Brandi E. Thomas is Director, Finance – Internal Audit at NetApp, Inc. She has been with the company for 3 years and has global responsibility for financial, operational, strategic and information technology audit. With over 15 years experience, Brandi has held positions of increasing responsibility in finance and audit with fortune 500 companies such as General Electric and Nordson Corporation. She is also a public accounting alumni, working on internal and external audit clients for Ernst & Young LLP. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH she studied International Finance with a minors in Spanish and Economics. Her current responsibilities also include recruiting new college graduates and interns for the finance organization at NetApp. A resident of San Jose, CA she is married with two children and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, shopping and fitness
10:30am Breakout Sessions:
Dr. Michael D. Whitt is currently instructing at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. His academic and industrial experiences include positions and consulting with Miami Dade College, Purdue University, Intraluminal Therapeutics, Guidant Corporation, Medtronic Corporation, Eli Lilly and Company, Georgia Power Company, Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide Corporation, and Eveready Battery Company. He is currently the Vice President, Chief Technical Officer of a medical device start-up, Cordex Systems, which has developed a noninvasive early detection method for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Whitt’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UNDNJ), and a Masters in Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. While at Rutgers/UMDNJ, Dr. Whitt focused his studies in the areas of biomechanics and biomaterials while simultaneously performing research in the areas of medical instrumentation and hemodynamics.
Dr. Whitt is a patent holder of four medical device patents and developed a successful product development course as part of the Burton D. Morgan Certificate of Entrepreneurship while at Purdue University. He has carried the importance of product development into his involvements with the non-profit organizations Center for Leadership Development (Indianapolis, IN) and Academy of Business Leadership (Rosemead, CA) while helping to facilitate the success of each group’s mission to ‘foster the advancement of minority youth’ and ‘inspire, educate, and expand the educational and career goals of mostly high-potential low-opportunity students.’ Dr. Whitt is the 2008 Center for Leadership Development Achievement in Science and Technical Disciplines Award Recipient.
Dr Whitt’s publications in the areas of technology and vascular mechanics include journal articles in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering and International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials in addition to chapters in book titles; The Handbook of Technology Management, Surface Engineered Biomedical Devices, and Biomedical Engineering Principles of the Bionic Man.
Dr. Whitt has served as an Industrial Advisory Board Member for the University of San Diego Bioengineering Program, the Academy of Engineering, and the Florida International University Department of Engineering. In addition to acting as reviewer for journals and grants in the biotech sector, Dr. Whitt is currently serving as a reviewer for the Florida Department of Health’s James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program.
Dr. Whitt is married to Michele C. Whitt, MD, FACOG, and they have a six year old daughter, Michaela, and two year old son, Micah.
Dr. Michael Mannor
Professor Mannor conducts research on organizational learning and executive leadership. In his work on learning, he studies how organizations create and leverage unique knowledge to achieve superior performance and create breakthrough innovations. In his work on top executives, his research focuses on the powerful role of executive leadership to both help and hurt organizations through strategic action. As part of this research, Professor Mannor has traveled widely to personally spend time with CEOs, researching the most complex strategic decisions these leaders have ever faced. This has included in-depth research with the CEOs and board chairs of many of the largest organizations in the world, including leading firms from the US and Europe in energy, banking, healthcare, retail, professional services, telecommunications, fast food, investment management, insurance, risk, and other industries. His research has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, and several books. Mannor and his research have been highlighted in the media on NPR, CNN, the Associated Press, BusinessWeek, in the USA Today, the LA Times, MSNBC, ABC, Yahoo, the Washington Times, and a variety of other media outlets. Mannor teaches courses on entrepreneurship, management, and business strategy. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he completed a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Aquinas College, an M.B.A. from Grand Valley State University, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. In addition, he worked for five years at a start-up data and telecommunications provider and founded a small entrepreneurial web business in Michigan.
Theresa Sedlack brings more than 10 years of experience working with entrepreneurs, market experts, and investors throughout the Notre Dame family. Prior to joining Innovation Park, Theresa served as venturing programs manager for Notre Dame's Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In this role, she helped create and led many of the major programs in the Gigot Center, including the formation of the IrishAngels network, the annual McCloskey Business Plan competition, and the NASDAQ training program offered in connection with the competition. Her professional background includes eight years working at Procter and Gamble. She teaches the M.B.A. venture capital class in the Mendoza College of Business. Theresa received both her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Notre Dame.
LaQuita C. Hall is Vice President-Business Operations, responsible for instilling focus on key business drivers, facilitating effective process changes, and managing the Technology and Network Operations metrics for the senior leadership team at AT&T. She leads operational reviews for Network Operations, Shared Services, Information Technology and the Chief Technology Officer Organizations ensuring focus on business priorities and data based reporting.
Before accepting her current position in December 2012, LaQuita was responsible for the AT&T Program Management Office which delivered strategic programs and projects in support of AT&T Business Solutions and Home Solutions. She was also responsible for delivering/developing standard corporate business processes, tools, and training for all project management professionals.
Prior to leading the Program and Project Management team, LaQuita was V.P. of Southwest Core Installation and Maintenance, and managed delivery of Voice and Broadband, as well as the maintenance of Video services to mass market residential and business subscribers across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Other experiences include spearheading the Enterprise Care Organization, a group responsible for supporting AT&T’s full suite of Business Services and Products. Her responsibilities involved strategic planning, operations, and technology deployment. She also lead the Retail and Wholesale Local Portfolio of products consisting of: Local Private Line (Low and High Speed), Local Prime Path, LNS Access (Low and High Speed), and AIO-UNEP. She deployed and managed automation, as well as ILEC service performance improvements to the Local product set resulting in $1.5 billion in revenue.
During her tenure at the joint international venture between AT&T and British Telecom, LaQuita was responsible for the oversight of Hosting and IP applications, specifically for Concert Global Networks. She launched Customer Care for the Hosting and IP application business and provided strategy for the development of new IP based applications. Her additional responsibilities included delivery of local and physical components of AT&T’s Internet and DSL services to business customers, and directing incubator and mainstream processes for new feature functionality.
LaQuita’s foundation in engineering is a valuable tool in meeting the strategic and tactical challenges inherent in the competitive telecom field, a fact demonstrated by her ability to handle the various product and operational details involved in her current and past positions. She is recognized for her abilities in transformative strategic planning and business development, as well as in production support and financial analysis.
LaQuita lives in Colleyville, Texas, with her husband and three sons; Trent Jr., Trevor, and Tyler.
I joined Skanska in 2006 as a project engineer before moving over to Human Resources in 2007. Within HR I have worked as a Recruiting Director, Mobility Director, as well as supported training and on boarding initiatives with Skanska. In 2009 I was asked to work as the Sr. HR Manager for our Civil Southeast operations in Virginia Beach and most recently I was moved to Evansville, IN to work as the HR Director for our newly acquired business in the Midwest.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and a master’s degree in engineering management from Oklahoma State University. Prior to working at Skanska, I served 5 years on active duty in the US Army as a field artillery officer including two tours of duty in Iraq.
Vilma Y. Chan
Vilma Chan has over 20 years of change management experience and has been with PwC for over 11 years in a variety of roles. Vilma began her career at PwC working in the Management Consulting Group's Strategy practice focused on multiple dimensions of change management serving the automotive industry. Following this client service experience, Vilma became an integral part of the CFO's special projects team headquartered in New York leading various internal projects and driving tangible change within PwC's enterprise-wide systems and processes. She leveraged this opportunity to become the National Communications Leader for internal firm communications followed by a global communications leadership role for the Advisory and Tax lines of service at PwC.
In the fall of 2009, Vilma took on the responsibilities of the Market Diversity Leader for the Chicago market. In this capacity, Vilma is part of the market Human Capital Leadership team as well as the national Office of Diversity for PwC. Vilma is currently responsible for developing and driving the diversity strategy for the market both internally as well as representing the firm in the marketplace.
Vilma received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, emphasis on Strategy and Organizational Behavior. She continues to be an active alumni at Booth and is a founding member of the Board of Ambassadors for the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA and is a Governing Member Ambassador of the Chicago Zoological Society. In her free time, Vilma is an avid fan of the arts.
6:00pm Dinner Speaker:
Ingrid Jacobs joined Whirlpool Corporation in 2011 as the Diversity and Inclusion Senior Manager. In this role, she is responsible for working with: diversity strategy development and execution, diversity analytics, diversity training, diversity recruiting and management of the Whirlpool Diversity Networks. Ingrid has over 10 years of human resources experience as a learning facilitator, HR business partner, executive recruiter and Diversity and Inclusion manager. She has worked in Chicago, San Francisco and both Columbus and Cincinnati in Ohio for organizations such as: C.H. Robinson, The Limited Inc. and Bank of America. Ingrid spent her last 5 years with Fifth Third Bank as their Diversity Program Manager. She received her Bachelor’s from Ohio State University and her Master’s of Science in Human Resources Development from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Ingrid and her husband Thor have two small children.