2023 PNW speakers

We are honored to welcome these business leaders, professors, professionals, and mentors to lead our speaker series and participate in our different panels. Each one has their own journey and experiences to learn from and we know will provide valuable insight to our conference and its attendees.

Speakers from...




Best Buy

Build Insight

Catalytic Innovators Group


Global Overview

Greater Seattle Partners

FORWARD Platform

Jolkona Foundation



Madrona Venture Group


Puget Sound Energy


Tech Mahindra

The Trade Desk

University of Washington

Vaiu Global Inc.

keynote 1: Leading with a North Star of Impact

Ambassador Suzan Levine

Ambassador Suzan LeVine has over 25 years of experience leading global organizations across government, corporate and non-profit sectors. She is a board director for Publicis Groupe, an advisory board member for OpenClassrooms and Syndio and serves on the non-profit boards of CareerWise USA, Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL) and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. During the past decade, she developed landmark programs promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and catalyzed innovative workforce systems such as apprenticeship and paid family and medical leave. She brings valuable experience and insights into the inner workings of government agencies, human capital retention, the intersection of the public and private sector, and developing the workforce of the future. In the public sector, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Commissioner for Washington State’s Employment Security Department and, most recently, as the Acting Assistant Secretary at USDOL’s Employment and Training Administration. She led the latter two through significant crises and change as they navigated the pandemic. As Ambassador, Suzi partnered with both nations to significantly advance apprenticeship in the U.S. These public sector successes leveraged her experiences working at both Microsoft and Expedia and as a stay-at-home mom to her two children. Suzi has degrees in English and Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and enjoys civic engagement, dog-walking and paddleboarding.

Recruiter Panel

elray butler

Elray Butler is an accomplished recruiter with over 10 years of experience recruiting across the United States, Mexico, and Europe in Corporate, . He currently works for Etsy as a .

Michael Sullivan

Get to know me… I love being a best friend to my wife & family. I have been to all 50 states, Washington & Hawaii are my favorites, I hope to travel the world next! I am a foodie! I love to find the best eggs benedict, coffee and new food experiences. I love shopping – and have a real problem buying things on Amazon. I love watching YouTube, my favorite things to watch are people living out of their vans and sailboats. My favorite tv shows are Survivor and Shameless. I am a Rare Coin Collector also known as a “Numismatist”. I love to camp, hike and rock climb. I recently learned to fly drones and love to take videos on it.

Moderator - Sreeja Kundu

Sreeja is a UW Bothell MBA alumnus and Real Estate Representative for Starbucks. She received her undergrad from Washington State University, achieving a double concentration in Marketing & Psychology. She has an Event Marketing/Administrative background worked at Microsoft before, supporting the Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities team. At Microsoft, she supported over 5 directors where she supported their teams, events, and space allocation. Currently, she works at Starbucks Corporate in the Global Growth & Development Team where she supports her leaders and executes complex administrative projects. Sreeja lives in Sammamish with her dog Luna whom she affectionally calls “Lunatic.” When she isn’t busy with work and school, Sreeja loves taking Luna on runs, traveling to new places, and spending time with family and friends. On the weekends, she participates in hip-hop and contemporary dance workshops.


Palak Goel

Palak joined Madrona in 2022. He focuses on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities across Madrona’s investment themes and supports the growth and strategy of current portfolio companies. Palak is particularly interested in working with technical founders building AI/ML-powered applications, open-source projects, and cloud and data infrastructure. Before joining Madrona, Palak worked as a product manager at Microsoft. At Microsoft, Palak worked on a variety of products, including Outlook, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Teams, Windows, Visual Studio, and Bing. Most recently, Palak worked on Microsoft Turing, an initiative to build best-in-class deep learning models and productize them across the Microsoft product family.

Will Rush

Will is the Co-founder & CEO of Jetson - an app that teaches primarily high schoolers about finance in a similar way to how Duolingo teaches language. Jetson is backed by Madrona Venture Group (among others) and in just 5 months of being live has over 20,000 users. Prior to Jetson, will was a consultant at Deloitte in the Securities industry working with clients like Robinhood, Sofi, Charles Schwab, E*Trade & TD Ameritrade. He also worked with the team at Seattle VC, Fuse Ventures. He then led the investing product at Copper Banking which grew to over 1.5 million users.

Adnan Mahmud

Adnan Mahmud

Adnan is passionate about using data and technology to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. As founder and CEO of FORWARD, he leads the company's efforts to accelerate equity and access in public assistance programs. FORWARD has been featured as a Gov100 company every year since 2016. Prior to founding FORWARD, Adnan worked for eight years at Microsoft, where he managed the company’s largest data pipelines and received multiple patents in data analysis, visualization, and management. In addition, Adnan is co-founder of Jolkona, a nonprofit that provides mentorship and training for social entrepreneurs.


Kingway Yeh

Kingway yeh

Kingway Yeh is the Director of Programmatic Advertising at Global Overview (GO), he manages the display media strategist team, and is responsible for scaling solutions that drive brand growth for all of GO clients. While he completed his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, he has 20+ years of experience in online advertising. After acquiring search, display, and management experience at Yahoo and AdReady, he spent seven and a half years working at Amazon Advertising where he grew accounts, provided leadership to multiple Amazon marketing teams, and led program management for the sales training team.

conflict management

Ranodda Dechambeau

Dr. Ranodda DeChambeau is an Organizational Development Consultant with a regional power company based in Seattle, WA. She has worked in the public and private sectors and specializes in employee and leadership development programs and change management. Dr. DeChambeau holds Masters Degrees in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in Adult and Continuing Education from Western Washington University. She completed a PhD in Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University, where she researched organizational paradox and how conflicting priorities affect individuals within organizations. For more information go to https://www.drdechambeau.com/.

stand out in a competitive market


Viven Gupta

Viven joined Amazon in 2014 as a founder of Taskless, which is both the team and software, that manages Information Reporting and Withholding Tax Compliance for all Amazon’s businesses and subsidiaries in 75 countries, with 80+ million payees. Viven is passionate about tax technology and is responsible for an org of 270+ customer obsessed individuals across product, engineering, design, science, and tax audit & operations. Before joining Amazon, Viven spent 20 years in Finance, building comprehensive technology services for finance customers at Accenture, London Stock Exchange, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Viven holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. In his fun time, Viven likes to run, watch ‘proper’ football and spend a lot of quality time with his wife, Amy and two boys, Arav and Vyan.

Innovation Management

Rebecca Lovell

Rebecca Lovell was named chief operating officer of Greater Seattle Partners, a public-private sector initiative that seeks to attract investment, companies and quality jobs in the Seattle area. Lovell was previously CEO of Denali Founder Consulting and executive director of Create33, a resource center and membership organization for technology startups. She also spent nearly five years at the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, and was executive director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network and GeekWire’s chief business officer.

Speed networking event

Andrés Romero

Andrés Romero is a Global Finance, Strategy, and Program Leader with 16+ years of experience across 7 industries. Currently, he is a Director of Finance at Adobe where he leads a team responsible for overseeing, analyzing, planning, and forecasting the Global Digital and Mobile subscription business. Additionally, his team provides various levels of finance support (i.e. dashboard building, automation, opportunity sizing, and others) for Value Expansion and Strategic partnership initiatives. Prior to Adobe, Andrés was at Amazon, where he partnered with cross functional teams across the ecommerce and cloud divisions to do financial planning, opportunity assessment, Go-To-Market strategy, and other high-profile projects. Additionally, he worked at Boeing in numerous finance roles in product development, airplane production, and airplane / aftermarket sales strategy. Andrés is a CFA (Charter Financial Analyst) charterholder, completed various certifications in project management and strategic thinking from Stanford University, holds a Master in Finance from DePaul University, and has a Bachelor in Accounting and Economics from Graceland University. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, watching sports, and staying up-to date with investment and tech trends


Devika is an accomplished purpose-driven leader with a passion for using technology to improve the lives of underserved communities worldwide. She has extensive experience across a range of industries and geographies, having worked in both corporate and nonprofit sectors in North America, Asia, and Africa. Currently, as a Senior Business Planner at Microsoft, Devika is dedicated to empowering frontline workers, expanding into emerging markets, and supporting nonprofit organizations. Drawing on her skills and insights gained as a management consultant at BCG, Devika is committed to driving innovation and creating value through technology. Prior to her work at Microsoft, Devika was at Dimagi, where she designed mobile apps for community health workers in India. Through this work, she collaborated with leading organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank to establish scalable digital systems that improved healthcare delivery for millions of people. Devika has also worked with healthcare organizations in Niger, Kenya, and the United States. Devika holds an MBA from MIT Sloan and a B.E. in Computer Science and an M.Sc. in Economics from BITS Pilani. In her free time, Devika enjoys reading, traveling, and taking long walks beside Lake Washington.

Georgia R Riddle

Georgia Riddle is an Area Retail Leader at KeyBank with over 20 years experience in the Retail Banking industry. She began her career as a Teller and held multiple roles. In her current role, Georgia leads 16 branch teams to deliver financial wellness to their clients with deposit, investment, and lending strategies. Georgia was born and raised in the PNW and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington, Tacoma in 2006.

Grace Kim

Over the course of 15+ years at Accenture, Grace Kim has been focused on accelerating her clients' business transformation with the power of technology. Her broad set of experiences span from defining technology roadmaps to designing and implementing large-scale billing, operating, or ERP, systems for Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. As part of Accenture Technology Strategy & Advisory group, she is currently focused on cloud advisory services for Technology clients in the West. Grace Kim is a proud graduate of the University of Washington where she holds a BA from the Foster School of Business. She serves as the overall University of Washington Campus Recruiting Executive Sponsor at Accenture.

Jana Smith

Jana Smith is the Manager of Talent Development at Global Overview (GO), responsible for designing and implementing career development programs and initiatives for GO’s employees, as well as spearheading university outreach programs. A program Jana is most proud of developing at GO is the Learning, Excellence, and Preparedness (LEaPs) program, a 4-month campus to corporate transitional training program to help recent graduates thrive in the corporate world at GO. Jana has over 10 years of experience in e-commerce, having worked in operations, program management, and technical product development. When Jana is not working, you’ll find her spending time with her two rescue dogs, travelling, or deep into the latest thriller novel.

Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy is the Director of Electric Operations at Puget Sound Energy. His responsibilities include real-time distribution and load serving operations, substation and relay operations, metering operations, as well as electric first response activities. Ryan has over 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry, and he has held various field, technical and leadership roles spanning power generation, electrical transmission, as well as electrical distribution. In his time working at PSE, Ryan held engineering roles in support of greenfield hyrdo-power construction, maintenance and testing of large combustion turbine generators, as well as transmission line design. Prior to pursuing his electrical engineering education, Ryan began his career in the utility industry working on the line crews in MT building new transmission and distribution infrastructure. His passion for our industry has grown over the years as the electrical grid evolves and clean energy becomes a unified goal! Ryan is a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer in the state of Washington, and he holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree(s) in Electrical Engineering. Ryan earned his BSEE degree at Montana State University and his MSEE degree at the University of Idaho.

Product v. Project v. Program Management Panel

Zachariah Morgan

Zachariah Morgan is the Director of Site Reliability Engineering for Microsoft Defender services. He joined Microsoft in October 2000 and has worked on several high scale services since then including Windows Activation, OneDrive, Hotmail AntiSpam, SmartScreen, and Microsoft Defender. In 2006, he shaped his way into the safety + security space protecting consumers using IE7 from Phishing. Throughout his career, he has a strong track record of delivering outstanding business results for customers and Microsoft through excellent individual and team execution. Over the last several years, his multi-discipline leadership helped reposition Microsoft Defender into multiple Gartner Leader Quadrant status. Culturally, he successfully coached SRE & PM disciplines through several career transformations. This metamorphosis set the foundation and enabled Microsoft Defender to deliver reliable and efficient global scale services in 23 unique regions supporting over 1Billion MAD across Consumer, Commercial, and Government market segments.


Zach Howes

Zach Howes is a seasoned professional with 17 years of experience in the technology industry. He has held various roles through his career, ranging from Test, Development, SRE, Program Management, and Product Management. He has worked on consumer and enterprise software. In his last role at Microsoft he was a Group Product Manager for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. There he helped transform it from consumer grade Antivirus to an industry leading Enterprise Endpoint Protection Product. He is now a Director of Product at the Trade Desk where he owns Trust and Safety, Developer Experience, and Strategic Integrations.

moderator - Yenlik (Enlik) Mukhanova

Yenlik has over 10 years of Product Management experience in e-commerce at small and large companies, most recently at Best Buy’s Consumer mobile application. She is currently transitioning to lead the mobile app team at iVisa where she will help simplify the lives of the customers during their travel. Yenlik is passionate about consumer experiences and developing new, innovative projects to remove friction from the shopping or browsing experience to drive improved conversion and revenue. Yenlik fully owns programs from research and requirements to launch, engaging with UX, Business, and Engineering teams throughout the process, and contributing to roadmap strategy.

Daring to be Different - Tips from a Woman Leader in Tech

Raji Rajagopalan

Raji Rajagopalan believes that your 'differentness' can be your differentiator. In her day job, Raji is a Partner Director of Software Engineering at Microsoft. In her last 20 years in the tech industry, her work has spanned building startup teams, turning around unsuccessful projects, driving engineering rigor, scaling online services, growing global teams, and creating products used by a billion+ customers. She currently runs an organization of developers across five countries and four continents. She is the author of the book "Daring to be Different: Stories and Tips from a Woman Leader in Tech". You can learn more about the book and about Raji on her website, https://www.rajiraj.com

moving from individual contributor to people manager

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith

Maggie is the Director of Business Management for the Enterprise Sales, West & Midwest Region at Microsoft. With 16 years of experience at the company, she’s developed financial and operational expertise across sales, product, and corporate divisions. Her passion for creating diverse, inclusive, and highly effective teams stems from working with numerous groups, from Microsoft’s earnings releases for Wall Street to business development in Spain. Today, her team leads sales operations supporting digital transformation with many of the largest companies in the country.


Amit kaistha

Amit Kaistha is part of the leadership team at Tech Mahindra, a leading system integrator and digital transformation provider. As the head of the Microsoft Cloud Business, his responsibilities include global sales, business development, and crafting innovative solutions for customers. His primary objective is to help customers realize the value of their technology investments, optimize their operations, and harness the power of emerging technologies to transform their businesses. Previously, Amit has been engaged in building industry solutions that leverage data science, analytics, machine learning, and AI. With over 25 years of experience in IT Amit has built a deep understanding of various industries and their unique requirements. Amit is a proud alumnus of Columbia University School of Professional Studies, where he earned an Executive Master of Science in Technology Management. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management and a Bachelor's Engineering Degree.

Erik Arnold

Erik Arnold

Erik Arnold has a passion for applying technology solutions to the nonprofit sector and joined Microsoft in 2017 as the Global Chief Technology Officer for the Tech for Social Impact team in Microsoft Philanthropies. In this role, he leads the engineering product strategy for nonprofits and the United Nations. Erik also leads the Microsoft Philanthropies program for the company’s cloud software donation strategy, which provides over $1b in software and services to over 300k nonprofits each year. Prior to Microsoft, Erik served nine years as the Chief Information Officer at PATH, an international nonprofit focused on global health, and 15 years at a privately held Bill Gates startup. Erik is active in local, national, and international technology communities. He sits on the board of directors of Evergreen Goodwill Industries, Global Impact, Global Washington, and on the technology advisory boards for a variety of social impact organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Anders Dowell Headshot

moderator - Anders dowell

Anders is a current University of Washington Bothell MBA candidate and curious relationship builder consistently recognized for bringing teams together. He has a diverse background in project management, marketing, and operations across several industries. His MBA from UW and experience in sales, consulting, and geographic information systems (GIS) analysis make him a versatile asset. Upon graduation, Anders plans to transition to a career in technology and software business development. In his free time, he enjoys biking, hanging out on the beach, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.

Job Searching & Recruiter Tips

Moderator: Sreeja Kundu

Sreeja is a 2nd year MBA Student at the University of Washington. She received her undergrad from Washington State University, achieving a double concentration in Marketing & Psychology. She has an Event Marketing/Administrative background worked at Microsoft before, supporting the Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities team. At Microsoft, she supported over 5 directors where she supported their teams, events, and space allocation. Currently, she works at Starbucks Corporate in the Global Growth & Development Team where she supports her leaders and executes complex administrative projects. Sreeja lives in Sammamish with her dog Luna whom she affectionally calls “Lunatic.” When she isn’t busy with work and school, Sreeja loves taking Luna on runs, traveling to new places, and spending time with family and friends. On the weekends, she participates in hip-hop and contemporary dance workshops.

Sonali Naidu

Sonali has extensive recruiting experience working with agencies, corporations, across different geographies, and varied global markets. She graduated with a masters degree in Human Resources in 2002 and soon after joined a recruiting agency in India where she worked a little over a year. She then joined a company supporting their recruiting needs for domestic/local market and eventually became a founding member to support US staffing. Sonali moved to Seattle in 2011 and resides here along with her family. She has had the opportunity to work with companies like Microsoft and currently Amazon. Read More

Sonali is passionate about food and loves to cook. She is also a certified yoga instructor and is working towards building a community of yoga practitioners. In her free time, she loves to read, listen to music, hike, and spend time with family.

Alejandro Guzman

I am a trilingual psychologist who graduated from Ricardo Palma University, have a master's in Leadership from the City University of Seattle. I have experience recruiting Talent from the USA, Canadian, Peruvian, Costa Rica, and Mexican markets. Currently, I work as a recruiter at Microsoft.

Garrett Nelson

Garrett Nelson is the University Recruiter for KPMG Seattle. He was born and raised in Washington state where he received his Bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University in Psychology. He continued his focus on human develop and received a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University in College Student Personnel. Garrett spent the last five years of his career working in higher education, and the last two working at UW Bothell! Now he seeks to provide diverse student talent with opportunities to succeed in positions at KPMG.

Panel Discussion: Startups & Investors

Moderator: Brandon Fleming

Leading software development and commercialization at PorticoCare Inc, a health data management company creating platforms for patients to manage their health data. Applied economic, accounting, strategy, and sociology frameworks to prescribe strategies in startups in the Pacific Northwest and South East Asia. Collaborated with and mentored 100+ entrepreneurs on topics of strategy, product development,Read More

business models, idea validation, innovation assessment, intellectual property, and career development using economic and strategic theories.

Susan Perreault

Dr. Susan Perreault is the Director of the Washington Women’s Business Center at Business Impact NW, a non-profit small business community development lender supporting the continuing growth of local small businesses. Washington Women’s Business Center, a program in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, promotes long-term positive economic change through financial services, business coaching, and training with a focus on helping underserved entrepreneurs at every stage in their business growth. Read More

Prior to joining WWBC/BINW, Dr. Perreault spent much of her career as an entrepreneur and in senior management positions in the professional beauty industry. As an entrepreneur, she understands how difficult it can be to launch and grow a business. A motivation for pursuing her doctorate was to assist others to achieve their business and entrepreneurial aspirations. In her role with the Washington Women’s Business Center, Susan is honored to support the startup and growth of small businesses by providing the connections, resources, and training needed to successfully start and run a business.

Everardo Ruiz

Everardo has spent nearly 30 years as a Private Equity and Venture Capital investor, entrepreneur, and director, in addition to being a product manager, design engineer, researcher, and inventor.  In his roles at Intellectual Ventures, Intel Capital, Texas Instruments, Alcatel, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Calgene he has invested worldwide in and developed products spanning medical diagnostics, wireless networks and devices,  high-speed networking & supercomputing, 3D Printing, UAV/UAS vehicles, semiconductor, and biotechnology.  Read More

Everardo holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas, an MS degree in Management and Engineering from MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT School of Engineering, an MSEE from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a BSEE degree from the University of California Davis.  Dr. Ruiz is a NASA Fellow.

Aseem Datar

Aseem joined Madrona Venture Group in 2021. As part of the investment team, he identifies and evaluates new investment opportunities and works closely with existing companies on business and product strategies. Prior to Madrona, Aseem spent over 17 years at Microsoft, working in various roles from a developer to creating business models for Office 365. Aseem also has global sales experience, led growth for the SaaS and hardware businesses, and was most recently the GM/COO for Microsoft Azure. At Azure, he led growth and scale initiatives that grew the business from its early days to over $20B ARR. Read More

His background in Cloud, AI/ML, SaaS, Commerce & Payments, Devices & OS means he is interested in many startup businesses. While at Microsoft, Aseem was also active with smaller companies, building a small investment fund and serving as an advisor to early-stage companies.

Aseem holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Washington. He is a Seattle 40 under 40 honoree and is also the recipient of the coveted Microsoft CMO Award for leading growth in emerging markets for both devices and SaaS.


Sandeep Krishnamurthy

Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the first Dean of the AACSB-accredited School of Business at University of Washington, Bothell. This role involves managing the School of Business as its chief academic, and, administrative officer, with primary responsibility for faculty, students, curriculum, budgets, and external engagement. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in marketing with a minor in Economics in 1996. He received a PGDBM(equivalent to MBA) from XLRI and a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.

Deanna Kennedy

Deanna M. Kennedy, Ph.D. is Associate Dean (Academics) in the School of Business at the University of Washington Bothell. Dr. Kennedy received her PhD in Management Science from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and earned her MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA. he is interested in the use of interventions, technologies and tools that facilitate group/team processes and lead to better task outcomes. Her research has been published in the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Decision Sciences and Production Planning and Control.

Carol Shaw

Carol Anderson Shaw is an adjunct professor with the UWB School of Business and a strategic communications consultant. She teaches courses on leadership and communications, with a focus on diversity, collaboration, stakeholder theory, social enterprise, and environmental sustainability. Originally from the East Coast, Shaw earned an MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at UWB. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the UWB School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS), Washington State Parks Foundation Board (WSPF), and Dartmouth College alumni organizations. In the classroom and as faculty advisor for the UWB MBA Association and the Women in Business club.

Come to the PNW MBA conference to engage with speakers, ask questions, and connect with the community!