Leaders Network – Silicon Valley Group

Li Cui is a highly accomplished strategy, operations, and program management executive who leads the Internet of Things Global Technology Management and Commercialization organization for VMware. She is passionate about innovation, customer and partner success, and has a proven track record incubating new lines of business and optimizing billion dollar operations.

In her current role, Li manages the most complex and visible cloud provider programs with VMware’s strategic partners. Her expertise cuts across the functions of product development, sales, marketing, finance, and operations, uniquely positioning her to develop holistic strategies for joint ventures, strategic partnerships, and organizations of any size. Her portfolio and program management skills enable her to accurately convert strategy into predictable execution, successfully and consistently.

Li received her MBA from Santa Clara University (Supply Chain Management concentration), after completing undergraduate degrees in Finance and Computer Science. She is a Certified Advance Project Manager through the Stanford School of Professional Development and completed a graduate engineering certification in Data, Models, and Optimization at Stanford University.

Emmy Gengler

Emmy Gengler is CEO and founder of Softjourn, an IT services company focused on assisting enterprises to gain revenue advantage by effectively using global resources. Prior to founding Softjourn, Emmy spent four years as President & CEO of a venture-backed IT and business consulting company based in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine.

Emmy is in her seventeenth year working in the Ukraine, and has more than twenty five years of experience in information technology solution development. She has published papers on Outsourcing and on the Ukraine, and the development of its Software Exports market. Emmy has spoken at conferences in NYC, Washington DC, and London on the Ukraine and its potential. She was a three-term board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

Emmy holds a Bachelors degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in International Business from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Sheila HatchSheila Hatch, as Creative Director and President of Decca Design, oversees the strategic direction of the company and quality of the creative work. She brings years of experience and proven success to her position as the leader of the award-winning team of savvy advertising, design and marketing professionals. Under her guidance, Decca Design has transformed itself into one of San Jose’s most well-respected creative agencies. The agency has a staff of more than 20 full-time employees and an extensive network of established partners and vendors. Today, Decca Design serves a broad variety of business-to-business clients from Fortune 500 companies to promising startups, and several non-profit organizations as well. Sheila actively works with local organizations that are supporting community revitalization. 

Recognized as a 2016 Silicon Valley Woman of Influence, Sheila holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Avery Horzewski

Avery Horzewski is president of AVE Consulting, a marketing and customer communications consulting firm that helps companies of all sizes develop and refine their communication strategies. She regularly speaks about social media to groups interested in learning more about this new communication medium, its impact on business, and best practices for implementing. She’s also a program advisor and instructor at San Francisco State’s College of Extended Learning, where she teaches “Engaging Your Community: Creating an Effective Social Media Campaign.”

Avery holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Speech Communication from California State University, Hayward. She has also taught public speaking and argumentation theory courses at California State University, Hayward and University of Utah. Representative clients include ACT Medical, Adobe Systems, Alan Biller & Associates, Aruba Networks, Borland, CareFusion, Cisco Systems, Cooley Godward, Coremetrics, E*TRADE, Exordium Group, Logitech, Netflix, NETGEAR, SAP, and Symantec.

Avery regularly shares ideas on the AVE Consulting Blog, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Cindy Kannaugh

Cindy Kennaugh is founder of On The Mark, a consultancy of thinkers and doers with years of results-oriented marketing experience with clients ranging from CEO’s to vice presidents and directors. On The Mark quickly internalizes technology businesses and just as quickly executes high-impact marketing programs. They engage with clients on a full- or part-time basis, applying a can-do approach to identifying lucrative market opportunities, and implementing innovative yet sound marketing approaches.

On The Mark's core services include: Market strategy and planning, partner and alliance marketing, industry marketing, product and services marketing, sales enablement and support, go-to-market leadership, and writing.  Before starting On The Mark, Cindy’s Silicon Valley marketing experience included a wide range of marketing responsibilities at Fairchild, HP, Schlumberger, and Seagate Technologies as well as operating as vice president of marketing for multiple start-ups. Cindy holds an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jennifer LeBlancJennifer LeBlanc, M.S., Advanced NLP Coach, CEO and Founder of ThinkResults Marketing and ThinkResults Coaching, is a serial entrepreneur, scientist and meditation student. She is a certified Master NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) coach. NLP is the science of how we think, interact with each other and make changes. Jennifer is using NLP to provide clients with powerful applied neuroscience tools for making changes quickly and easily, whether it’s a personal or a professional change they seek.

Additionally, Jennifer has 20 years’ experience transforming corporate brands and driving revenue for companies of all sizes including PeopleSoft, Nektar and SAP. She is known as a visionary leader with a passion for driving results through smarter marketing and better launches.

She has published dozens of articles in the areas of scientific discovery, environmental health, marketing and personal growth for a variety of publications and online media outlets including Discovery Channel Online. She is a popular, high-energy speaker and facilitator on a variety of topics including making change easily in life and business, entrepreneurial life, launch best practices, brand development and marketing metrics. She is currently writing a book on how to create corporate brand and individual transformations entitled, The Leapfrog Method: How to Make Change with Ease and Grace.

Betsy McGinn, Founder and CEO of McGinn eCommConsulting, provides expertise in eCommerce for consumer packaged goods companies ranging from launch stage to $3 billion in sales. With over 11 years of experience with Amazon.com and other strategic eCommerce partners, Betsy works with clients on launch and business optimization strategy, product and pack development, problem resolution and ongoing management of their business.

With eight years of eCommerce leadership at Seventh Generation, Betsy provides a unique perspective through the brand lens to guide clients in this complex channel. Additional multi-channel experience in both the US and Canada enhances the development of eCommerce strategy that balances the interests of all sales channels in order to manage channel conflict.


Monica NesterMonica Nester is an experienced computer industry executive in both Fortune 500 and startup organizations with experience spanning all functions of business, with a strong marketing, sales support, business development and customer focus emphasis. As a member of various executive staffs she has been a strong contributor to company growth and development for two early stage software start-ups and an active 100+ person consulting firm.

She started her career in the textile industry with a transition to the high tech industry early in her career where she worked with industry leaders including Hewlett Packard Company, Symantec Corporation and Quantum Corporation. She also contributed to multiple dynamic software startups including as SVP of Marketing and Business Development at one of the first marketing automation software companies.

In the early 2000’s Monica took a slightly different path and helped to build a respected and successful firm of over 120 active high tech consulting resources as Vice President and COO of Marisan Group. Her prior years of high tech marketing and business experience were put to use to leverage the opportunities offered by the ever evolving and growing outsourcing trend in the industry.

Monica has an MBA from University of California at Berkeley as well as a BS degree from Philadelphia University. She has great love for NYC, family, friends, travel and animals – and is most happy when she can combine them all.

From the newsroom to the boardroom, Lisa Ann Pinkerton has used her keen analytical skills to share technology stories with the world for over a decade. She is Founder and President of Technica Communications, Founder of the networking group Women In Cleantech & Sustainability, and an international speaker and moderator.

Technica Communications specializes in public relations, website content, promotional videos, social media campaigns and other marketing activities for cleantech, health care and internet companies. With Technica, Lisa Ann leads companies through the web of new and traditional media with targeted messaging that bolsters business goals. As a former award-winning journalist, Lisa Ann acutely understands what motivates many journalists, in particular how they think, and she is routinely able to turn those insights into top-tier coverage.

Women In Cleantech & Sustainability is a professional networking group based in the San Francisco Bay Area. From entry level to the executive level, WC&S supports women in the advancement of their career goals with educational panels and workshops related to a wide variety of cleantech and sustainability topics.

Before founding Technica, Lisa Ann was a Senior Account Executive and managed new business operations for the San Francisco PR firm Antenna Group. She got her start as a broadcast journalist in 2001. Her work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, PBS Television, WPXI-NBC, American Public Media, The Environment Report, Great Lakes Radio Consortium, Free Speech TV, WYEP 91.3FM-Pittsburgh, WRCT 88.3FM-Pittsburgh, and WCPN/WVIZ PBS ideastream in Cleveland.

Kelli Richards

 Kelli Richards is a true trailblazer in the digital music and media arenas with more than twenty five years of senior-level experience. With a unique talent for connecting thought leaders from technology with innovators from entertainment, Kelli guides her clients to create big visions, make big connections and achieve big results. Often bigger than they dreamed possible for themselves! Essentially, she is known as a "super connector" between Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue.

A highly sought-after consultant, mentor, speaker, talent producer, celebrity wrangler, coach, radio show host and best-selling author, Kelli is the CEO of The All Access Group LLC (AAG). Prior to launching AAG, Kelli was responsible for driving music and entertainment strategies during her many years at Apple. At AAG, Kelli and her team facilitate powerful connections and strategic business opportunities in digital distribution between leading technology companies, established artists and celebrities, film studios, record labels, and consumer brand companies in order to foster new revenue streams and deliver compelling consumer experiences.

Kelli has been certified as a coach both by the Institute of Integrative Coaching (founded & run by bestselling author Debbie Ford), and by The Foundation for Holistic Coaching (founded & run by bestselling author Alan Cohen). Kelli is one of less than 20 people in the world who has achieved the status of Integral Master Coach being personally mentored by Alan Cohen. And she's one of fewer than 40 people globally who has also been personally trained and mentored by Alan Weiss ("The Million Dollar Consultant" & author of over 50 books) as one of his Master Mentors. Kelli holds a BA and an MBA in Business both through San Jose State University.

Jan Robertson

Jan Robertson is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SiVal Advisors a mergers & acquisitions advisory firm located in Silicon Valley, California. SiVal Advisors specializes in assisting mid-market technology companies, in a range of areas including: medical devices & services, semiconductor, semi-equipment, software, manufacturing and Clean Tech, with M&A and related matters. Her expertise includes sell-side and buy-side engagements, valuations and fairness opinions.

Jan, a frequent speaker and author on topics related to M&A, has advised numerous clients and boards of directors on a wide variety of transactions over her thirty-year career. In the past two years, Jan has moderated panels on technology-related topics such as Smart Grid: Understanding the Current Landscape and What Lies Ahead and Exit Planning: What Every CEO, Business Owner & Board Advisor Needs to Know. In 2012, Jan was honored as one of Silicon Valley’s Top 100 “Women of Influence.”

Prior to SiVal Advisors, Jan was Managing Director in Needham & Company's Menlo Park office, where she built the M&A practice from 1997 to 2002. Prior to Needham, she worked at major Canadian investment banking firms, including RBC Dominion Securities and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Jan has an MBA from Queen’s University (Canada) and a Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto. She is credentialed as a Chartered Business Valuator, and holds FINRA Series 79 and 63 securities licenses for investment banking. She currently serves on the board of directors for Peninsula Symphony and for NAWBO Silicon Valley, where she is President-elect.

Michelle RogersMichelle Rogers is the owner and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, a franchise offering a wide variety of senior home care services, resources and support delivered right in one’s home and designed to be flexible to meet each individual’s needs.

Michelle has more than 25 years of marketing and sales experience within the technology sector. Michelle acquired the South Peninsula Home Instead Senior Care franchise, founded in 1997, after deciding she wanted to be involved in providing services that would support people in the community. Her CAREGivers provide non-medical, in-home services to seniors in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Belmont, Calif.

She currently serves as a Board Member for the National Private Duty Association’s local chapter and a board member of the Home Instead Franchise Exchange Council.

Kathie Sherman, president of TenFour Marketing, doubles direct marketing campaign response rates. Kathie develops and implements innovative direct marketing programs focused on doubling response and conversion rates, tracking, measuring and optimizing results, and achieving high ROI on her customers’ marketing programs.

TenFour Marketing is a new class of marketing agency providing technologies and services that improve and personalize the customer experience. Kathie has done work with some well- known companies including Apple, CapGemini, Sun Microsystems and Penton Media. They have seen two to 10 times increased response rates; one tripled their marketing pipeline and increased conference registration rates by five times.

Kathie's background includes more than 20 years in enterprise software and marketing. Her underlying philosophy is to ensure that marketing messages are clearly received by their target markets, in a relevant voice with personalized offers. She is an expert in the field of multi-media direct marketing, and her customers continue to defy direct marketing statistics by consistently more than doubling response rates.

Lilia Shirman

Lilia Shirman is a technology industry executive, author, and advisor. She is the founder and Managing Director of The Shirman Group,  which helps B2B technology innovators identify and pursue new revenue streams and growth opportunities by becoming more relevant to customers. Shirman Group clients include industry leaders like BEA Systems/Oracle, CA, Convergys, and Symantec, and rapidly growing new ventures such as HIDLabs and Grid Dynamics. Before founding The Shirman Group, Lilia held leadership roles in product, solutions, and industry marketing, strategic alliances, and business development at BEA Systems. She also helped firms including HP, Cisco, and Compaq with corporate operations and planning as part of Accenture’s strategy practice.

Lilia is the author of the book 42 Rules for Growing Enterprise Revenue and of the Revenue Orchard blog. She is also an advisor in Stanford University’s Global Entrepreneurial Marketing program. She holds a B.S. in Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, and an M.S. in Technology Management from Stanford University.

Silicon Valley Leaders Network Leadership Team

Laurie Kretchmar, a communications pro, puts companies on the map with her firm, Content Marketing Place. She advises a range of companies on how to reach their target customers via content marketing, public relations, and social media marketing.

A highly respected former journalist at FORTUNE and the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Laurie has deep experience in corporate communications, employee communications, and public relations. She has expertise in online communications and was founding Editor in Chief at Women.com Networks, the first network of websites for women (later acquired by NBC). She also provides training in how to use social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to achieve organizational goals. 

Laurie grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from Dartmouth College. She is a recent graduate of Leadership, the community leadership program for San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, and Hillsborough. She has advised a number of organizations including Sustainable San Mateo County, Close the Gap California and Techonomy, a major tech conference. Find Laurie on Twitter at @LKhere.

Deb Siegle, Principal of Strategic Marketing Solutions, is Past President of Women In Consulting and strategist for the Leaders Network. Deb is an astute marketing leader, problem solver and communicator who is an authority in market research, strategy, and customer loyalty and experience. She understands what drives buyer and customer behavior, and is expert at hearing and translating the market and customer voice into actionable strategies and tactics that matter.

Deb assists clients with strategic research, branding, positioning and messaging, market and product development and launch, competitive and technology analysis, and customer loyalty and experience projects. Deb has more than 25 years of marketing, customer service, and sales experience in public and privately-held companies in high tech, healthcare / wellness, biotech, sustainability and professional services. She brings a unique combination of strategic and tactical skills developed through hands-on line management experience at fast-growing companies. Deb was named one of the top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley in 2016.

Prior to founding Strategic Marketing Solutions, Deb held senior and executive level positions in customer satisfaction and service, marketing, product management, and market development. Deb graduated Beta Gamma Sigma with a M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and Phi Beta Kappa with a BBA from the University of Michigan. She is a popular speaker, and has been featured in executive pod- and web-casts on “Customer Voice”, , "Building Customer Loyalty," "The Power of Retention Marketing", and "How Research Can Reveal New Insights into Your Customers, Your Product, & Your Brand." 

Patty Watkins is the Founder and Managing Partner of M.O.R.E. Sales Advisors.  Patty has a solid track record of over 20 years experience as an SVP, VP of Sales regionally, nationally and globally, as well as other executive positions in Fortune and start-up companies including HP, Avaya, AT&T, Teradata, NCR and several start ups in Silicon Valley. She has built many sales organizations from scratch, significantly grown existing team’s sales results, and successfully turned around and transformed many teams, propelling them from “worst to first.”

She has grown sales results from $0 to $50M, $0 to $100M, $0 to $200M and an existing team from $500M to $800M in one year. Large company or small, it’s all about building solid foundations, optimizing sales performance, and accelerating sales results. Those areas are the focus of M.O.R.E. Sales Advisors.

Three things you may not know about Patty:

  1. She is a twin, and her twin brother lives in Texas
  2. She started her career as an SE (Systems Engineer), and programmed in 4 languages
  3. She is an avid golfer, with a really high handicap [BTW – that’s bad :)]



Become a part of the Leaders Network!