Game Changer award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in advancing diversity in the tech sector through personal career achievements; helping to advance the careers of others in the industry; and fostering a culture of inclusion. Ms. Archambeau is a leader both in business and in the community, demonstrated through decades of involvement on several Boards of Directors and committees.
    She currently serves on the board of directors of Verizon Communications Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. In April 2013, Ms. Archambeau was named the “#2 Most Influential African American in Technology” by Business Insider.
    Event sponsors, in addition to Airbnb, included Intel, The Kapor Foundation for Social Impact, Comcast NBCUniversal, Google, Twitter, Allied Materials and Mosaic Coaching Solutions.
  2. Next Event – October 22, 2015

    Presented by
    • The Paley Center for Media
    • Digital Diversity Network
    • NYC Tech Talent Pipeline
    Thursday, October 22, 2015
    5:00pm – 8:30pm
    The Paley Center for Media
    25 W. 52nd Street
    New York, NY 10019
    5:00 – 6:00pm: Cocktail Reception/Tech Exhibits 6:00 – 8:30pm: Panels, Pitches & Networking
    Please join us for an evening of engaging and interactive conversation with diverse tech and media industry leaders and innovators— including a dynamic showcase of emerging technology talent.
    Speakers will spotlight successful approaches to broaden tech hiring and discuss practices for encouraging more inclusive participation in the digital community. Media executives will address the impact of depicting diverse representation of the tech industry on-screen and online.
    Confirmed Speakers Include:
    • Mario Armstrong, Contributor NBC TODAY Show & Founder, #NeverSettle Club
    • Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Global Head of Diversity Staffing at Google
    • Matthew Burnett, Co-founder & CEO, Maker’s Row
    • Marci Cooperstein, VP of Development & Programming, ABC Family
    • Knatokie Ford, Senior Advisor, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
    • Christina Lewis Halpern, Founder/CEO, All Star Code
    • Kay Madati, EVP & Chief Digital Officer, BET
    • David Tisch, Managing Partner, Box Group
    • Tanzina Vega, Digital Correspondent, CNN
    Registration is complimentary. RSVP is required. For additional information and to reserve your seat, please visit paley.me/digitaldiversity
  3. DDN & Warner Bros. Partner to Present West Coast Content Strategy Salon

    The Cross Campus tech hub in Santa Monica provided the backdrop on July 15th for the Content Strategy Salon, hosted by Digital Diversity Network and Warner Bros. This evening of conversations and connecting—both live and via social media–was designed to inform, educate and inspire diverse professionals in the digital media sector. The dialogue between the more than 100 attendees extended beyond the walls of Cross Campus with more than 684,000 impressions on Twitter.
    The 90-minute program got underway with a fireside chat themed, Creating an Immersive Experience, which featured Guy Primus, co-founder & COO, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC) in conversation with Laurence “Lo” Toney, partner, Comcast Ventures and DDN board director, about virtual reality, immersive experiences and emerging spaces. VRC is a newly launched content studio—helmed by some of Hollywood’s most successful creators—to produce the best VR experiences by combining the best in technology, art and storytelling.
    This new role at VRC is also blends Primus’ experience in technology and entertainment. The Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School alum was formerly Chief Operating Officer of Overbrook Entertainment, the film and television production company founded by actor/producer Will Smith and producer James Lassiter. He also co-founded and managed Tentpole Ventures, a seed-stage tech investment fund that focuses on consumer lifestyle companies. And, prior to joining Overbrook, Guy was Director of Digital Media at Starbucks, where he co-created the popular “Pick of the Week” program.
    Primus strongly advocates for women and people of color to get in on the ground floor of emerging technologies and entrepreneurial opportunities, and advised those who are starting businesses of their own to “always play for the love of the game.”
    In a crowd-pleasing rarity for a digital media event, our panel featured an all-female line-up. Themed M3: Multi-Platform, Multi-Cultural, Multi-Purpose Content this session was moderated by Diana Mogollon, Business Strategy & Development, Warner Bros. Television Group and included: Amy DuBois Barnett, Media Executive/Brand Architect; Robinne Burrell, Founder & Head of Mobile Innovation, Redflight Mobile; Anna Fieler, EVP, Marketing, POPSUGAR Brands; and Evette Vargas, CEO, Writer, Director, Executive Producer & Multiplatform Storyteller, Digital-Reign Productions.
    This group of accomplished professionals possesses background and experiences from the realms of linear television content and distribution; publishing and online media; mobile; advertising; e-commerce; and digital content creation. The conversation touched upon shifts in media consumption and demographics; engaging moving audiences; content strategy and monetization; and the definition of success.
    There seemed to be a consensus around the need to reevaluate the definition of targeted marketing—particularly as it applies to Millennial audiences. Given that this generation is more bi-racial and multicultural than those that came before them, it gives pause to the notion of segmenting for demographics vs. psychographics.
    Other key takeaways from the conversation:
    • The story is first. The platform is second.
    • Making consumers happy is a measure of success.
    For highlights from the Content Strategy Salon, please click on the link, below.
  4. The Sharing Economy: Transcending Economic, Geographic & Social Boundaries

    As part of our mission to provide education and information about technology in the context of diversity, DDN presented a webinar about the Sharing Economy on Tuesday, June 23rd. This was the first of three installments for our 2015 Digital Town Hall Meeting series.
    The conversation was moderated by Sherri L. Smith, Senior Staff Writer, Purch; and included: Peter Giorgi, Global Head of Advertising & Content, Airbnb; Vincent Paradiso, CEO & Co-founder, Let’s Du+tch, Inc.; and Arun Sundararajan, Professor of Information, Operations & Management Sciences & NEC Faculty Fellow, New York University Stern School of Business.
    During this hour-long telephone town hall, innovative brands and a renowned authority on the Sharing Economy discussed the impact of technology in promoting a more efficient and equitable distribution of resources at all levels of society, thereby inducing the economic and social redistribution of power. Through virtual platforms, individuals, organizations and communities have been given the capability to collaborate and create experiences and/or distribute products and services peer-to-peer, person-to-person (P2P).
    A live poll of the Town Hall participants confirmed these assertions. Seventy percent indicated that they have used a peer-to-peer service to either save money or access goods and services that were not otherwise within their reach.
    DDN will offer additional Digital Town Hall Meetings during Q3 and Q4 2015. Please click here to listen to the audio file from our June 23rd event.
  5. Executing for Success – RECAP

    Thank You


    An Intimate Conversation with Pandora Founder, Tim Westergren
    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.”

Visit the Career Center



Twitter Tweets Powered By Weblizar
41 Madison Avenue, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10010
Copyright © 2013 Digital Diversity Network. All rights reserved.
Powered By: Ember Media