Cisco Empowered Women's Network Thought-leaders in IT presenting keynotes, lightning talks and interactive sessions.

Host: Kevin Bandy

Senior Vice President and Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer

He has a bold vision, coupled with a diverse set of abilities — a combination of global channel development, entrepreneurship, and operational excellence — that he is using to drive the digital transformation of Cisco and our customers. A member of the Executive Leadership Team, Bandy is defining Cisco’s digital vision and strategy, functioning as a force driver behind the company’s innovation and growth. He leads the company’s digital portfolio growth efforts, working cross-functionally throughout the organization to design and implement a comprehensive model that will enable Cisco’s broad portfolio of solutions and services to be offered in the different ways our customers want to consume.

Keynote Speaker: Liz Centoni

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Computing Systems Product Group

Liz Centoni is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Computing Systems Product Group. She sets the business and engineering direction, strategy, solutions and priorities for the company’s Data Center Compute business, which includes the flagship Unified Computing Services (UCS) and HyperFlex product families.


Prior to her current role, Liz was Vice President of Engineering Strategy and Portfolio Planning. As a key member of the engineering leadership team, she was responsible for shaping, guiding and managing Cisco’s engineering strategy and execution across the company’s routing, switching, security, mobility, video, collaboration, data center and cloud offerings.


She has also served as Vice President/General Manager of the Service Provider Access Group where she led strategy, marketing direction and engineering efforts to grow Cisco’s portfolio of Carrier Ethernet Access solutions.


Since joining Cisco in 2000, Liz has a strong track record in various engineering roles where she was instrumental in bringing to market industry-leading products and managing global teams.


Mentorship, talent development and leadership are an important priority for Liz and she is an active mentor and sponsor of underrepresented groups. She launched the Women in Engineering Leadership Forum at Cisco and is the Cisco Global Executive Sponsor for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program. Liz is a proud recipient of the YWCA 2015 TWIN award, Cloud NOW 2015 Top 10 Women in Cloud award, and Million Women Mentors 2015 Mentor of the Year award.


Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Physics and Math from University of Mumbai.

Guest Speaker: Christine Holloway

Vice President of Networking, Digital Workspace and Security Solutions for CDW

Christine Holloway is Vice President of networking, digital workspace and security solutions for CDW, a leading provider of technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare. Holloway, a tenured industry and sales veteran, is responsible for the overall strategy and development of CDW’s, enterprise networking, IoT, collaboration, mobility and security solutions offerings. She leads a team of more than 350 solution architects who are responsible for consulting and designing these solutions with a business outcome focus for CDW clients and prospects. Holloway earned a B.S. in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has completed additional post-graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Presently, she serves on the board of directors of College Possible, a national non-profit organization that makes college admission and graduation possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Holloway is also active in numerous community and mission outreach initiatives through her church.

Guest Speaker: Tania Katan

CEO of Creative Trespassing

Creative Trespassing: How to Sneak Creativity into Your Career, Company and Life!


Tania Katan, CEO of Creative Trespassing knows a little something about sneaking creativity into careers, companies and life in order to start a social/media revolution! As co-creator of the internationally viral women’s empowerment campaign #ItWasNeverADress for Axosoft she has developed a map for you to find your creativity too! She will share uniquely developed exercises for flexing your creative muscles, funny stories from the front-lines of an everyday disruptor and enough empowering quotes and inspirational shouting (GO get ‘em, Creative Tiger!) to make your high school soccer coach crack a smile. You will leave this talk with tools for infusing creativity into spaces that are less obviously creative, like the lobby, boardroom, your cubicle and every space in between

Guest Speaker: Carey Lohrenz

First female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy

Carey Lohrenz knows what it takes to win in one of the highest pressure, extreme environments imaginable: in the cockpit at Mach 2.


As the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy, having flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy pilot, Lohrenz is used to working in fast moving, dynamic environments, where inconsistent execution can generate catastrophic results.


The same challenges are found in business: markets change, customer needs evolve and if you do not adapt quickly your company is at risk.


In her motivating and engaging keynote presentations, Carey shares her fascinating experiences operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments — an aircraft carrier. She is uniquely qualified in the fundamentals of winning under pressure, reducing errors and overcoming obstacles. Her mastery of these fundamentals can help your team triumph in this high-risk, time crunched world.


Carey Lohrenz’s timely message about High Performing Teams and developing a Culture of Learning is based on the best-practices of high reliability organizations. The processes of Planning, Briefing, Debriefing and Adjusting help businesses manage risk while becoming a High Performing Organization. This message resonates with diverse audiences at every level of the company.


Carey has been requested by name from some of the top Fortune 100 businesses. Her ability to connect with both an audience and on a one-on-one level, coupled with her knowledge and experience in leading high-performing, diverse teams, has made her highly sought after as a business consultant and speaker.


Carey is a powerhouse in the field of delivering engaging Leadership, High Performing Organizations and Diversity Training that directly impacts a company’s ROI and bottom line. Her experience in the all-male environment of fighter aviation and her ability to pass on the Lessons Learned in her career allow her to deliver insight and guidance from a credible platform on Women’s Leadership Issues.


Carey has delivered her leadership and strategy experience to such companies as Cisco, Underwriters Laboratories, AT&T, Kimberly Clark, State Farm Insurance and Sea Ray Boats, to name a few.


Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she was a varsity rower, also training at the pre-Olympic level. After graduation, she attended the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School before starting flight training and her naval career. She is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Leadership.

Guest Speaker: Anuja Singh

Co-Founder of CEWN and Facilitator for the Speed Mentoring session

Anuja runs Technical Sales for the NYC Government and Education business for Cisco Systems. Along with her team, she focuses on helping customers drive innovation and productivity to grow and transform their business. She has over 20 years of diverse experience in various aspects of engineering, IT, sales and leadership.


Known as a connector of people and ideas, Anuja is passionate about driving transformational change through challenging the status quo with innovative solutions. She advocates on Inclusion & Diversity and their impact on business. Anuja co-founded the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network and is actively involved in Cisco’s various Employee resource groups through coaching and mentoring.


Anuja has presented at several Industry conferences (including Cisco Live) on technical and leadership topics. She holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering and Colorado State University respectively. Anuja lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Guest Speaker: Shari Slate

Vice President, Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, Cisco

In her role as Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, Shari Slate is responsible for building a strategy that enhances Cisco’s vision to be a world-class, benchmark company for inclusion and collaboration, driving exponential value across Cisco, its partners and customers. She is promoting thought leadership across Cisco’s people strategy enabling employee engagement and inclusion outcomes to fuel innovation and market leadership. She is also directing the integration of new models of inclusion and collaboration designed to guide future workplace practices to realize the $19 billion opportunity of the Internet of Everything over the next decade.


In her previous role, Slate served as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist for Cisco’s Sales Organization. She was responsible for making inclusion relevant in the revenue generating arm of the business and incubating new strategies for fostering full spectrum participation to unleash the power and potential of people.


Slate joined Cisco in 2010. Prior to that, she was Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Global Community Affairs at Sun Microsystems.


Slate has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership and her transformational views on the true value of inclusion. Most recently, she was named a 2017 Diversity Leader by Profiles in Diversity Journal, and was selected by Savoy Magazine as one of the top influential women in corporate America for 2016. In 2014, the YWCA named her a “Tribute to Women in Industry” honoree. In 2013, she was named one of Diversity Woman Magazine’s “Stars Who Mean Business”. Previously, she was honored by the California Diversity Council as one of the “Most Influential Women in California” and a “Woman Worth Watching” by Diversity Journal Magazine. She received the National Coalition of 100 Black Women 2010 Corporate Leader Award and The Network Journal’s “40 Under Forty” Achievement Award.


Slate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political, legal, and economic analysis from Mills College.