2020 speakers

2020 Keynote Speakers

Barb Vlacich

Vice president, global sales operations & Chief of Staff

As vice president of global sales operations and chief of staff, Barb Vlacich manages teams across the world that directly support the Kronos sales teams, including inside sales, lead development, presales, cloud sales, and alliance partners. Her focus is on innovating the buying experience, from reimaging business processes to providing the expertise and resources to support customer interactions.

Vlacich joined Kronos in 2003 as director of HR and payroll services, helping Kronos establish new markets and expand their mid market base considerably, through new solution packaging for those markets. In 2006, she became vice president of presales operations, where she created specific industry-focused teams, and an expanded industry consultancy. She established a year round college intern program that today thrives globally. In her current position, she created a pivotal Sales Management Council that has become a central think tank for the entire sales organization.

Upon her arrival at Kronos, Vlacich brought a wealth of knowledge on global sales cycles and strategies and experience with both vendors and consulting companies within the workforce management industry. Some of her prior roles include practice director of human resources management systems at Delphia Consulting and director of North American presales at Sage Software (formerly Best Software) as well as a variety of executive roles.

A sought-after speaker and thought leader, Vlacich has presented at many industry conferences including the American Management Association, American Payroll Association, and Massachusetts Conference for Women on topics ranging from creating an outstanding customer experience to managing high-performing teams. She also founded the Kronos Women's Leadership Forum in 2009. Her creativity, leadership and ability to get things done have been all key reasons she has received the Kronos SVP MVP award for the global sales organization for the last 7 years.

Vlacich attended Rider University and currently serves on the boards of UTEC (United Teen Equality Center) based in Lowell, Mass and the serves on the 2020 WOB (Women on Boards) Steering Committee.

2020 Keynote Speakers

2019 Keynote Speakers

Lorna Boucher

Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer of Instinet Holdings Inc.

Lorna Boucher is managing director and chief marketing officer of Instinet Holdings Inc., the innovative equity trading arm of the Nomura Group. She serves on Instinet's executive committee, the global firm's most senior management organization.

Boucher has always embraced the challenges of leading a company at a major pivot point in its marketing or branding strategy. She launched her marketing career as part of an academic project while still a student at the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell by proposing a marketing plan to help the small businesses in downtown Lowell compete with the shopping malls nearby. Her program was so well received that she was offered an internship and then her first full-time professional job with The Lowell Plan, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to transformative projects for the city. Over the next 20 years, Boucher went on to more senior roles in marketing and brand management, ultimately relocating to New York City in the early 1990s to work for major global financial services firms including Bankers Trust Company, UBS and KCG Holdings.

In November 2017, Markets Media, a financial services industry media company, honored Boucher with the Women in Finance Award for Excellence in Marketing, also known as the "Marketing Maven" award.

Boucher currently serves on the Manning School's Advisory Board.

2019 Keynote Speakers

Sophie V. Vandebroek

Vice President of Emerging Technology Partnerships at IBM Corporation

Sophie V. Vandebroek, Ph.D. is the vice president of emerging technology partnerships at IBM Corporation, leading key strategic initiatives to scale IBM's partnerships and ecosystems. She was previously the chief operating officer for IBM Research, one of the world's largest and most influential corporate research labs. IBM Research is pioneering the most promising and disruptive technologies that will transform industries and society, including AI, Blockchain and Quantum Computing.

Prior to joining IBM, Vandebroek served for over a decade as corporate officer and chief technology officer at Xerox Corporation.

Vandebroek is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers and holds 14 U.S. patents. She also serves on the board of directors of IDEXX Corporation and on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering dean's advisory council. Previously, Vandebroek served on the boards of Analogic Corporation and Nypro Corp and was a trustee at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has a master's degree in electrical engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

2019 Speakers

Rita B. Allen

Rita Balian Allen is the president of Rita B. Allen Associates, a national career management firm specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, management training and career development. She is a lecturer at Boston-area universities, a sought-after speaker and presenter, the ... Read More

Ann M. Barry

Ann M. Barry is director of global risk management at Juniper Networks, which designs, develops and sells products and services for high-performance networks to enable customers to build highly scalable, reliable, secure and cost-effective networks for their business. She has over 20 years of ... Read More

Josefina Bonilla

Josefina Bonilla is the founder, publisher and president of Color Magazine, an online and print, all-inclusive publication. Launched in 2010, the magazine highlights topics of interest for professionals of color. In 2017, Bonilla negotiated the successful public sale of Color Magazine to ... Read More

Deb Busser

Deb Busser is a coach and advisor at Energy Spring Leadership, where she partners with successful c-suite-level executives committed to evolving their leadership impact. She helps leaders become intentional about the alignment they create in their organizations and in their lives, bringing the ... Read More

Jane Circle

Jane Circle is a senior manager at Red Hat Inc. and is responsible for Red Hat's global cloud programs. For the last eight years, Circle has helped build Red Hat's certified cloud ecosystem, which now includes some of the world's largest hyperscalers, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google, Alibaba and ... Read More

Lisa Coleman

Lisa M. Coleman, Ph.D. is New York University's inaugural senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation and chief diversity officer. In this role, she is responsible for advancing strategic global inclusion, belonging and innovation initiatives across NYU's global campus ... Read More

Denise Dunlap

Denise Dunlap is an assistant professor of global strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship at the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell. Her research focuses on how global knowledge sourcing strategies matter for innovation. She is most well known for her research on breakthrough ... Read More

Heidi Friedman

Heidi Friedman is a human resources professional with over 20 years of experience leading the HR functions in health care and mission-driven organizations. Her expertise is in aligning HR programs and practices with strategic and operational goals to drive organizational and revenue growth while ... Read More

Lalitha Gunturi

Lalitha Gunturi is associate general counsel for NETSCOUT, where she works with the senior leadership team to support innovation and technology efforts, branding and marketing, and other strategic projects. Gunturi's background in both engineering and law has allowed her to view the tech ... Read More

Jason C. W. Hancock

Jason C. W. Hancock leads Spencer Stuart's global technology sector as well as the firm's Boston office. He is adept at working through challenging board dynamics and succession projects with troubled companies, and has a depth of experience working with established public companies and private ... Read More

Dana Henry

Dana Henry is director of the organizational development and learning solutions business unit at the UMass Donahue Institute. She has more than 25 years of experience as a consultant focused on the design, development and implementation of competency-based leadership development systems and ... Read More

Amy Hoey

Amy Hoey, R.N., B.S.N., M.S. serves as executive vice president/chief operating officer at Lowell General Hospital, where she is responsible for overseeing daily operations. She leads the preparation of the organization's annual goals and objectives, and continually evaluates the plans to ensure ... Read More

Beth Humberd

Beth Humberd, Ph.D., is an expert on issues of worker identity, gender and diversity; relational dynamics in organizations; and the changing nature of work. She is currently a professor in the management department of the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, where she teaches ... Read More

Sherri Laffey Sarrouf

Sherri Laffey Sarrouf, C.S.C.S. is the owner of SLS Fitness Strength and Conditioning Center in Lowell, Mass. Opened in 2010, the center offers a "whole-body wellness" approach to life, offering over 180 classes per week. SLS Fitness also manages corporate fitness centers within ... Read More

Elissa Flanagan Magnant

Elissa Flanagan Magnant, J.D. is a visiting professor of management in the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, where she is also co-director of the Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Magnant's scholarship focuses on business ethics, entrepreneurship, ... Read More

Joan A. Marchessault

Joan A. Marchessault, Ed.D. is principal and co-founder of Strategic Leadership Consulting Group in New Castle, N.H. She is an executive coach, consulting with businesses across the country to help them build strong, effective management teams. She also facilitates board development and conducts ... Read More

Anne Marie Messier

Anne Marie Messier has worked with corporations, project teams and entrepreneurs to successfully launch critical projects with the right mindset, people and resources to get the job done. She believes that when you really understand who you are, you are going to be better at what you ... Read More

Suzanne Nobrega

Suzanne Nobrega is outreach director at UMass Lowell's Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace. She has 13 years of experience leading applied research activities in the field of workplace health and well-being, also known as ... Read More

Kate Payne

Kate Payne has been coaching senior leaders building businesses for nearly 20 years. Her gift for crafting high-impact solutions to leadership challenges makes her a trusted resource to clients and colleagues alike. Payne guides business leaders through critical growth stages to fulfill their ... Read More

Ann Ristau

Anne Ristau is head of global sponsorships at Dell Technologies. In this role, she manages a portfolio of highly visible marketing partnerships including the PGA TOUR, the Boston Red Sox, McLaren and many more. She leads the development and structuring of new partnerships, with a focus on ... Read More

Mari Ryan

Mari Ryan, MBA, M.H.P, C.W.P, CEO and founder of AdvancingWellness, is an award-winning author, speaker and workplace well-being strategist. She leverages over 30 years of business experience in various marketing, consulting and executive roles across a variety of different industries. For the ... Read More

Maria L. Santos

Maria L. Santos is the managing partner of Alphen & Santos, PC where she represents corporate and individual clients in immigration and nationality law. She graduated from Boston College Law School in 1988 and has been a private practice attorney ever since. Santos is a member of the American ... Read More

Erica L. Steckler

Erica L. Steckler, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of management in the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, where she is also co-director of the Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Her recent research focuses on stakeholder perceptions of organizational ... Read More

Diane Swint

Diane Swint is chief revenue officer at Lovepop, a Boston-based start-up reinventing the social expressions industry with an imagination-meets-engineering approach to designing unforgettable pop-up cards. Swint is responsible for the management of Lovepop's business lines. She has always loved ... Read More

Ashley Tsongas

As chief of staff and strategy at Oxfam America, Ashley Tsongas leads a current 2030 strategy project and supports senior team development. She joined Oxfam in 2005 as media officer in Ethiopia. After Hurricane Katrina, she helped advocates in Mississippi and Louisiana ensure a fair recovery for ... Read More

Michele M. Tugade

Michele M. Tugade, Ph.D. is a professor of psychological science and is the director of the Affective Science Laboratory at Vassar College. Her research focuses on the function of positive emotions in the coping process; the mechanisms that promote ... Read More