Dr. Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and the former president of Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disneytoon Studios. For over twenty-five years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing fourteen consecutive #1 box office hits, which have grossed more than $8.7 billion at the worldwide box office to date, and won thirty Academy Awards®.
His book Creativity, Inc.—co-written with journalist Amy Wallace and years in the making—is a distillation of the ideas and management principles Ed has used to develop a creative culture. A book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, it also grants readers an all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation Studios—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history have been made.
Dr. Catmull has been honored with five Academy Awards®, including an Oscar of Lifetime Achievement for his technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics for the motion picture industry. He also has been awarded the Turing Award by the world’s largest society of computing professionals, the Association for Computing Machinery, for his work on three-dimensional computer graphics. Dr. Catmull earned B.S. degrees in computer science and physics and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah. In 2005, the University of Utah presented him with an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Engineering. In 2018, Catmull announced his retirement from Pixar, though he has cemented his legacy as an innovator in technology, entertainment, business, and leadership.
Katelin Holloway joined Initialized Capital in 2020 after serving as Reddit's vice president of people and culture. She is passionate about building scalable, inclusive institutional cultures after first being introduced to the concept of intentional cultural development at Pixar Animation Studios. While working there, she studied alongside storytellers who would ultimately change the course of her career. From film to tech, the one common denominator Holloway has found is that making people and employees feel a sense of belonging can unlock company cultures that can create beautiful, innovative products.
Stephanie Garcia is SVP of People and Civic Labs at Postmates, where she oversees all HR, recruiting and corporate social responsibility functions. Prior to Postmates, Stephanie served as VP of Global Talent Acquisition at PayPal, where she managed a large global team recruiting talent across North America, EMEA and APAC. Stephanie also served as VP, Global HR Business Partner, at Salesforce, where she provided HRBP support to Salesforce co-founder and led the HRBP team for Technology, Product, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Legal and Employee Success Organizations, with accountability for 8,000 employees globally. Prior to Salesforce, Stephanie held a number of HR roles at various technology companies. Before transitioning to HR, she began her career on the client side, holding positions in customer relations at Oracle and PeoplePC Inc. which gives her a unique perspective. Stephanie earned a B.A. in English and Pre-Law from University of the Pacific, Stockton and a Master of HR Management from Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont. CA.
Kelli I has over 20 years of HR experience in Global Tech companies headquartered in the Bay Area ranging from later stage companies (Yahoo!, Intuit) to earlier stage companies (Hired, GitHub, Looker).
Through her consulting practice, she has also worked with a variety of Series A through E companies in various capacities to help them shape their HR philosophies, strategies, and execution priorities to ensure the business is set up to scale well with solid people foundations. She is an active advisor and investor.
At Looker, recently acquired by Google Cloud, she leads the team responsible for enabling Looker to rapidly grow and scale effectively. Prior to Looker, Kelli was a Senior Vice President at Hired, Vice President of Human Resources for GitHub, and has previously held senior Human Resource positions at Nook Media, RockYou!, Yahoo!, and Intuit.
She is a mother of twin boys and the ultimate sports enthusiast - even competing as an ametur boxer in the past. She attended Santa Clara University where she played Division I softball and graduated with a degree in Psychology, before going on to receive a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego.
Joanna Miller leads the Learning & Development team at Asana including talent development programs, manager enablement and employee training & coaching. Her goal as a leader, coach and facilitator is to design experiences that inspire deeper curiosity, connection and clarity of purpose. Prior to her current role, she launched the Global Merchandising University for Levi Strauss & Co and facilitated programming in Europe and Asia. Joanna received her B.A. in romance languages and literature from Harvard University.
Heather Doshay is VP People at Webflow where she's empowering and enabling its distributed team to live fulfilling and impactful lives. Prior to Webflow, Heather was SVP People + Places at Rainforest QA and led Talent at Hired.com (all of which were distributed teams!). She's an advisor in PeopleTech Partners and her writing on company culture has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, VentureBeat and even the Lattice blog! She holds an SHRM-SCP and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership where she studied the impact the college experience has on women's aspirations in technology startups.
Amanda Myton is the Director of Employee Development at Anaplan where she aims to empower employees and seek innovative ways to scale programs while maintaining a strong customer-first culture. She has spent her career teaching and training internally, externally and as a consultant at SAP/SuccessFactors, SMART Technologies and in public education She speaks French, has led in-person training events on four continents and in nearly a dozen countries, and was a Fulbright-Hays recipient in Cameroon.
Grace-Ann Baker is Vice President, Human Capital at Annaly Capital Management where she has responsibility for the firm’s performance management, compensation, HR operations and analytics initiatives. Prior to joining Annaly in 2015, Grace held compensation and analytics roles at AllianceBernstein and Morgan Stanley. Grace holds a B.S. from Baruch College in Mathematics – Actuarial Science and an M.S from New York University in Organizational Behavior. Grace is also a volunteer teacher at Cents Ability, a non-profit focused on empowering underserved New York City high school students through access to financial literacy training.
Monica joined Thumbtack's People team just in time to experience a transition to work from home thanks to COVID-19. As Chief of Staff, she works to bring cohesion to the People team's work across three global sites and spearheads special projects, including Thumbtack's remote work strategy. Prior to Thumbtack, she led Customer Experience at global online education marketplace Udemy. She started her career as a diplomat in the U.S. State Department, working in Washington D.C., Vietnam, and Brussels. Monica earned her B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College and her MBA from Stanford.
Amanda Townsend is an international HR guru, keynote speaker and leadership coach. As the leader of Global People Operations at Fivetran, a SaaS company based in the Bay Area, Amanda oversees global recruiting, HR and workplace experience. Amanda is known for disrupting the status quo of the HR space by introducing people-first strategies that hold the industry accountable for creating equitable workplaces for all. In her previous career in experiential marketing, Amanda produced hundreds of experiences for global brands like Boeing, Microsoft, and even the POTUS. Outside of her leadership role at Fivetran, Amanda teaches workshops and speaks at international events on leadership, DEI and career development. Amanda's mission is to empower and inspire others to make a positive impact on the world through leadership, equity and inclusion.
Khalilah Olokunola “KO” was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. She spent much of her teens active on the streets of Brooklyn and Troy, NY with what many view as the cities’ most notorious street gangs — Bloods, Crips and Folks. She eventually faced the consequences of her activities and lost her name for four years to a Department of Corrections number.
Throughout it all, KO remained adamant about the importance of education in her life, and spent nights imagining the American dream she saw on TV. It didn't include a picket fence, but instead her dream was an opportunity to impact the lives of others. KO has been able to use her past as a vital part in her present position.
Today, KO is VP of Human Resources for TRU Colors Brewing, a company that hires active and rival gang members. In this position, she is the force behind defining a company culture that drives both personal and professional growth. KO is a passionate advocate for workplace diversity, inclusion, and second-chance hiring. She is an accomplished author, speaker and coach.
As the SVP of Global Talent Development at Kinesso, Justin focuses on leading learning and training strategy, and ensuring that appropriate development programs and initiatives are implemented to meet talent growth needs. He’s also active in Impact, his company ERG focused on DEI initiatives that provides a community to discuss opportunities and challenges for under-represented groups through the lens of the AdTech industry. Prior to joining Kinesso, he spent several years teaching at Middle Tennessee State University before taking on roles in learning and development at Safeway and Apple. Outside of work, he spends time volunteering with organizations like Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and the SPCA. At the end of the day, he’s a lifelong learner that chooses to help others acquire and access the right tools and resources to help them grow personally and professionally. Justin lives in San Francisco with his partner and two rescue dogs.
Nathalie recently co-founded The People Design House, a company focused on supporting companies in avoiding HR and culture debt. The People Design House’s approach is clear: (1) we ask you the right questions to diagnose what’s important to you, (2) deliver actionable, customized project plans, toolkits, and assets, and (3) mentor/support your internal team.
Previously Nathalie led the People Team at Coinbase from 2014-2019. She joined Coinbase as employee number 10, and played a crucial role in scaling the company to over 800 employees. During her tenure she managed all ; HR Ops, Recruiting, Compensation, HR Business Partners, Learning & Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Experience, Facilities, and Real Estate. Nathalie established the foundation in which all aspects of the employee experience is built upon. An empathetic and effective leader Nathalie focuses on organization development, leadership coaching, diversity & inclusion, and talent engagement.
Prior to her role at Coinbase, Nathalie was Director of Operations at the Career Management Center at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she led recruiting and office operations.
Nathalie has a BS, Social Sciences from the California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
Bertina is the VP of People & Operations at Evidation Health, where she drives the strategy around scaling a high performance organization that complements a compelling end-to-end employee experience. Her responsibilities include executive oversight of Human Resources, recruiting, facilities, legal, and other general internal operations. Prior to joining Evidation, Bertina served as EVP overseeing clinical teams, product management, marketing, and product development at Zynx Health, driving development of evidence-based clinical decision support solutions that improve health and financial outcomes. While at Zynx, she also worked as an internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente. Bertina received her BAS from Stanford, then completed her MD and residency in internal medicine at UC San Diego. She also holds an MPH in health services administration from UCLA.
A believer that everyone has untapped potential waiting to be ignited, Megan is fanatical about unleashing the best in people by making work suck less. She loves working with teams who understand the power of building values-based organizations rich in trust, transparency, integrity, and collaboration.
Linette is the Director of People Operations at InVision, the Digital Product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences with intuitive tools for ideation, design, prototyping, and design management. It’s what more than 5 million people at tens of thousands of companies, including 100% of the Fortune 100, use to make products you love. In her current role, Linette leads InVision’s Global Benefits programs for a fully distributed workforce of 700+ employees. Prior to InVision, Linette spent over 18 years at Microsoft in a variety of operations and leadership roles in the areas of Benefits, HR Operations, Employee Data Management, HR Systems, Product Launch Services, Licensing, and Global HR Shared Services. Linette has broad experiences in leading diverse efforts through extensive partnerships within organizations by developing and delivering high-performance sustainable solutions.
April has been a talent developer for the last 12 years. First as manager in the field, next as an organizational psychologist and coach and most recently as an in-house performance and talent development leader. She’s passionate about future-proofing organizations with great talent management and leadership development impacting personal effectiveness, team cohesiveness and culture creation.
She helps people and teams to maximize their potential with powerfully designed development experiences and thoughtful talent strategies. Her approach to solving any talent problem is ‘human-first’, providing individuals and teams with the structure and resources needed to flourish at pace with what our hyper-shifting world demands.
She has worked across cultures, with individuals and teams from APAC, EMEA and LATAM. She is certified in Hogan, DISC and Insights Discovery assessments and in Co-Active Coaching methodologies.
Over the past 15+ years, Amy has worked primarily in high-tech, advertising, and digital marketing environments to build and launch programs for integrated talent development and talent management: redesigning the approach and processes for talent acquisition and performance management, selecting and deploying HRIS, Employee Engagement, Performance, and Learning solutions, and building a talent pipeline through organizational design, learning, and coaching programs.
Diana leads the People and Organizational Development team at Plaid. Our mantra is "Plaid growth via Plaids' growth," reflecting our fundamental belief that our people ("Plaids") drive our business success, and vice versa. Since joining the company in early 2020, Diana has been focused on building out key programs to optimize employee engagement, success, growth and impact. Prior to Plaid, Diana built out the Leadership Development philosophy and function at Zuora, drove talent management at HP, and built a foundation in HRBP work and OD at Boston Scientific. Diana is a Bay Area native and spent time in Boston and DC prior to relocating back to San Francisco. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Leadership & Communication from Northeastern.
Gray has spent over 5 years on Artsy's People Operations Team, helping the company grow from 40 people to over 200. He's had his hands in every corner of HR at one point or another, but now his bread and butter is acting as the company's sole HRBP. Gray is passionate about the power HR teams have to align people with business goals — especially through the thick and thin of fast-growing startups.
Nicole is the Director, People at Webflow. Leading a team of progressive people operations professionals, she and her team are passionate about creating an environment to empower all team members to succeed in a remote first culture. Nicole is no stranger to fast growing startups. She built and led the People function at PeerStreet, a Fintech startup, during their growth from 100 employees/ Series B startup through to 215+ employees/ Series C. Prior to PeerStreet, Nicole held strategic HR Business Partner roles in Los Angeles at both Dollar Shave Club and TBWA\Chiat\Day Advertising. Nicole spent much of her early career working abroad in Sydney, Australia for Hilton Hotels as they expanded their Asia Pacific presence. She prides herself on partnering with leaders to build high performing teams and creating unparalleled employee experiences. In her free time, she enjoys taking on renovation and interior design projects, painting, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband Charlie and daughter Madeline.
Walter is a Sr. Manager, HR Business Partner at Reddit. He leads the HR support for Reddit's technical teams including Engineering, Product, Design, and Safety. Partnering closely with the company's senior technology leaders, Walter builds and implements people programs that support the fast-growing organization. Prior to Reddit, Walter led the HR team for SpaceX's 2000-employee Production department, and DAQRI's (an augmented-reality startup) global engineering teams. He enjoys working on strategic initiatives that help organizations scale, and as a Southern California native, enjoys taking advantage of the sunshine in SF whenever it breaks through the fog.
Julie Li is the VP of People at Stella Connect. In this role, she leads the People strategy, serves as a champion for Stella’s employees, and works across the organization to build an inclusive, transparent, and high performing workplace. Prior to joining Stella Connect, Julie was a Senior Director at Namely where she led both People Operations and Diversity and Inclusion. Before falling in love with the fast paced world of SaaS, Julie was a VP in Citi’s Global Diversity and Talent Management team. She discovered her passion for helping people grow and reach their fullest potential while working in Corporate and Investment Banking at HSBC, and made the switch to HR after obtaining her MBA from Harvard Business School.
After a successful career working in Asia- Pacific working in Financial services, Retail and FMCG organizations building a continuous learning culture and focusing on creating Management with empathy and learning about cultural sensitivity and global workplaces, Garima moved to US.She now works with nonprofits that are scaling up and are moving the needle in the field of Health, Education, Migrant rights and Human rights to work with leaders and employees to create a better employee experience where people feel they belong and advises leaders to focus on Talent Management, Coaching and investing in future leaders.
Kiristen is a Senior Manager, HR Programs at 1Password where she designs, launches and manages strategic HR programs for a rapidly scaling and dynamic company. Kiristen is focused on creating impactful programs that support 1Password's vibrant remote-first culture. Prior to joining 1Password, Kiristen was on the People Team at Rainforest QA, where she led a variety of HR areas including compensation, benefits, performance management and employee relations.
Nicole Miller is a People Ops Manager at Buffer, and has been a part of the team for more than six years, seeing the team grow from 25 to 90. She's passionate about family inclusion, remote work and values-driven company cultures. In her spare time, she writes novels and tends her small farm in Southwest Washington state with her husband and two young sons.
Amy Roy has over 20 years of experience in the HR technology space. Her passion for improving the employee experience led her to her current role, Chief People Officer at Namely. In addition to Human Resources, Amy has also held leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Process Improvement. She is a six sigma blackbelt and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Rutgers University. Amy is based out of Namely’s New York City office.
Jarik Conrad, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP leads the Human Insights and HCM Evangelism group at Ultimate Software, where he works to help organizations put their people first. Immediately prior to joining Ultimate, he led The Conrad Consulting Group, where he served as an executive coach, keynote speaker and management consultant. He has held Human Resources leadership roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He has also been a research collaborator with the Mayo Clinic. Jarik holds certifications in intercultural sensitivity, emotional intelligence, plant-based nutrition, personal training and weight management. He is an award-winning author and sought after speaker in the areas of leadership, health & wellness, emotional intelligence (EI), and diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEIB).
Morgan Chaney is Senior Director of Marketing and Employer Brand Lead at Blueboard, an experiential employee rewards platform for the modern workplace. She is a seasoned professional speaker and employee recognition thought leader, hosting Blueboard’s monthly webinars and presenting across a variety of industry conferences and professional meetups including HR Redefined, HR Transform, DisruptHR Regional Events, Culture Con Madison, and CalHR Conference. As a leader of Blueboard's Culture Committee, Morgan focuses her attention on crafting a more meaningful candidate experience. Her current projects center around building a powerful employer brand as a tool for attracting top talent, creating a memorable candidate journey, and setting up “Newboarders” for success through streamlined onboarding efforts. Living Blueboard’s mission around adventure and exploration, outside of the office you’ll find Morgan photographing wildlife, practicando su español, or teaching yoga. Connect with Morgan on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/morganchaney.
Cassie has served as the Director of Human Resources at BambooHR since 2012. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an Accounting Emphasis, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources. She is an observer of human nature and uses her 20+ years of HR experience to aid organizations in building talent programs that bolster business success. She is passionate about the intersection of business and humans and believes that when companies focus on the human aspect of their people, the people, in turn, focus on the business needs.
JD has over a decade of experience in talent acquisition acting as both a third-party recruiter for boutique technical recruiting firms and as an in-house technical recruiter. His current role is Head of Talent Acquisition at BambooHR and he currently serves on the Utah SHRM Board of Directors.
His work includes managing talent acquisition teams in high-growth SaaS companies and servicing Fortune 500 clients for the world’s largest recruiting corporation.
From organizational health and development to recruitment marketing and employer branding, JD strives to use his expertise to change the very way companies structure and view the functions of talent acquisition.
JD believes in empowering executives and HR leaders to focus on the human nature of human capital and in teaching through experience how a people-first approach can dramatically impact their bottom line.
Nicola Taggart is a life and leadership success strategist and coach. Over the past 15 years, she has helped business owners, leaders, and their teams improve their communication, increase their confidence, and strengthen their connections with others, in all areas of their lives.
Nicola is also the author and creator of the Calm the Chaos Journal: A Daily Practice for a More Peaceful Life, and the newly released Calm the Chaos Card Deck: 65 Simple Practices for a More Peaceful Life.
Debbie Gunning currently leads HR, Culture and Talent Acquisition at Human Interest, a high growth venture-backed company that offers an easy and affordable 401(k) retirement plan for the modern workforce. Debbie is a passionate and veteran HR and People leader, having spent the last 24 years creating memorable candidate experiences, innovating employer branding, and building amazing teams by helping hire top-notch talent for the right jobs.