Leaders Network – Silicon Valley Group

Susan CarsenSusan Carsen of Carsen Consulting  leads a group of associates serving non-profit clients in the western states region. With more than thirty years of fundraising and public relations experience, she provides counsel in all areas of advancement, serving clients in health care, culture and the arts, education, and human services.

Susan got her start in the field at Stanford University Medical Center, first in the public information office and then in the Office of Medical Development. She left Stanford to join the start-up staff of what is now the Tech Museum of Innovation, before going on to help open the San Francisco office of the Philadelphia-based national nonprofit management and fundraising consulting firm Barnes & Roche. When that office closed, she became Vice President for Development and Public Relations for Peninsula Community Foundation, then returning to consulting in the nonprofit sector, first as senior consultant for Los Angeles-based Phillips & Associates, and eventually opening her own office at the start of 2005.

In addition to serving nonprofits, Susan managed a support foundation for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF, and helped with the start up of a small family foundation focused on supporting low-income community organizing efforts. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Susan is a graduate of the University of California, Davis.


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.


Deborah HenkenDeborah Henken has spent the last seven years as head of marketing for Learning@Cisco and ran the Highland Team, strategic marketing consulting firm, for seven years before that. She has 20 years of management and marketing experience as VP of Marketing for Blue Pumpkin Software and IQ.com, and Director of Channel Marketing and Partnerships and alliances as BEA Systems and Informix Software. She has worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups to educations and non-profits. Her industry expertise includes: computer hardware, CRM, call center, voice recognition, database and infrastructure software, education administration. She is a former president of WIC and ran the first Silent Auction. She has a BS in Speech with Highest Honors from Northwestern University and an MBA from Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University with highest honors.


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.


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.


Joanne Nowak

Joanna Nowak  is a principal and founder of Moneywise Financial Advisors, a boutique fee-only wealth management firm specializing in holistic financial planning and investment management for women, their families and businesses. Joanna helps her clients define their true goals and priorities in life and develops custom financial plans to meet those goals. Her work honors her clients’ core values and aspirations, and allows them to live their lives from a position of financial strength, freedom and abundance.

Joanna is a member of the Financial Planning Association, actively serving on the Programs Committee. Over the years she has been involved in a number of non-profit organizations and causes that focus on women’s financial literacy.

Joanna holds an MBA and Bachelor's Degree in Business from Santa Clara University. She is a Registered Investment Advisor with the State of California and holds Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law License.


Adrian OttAdrian Ott has been called, “One of Silicon Valley’s most respected, (if not the most respected) strategist” by Consulting Magazine. As CEO of Exponential Edge Inc., she helps businesses gain market advantage in an exponential economy. Adrian has collaborated with some of the most innovative companies in the world including Microsoft, HP, Sierra Ventures, Symantec and Seagate to achieve market leadership for their products, services, and programs.

Adrian is the author of the book The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy (HarperCollins, August 2010). She writes a regular column at “Fast Company.com”. Adrian also serves as Chair of the Strategy & Growth Roundtable for the Harvard Business School Association of No. California. She has lectured on innovation and marketing strategy at the University of California, The University of Ottawa Executive MBA Program, and at Stanford.

Prior to founding Exponential Edge®, Adrian worked at HP for 15 years and was recognized in the HP 2000 Annual Report for "infusing HP with new revenue streams and technology and business models." During her tenure she led the Garage Program business unit that bridged HP to the Silicon Valley innovation community and managed a $1.5 billion dollar revenue portfolio of business. She also gained operational experience in Corporate Strategy at AT&T (Formerly Pacific Bell), and at the Clorox Company. Adrian holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. degree from U.C. Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter.


 Linda PopkyLinda Popky is the president of Leverage2Market Associates, a Redwood Shores-based strategic marketing company that helps transform organizations through powerful marketing performance. Her clients range from small businesses and consultants to mid-sized companies and large Fortune 500 enterprises.

In 2009, Linda was named one of the top women of influence in Silicon Valley and inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. She is the first marketing expert worldwide certified to offer the Private Roster™ Mentoring Program for consultants and entrepreneurs, and the first licensee of Alan Weiss’s workshops and seminars. Linda is the past president of WIC, and she served as VP of Marketing for the Northern California chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA). She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) and Watermark, the organization for exceptional executive women who have made their mark, where she serves on the Strategic Development Board.

Linda has served as Program Advisor for the Integrated Marketing Program at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning, and she is a member of the Advisory Board of University of California Santa Cruz Extension in Silicon Valley. She’s the author of workbooks on Marketing Your Career and Promoting Your Non-Profit, the co-author of the ebook Disciplined Marketing for Building a Professional Services Practice, and the editor of Alan Weiss on Consulting: A Guided Journey with the “Rock Star of Consulting.” A classically trained pianist, Linda recently released Night Songs, a CD of classical piano music.


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.


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

Holly Brady is a publishing strategist with a strong interest in new publishing processes. She is the owner of Brady New Media Publishing and works with serious writers who are interested in publishing books on Amazon.

Holly spent 16 years at Stanford University as Director of Publishing Ventures. During that time, she created courses for publishing professionals on the future of publishing, drawing speakers from some of the top publishing companies in the US--including Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Newsweek, John Wiley & Sons, Chronicle Books and others. She also served as executive editor for various Stanford book projects, including the Portable Stanford Book Series and Stanford: Portrait of a University.

She is a published author, the former editor-in-chief of a technology magazine, and a frequent speaker on the future of publishing. She also served as a judge for the online division of the National Magazine Awards.


Deb Siegle

Deb Siegle, Principal of Strategic Marketing Solutions, is 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." 

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