Industry Mentors

usha andra

Usha Andra

Leader, Product Marketing


Usha Andra is an experienced product marketer and leads a marketing team in the Cisco Customer and Solutions Marketing (CSM) team with a focus on Cisco’s Cloud and Data Center Networking connectivity, cloud managed platforms and cloud-native initiatives around automation, orchestration and insights with Cisco Nexus Cloud and Nexus Dashboard along with Cisco Nexus switching for 400G/800G. Prior to this role, she was responsible for developing gold-standard global thought leadership initiatives with the Cisco Service Provider and multi-domain marketing teams where she was a lead analyst on network performance, telemetry and usage analysis with the Cisco Annual Internet Report, Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) and Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) — the company's efforts to forecast and analyze the growth and use of the Internet, IP networks and cloud based networks worldwide — resulting in successful launches for the SP product portfolio. Usha has been with the company for 17 years. She started her career with Cisco’s Strategic Marketing Organization focusing on the Enterprise and Consumer segments doing market share and share of wallet. She is an MBA/BSEE and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Business at SJSU, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

rebecca biswasRebecca Biswas

Director of Mechanical/ Thermal Engineering
Juniper Networks


After completing her undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), India, Rebecca came to the US in 1996. She did her Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Electronics Cooling from San Jose State University. Over 22 years of Mechanical / Thermal design and development, including setting up a Mechanical design and engineering division in India, Vendor management with a leading contract manufacturer, and leading corporations. Rebecca has successfully deployed products from concept through production while working closely with clients during the specification, design, and prototype phases. She found her passion for product development and always looking forward to developing processes that will help design better to build a world-class product. Rebecca is a Professional Mentor to the TechWomen Program, an initiative from the US Department of State affairs to empower emerging women leaders from Sub Sahara Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asian countries.

Kiki CannyKiki Canny

CX Specialist


Prior to joining Discord Victoria spent almost 3 years as the Development and Marketing Coordinator for Friends for Youth, a community organization to help kids at risk. She currently continues to be a volunteer mentor for the organization. Kiki received her BA in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and studied abroad in Tokyo for a semester. Her passions include gaming, playing the guitar, and trying new sparkling water flavors.

addy casillas

Addy Casillas

Program Manager 
Contrast Security


Addy is currently in a startup emerging SMB environment as a Program Manager interfacing with Product Management, Engineering and Customer Success. She is also a United States Army Veteran, and graduate of San José State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics. Addy has a passion for empowering young women by mentoring them from personal experience and connecting them with pertinent resources. 

Annie ChenAnnie Chen

Sr. Director of Consumer Business
Trend Micro Inc.


Annie is a senior-level business professional with 20 years of software industry experience, ranging from product marketing, online marketing, e-commerce operation, to business management. She currently serves as Sr. Director at Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, and is in charge of the consumer business in North American and European markets. Annie has a track record of driving business results through strategic planning and solid execution, and she is known for her ability to build and lead talented and motivated global teams. Annie cares deeply about diversity and inclusion and is part of Trend Micro’s Trending Women’s initiative, which is designed to help women enter and grow in the world of cybersecurity. She holds a B.S. in International Business from Taiwan University and an MBA degree from the University of Washington. 

Laura Chmielewski

Laura Chmielewski 

VP of Marketing and Communications
Visit San Jose

Laura is a destination marketing and public relations leader with 20 years of experience planning and implementing initiatives to drive revenue growth through cultural tourism strategies. Laura currently serves as Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Team San Jose, the Convention and Visitor Bureau for San Jose. Previously, Laura served as Deputy Director for the Chicago Office of Tourism, in the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, where she was responsible for envisioning and overseeing strategies to drive leisure tourism to the City. She developed citywide cultural tourism programs including special events, festivals, tour programs and interactive digital marketing campaigns that linked public experiences to key City economic development initiatives. Notably, she was part of the opening team that envisioned, launched, and programmed Chicago’s famed, Millennium Park. Her notable awards include:  2022 Travel Weekly Magellan Award for Marketing - Promotions with Purpose"; U.S Travel Association's Destination Council's DESTINY AWARD; Travel & Leisure SMITTY Award; WEBBY AWARD for best Travel/Adventure Video Short Form; and the American Association of Museum's MUSE Award for excellence in technical programming.

Heidi EisipsAnnie ChristiansenAnnie Christiansen

Sr Director, Engineering Operations


Annie (she/her) is a senior programs and operations leader who thrives in chaos and loves making molehills out of mountains. She has over 20 years of experience driving scaled improvements across industries - from clothing and beauty to laptops and software. Annie discovered a passion for developing high performing individuals and teams through her years as a coxswain and coach at Thames Rowing Club in London, England. Originally from Connecticut, Annie holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and now resides in California with her kids, husband, and cats. 

Lisa FloresLisa Flores

CEO and Founder
Talent Space


Lisa provides the strategic vision for the company and leads business development efforts. She is an active angel investor in growth companies and a serial entrepreneur in real estate.  Lisa previously served as the VP of Sales at Metro Information Services providing software development resources to Fortune 500 and venture backed emerging companies.  Instrumental in the sale of company to Nasdaq listed firm for 100X return.  Post-sale served as Division Director of parent company. Lisa is active in the community supporting non-profits and fundraisers.  She was born in San Jose and received a B.A. in Industrial/Organization from San José State University. 

Eeshita GroverEeshita Grover

Director, Marketing 


Eeshita has been in leadership and people management roles for 10+ years, at Cisco. She has led teams and initiatives that have impacted large product portfolios. With extensive experience in grooming talent and helping them grow, her strength lies in impressing on individuals the value each of them bring to a team and to the company at large.

Olivia GuelOlivia Guel

Leader, Strategy and Planning Operations
Commercial Offers and Licensing Experience 

Olivia has been at Cisco for nearly 13 years, both as a consultant and full-time employee. Joining directly from San Jose Staté University, Olivia started her Cisco career as a Data Analyst in Services, then moved into another group as a Business Analyst, then evolving into a Program Manager in various organizations, and finally leveraging her prior experience to grow into a leadership role in Business Operations. She has a diverse background in, Analytics, Process Documentation, Communications, and Program Management. Her passions lie in connecting people and processes to create a diverse and inclusive future for all. 

sangeeta gupteSangeeta Gupte

Senior Director, Digital Marketing Strategy


Sangeeta is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for bringing disruptive medical technologies to market to improve lives. She has a unique combination of a business background combined with medical education and clinical experience. This has resulted in successful strategies for new product adoption and global commercialization. As a part of the founding teams at multiple companies Sangeeta created pioneering medical solutions for improved outcomes. She was instrumental in transforming a concept for the first-ever AI in healthcare into a widely used ‘standard of care’ for early detection of cancers. Later, she defined a Real-time 3D Stereoscopic technology into a clinically applicable solution for biopsies and was responsible for global adoption. Sangeeta’s wide experience spans across many sub-verticals. She has provided commercialization strategies for various at-home testing and risk assessment kits, remote monitoring for seniors, telehealth-as-a-service, CAD AI for medical imaging, 3D mammography, orthopedics, personalized medicine, tumor genetic profiling, immunoassays, cord-blood banking and others. Sangeeta represented Fuji Capital at ‘The Angels Fund’ for investments in life science start-ups. She has advised CEOs on product evolution, strategy and fund-raising. Sangeeta believes in contributing towards the betterment of society. At an early age, she worked closely with Mother Teresa and volunteered for many years at her orphanage and home for the elderly. Sangeeta expanded her love for creativity by introducing the Art Therapy program at Stanford Hospital, specifically for long-term and terminal patients.

Myra HaubrichMyra Haubrich

Sr. Engineer Manager


Myra has a Computer Science Masters's degree specializing in Computer Algorithms. She enjoys exploring new technologies and applying innovation to improve efficiency and resiliency in any project she involves. Myra worked at startups and large enterprises and spoke at different conferences. She is passionate about technology and a strong advocate for everyone’s equal opportunity to learn and develop careers in technology.

jennie hou

Jennie Hou

Sr. Engineering Program Manager
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise


Jennie is a senior engineering program manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise working on cross-organizational projects. She has experience across many functional areas over her career. She is passionate in promoting employee engagement and STEM. She has a BA in Computer Science and a MBA.

Linda KhachooniLinda Khachooni

Advising CFO 2Predict, 19Labs


Linda has 30 years experience working for early stage growth companies. Broad spectrum of expertise in organizations structure, finance, accounting, legal, human resources, business strategy, negotiations and operational process organization. Integral member of leadership teams taking new companies from initial stages through successful organizations. Successfully completed over 15 M&A transactions with companies that include eBay, Smith Micro, AT&T and Numera.

Kireeti KompellaKireeti Kompella

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 
Juniper Networks Engineering Team

Before taking on his current role, Kireeti served as CTO, SDN at Juniper Networks. Previously, Kompella was CTO at Contrail Systems, which was acquired by Juniper in December 2012. Prior to joining Contrail, he was CTO and Chief Architect, Junos at Juniper Networks. Kompella has deep experience in Packet Transport, large-scale MPLS, VPNs, VPLS, and Layer 1 to Layer 3 networking, and has been active in the IETF, as former chair of the CCAMP Working Group and as author of several Internet Drafts and RFCs (in the CCAMP, IS-IS, L2VPN, MPLS, NVO3, OSPF, and TE WGs). Prior to joining Juniper in 1997, he worked on file systems at NetApp, SGI, and ACSC (acquired by Veritas). At heart, Kompella is still an engineer and a coder, and loves talking to ASIC folks. Kompella received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a Master’s degree in computer science from IIT, Kanpur, and a PhD in computer science from University of Southern California, specializing in number theory and cryptography. He holds 46 issued patents.

Alvina NishimotoAlvina Nishimoto

Scrum Master
Jack Henry & Associates


Alvina Nishimoto spent 34 years at HP in R&D and Marketing developing the HP Materials Management product, database and interoperability solutions, and various new business solutions. She spent 2 years at Symantec Corporation where she was the Engineering Enrichment Leader and then 3 years as the Agile Coach at the City of San Jose.  Alvina currently is a Scrum Master at Jack Henry & Associates, a leading provider of banking software. She has a B.S. and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering with a specialization in computer utilization from Stanford University.

Jennifer Peneyra

Jennifer Peneyra

Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Silicon Valley Bank


Jennifer plays an integral role in building an inclusive workplace culture so employees from all diverse backgrounds and experiences can bring their bold ideas to life and power innovation. She partners with key leaders to integrate a DEI lens throughout enterprise-wide learning experiences, from mitigating bias in the workplace to allyship and inclusive leadership. She also creates spaces for courageous conversations – whether in response to real world events or employee concerns – and enables teams to build empathy and expand perspectives. Jen has over two decades of experience as a diversity and recruitment professional; she previously managed firm-wide diversity talent programs, employee resource groups, branding and communications, and strategic external partnerships at Charles Schwab, and prior to that role, she led recruiting and diversity initiatives for the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun + Martel LLP. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a BA in English and Psychology.

Natalie QuanNatalie Quan

California Society of Certified Public Accountants / CalCPA Education Foundation

Natalie is the Chief Financial Officer of the California Society of CPA's and CalCPA Education Foundation, the nation's largest state CPA society. Prior to CalCPA she was the Controller of the San Francisco Ballet Association and a non-profit audit manager in a regional CPA firm. Natalie holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from San José State University, is a Certified Public Accountant, graduate of the Stanford University's Emerging CFO Financial Leadership Program and graduate of the CFO Leadership Council CFO Accelerating Growth Through Leadership Executive Program at MIT. In her spare time, Natalie sits on the Board of the Better Business Bureau of Norther California, is the Treasurer of Circus Center and teaches circus arts. 

Rene Siegel

Rene Shimada Siegel



After spending a decade entrenched in Silicon Valley tech firms of all sizes, Rene founded and led the marketing and communications consultancy Connext to support industry leaders including Google, Cisco, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Abbott, and others. In February 2021, Connext merged with Armanino, bringing a portfolio of clients and thousands of marketing consultants nationwide. Rene’s superpowers include telling stories to impact behavior change, making personal and business connections and empowering others to live fulfilling lives. She advocates for a diverse, inclusive and multigenerational workforce. Rene currently serves on the Armanino Foundation Volunteer Vacation committee. She is also on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Lucas College of Business at her alma mater, San José State University, where she was also a Public Relations adjunct professor for seven years. She is also a member of ASCEND, the largest Pan-Asian non-profit organization for business professionals in North America, and a lifetime member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Rene is a frequent speaker at events including the Public Relations Society of America, International Conference and Watermark Conference for Women.

oilivia shen greenOlivia Shen Green

Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Western Digital


Olivia and her team spearhead Western Digital’s efforts to accelerate the company’s business through inclusive culture with equitable practices to engage a global and diverse workforce. Previously, Olivia led DE&I at VMware with an eye to people processes, products and business processes. At Logitech, she was the Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Happiness where she formed and led DE&I globally across categories including mice, keyboards, video collaboration, music, gaming, streaming, podcasting and sports. Prior to pivoting into the field of HR, she led inclusive change in engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, and acquisition integration. She is a leader that thrives at the intersection of data, storytelling and evidence-based solutions. DE&I is a critical business skill, and she taps into academic research, pop culture, military strategy and more to influence and guide leaders as they move forward on their own DE&I journeys. Olivia holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She enjoys playing video games with her family and enjoys photographing sports and singing along to Broadway musicals. 

Mansi ShuklaMansi Shukla

HR Manager


Mansi has 10+ years broad experience in HR within a mix of startups and public enterprises. She is a San José State University Alumna, where she earned her MBA degree in 2012. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering. She loves to travel and has been to more than 40+ countries.  

Surabhi Subramanya

Surabhi Subramanya

Senior Software Engineer


Surabhi did her Masters in Computer Science with Specialization in Security at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Completed 5+ years at Cisco as a Software Engineer. Outside of work she enjoys music, basketball, reading and YouTube!

Hung Truong

Hung Truong

Chief Engineering Officer


Hung presently leads the world-wide Engineering organization for Yubico – a global authentication leader – backed by renowned Swedish and US investors. He has over 20 years of experience in leading global hardware and software engineering teams, serving among the world’s most prominent multi-national enterprises and communication service providers.  Prior to joining Yubico in February 2021, Hung was VP of Products for the Information Security division of Utimaco – a privately held company headquartered in Aachen, Germany.  Prior to Utimaco, Hung led the Global R&D organization for the ArcSight SIEM business as its VP of Engineering – the largest business in the Enterprise Security Products division at Hewlett Packard (HP). Hung is a holder of a patent on Remote Wireless Network Management.  He received his B.S., M.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Waterloo and his M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, in Canada. 

vimala veerapanVimala Veerappan

Senior Director, Technical Marketing
Cisco Systems


Achievement driven professional with over 17 years of experience in Technical Marketing, Product Management, Networking, and Business Operations, Go-to-market strategy worldwide. Loves building high performance teams, thinking outside the box, solving hard problems and putting her best foot forward.

Neelam Vijay

Neelam Vijay

Software Engineering Manager
Juniper Networks


Neelam is a seasoned engineering leader with 20+ years of experience in several engineering positions. Currently she leads a team as Software Engineering Manager at Juniper Networks. Her Prior roles include - Customer Support, Solutions Test Engineering and Automation Lead. She is a Core member of the Juniper Foundation Committee. Neelam is a Professional Mentor for the Tech Women Program – sponsored by the US Department of State. Neelam is an active member of Juniper/Bay Area Toastmaster club(s), as well as a Board Advisor for RIET  (Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology), and an International speaker/member of IITM (Institute of Innovation in Technology & Management), in Delhi, India. Neelam is also a student counselor and speaker at RTU (Rajasthan Technical University). In her spare time, Neelam enjoys dancing, music and hiking.

micaela whalen

Micaela Whalen 

Business Development Manager


Micaela is a native to the Monterey Bay and Los Angeles areas, and is a proud alum of San José State University -- graduating with a B.S. in Corporate Finance in 2016. Her involvement in organizations on campus provided opportunities to create long-lasting connections inside and outside the university -- connections which were key to her obtaining internships throughout college and receiving a full-time job offer at Xilinx. Continuing her career in the tech industry, she now works at Intel Corporation as a Business Development Manager. What keeps her fulfilled outside of work and family is providing mentorship to current and recently-graduated SJSU students -- and she's excited to be back on campus in hopes of helping current college students be confident, own their personal brand, and pursue a fulfilling career.

Sandy YuSandy Yu



Sandy has over 20 years of experience leading customer experience and customer success teams at Oracle, Cisco, PricewaterhouseCoopers and startup companies.  A trusted advisor and consultant, Sandy enables business leaders to understand what it takes to transform their organizations to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern customers in the subscription economy. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sandy is an avid mentor and is one of the co-founders of Networking with a Purpose, a 100% volunteer-based, skills-building, and networking organization, with over 1,000 members globally. Sandy lives just south of San Francisco, California with her husband and twin daughters. She enjoys traveling, reading and is currently obsessed with both tennis and pickleball.

Tao ZhangTao Zhang

Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of IP and Product
Juniper Networks

Prior to Juniper, Tao was Associate GC of IP and Technology at Ansys, and senior director of IP strategy at Huawei Device USA, respectively. Before Huawei, she was with Hewlett-Packard for 23 years. She obtained a JD from Concord Law School and a PhD in Physics from Stanford University. Dr. Zhang is a member of the California Bar and a registered patent attorney with the USPTO. She is co-author of the book "Mining Ideas for Diamonds – Comparing China and US IP Practices from Invention Selection to Patent Monetization". She also co-authored "Call for Standardization in Patent Claim Drafting" (Santa Clara HighTech Law Journal, Volume 34, Issue 3, April 2018) and "Making Trademark Decisions Based on Cost Considerations" (WTR, April 2020). Tao was recognized by the IAM Strategy 300 in 2015, 2017 and 2018.