2019 LadyCoders Career Crushes | Meet our Keynote Speakers

We’re constantly inspired by our fellow LadyCoders. Whether we’re asking for help, sharing our own experiences, or coming to a meeting of the minds, the accomplishments of this awesome community are some of our favorites to share.

That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce this year’s Keynote Speakers, Sylvia Kwan, Karen Worstell, and Tama Kieves. These powerhouse women are revolutionaries in three historically male-dominated industries: finance, tech, and law. And that’s just one of the reasons they’re some of our personal career crushes – let’s meet them.

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Sylvia Kwan | CIO, Ellevest

Redefining investing by women, for women, with women

Ellevest was created to unleash women’s financial power. Where the investing industry has historically been the epitome of a “boys’ club,” Ellevest breaks the mold.

Sylvia Kwan helms Ellevest’s portfolios, algorithms, and investment recommendations as the company’s Chief Investment Officer. By taking the intimidation factor (or dare we say, Imposter Syndrome) out of investing, she’s empowering women to meet their financial goals with thoughtful solutions and an approachable platform.

We can’t wait to hear more from Sylvia about why she knew right away that Ellevest was special and how she hopes Ellevest will help women take control of their financial planning.

Why she’s a career crush: In her role as CIO, Sylvia not only helps women make sound investments, but she emphasizes impact investing – actively seeking investments that offer both financial and social impact return. Return on investment and social good? We’re here for it.

Karen Worestell

Karen Worstell | CEO, W Risk Group

Giving women in tech the tools and courage to stay and thrive in their careers

Boeing, SRI, Microsoft… Karen Worstell’s resume is nothing if not impressive. Formerly the Chief Information Security Officer at Microsoft, she founded her own cybersecurity consultancy, W Risk Group in 2006.

On top of her experience leading teams and companies in Risk Management and information security, Karen tapped her experience as a working woman in the tech industry to found the MOJO Maker program.

MOJO Maker is a group coaching experience geared towards women in tech. The program was designed to help women succeed in STEM fields – where female leadership, role models, and industry retention are underrepresented and face ongoing obstacles.

Why she’s a career crush: In addition to helping women in tech find their MOJO, Karen has been a pioneer in cybersecurity, leading the way for other women in this fast-growing industry. Her experience mentoring, coaching, and supporting other women in tech is one we can’t wait to hear more about.

Tama Kieves 1

Tama Kieves | Creator, Inspired Revolution

Helping individuals discover and pursue their life’s passion

An honors graduate of Harvard Law School and a reformed lawyer, Tama Kieves left her law practice to become a bestselling author and career coach. She believes that everyone should have the freedom and support to follow their calling – art, engineering, or anything in between.

Her self-help and career catalyst books, This Time I Dance! – Creating the Work You Love, Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work!, A Year without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence, and Thriving Through Uncertainty: Moving Beyond Fear of the Unknown and Making Change Work for You aim to help people gain the courage to follow a path outside of the mainstream without fear.

Why she’s a career crush: taking the leap to leave an established career can certainly be a scary prospect. We’re looking forward to hearing about her personal journey and gaining inspiration on how to pursue our passions (personal and professional).

Women supporting women: Our bonus career (and lady) crushes

Phyelcia Jones 1

Phylecia Jones | Motivational speaker & emcee extraordinaire

Inspiring and supporting women in tech, and beyond, to gain the confidence to achieve greatness

A former scientist and engineer, Phylecia Jones is the CEO of Keep Up with Mrs. Jones and creator of Budget School, a financial education consulting firm. Her goal as an entrepreneur and professional coach is to help individuals manage their money – one-budget-at-a-time – and inspire them to succeed.

On top of her financial consulting, Phylecia is a motivational speaker, traveling the globe as an emcee and keynote speaker for international conferences on FinTech and STEM.

Why she’s a career crush: beyond her financial savvy, Phylecia is a social influencer and advocate, helping to spread her wisdom with audiences across a wide variety of accessible platforms.

Sneak Peek at our senior women speakers


Suma Nallapati | CDO, DISH Network

A seasoned executive in the information technology and services industry, Suma Nallapati was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at DISH Network late in 2018. She started at DISH in 1997 as a programmer and now leads the company’s technology platforms.

Why she’s a career crush: Her professional journey and evolution in the IT industry is one we can’t wait to hear more about.

Leah Malvoin

Leah Melvoin | Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon

A member of Amazon’s Global Leadership Team and a founding member of Amazon Women in Engineering (AWE), Leah Melvoin is one of the original members of the Amazon team.

She joined the team 25 years ago as a book buyer, and has since gone on to lead teams of Amazon engineerings and technical leads.

Why she’s a career crush: We’re eager to learn more about her career evolution and the impact she hopes AWE can have at the tech giant, and in the industry as a whole.

Girl crushes and more lady bosses

We can’t wait to announce the other speakers joining us this year. Is there a woman in your life – professional or personal – who we need to hear about? Drop us a line and let us know more.

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Secure your spot today. See you in April!

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