2019 Keynote Speakers

We are excited to announce this year’s keynote speaker lineup! Our schedule features three keynote speakers and a keynote panel.

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Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO and Co-Founder


Shan-Lyn Ma is CEO and Co-Founder of Zola, the wedding company reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. Zola launched in 2013 and quickly became the fastest growing wedding company in the country. Today, Zola carries over 500 brands—from registry staples to up-and-coming designers—and over half a million couples have used the platform. The company’s suite of tools includes: the premier all-in-one wedding registry, free wedding websites, a guest-list manager, customizable checklist and beautiful save the dates and wedding invitations.

Before starting her company, Shan was Chief Product Officer of Chloe + Isabel. Prior to that, Shan was Gilt Groupe’s first Product Lead where she led key new business launches, including their successful foray into mobile.  Additionally, she was Creator and General Manager of Gilt Taste, the brand’s food and wine division. Before her time at Gilt, Shan held product and marketing roles at Yahoo!. She holds a degree in BCommerce with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and an MBA from Stanford University.


Beverly Anderson, Executive Vice President of Cards and Retail Services

Wells Fargo

Beverly Anderson is the Executive Vice President of Cards and Retail Services at Wells Fargo. She is responsible for the strategy, development, growth and profitability of various Wells Fargo's consumer lending and payments businesses. Over the last five years she has led credit cards, retail finance, loyalty solutions, digital payments, auto loans and personal lines and loans. She has also held operational leadership roles managing loan operations, collections and fraud operations.

For three decades, Beverly has advanced her career by building businesses and delivering tangible results in the Financial Services and Payments industries. The first 10 years were spent in corporate banking driving mergers and acquisitions with some of the nation’s largest banks during the 1980s and 1990s. Post MBA, Beverly moved to the consumer side of financial services driving consumer and small business strategies, product strategies, and enterprise growth and profitability strategies with First USA (Chase), Fleet (Bank of America) and American Express. Beverly also spent time at a start-up consulting firm, Novantas LLC, as the first female Principal and the first African- American, leading the customer experience and customer strategies practices.

Beverly graduated summa cum laude from Florida A&M University in 1986 with a BS in Business and received her MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School in 1997. At HBS, Beverly was the President of the African American Student Union and a member of many clubs and organizations.

Beverly is passionate about education, leadership, talent development and the arts. In her spare time she volunteers, mentors and engages in a number of ways to express these interests. Beverly is Board Chair emeritus of the Council of Urban Professionals and is highly involved in the HBS African American Alumni. She sits on the Wells Fargo Management Committee, the Board of Wells Fargo Merchant Services and the Board of Wells Fargo Foundation. She is the chair of the Card Policy Council of the American Banker Association.


Berta de Pablos-Barbier, Chief Category Officer

Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Berta de Pablos-Barbier is the Global Chief Category Officer for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, responsible for leading strategy and the Chocolate, Gum & Mints, and Fruity Confections Category Business Units (CBU) growth agenda as part of the Confectionery Leadership Team. In Berta’s current role, she oversees a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of iconic global brands that include M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, SKITTLES®, STARBURST®, ORBIT® and ALTOIDS®.

Berta most recently served as General Manager for the U.S. Confectionery business, leading the segment’s largest market. Previous to that, Berta oversaw brand management and integrated marketing strategy across Mars’s chocolate portfolio as Vice President of Marketing for Mars Chocolate North America. While in this role, Berta and her team delivered breakthrough marketing programs including the award winning “Celebrate with M” campaign to commemorate the 75th anniversary of M&M’S® resulting in the brand growing sales eight times faster than the broader chocolate category. Berta also oversaw the launch of a range of new product innovations including the recent introduction of SNICKERS® Crisper and SNICKERS® hunger bars to continue the success of the brand’s iconic “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign.

Berta is particularly passionate about driving meaningful emotional connections with consumers and has focused on bringing purpose to life through Mars’s business, unleashing the positive impact of its brands. Examples of this include DOVE® Chocolate’s partnership with CARE International pledging $1 million to empower female cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, and the 3 Musketeers® #ThrowShine campaign developed as a positive response to cyberbullying.

Prior to rejoining Mars, Berta spent over seven years based in France working in the fashion industry; first as Vice President, Global Marketing and Communications for Boucheron and then joining Lacoste to lead global marketing for the apparel brand.

Berta spent the early part of her career at Mars in a wide array of roles, ranging from food scientist to leading Mars’ Chocolate portfolio of brands in both the Middle East and Russia to General Manager of the entire Mars business in Spain where she achieved profitable business growth. Berta relocated to the U.S. to rejoin Mars in 2015. She holds an engineering degree from Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain and an MBA from Institut Francais de la Mode in France.

You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Keynote Panel - The Five W’s of Advocating for Diversity & Inclusion

The Keynote Panel is intended to provide concrete and actionable ‘bites’ around promoting D&I in organizations. Specifically, Keynote Panelists will reflect on What  (setting a goal), Who (generating buy-in), Where (roll-out plans, PR), When (timeline, events) and Why (connecting the goal to strategic priorities of an organization). Lastly, we’d like to use the panel opportunity to also discuss How, sharing stories of D&I advocates in action.

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Betty Thompson, Chief People Officer

Booz Allen Hamilton

As the Chief People Officer for a $6.17B firm that requires talent to directly support its diverse public and private sector clients, Betty Thompson leads all aspects of Booz Allen Hamilton’s people strategy and is instrumental in a creating a world-class employment experience for 25,000 employees. In addition to day-to-day leadership for technology and consulting talent, Betty focuses on workforce planning, talent management, critical skills and expertise, and employee engagement.

She is a sought-after speaker who has more than 30 years of experience directing human capital strategy and human resource functions for large corporations. Prior to joining Booz Allen, Betty served as vice president of human resources for Fannie Mae, where she was responsible for all aspects of human resources management and operations, led company-wide organizational redesign and staffing efforts, and drove initiatives to improve productivity and reduce costs. She was also responsible for developing the company’s people strategy to increase the performance, utilization, and engagement of Fannie Mae’s workforce.

Prior to her tenure at Fannie Mae, Betty held several human resource leadership roles with IBM, after holding key line positions in marketing and customer service operations. Betty holds a master’s in human resources and personnel management from American University in Washington, DC.


Corie Pauling, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer


A leader at TIAA for 12 years, Corie Pauling became the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in July 2018.  Corie was instrumental in the launch of the D&I function at TIAA over ten years ago and served as a primary legal and business advisor and thought leader in this area since that time.  In her prior role, Corie held the position of Senior Director, Associate General Counsel in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Group, in which she provided counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA’s executives, its prior CDIOs and other Human Resources leaders and also business managers on a broad range of workforce issues, and she also managed employment litigation nationally.  In the D&I space, she has extensive experience in strategy development, board interface, equal employment opportunity best practices, policy development, training/learning, metrics, data analysis and reporting, external partnerships and sourcing, pay equity, global workforce compliance, talent acquisition, workforce development, employee resource groups, culture surveys, federal contractor compliance and workplace investigations. Having partnered with nearly every area in the TIAA organization over her tenure, she has also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area since 2016. 

A former shareholder with the international employment law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. and also Ferguson Stein Chambers in Charlotte, Corie’s experience includes counseling financial services institutions and other Fortune 500 companies as well as representing individual employees in employment and civil rights litigation.  She has significant trial and appellate experience on civil rights matters. Having presented before the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Society of Human Resources Management and other organizations, Corie frequently speaks at legal education programs on emerging employment law topics and D&I strategies.

A competitive marathoner and civic leader, Corie was incredibly honored to be named TIAA’s 2012 Working Mother of the Year in conjunction with the national magazine Working Mother.  She is currently serving a second appointment by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to the Arts and Science Council, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Young Civic Leader Award by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and a graduate of Charlotte’s groundbreaking Leadership Development Institute.   Corie has served on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and as chairperson of the NCBA’s 500-attorney Labor and Employment Law Section. Among other leadership posts, she has also served as a committee chair of the Board of Directors for the Levine Museum of the New South and co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Education: Bachelor of Science, Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan. Juris Doctor, Northwestern University School of Law

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Jeffrey Siminoff, Inclusion & Diversity Consultant, Former Head of I&D at Morgan Stanley, Apple and Twitter

Jeffrey is a well-established inclusion and diversity leader and a former employment lawyer.

Most recently, he was the first Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Stripe, the internet commerce software platform. Before that, he expanded and built out the I&D functions at Twitter and at Apple, where he was recognized as one of "Ten Men Making Waves for Women in Tech". In each of these industry-leading positions, Jeffrey and his team were focused on prioritizing inclusion in key people processes, creating more intentionality and engagement around what an inclusive culture should be, establishing relationships across the tech industry and organizations that work with it, and thinking differently about how these companies showed up outside of the workplace walls, including as a business matter.

Before moving to the Bay Area for Apple, he led the Global Diversity & Inclusion function at Morgan Stanley. Jeffrey was asked to take on that role after leading the Pride (LGBTQ) Employee Resource Group, a transformative experience for him. In addition to leading Pride, Jeffrey practiced employment law for Morgan Stanley in NYC and London, and led the Legal Division’s Diversity Committee. He began his career in private law firm practice.   

Jeffrey was a Duke University undergrad (focusing on Public Policy Studies) and got his law degree from Emory University. He is @jmsSanFran on Twitter. And he's a crazy foodie and fan of travel and fitness. He’s been a regular at the HBS Gender & Work Symposium and currently consults with organizations on I&D and related matters.   

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Paul Francisco, Chief Diversity Officer

State Street Corporation

Paul Francisco is the Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Workforce Development Programs at State Street Corporation. He leads the implementation of State Street’s global diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.

Prior to joining State Street, Paul was a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Foster & Francisco, LLC, an executive search and diversity consulting firm. He has also held recruitment and Relationship Management positions at Bank of America, and Fidelity Investments, respectively. Paul is an active member of the community and is involved with a number of professional organizations.

Most recently, Paul was appointed by Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, to serve on the Black Advisory Board Commission. He has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, including a Certificate of Achievement from Governor Deval Patrick, for his work with the Hispanic Community. Additionally, Paul was named in Boston Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2007, and El Planeta Newspaper Powermeter’s “100 Most Influential Latinos in Massachusetts” in 2007, 2013, and 2014.

Paul is a Boston University and UMASS-Boston graduate. He also graduated from The Partnership Inc. Associates, Fellows, and Next Generation Executive programs. Paul lives in Boston with his wife and two daughters.

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Panel Moderator

Raina Anderson, Founder

The Way WoMen Work

Rania Anderson transforms the way men and women work and lead together. She is an author, international keynote speaker and an executive business coach.

Rania is the author of WE: Men, Women, and The Decisive Formula for Winning at Work, the first hands on guide for managers to recruit, retain, advance and lead with women and of Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies, the first career advice book expressly written for educated women in developing and emerging economies.

As an international keynote speaker, Rania has spoken to thousands of women and men worldwide, at corporations, conference and universities, including to executives and teams at Fortune 100 companies that include P&G, GE, GM, Microsoft, American Express, PepsiCo, PwC and Barclays Bank.

Rania began her career at Bank of America where she worked in several capacities and attained a senior leadership role. She started her own executive business coaching practice in 1997 and works with executives and senior leaders around the world. In 2010, she founded TheWayWoMenWork.com to provide evidence-based, practical career and business guidance to men and women.

Rania has a Master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University with an honors concentration in International Business and an undergraduate degree in Business from Oklahoma State University.  She is also the co-founder of a women's Angel investor network of 45 women investors who invest equity in high-growth women-led businesses.