The Power of Allyship
Samaria Chicas joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. through the Software Engineering Program in 2017. She leads an application development team in the Corporate Sector.
Her personal passion for Diversity & Inclusion has led to her participation in various internal groups at JPMC including the local Ohio chapter of the LGBT+ Business Resource Group, of which she is currently co-chair.
Samaria earned two degrees at Ball State University in Muncie, IN graduating with her bachelor's degree in 2012 and then returning to complete the Center for Information & Communication Sciences master's program in 2017.
The CICS program allowed her to make a career pivot into technology, creating opportunities to drive diversity and inclusion goals in this space.
She is originally from Houston, TX but happy to now call Columbus, OH home. She lives with her partner Daniel and enjoys visiting aquariums and museums (during non-COVID times).
How algorithms and databases can amplify sexism, racism, and more in everyday life... And, what we all can do to help prevent and correct it. Research based on studies and advocacy from the Algorithmic Justice League.
Making Remote Work Work For You
Abigail Hoyt has a background in Interpersonal Communication & Information Sciences, she graduated from the CICS program in July of 2020. After graduation, she got the opportunity to join a new graduate program at Salesforce as an Associate Customer Success Guide. Outside of work, she is a volunteer softball coach at an Indianapolis highschool & she loves participating in other local volunteer activities through Salesforce.
Making Remote Work Work for You
Bryan is respected as a dynamic and passionate Professional who conducts in-depth data analysis to
gain valuable insights, drive the user-centered design process, and support innovative initiatives that
achieve growth and profit objectives for leaders in the sports and other industries. He also comes
from an extensive marketing background, and leverages his expertise to develop strategic marketing
plans and unique digital content that enhance brand awareness and maximize revenues.
Bryan is recognized as a leader with strengths in ideation, consulting, partnership marketing, event
management, and business development. He is an entrepreneurial and creative collaborator who
thrives in fast-paced and diverse environments while inspiring cross-functional teams to produce
high-quality deliverables that exceed expectations.
Bryan continues to gain knowledge, pursuing a Graduate Certificate of Arts in Emerging Media
Design and Development from Ball State University to expand understanding of Design Thinking,
Transmedia Storytelling and Human-Computer Interaction.
Opening Keynote Panel: Digital Transformation
Mr. Linder is the Chief Information Officer for the State of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. He currently leads enterprise efforts for health and human services technology solutions, focusing on IT modernization, data and analytics, and systems interoperability. Jared also represents the state by serving on committees and boards both locally and nationally, focusing on furthering the delivery of health and social programs through advancements in technology and data. Jared has previously held roles at private sector technology and consulting firms and has 10 years’ experience teaching IT project management to graduate students. Jared holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Information and Communication Sciences, both from Ball State University, and an MBA from Butler University.
Digital Transformation Panel
Laura Means has worked in Ball State's IT organization since 1984, in a variety of roles within Operations, Application Support, and Development. She is currently a member of the Enterprise Project Support Office in IT, serving as a project manager and analyst. After earning an associate's degree in computer programming from Ivy Tech in 1984, Laura took advantage of the educational opportunities that Ball State offers to its employees, earning her B.S. in English in 1998 and her M.S. in CICS in 2001.
The Power of Allyship
Efosa joined Salesforce in 2017. He leads sales of Salesforce Success Plans for the Financial Services vertical.
His desire to create change around the topics of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion have been driven by his participation in the Salesforce ERG BOLDforce( Black Organization for Leadership Development), of which he is currently the Global EVP.
Efosa earned a B.B.A at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI graduating in 2011 and then pursued a Master's degree from Center for Information & Communication Sciences and graduated
in 2012. The CICS program helped hone his skills in both business and technology.
He is originally from Nigeria but now calls Naperville, IL home. He lives with his wife Molly and their three year old son.
Transform Your Leadership Through Self-Awareness
Bette Smith is a principal in Destra Consulting Group. She is a management and communications consultant with 20 years of experience in assessment, design, delivery, and evaluation of programs for numerous companies and organizations including: MoneyGram, Turner (formerly Turner Broadcasting Systems), Samsonite, Ralston Purina, AT&T, UnitedHealth Group, and many more.
Prior to joining Destra, Bette’s positions include Vice President of Communications and Director of Organizational Learning at CQG Inc. (a global software firm) as well as Director of the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities at the CU Denver Business School.
Bette received her Master's in Social Science with an emphasis in Educational Evaluation from the University of Colorado Denver, and her Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies from Bates College
A Model For Having Difficult Conversations
Dr. Sylvester is a Professor of Marketing and Personal Branding at Anderson University. Amongst other classes, he teaches personal brand management and diversity and intercultural leadership in the Falls School of Business. Dr. Sylvester has published in both the US and the UK. He is a regular guest speaker at several regional Indiana colleges, including Rose-Hulman Institute, Indiana University, and Purdue University. As a management consultant and personal branding coach, Dr. Sylvester has worked with senior company executives, professional athletes, chart-topping artists, and musicians. He is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He holds a Master of Science in Behavioral Science and a Master of Arts in Management (Community Cohesion concentration). Dr. Sylvester completed his doctoral research in the field of personal brand management. His interdisciplinary credentials and experience allow him to provide expert insight in the realm of intra-personal and inter-personal communication and diversity.
Amplify Your Job Search
Jeff Ton is a sought-after speaker, author and thought leader, having led powerful teams and built successful Information Technology departments for over 30 years. As a speaker, author, advisor, and coach, Jeff’s mission is to change the face of IT. Saying, “Businesses today are demanding more from their technology and their technology leaders.”
In more than three decades, Jeff has served as Chief Information Officer with Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Lauth Property Group, as well as 14 years in various technology roles with Thomson Multimedia (RCA). Later in his career, Jeff “moved to the other side of the desk” by joining the executive team at InterVision Systems. After helping to guide several acquisition integrations, he left to devote his energies to his mission.
Speaking to audiences from 5 to 1,000, Jeff has mastered the art of simplifying complex IT issues and is always looking for opportunities to drive value in organizations now and in the future.
He serves on numerous boards and advisory councils including Forbes Technology Council, Hoosier Environmental Council board of directors Connected World Magazine Board of Advisors, and the Mud Creek Conservancy board of directors. He is also a Fellow Alumni for the Institute of Digital Transformation.
Jeff is the author of Amplify Your Value (2018) and Amplify Your Job Search (2020) and is a frequent keynote speaker on topics related to the evolving IT landscape and the changing role of the CIO.
Jodi Wolfe joined Ascension Technologies three years ago and has served as the IT Director at Medxcel responsible for Business Relationship Management and Business Applications. At Medxcel, Jodi has lead the IS team in implementing cloud solutions and launching an Enterprise Data Lake with robust analytics. She has more than 20 years of IT consulting experience working with a variety of businesses undergoing enterprise-wide change. Prior to Ascension, Jodi was a Risk Assurance Director at PwC working with clients to align programs, projects, and processes to company business objectives to ensure desired outcomes. She has delivered project assurance services to ERP clients in a variety of industries including healthcare and financial services and managed large-scale transformational programs where she was responsible for portfolio planning and management, product planning and delivery, support, and release management.
Ethical and Humane Use of Technology
Christina Zhang helped found Salesforce's Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology, focusing on ethics and human rights in policy and product development. She is responsible for company-wide policy creation as well as employee engagement and enablement for Ethics by Design initiatives.