Leadership

Ruth Stergiou

CEO & Co-Founder, Invent Your Future

Ruth Stergiou is the CEO and Co-Founder of Invent Your Future Enterprises, a social enterprise specializing in the retention, development and acceleration of women leaders. In collaboration with corporate and academic partners, IYF creates live and digital educational programs while building and curating an online resource library targeting women in the workplace. Ruth is also the Co-Founder of the Dare 2B Digital Conference, aiming at the next generation of women in technology (www.dare2bdigital.org). These hands-on learning events for girls in middle and high school encourage young women to look at careers using computing technologies.

Since starting her own business in Silicon Valley in 1989, Ruth has successfully designed and produced 55 major conferences for businesswomen reaching more than 200,000 women. These conferences include 17 of the highly-acclaimed California Governor’s Conference for Women; working with four different administrations, she helped build the conference to over 10,500 participants. In addition she has produced 23 Professional BusinessWomen of California Conferences; 7 Grace Hopper Celebrations of Women in Computing and 7 Invent Your Future Conferences for Women. In 2014 Ruth led the team designing and producing the first Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women.

Ruth is the recipient of the 2012 International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 Awards – Education Category; the 2012 NAWBO Silicon Valley Woman Business Advocate Award; the 2011 WomenGoGlobal Social Mission Award; the 2010 NAWBO Silicon Valley Enterprising Woman of the Year Award and the 2010 Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal Top 100 Women of Influence Award. Ruth holds a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Geography from Leeds University in England where she started her career as a university administrator.

Susan K. Black

Treasurer, Invent Your Future Foundation and CEO, Pinnacle Bank

With more than 20 years of leadership experience in the banking industry, Susan has served as President of the Community Banking Group of Greater Bay Bancorp and President and CEO of Mid-Peninsula Bank. Awards include: “Business Athena Award,” “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” by the Skyline for Community Development and “YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN)” award.

Deborah Collins Stephens

Secretary, Invent Your Future Foundation; Co-Chair of the 2013 indiana governor’s conference for women and 2012 Midwest Invent Your Future Conference; and Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Center for Innovative Leadership

Deborah Collins Stephens is an expert on the human side of business. A best-selling author of five books, with one (Maslow on Management) named among the top ten books of the decade by The Financial Times and one (This Is Not The Life I Ordered) on the best sellers list for seven consecutive weeks. Deborah is passionate about helping women leaders develop into their greatest potential. As a national advisor to (NAWBO) and an advisor to Elevate Ventures, where she consults on the diversity venture fund, Deborah gets to help women do what they do best: lead organizations and create emerging businesses! Read full bio

Advisory Council

Diana Adachi

Diana Adachi is a global leader and serial entrepreneur who has grown enterprises in the Electronic Payments, Information Technology, Communication and Financial sectors for over 20 years. Currently Diana is with Accenture focusing on innovation and strategies to support Accenture Payment Services clients. Previously she served as President of mid- tier payment services company with offices in the US, UK, APAC where she spearheaded 100% growth to $44M and over 800 employees. Diana co-founded two businesses and was featured in Dataquest’s India edition as one of the top IT women in India. Corporations large and small have benefitted from her leadership including IBM, Bell Canada, Cybersource and Bank of Montreal.

Denise Brosseau

Co-Founder, Invent Your Future; CEO, Thought Leadership Lab

Denise Brosseau is CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, where she specializes in building the visibility, credibility and thought leadership of executives and CEOs. Her clients include Medtronic, Agilent and Genentech as well as start-up CEOs, social entrepreneurs and service professionals. Denise has dedicated over 15 years to the women’s leadership arena, founding and serving as the first CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (now Watermark) and growing it into the country’s leading organization for women-led startups. Denise also co-founded and serves on the National Council of Advisors to Springboard Enterprises, the startup launch pad that has led to over $6 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs. In 2012, Denise was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. She is a Wellesley graduate with a Stanford MBA and her new book, Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, was just published earlier this month.

Billie Dragoo

Co-Chair of the 2012 Midwest Invent Your Future Conference and President & CEO of RepuCare, inc.

An entrepreneurial executive with 23 years in the medical staffing industry, Billie founded RepuCare in 1995 with the mission of providing allied health staffing to hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Billie is the recipient of several business awards: the “2003 Blue Chip Community Business Award for Entrepreneurial Business Excellence,” “2006 Outstanding Small Business Award,” the “Starkey Entrepreneurial Women’s Award,” the “Torchbearer Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy” and IBJ’S “2009 Women of Influence Award” in recognition of business and community excellence and leadership. 2009, Dragoo was appointed to the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She is also Chairman and Founder of the Indiana Women Business Owner’s Political Action Committee (IWBOPAC).

Sam Horn

The Intrigue Expert

Sam is a sought-after keynote speaker, best-selling author, creative consultant, and media resource. The fourteen-time emcee of the world-renowned Maui writer’s conference, she is the author of “Tongue Fu!” and “POP! Stand Out in Any Crowd.” Clients include Hewlett-Packard, Fortune 500 Forum, NASA, and Lockheed Martin. Sam works with individuals and organizations to create one-of-a-kind identities that help their business, brand, or idea POP! out of the pack.

Sydnie Kohara

Award-winning Journalist

Award winning journalist Sydnie Kohara brings more than two decades of experience to her position as news anchor at CBS-5/KPIX TV. The founding host of CNBC Asia’s first show about the Internet, “dot.com,” she later anchored CNBC’s “CNET News.com” that explored the tech revolution. Sydnie was part of the KGO-TV newsroom that won the prestigious “George Foster Peabody Award” and the “Edward R. Murrow Award” for coverage of the 1989 earthquake.

Staci Lyons

Vice President, Global Business Development, Oracle Cloud Services

Staci Lyons is Vice President of Global Business Development for Oracle’s Cloud Services business where she helps Oracle’s largest global clients realize the value of Software as a Service. Prior to joining Oracle in 2006, Ms. Lyons was Worldwide Vice President, Application Management Services with Siebel Systems. Ms. Lyons was responsible for all aspects of Siebel’s Managed Service offerings. Prior to Siebel, Ms. Lyons spent 3 years as Senior Vice President of Sales and Support with Navisite, an enterprise application management and hosting firm. Prior to Navisite, Ms. Lyons served as Managing Director, CRM Consulting and Business Process Outsourcing worldwide with EDS.

Jackie McNab

Past-President, Executive Women’s Leadership Forum at Invent Your Future Enterprises; VP, Quality & Reliability, Bridgelux, Inc.

Jackie is former Vice President, Global Quality & Reliability for FormFactor, Inc. Previously, Jackie served as Senior Director, Worldwide Manufacturing Quality for Western Digital as well as Vice President of Customer Engineering for Quantum Corporation.

Jennifer Millier

VP, Mission Critical Business Solutions Group, Business Critical Systems business unit, HP

As the leader of HP UNIX, Windows, Linux, OpenVMS, Tru64, Alpha and MPE Research and Development organizations, Jennifer is responsible for the design and delivery of all HP operating environments with robust mission-critical virtualization, in-depth security and mainframe-class availability. Previously, Jennifer was the Enterprise Storage and Servers operations manager, where her team was responsible for driving all aspects of the ESS Global Business Unit. Jennifer’s broad managerial experience includes stints in marketing, research and development, supply chain, and international business development. As a member of HP’s PC business unit, she pioneered the company’s first worldwide volume direct sales program, building the go-to-market plan.