Panel Session 2

Career Switching Changing Lanes: How Do I Know the Time Is Right?     

Meredith McPherron, Moderator    Director of Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School

Meredith is the Director of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.  The Center serves as a hub for entrepreneurial activities on campus and interfaces with entrepreneurial alumni throughout their careers. Meredith’s focus on entrepreneurship has spanned her 20 year career in business. Early in her career, she worked on new ventures within core and emerging franchises of established corporations, such as Goldman Sachs, General Mills, and Guinness Import Company to expand their service and product offerings with new sources of revenue. Later in her career, she also worked within and as a consultant for several start-ups. Meredith served as the VP of Marketing for Direct Hit Technologies, a search engine start-up that employed unique algorithms to find relevant and accurate information based on the activity of users.  When Direct Hit was sold to Ask in 2000, Meredith established her own consulting practice and worked closely with several start-ups focused in the internet and mobile space including Trip Advisor, Catalyst Online,, Buzzwire, Open Ratings and several others on marketing strategy, product development, and go-to-market planning and execution. Meredith has also worked on her own internet application in the digital identity and edtech space.

Meredith received her A.B. from Harvard College (1989) and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (1993). She is an active mentor for several entrepreneurial teams in a variety of industries and serves on the Board of Trustees at The Meadowbrook School. Meredith lives in Weston, MA with her husband and three children.

 Anne Dwane  Founder & CEO, Zinch

Anne passionately applies technology to improve access to education and career opportunities. In 1999, Anne co-founded to connect service members and veterans to their benefits, including GI Bill, tuition assistance and career networking. Today, has over 10 million members and serves as the military community's largest social and professional network. was acquired by Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) in 2004. At Monster, Anne led several businesses as General Manager, Affinity Networks. Previously, Anne was in business development at Paul Allen's Interval Research Corporation in Silicon Valley. Prior, Anne managed consumer research projects at Nabisco then transitioned to brand management.

Anne holds a bachelors degree in Marketing and International Management from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is a member of the 2010 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. Anne is co-author of Getting In: The Zinch Guide to College Admissions & Financial Aid in the Digital Age published by Wiley, 2011.

Lauren Imparato       Founder & CEO, I.AM.YOU
Imparato is a Princeton grad who quickly moved up the ranks of Morgan Stanley in New York and London, becoming a Vice President in Fixed Income during the peak of the Financial Crisis of 2008. Although a true trading floor junkie, when the crisis stabilized she re-evaluated career and decided it was time to follow her life-long dream of starting her own business. In May 2009 Imparato launched her own yoga-centric lifestyle company, I.AM.YOU., and has since been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News & Television, Entrepreneur Magazine, the London Financial News and more. Since, Lauren has become a top international yoga and lifestyle expert, invited to speak and teach around the world.

Her realistic, straight up, modern approach has made her a favorite for urbanites in the know. She is fluent in three languages, has lived, studied, and worked across the globe, and carries a little Cali, and a lot of NYC, wherever she goes. Lauren holds two Advanced Yoga Teaching Certificates and a certificate in Advanced Yoga Anatomy. She is a graduate of the Institute of Integrated Nutrition and on the board of American Drugless Practitioners. Lauren also earned an Intermediate Level Certificate from the International Wine Center and a BA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University.

Natalia Oberti Noguera        Founder & CEO, Pipeline Fellowship

Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of the Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women philanthropists. The Pipeline Fellowship works to increase diversity in the U.S angel investing community and creates capital for women social entrepreneurs. Natalia holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale. She has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Dowser, Forbes CSR Blog, ForbesWoman, Mashable, New Prosperity, Reuters Money, TechCrunch, and The New York Times. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and was selected as a Readers’ Pick for HuffPost Tech’s “27 Women in Tech You Need to Follow on Twitter."  Women's eNews recognized her as a 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. You can find Natalia on Twitter (@nakisnakis).

 Jean Oelwang           CEO, Virgin Unite

Jean is the CEO of Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. In her previous life, Jean lived and worked on five continents helping to lead successful mobile phone start-ups in South Africa, Colombia, Bulgaria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. Jean has long explored the overlap of the business and social sectors and has been involved in both, having worked for the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in Australia, and in numerous volunteer roles, including a stint as a VISTA volunteer where she worked with – and learned from - homeless teens in Chicago.

 In 2003 she was joint CEO of Virgin Mobile in Australia when she was asked to work with Richard Branson and the Virgin staff around the world to create Virgin Unite. The team works with Virgin's many businesses worldwide and other entrepreneurs and business leaders to help put driving positive change at their core. Virgin Unite also works with partners to create entrepreneurial approaches to social and environmental issues, for example, the Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg and the Rural Transport Network in Kenya.

Jean and Virgin Unite have also helped to incubate a number of global leadership initiatives such as The Elders, the Carbon War Room and Enterprise Zimbabwe. Jean sits on the Advisory Board of The Elders, the Board of the Carbon War Room and on the Board of the Bushbuckridge Health and Wellness Trust.



Consulting Finding Mentors for Success    

 Robin Ely, Moderator           Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community, HBS

Robin Ely is Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community at Harvard Business School. She conducts research on race and gender relations in organizations with a focus on organizational change, group dynamics, learning, conflict, power, and identity. Her recent work includes a study of men and masculinity on offshore oil platforms, research on the impact of racial diversity on retail bank performance, and presently, a study of how professional women experience holding positions of power. In her role as Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community, Professor Ely is heading a culture change initiative at Harvard Business School to ensure that all members of the HBS community are able to thrive and reach their potential for advancing the mission of the School. Professor Ely has taught MBA courses in leadership, diversity, teams, and statistics and doctoral courses in field research methods; she has also taught in HBS’s executive education programs, including leadership programs designed specifically for women. 

 For the past several years, Professor Ely has maintained an active faculty affiliation at the Center for Gender in Organizations, Simmons Graduate School of Management, in Boston.  Prior to joining the HBS faculty, she taught at Columbia University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Professor Ely received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University and her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She is a member of the Academy of Management, has served on numerous editorial boards of academic journals, and is a past associate editor of Administrative Science Quarterly.

 Tamara Olsen            Partner, Bain

Tamara Olsen is a partner in Bain & Company’s Boston office and a member of the firm’s Global Healthcare practice. She joined the Bain family companies in 1999. Tamara has directed teams in multiple sectors of the healthcare space. Tamara has led in depth analysis of US healthcare reform trends, with a particular focus on payment reform and benefit design. She has advised corporate clients on both general strategy (e.g. growth, sales force optimization) and long-term implementation issues (e.g. performance improvement, organizational design). Beyond healthcare, Tamara has led work in adjacency growth strategies, strategic due diligence, product development, customer segmentation as well as complexity reduction and manufacturing footprint optimization.

 Prior to joining Bain, Tamara worked at The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm affiliated with Bain & Company. Tamara has also served as Chief of Staff for a local civil rights group. Tamara received her Master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in June 2003, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar. Ms. Olsen graduated with a degree in Government with honors from Harvard College.

Mahshid Pirzadeh     Project leader, Boston, Boston Consulting Group

Mahshid is a Project Leader in the Boston office. Before joining the Boston office in 2011, she spent 1.5 years in the New York office and 3 years in the Washington DC office. She is a member of the health care, consumer and operations practice areas. She has significant case experience in the healthcare, retail, consumer goods, and hospitality industries as well as operations improvement across industries.

 Prior to joining BCG, Mahshid work for Dell Computer Corporation and Alcoa, both focused on supply chain strategy. Mahshid earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an M.S.E. and B.S.E. in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan where she graduated Summa Cum Laude


Deepa Purushothaman        Principal, Deloitte

Deepa Purushothaman is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice. She focuses on mergers and acquisitions and business transformation. Her clients include both domestic carriers and international wireless providers and she has worked with key executives to manage complex integrations and launches across the globe. Currently Deepa is both the LCSP and LCP for NII (Nextel International) a wireless telecommunications carrier with operations across five South American countries. Within Deloitte, Deepa has served on the CEO’s Advisory Council. She focused on ongoing PD development and the transition into the Partnership for newer PDs. As the national leader of Deloitte’s Asian Business Resource Group, Deepa oversees strategies that align to Deloitte’s overall diversity goals. She is also developing thought ware to address how to manage, motivate, and retain the growing number of Asians in corporate America.

Outside Deloitte, Deepa is helping to establish Avasara, the first leadership academy targeting young women in India. Deepa is recipient of Consulting Magazine 2011 Women Leaders in Consulting Future Leaders Award. Deepa has a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a Concentration in Negotiation Studies and Conflict Resolution from Harvard University; she holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from Wellesley College.



eCommerce The Online Shopping Experience (Radical Experimentation)

 John Deighton, Moderator  Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, HBS

Professor John Deighton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is an authority on consumer behavior and marketing, with a focus on online and direct marketing. He is the immediate past editor of the Journal of Consumer Research, a leading outlet for scholarly research on consumer behavior, and was the founding co-editor of the Journal of Interactive Marketing, which reports academic research on marketing and the Internet. He initiated and leads the HBS Executive Education program titled Taking Marketing Digital. He has served as course head of the first year MBA course in Marketing and has taught elective MBA courses in Business Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Interactive Marketing, and Digital Marketing Strategy. His current research (which can be followed on Twitter @HBSmktg) deals with online marketing and is conducted largely by close study of specific situations. He has studied the ecosystems of the Internet economy, the interplay of social media and conventional television ratings systems, the propagation of viral videos online and offline, and database marketing.

 He is the Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, a board member of the Direct Marketing Education Foundation, and a Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Prior to joining HBS he was on the faculties of the University of Chicago and the Tuck School of Business. He has a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He also has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal.


Mara Castro   Director of Customer Experience, Warby Parker

Mara Castro serves as Director of Customer Experience at Warby Parker, a transformative fashion brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while striving to deliver an extraordinary shopping and ownership experience. With a background in non-profit and leadership development, she began as Warby Parker's first employee and currently leads one of the largest teams at the company. During her time at Warby Parker, Mara has developed customer experience strategies tailored to fit the unorthodox experience of buying glasses online, while also training team members for further leadership roles within the company. She loves travel and has hopscotched across the globe, living in Brazil, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Venezuela, before settling down with Warby Parker in downtown New York City.

Elizabeth Gunn         COO, BaubleBar

With years of experience establishing operations for financial ventures, Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience to the role of Chief Operating Officer of BaubleBar. Beginning her career in the Operations Department of Blackstone Kailix, she was selected to stay on as part of the select liquidation team to dissolve the fund. Shortly thereafter she went on to help launch Kalix Advisors and later went on to help organize, hire and launch Soroban Capital Partners. In 2011 she left Soroban Capital Partners to join BaubleBar as its first employee as Director of Operations. Since that time she has helped to hire and organize a team of twenty direct reports and now serves as the Company’s COO. Elizabeth is directly responsible for the Company’s sourcing, customer experience and fulfillment teams. Elizabeth graduated from Drew University with a degree in Economics and Sociology in May 2007.


Aubrie Pagano          Co-Founder, Bow & Drape

Aubrie Pagano, BA ’08 in History & Literature, is the founder of Bow & Drape, the e-clothier that re-thinks foundational wardrobe pieces by allowing women to customize their clothing and make it their own. For her work with Bow & Drape, she has been featured in Tech Crunch, Mashable, Fast Company, Teen Vogue, Daily Candy and on ABC. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Aubrie was a Management Consultant at Fidelity Investments for three years, and Director of Strategy and Planning at Emily Muller Apparel. 


Laura Porco   Director, General Merchandise Manager, MYHABIT/Amazon

Laura Porco is Chief Merchant and Director of Buying for Amazon’s newest fashion business is a membership-only fashion retailer offering up to 60 percent off list prices of designer and boutique brands in women’s, men’s, designer, home and children’s departments including apparel, footwear, accessories, kitchen, home décor, furniture and lighting. She launched, leading a team of merchants and merchandising operations specialists responsible for recruiting, buying and producing “flash sale” events from more than 2,500 luxury and contemporary brands. Prior to, she was’s Director of Kindle Books for four years, building the world’s largest digital bookstore ahead of the Kindle’s launch in 2007 and growing it to more than 800K titles, supporting 4 new Kindle device launches and multiple apps by working with publishers, authors, agents and copyright holders.  


Before coming to, Porco worked as Director, Books and Audiobooks at, a leading innovator in Internet retailing. She also served as National Account Manager at Macmillan USA where she managed the relationship with Macmillan’s largest customer Barnes & Noble.

Porco holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Ohio State University and a minor in Political Science.



Entrepreneurship For Women, By Women: How Entrepreneurs Win the Female Audience        


Janet Kraus, Moderator       MBA Class of 1954 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, HBS

Janet Kraus is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. She will be teaching Building Businesses in the Context of a Life (BBCL) and Founders' Dilemmas' both in the Winter Term of the 2012/2013 academic year. She is also Co-chair of the Executive Education Program, A New Path designed for women in transition. She is also faculty member in Executive Education Program, CrossRoads. She also runs two Women's Entrepreneurial Forums in the I-Lab. A two time business founder, Janet has been involved in every stage of the entrepreneurial process including idea generation, product development, building teams, fund raising, identification of key strategic partners, business development and direct sales, operational scaling, crisis and recovery, buying and exiting companies.


In 1997, Janet co-founded Circles, a concierge and events company which grew to be a $60 million company, with nearly 1000 consultants. In November 2007, Janet left Circles to lead Spire, a company designed to create social resource sharing platforms specializing in travel and leisure. Janet sold Spire to Perfect Escapes in 2010. An entrepreneur's advocate, Janet sits on the board of directors of five start-up companies and the Board of TABL (The Alliance for Business Leadership). She currently lives outside of Boston with her husband and twin 5 year old daughters.


Claire Chambers       Founder and CEO, Journelle

Claire Chambers is the founder and CEO of Journelle, an omni-channel lingerie company launched in 2007. After a successful career in management consulting, Claire’s passion for designer lingerie and entrepreneurial spirit led her to the $11bn lingerie industry. Fascinated by the overwhelming market share of Victoria’s Secret, and the fragmentation of other players, Claire sought to create a better shopping experience for women who like her had “outgrown” Victoria’s Secret. The first Journelle store, funded by friends & family, opened in New York’s Union Square neighborhood in 2007.

Claire is passionate about bringing the momentum and excitement of fashion to the lingerie world, and has been featured as an expert in Cosmopolitan, Instyle, Lucky, O The Oprah Magazine, Nylon, ‘Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style’ and more. You can follow Claire's adventures at @ClaireJournelle.

Angie Chang Founder, Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners

Angie is currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Women 2.0. Aside from leading the editorial/content team at Women 2.0, Angie also manages Women 2.0′s online presence – from designing and building webpages for Women 2.0 conferences to managing social media marketing. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design at various startups in the Silicon Valley. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.


Sheila Marcelo          Founder and CEO,

Sheila founded in 2006 and today, the Company is the largest online care destination in the world with 7 million members in more than 15 countries. allows families to connect with millions of caregivers to manage the lifecycle of care challenges families face:  childcare, including special needs, senior care, pet care, housekeeping, tutoring, and more. The Company also offers its suite of services as an employee benefit to Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions, technology and service companies, and a variety of industries. Sheila’s passion for technology developed during her time as a management consultant at Monitor Company and a teaching fellow at Harvard Business School. Her growing appreciation for the power of technology led her to positions at Internet companies, including VP, Product Management and Marketing at, a service helping families save for college, and VP and General Manager of, an executive job search engine.


Sheila is a Board Trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that regularly works with the Philippine government on education, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, she is a finalist judge for Harvard Business School's annual Business Plan Competition. A frequent speaker on female entrepreneurship, women in technology, and female leadership, Sheila founded to increase women’s roles in the global economy by providing mentorship, skill-building and inspiration to female leaders and entrepreneurs. Sheila graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Economics and received her M.B.A. and J.D. degrees with Honors and the Dean’s Award from Harvard University. She resides in the Boston, MA area with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.



Julie Rice       Founder, Soul Cycle

While living in Los Angeles Julie Rice, was a busy talent manager - who could barely stop her hectic "movie biz" schedule to fit in a workout, let alone enjoy it. After searching high and low for an exercise that would keep her not only physically in shape but also mentally inspired, she found indoor cycling. The music and the energy kept her coming back and yet she felt it could be even more....Julie met her co-founder Elizabeth Cutler met at a lunch and the rest was SOULhistory! They both believed indoor cycling could be inspiring; they both believed you could incorporate upper body and core workout into the routine; and finally they believed with some great branding, a beautiful environment, and outstanding customer service, the 45-minute class could be transformed into a special experience each time. Elizabeth combed Craigslist and found the "rear lobby" at West 72nd Street. Julie learned all she could about renting towels and passing out schedule cards up and down the avenues of the West Side of NYC. Slowly, the riders began to come.


Today both are amazed at the community that has become SoulCycle. The inspiring instructors, dedicated riders, and tireless studio soul team. It is truly a labor of SOUL. Both continued to be inspired BY and AT SoulCycle.


Liz Whitman  Founder, Manicube

Liz is the Co-Founder & President of Manicube, a start-up beauty services company that launched in July 2012. Manicube makes the lives of working women easier by providing 15-minute manicures in the office. Manicube currently serves corporate offices in NY and will open in a second US city in April. Prior to starting Manicube, Liz was the Head of Marketing for, a prestige beauty e-commerce site owned by Quidsi (now an Amazon subsidiary). Liz led the marketing team across strategic partnerships, customer acquisition and customer engagement initiatives. She launched both the Sample Society subscription program in partnership with Allure magazine and the first brick and mortar store in the Amazon portfolio at the Americana Manhasset mall. Previously, Liz worked in product management as a Senior Marketing Manager at American Express where she had P&L responsibility for the co-branded Delta Air Lines OPEN card portfolio.

Liz started out her career in the luxury fashion industry, first as the Co-Founder & CEO of Lewis Albert, a women’s designer fashion brand and later at Aronsson Group, a boutique luxury fashion private equity and consulting firm. Liz holds an AB Degree from Harvard College and a MBA from Harvard Business School.


Global Career Succeeding on the World Stage       


Arlene Hostrop, Moderator VP Corporate Communications, AIG (HBS '93)

Arlene Hostrop is currently Regional Vice President, Communications for AIG in Japan. In this role, she leads the management and promotion of the AIG brand and manages the Communications functions across the group of companies in Japan coordinating activities with the Asia Pacific Group. Arlene oversees all aspects of AIG’s branding, advertising, philanthropy, internal communications, and community/media relations. She is responsible for developing and implementing AIG’s overall communications and external positioning strategy.

With more than 20 years of international management experience, Arlene has worked in marketing/advertising,

strategy consulting, and Internet management. As President of Asia Pacific in one of her last positions, she was responsible for working with consumer goods companies in China and Japan to expand business throughout Asia.


Prior to joining AIG, Arlene was also Executive Vice President at a digital agency where she led the digital development of internet sites and social media campaigns and in the past, she also served on the management teams of internet start-ups. As a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in Tokyo, Arlene built her career advising multinational companies but has also worked for many years in entrepreneurial ventures. Arlene earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. She also studied as a Rotary Foundation Fellow at Hitotsubashi University and received her BS in Japanese/International Business from Georgetown University. Arlene has worked extended periods in different countries around the world, speaks Japanese and has lived a total of over 10 years in Asia.


Farzana Haque          Tata Consulting Services

Ms. Farzana Haque is the TCS head of Europe Telecom Business Unit and the Global

Head for Strategic Group Accounts: Telenor, Telia and Hutch. Prior to her current role,

Ms. Haque was the Global Head - Large Accounts SBU at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a leading global information technology company with over US$10 Billion in revenues. TCS is India' most valued company with the highest market capitalization. Ms. Haque began her career with the TATA Group in Mumbai as a management trainee & has been with the group ever since. Ms. Haque was based in New York & has recently moved to Mumbai –TCS’ headquarters with her current role.


In recognition of her leadership at TCS, Ms. Haque was nominated to the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader" The Young Global Leader recognizes the top 250 young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society and their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Ms. Haque has been profiled and featured by leading Indian and International Media on her work both for her organization and for the development work that she does in India. Ms. Haque is also the recipient of the “INDIRA” Super Achiever Award 2008. Ms. Haque is a Charter member of TiE. Ms. Haque is a frequent speaker at business schools around the globe and India on topics covering leadership, building global brands, and innovation. She is passionate about social development in India and works with NGO's and foundations in order to further the cause, besides being on boards of a few foundations. Ms. Haque is Co- Founder of “Stree Shakti”, a platform for women entrepreneurs in India.


Candace Matthews   CMO, Amway

As Chief Marketing Officer, Candace Matthews leads Amway’s global marketing strategy and team. Since 2007 she has led Category Marketing for beauty, nutrition and home brands; the Amway Brand; Consumer and Market Insights; Digital and Experiential Marketing;  Corporate Citizenship; and Public Relations.

She is a also an executive officer of the company and member of Amway’s Executive Staff, the top advisory team to the Amway Office of the Chief Executive, composed of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos. Matthews previously served as President of SoftSheen-Carson, Consumer Products Division of L’Oreal USA and as Vice President, New Product and Package Innovation, and Managing Director, Non-Cola Brands, with the Coca-Cola Company. In addition, she had senior marketing positions at the CIBA Vision Corporation; Bausch + Lomb, Oral Care Division; Procter & Gamble; and General Mills, where she began her marketing career.


Matthews received a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering and administrative and management science from Carnegie Mellon University. She also earned an MBA from Stanford University.

Matthews is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and currently serves on the boards of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW); Fifth Third Bank – Western Michigan; Figure Skating in Harlem; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park; and Spectrum Health Foundation. She is a member of the board of trustees at Carnegie Mellon University and previously served on the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Advisory Council.



Healthcare Healthcare Innovation in the Face of Rapid Change    


Sarah Jean Singer, Moderator        Assistant Professor of Health Care Management and Policy, Harvard School of Public Health / Harvard Medical School
Sara J. Singer, M.B.A., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Health Care Management and Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research in the field of health care management and policy focuses on how organizational leadership and culture impact efforts to implement health delivery innovations, integrate patient care, and improve performance of health care organizations. A key feature of this research is the development of survey instruments that measure provider and patient perspectives on key interpersonal and organizational factors, enabling benchmarking, rapid and reliable feedback about the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of delivery system innovations, and broader dissemination of more successful interventions. Dr. Singer acts as Implementation Research Director for the Safe Surgery 2015 initiative (2010-present).


Dr. Singer has published more than 70 articles in academic journals and books on healthcare management, health policy, and health system reform. She has conducted numerous studies for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development, and private foundations related to measuring and improving organizational culture, learning, patient safety, integrated patient care, and the financing and delivery of health care. She holds an A.B. degree in English from Princeton University, a M.B.A. degree with a Certificate in Public Management from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Health Policy/Management with a concentration in organizational behavior. Her husband, Gordon Bloom, is founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (SE Lab) at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford Universities. They live with their children, Audrey (13) and Jason (10) in Newton, Massachusetts.


Elizabeth Bierbower President, Employer Group Segment, Humana

Beth Bierbower, president of the Employer Group Segment at Humana, is responsible for developing the strategy, driving growth for the organization, and leading Humana’s Employer-focused business, including Large Group and Small Group sales, distribution and market operations, Specialty Benefits, Group Medicare, Humana’s new Health and Productivity Solutions Area and National Sales. Beth guides the organization as it navigates the complexities associated with health insurance reform and works to transform the organization into a leader in health and productivity improvement. The group generates over $9 billion in annualized revenue and oversees Humana’s medical, dental, vision, life, disability, workplace voluntary benefits and integrated solutions, including HumanaVitality, to over eight million members. As an innovator and self-proclaimed risk-taker, Beth has always been first in line to take on a new challenge.


Beth is a thought leader and well-known speaker on topics including healthcare consumerism and consumer-driven health plans. She has written many articles on these topics as well as a book, Engage! A Guide to Involving Your Consumers in Their Health, published in 2007. Beth served as an adjunct faculty member at institutions including the College of St. Francis and Carnegie Mellon University. Beth attended Carlow College in Pittsburg, PA where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with highest honors. Beth has participated as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology and the Executive Women’s Council in Pittsburgh.


Susan Crawford        Head of Business Transformation, Life Technologies

Susan Crawford is Vice President of Business Transformation for Life Technologies where she is responsible for integrating newly acquired companies and engineering business processes throughout the broader organization. Prior to this role, Ms. Crawford served as Vice President of Corporate Finance Planning and Analysis and has been with the company since 2005. During her career, Ms. Crawford has held various financial positions at companies including Covad Communications, Scientific Atlanta and POWERTV. Ms. Crawford received a B.S. Degree in Accounting from Rollins College and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.


Bahija Jallal   EVP, AstraZeneca, Head of MedImmune, MedImmune

Dr. Bahija Jallal is Executive Vice President of Research and Development with oversight for research, development and clinical activities based at MedImmune’s Gaithersburg, California and Cambridge, UK sites. Dr. Jallal joined MedImmune as vice president, translational sciences, in March 2006 and has been in positions of increasing responsibility. Dr. Jallal has guided the MedImmune R&D organization through unprecedented growth and expansion of its biologics pipeline from 40 drugs to more than 140. She inspires creativity, out-of-the-box thinking and a dedication to scientific excellence to the more than 2,500 employees in her organization. As part of the MedImmune Executive Team and parent company AstraZeneca Research and Development Leadership Team, Dr. Jallal is passionate about leading and shaping MedImmune’s rich pipeline of drugs targeting cancer, infections, respiratory and inflammatorydiseases, cardio-vascular and gastrointestinal disorders and pain to ultimately develop new medicines for patients.


In 2011, on behalf of MedImmune, Dr. Jallal participated in Maryland’s Governor O’Malley’s Trade Mission to

India where she represented the life sciences. Dr. Jallal is a member of the Board of Directors of the University

of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park Corporation, a non-profit organization that manages biomedical research development at the BioPark. Dr. Jallal received a master’s degree in biology from the Universite de Paris VII in France, and her doctorate in physiology from the University of Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.


Tina Brown-Stevenson        SVP, Health System Analytics and Decision Support, UnitedHealthcare

Tina Brown-Stevenson is SVP, Health System Analytics and Decision Support for UnitedHealthcare (UHC). Until mid-2012, Tina was the Chief Data and Analytics Officer for Ingenix (renamed Optum Insight), a UnitedHealth Group business. Prior to that appointment, she was EVP of the Health Care Innovation and Information Group at OptumInsight. Before joining Ingenix, Brown-Stevenson was president of Aetna Informaticssm, Aetna’s data, information, and analytics organization. Before joining Aetna in 2001, Brown-Stevenson served as the vice president of HealthCare Economics at Cigna, as vice president of Health System Development at Partners Healthcare in Boston, and as vice president for Medical Management of UnitedHealthcare’s New England health plan.


Brown-Stevenson is a Certified Managed Care executive who received an MA degree in Health Administration from Framingham State College (renamed Framingham State University) and a BS degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has completed post-graduate work in health informatics and is a frequent guest lecturer on managed care and applied health services research. Brown-Stevenson is a member of the board of trustees of the Connecticut Health Foundation, a board member of the UnitedHealth Foundation, and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College Advisory Board at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a former board member of both the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls and the Aetna Foundation.



Operations The Essential Link Between Operations and Strategy 


Gary Pisano, Moderator      Harry E. Figgie, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, HBS

Gary Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He has been on the Harvard faculty for 23 years. During this time, he has taught MBA and executive level courses on technology and operations management, operations strategy, competitive strategy, product development, and the management of innovation. Professor Pisano's research has examined technology strategy, the management of innovation, organizational learning, outsourcing, and the management of intellectual property. His research, teaching, and consulting on these issues span a range of science and technology based industries including aerospace, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, health care, computers, software, telecommunications, and semiconductors.


Professor Pisano is currently writing a book on the challenges facing U.S. competitiveness in high-technology industries. Professor Pisano has served as an advisor to senior executives at leading companies in the United States and Europe in the aerospace, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, computer, software, electronics, and financial services industries. In addition, Pisano has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Boards of a number of start-up companies. He speaks widely at industry conferences and to senior executive audiences. Professor Pisano holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and B.A. in economics from Yale University. For more information on Professor Pisano's research and activities, please go to


Cristina DeVito          Chief Strategy Officer, Tough Mudder

Cristina DeVito is the Chief Strategy Officer at Tough Mudder LLC, based in Brooklyn, New York. As part of her role at Tough Mudder, Cristina oversees the Strategy, International and New Business development teams. She joined Tough Mudder in early 2012 after spending over three years at Bain & Company as a consultant in both their Boston and Los Angeles offices. During this time, Cristina worked in Bain's private equity group as well as on projects in healthcare, TMT and consumer products industries. Casework included due diligence, strategy, sales force effectiveness and supply chain optimization.

Prior to joining Bain, Cristina was an associate for two years at Catterton Partners, a consumer products and retail focused private equity firm. Prior to Catterton, Cristina spent two years as an investment banking analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Consumer Products & Retail groups at Wachovia Securities. Cristina received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2008. She is also a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she received both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering.


Heather Gilhuly         Senior Manager, Corporate Distribution, Audi of America

Heather Gilhuly has dedicated nearly 20 years to the automotive industry and serves as the Senior Manager for Audi Corporate Distribution. Ms. Gilhuly leads Audi’s vehicle supply chain which represents $8.0 billion of revenue through vehicle wholesales to dealers. She was recently appointed by company leadership to spearhead one of the company’s key business initiatives; the complete overhaul and redesign of the vehicle Order Management and Distribution (OMD) systems for both the Audi and the Volkswagen brands in North America. The new OMD system is envisioned to be a ‘game changer’ in the way Audi and VW conducts business and interacts with the factory and dealer partners. Since 1994, Heather has held positions of increasing responsibility to include field operations positions as a Business Development Manager, growing the wholesale and consumer financing portfolio for Volkswagen Credit and as Area Sales Manager, responsible for meeting vehicle sales and customer satisfaction targets for the Audi brand. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and sailing with her husband and two children. She also actively participates in community organizations like Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.


Amy Villeneuve         President and COO, Kiva Systems

Amy is responsible for Kiva's end-to-end customer engagement process, from sales and solution design through manufacturing, deployment and ongoing customer support. Amy brings 24 years of experience in corporate strategy, business development, operations, and client management to her role at Kiva. Prior to joining Kiva, Amy was the Executive Vice President, Marketing, Strategy and Product Innovation for Cross Country Automotive Services where she was instrumental in doubling the size of the company over her 7-year tenure. She has also held roles as General Manager and VP of Strategic Business Development at Cross Country. Prior to Cross Country, she was a consultant with the Parthenon Group where she developed corporate strategies for multi-national conglomerates and entrepreneurial clients. Previously, Amy spent 13 years in the auto industry, in a number of leadership, operational and account management positions. Amy holds a MBA from Harvard Business School, a MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a BS from Clarkson University.



Venture Capital & Private Equity VC & PE: Challenges Post-Recession 


Kristin Mugford, Moderator            Visting faculty at HBS/Bain Capital

Kristin Mugford joined Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm, in 1994. She currently serves as a

Managing Director and member of the Credit Committee of Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s credit and distressed debt affiliate. She is also currently an Executive in Residence at Harvard Business School, where last spring she taught the EC course “Venture Capital and Private Equity”. Ms. Mugford has been a senior member of the management team of Sankaty since it started. Today, Sankaty has over 180 employees in offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Luxembourg, Melbourne and New York and approximately $19.0 billion in committed assets under management. Prior to the formation of Sankaty, Ms. Mugford worked in Bain Capital’s private equity business. Ms. Mugford began her career at The Walt Disney Company, where she worked in corporate strategic planning and the consumer products division.

An active participant in charitable organizations, Ms. Mugford is outgoing Chair of Children’s Hospital Boston’s

Board of Overseers and a member of the Board of Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest donor-advised fund, and The Sage School. Ms. Mugford is also an active supporter of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Ms. Mugford received an M.B.A., from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar, and an A. B., magna cum laude from Harvard College. She resides in Wellesley, MA with her husband and three daughters.



Anita Balaji    VP, Carlyle

Anita Balaji is a Principal with The Carlyle Group in the U.S. Buyout fund, where she focuses on leveraged buyout opportunities in the consumer and retail sector.Since joining Carlyle in 2006, Ms. Balaji has been actively involved in Carlyle’s investments in NBTY and Dunkin’ Brands, including as a member of the Board of Directors of Dunkin' Brands.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Ms. Balaji worked as a generalist at Behrman Capital, a private equity firm based in New York. Previously, she was with the mergers and acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs, focusing on consumer and retail transactions. Ms. Balaji received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College with a B.A. in mathematics and chemistry.


Tiffany Obenchain    VP, HarbourVest Partners

Tiffany Obenchain joined HarbourVest’s direct investment team in 2012 and focuses on originating, evaluating, and executing direct co-investments in growth equity, buyout, and mezzanine transactions.

Tiffany joined the Firm from Lake Capital where she evaluated, structured, and managed majority-controlled investments in middle-market, service-based enterprises. Her prior experience also includes an investment banking analyst position at J.P. Morgan in the Diversified Industrials Group. Tiffany received a BA in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics (with honors) from Northwestern University in 2003 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2009.


Tricia Patrick Principal, Bain Capital

Tricia Patrick is a Principal with Bain Capital’s North American Private Equity Group where her responsibilities include evaluating new investment opportunities in the consumer and retail sectors as well as working with management teams of existing portfolio companies. Tricia has closed transactions across a variety of sectors including healthcare, media, real estate and business services since joining Bain Capital in 2004. She serves on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Burlington Coat Factory, as well as the Finance Committee of Toys R Us. Within Bain Capital, she is a leader on both the recruiting and training teams. 


Prior to joining Bain Capital, Tricia was an investor with Goldman Sachs & Co. in the Private Equity Group. Tricia received an MBA from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar. She graduated cum laude with an AB in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College. Tricia serves on the Trust Board of Boston Medical Center, the Venture Capital and Private Equity Leadership Council of the United Way, the Marion Hearst Scholarship Committee of the United Way, and is a member of the Steering Committee for Lemonade Day. She lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with her husband Liam and son Kieran.