Speaker Biographies

Kimberly Ellis

Kimberly Ellis

San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

Named the most powerful unelected person in California Democratic politics by the Sacramento Bee, Kimberly Ellis has helped shape the landscape of progressive and grassroots politics in California and beyond.

After running national operations, including the shepherding of the state and federal incorporation and launch processes as the National Affiliate Director at Emerge America (the nation’s most effective training program for Democratic women who run for office) in 2010, Kimberly was tapped to lead the flagship affiliate, Emerge California, as its Executive Director.

For nearly a decade, Kimberly led the California affiliate with incredible success, growing what had been a regional training program into a statewide electoral powerhouse for Democratic women, earning her the reputation for revolutionizing Democratic politics in the Golden State.

Today, Emerge California alumnae occupy seats from the Lieutenant Governor’s office to the state legislature, to city halls and school boards, to city councils and water boards.

In the Fall of 2020, Kimberly was appointed to lead the Department on the Status of Women for the City and County of San Francisco. Tasked with helping to transform San Francisco into a fully gender equitable city, Kimberly is a vibrant leader with tested experience in creating sustainable programs that provide the tools to empower women to make incredible change in their lives and in their communities.

Working with the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Supervisors, the Commission, city agencies and other community stakeholders, the Department on the Status of Women is spearheading the creation of blueprints for accelerating the pace of social change at scale.

Kimberly has appeared on syndicated television and radio, frequently having been interviewed by leading political media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Associated Press. She is a frequent contributor to several online and print dailies, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post.

Kimberly holds a law degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Jacksonville University.

Yim-Yu headshotEugene Sivadas, Ph.D.

Lam Family College of Business, San Francisco State University

Eugene Sivadas is Dean of the Lam Family College of Business. He spent 15 years on the faculty of the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington, Tacoma where he held appointments as Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Director of the MBA Program, Coordinator of the Masters’ Program in Cybersecurity & Leadership and Professor of Marketing. He also served on the University of Washington Faculty Senate, on the executive council of UW Tacoma’s Faculty Assembly, as Chair of Milgard School’s faculty council and as Chair of UW Tacoma’s Appointment, Promotions, and Tenure Committee. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and has held faculty appointments at Rutgers Business School, the University of Cincinnati, and Emerson College. Professor Sivadas has published in leading marketing journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Marketing Letters, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management etc. and has recently co-authored the 9th edition of the leading marketing channels textbook. His research has been cited more than 5000 times.

Katie FerrickKatie Ferrick

Senior Director of Community Development, Sustainability, and Workplace Programs
LinkedIn Corporation

Katie Ferrick is the Senior Director of Community Development, Sustainability, and Workplace Programs at LinkedIn Corporation. After earning her master’s degree in Marriage & Family Counseling from San Francisco State University in 2001, she found her way to LinkedIn in 2014 through a non-linear career path in private and public sectors, campaign volunteer work, and civic policy development. She served as the Deputy District Director and as a caseworker for US Congresswoman Jackie Speier from 2009-2014 and was appointed to two terms on the Planning Commission in her city of residence between 2008-2016.

She began her work at LinkedIn by developing location strategies to enable LinkedIn to expand in key cities including San Francisco, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Dublin, Ireland. She created LinkedIn’s local government relations and local community partnership program and their Environmental Sustainability program. In 2017, she spearheaded LinkedIn becoming the first tech company to leverage corporate treasury funds to invest in affordable housing production with an initial $10 Million investment that has created more than 200 low and very-low income affordable housing units, a program that has paved the way for numerous tech companies to apply hundreds of millions of dollars from their balance sheets to help address the toughest local challenges.

Katie finds a great sense of purpose in operationalizing LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunity by making a positive impact in local communities where LinkedIn operates, primarily through forming partnerships with nonprofits and community groups to work together to strengthen the health of local communities.

Rebeca Salas-BoniRebeca Salas-Boni

Machine Learning Engineer
Apple SPG

Rebeca Salas-Boni is a Machine Learning Engineer at Apple Special Projects Group. After earning her doctorate degree in Mathematics from New York University Courant Institute in 2013, she moved to the Bay Area to apply her background in Machine Learning to the medical and biometrics field, first as a postdoctoral fellow in the University of California, San Francisco, and afterward at a startup. Rebeca has been part of Apple’s Special Project Group for over four years. As a researcher and software engineer, she combines these two disciplines to build tools and frameworks that allow us to move research forward, with an emphasis on data.

Elaine ChowElaine Chow

Former Co-Founder

Elaine is in the flow when she is imagining cultures and technologies in harmony with Nature and Humanity. She is fascinated by the transformation of systems, particularly the process and mechanics of change. She firmly believes that the evolution of design, business and leadership trends towards more equity, inclusivity, and compassion.

Elaine is a GreenBiz 30 under 30 honoree. Former cofounder of a sustainable technology startup (Lingrove). SFSU School of Design Alumni and Mom of 2 cats.

Gulnur TumbatGulnur Tumbat, Ph.D.

Professor of Marketing
San Francisco State University, Lam Family College of Business

Gülnur Tumbat, Professor of Marketing at San Francisco State University, is an internationally renowned marketing ethnographer focusing on risk taking and goal obtainment.  Tumbat’s main research interests are at the intersections of risk discourses, consumer culture, marketplace dynamics, and technology, where she uses interpretive research tools. She has published in prestigious academic outlets such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Theory, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Advances in Consumer Research, European Advances in Consumer Research, and Handbook of Research on Digital Media and Advertising: User Generated Content Consumption. She has climbed six of the seven summits including Everest, the highest points on each geographic continent. As an elite endurance athlete and a business behavioral scientist, she provides a unique perspective on risk taking, pushing boundaries, planning and proactive thinking, teamwork, managing fear, leadership, and project management.

Janine HurtyJanine Hurty

Director of Development
San Francisco State University

Previous to joining San Francisco State University as a Development Director at the Lam Family College of Business, Janine served the San Francisco community as a fundraiser for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. There she raised funds and developed corporate partnerships to ensure those facing food insecurity would receive critical nutritional support. Prior to the Food Bank, Janine enjoyed a career in political campaigning and fundraising. She is particularly glad to bring her skills and relationships back to the California State University system as she received her Bachelor’s Degree from San Diego State University.

Brenda IbanescuBrenda Ibanescu

Equity Investment Associate
Dodge & Cox

Brenda Ibanescu is an Equity Research Investment Associate at Dodge & Cox, a global investment manager with over $300 billion in assets under management. Brenda attended San Francisco State University where she founded Providing Opportunity for Women (POW), a women’s business organization that grew from 3 to 200 members in two years. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, she worked in investment banking at Deutsche Bank advising technology companies on equity and debt financing and mergers & acquisitions. Currently, Brenda analyzes and recommends investments in the energy, real estate, leisure & lodging, and technology sectors for Dodge & Cox’s three equity mutual funds.

Sandra HenaoEvent Moderator
Sandra Henao, MBA

Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing
Lam Family College of Business, San Francisco State University

Sandra Henao joined the college in 2017 having served in marketing, business development, and communication roles in both higher education and industry. She served as director of marketing and communications for Golden Gate University, assistant vice chancellor of marketing for Brandman University, as well as a marketing consultant for Loyola Marymount University and Alliant International University.

Prior to beginning her career in higher education, Sandra worked in marketing with Travelocity and served primarily in marketing and sales roles for 14 years with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. She received her MBA, with distinction, from Thunderbird School of Global Management and received her B.A. in computer science from Brandeis University.