Tech Trends

Presented by industry experts, Tech Trends features presentations from some of the brightest individuals in the industry. These events give individuals a chance to be inspired by the work and innovation of those who are achieving great success.

Intelligent Customer Experience

Attendees listened to a panel discussion and Q&A about the future of intelligent customer experience with some of the top experts.
Customer Experience continues to dominate trends as one of the biggest conversations of the year, and is shaping every industry from finance and hospitality to retail and manufacturing. As companies work to compete in this arena, their innovations are driving the next generation of customer experience – the incorporation of intelligence. Achieving this vision is part of the challenge to make every encounter and interaction a value-add engagement with a company’s brand. Panel included:
  • Kortney Osborne, Head of Marketing, Weave
  • Robyn Erkelens, Chief Experience Officer, ForgeDX
  • Ryan Nelson, VP of Marketing, MX
  • Moderator: Adrian Lazo, EVP of Marketing, Clearlink

Executive Pathways, Tech Marketing And Sales, And Product Development

This event focused on connecting networks between men and women and activating mentoring and career opportunities. During this 3×3 Connection, we created an environment where everyone had direct interaction with the Connectors to learn, ask questions and build relationships. Our three topics were Executive Pathways, Tech Marketing and Sales, and Product Development. Each topic had three amazing connectors you will want to meet.

Executive Pathways:
Joy Durling CIO and Digital Experience, Vivint Smart Home
Julie Simmons COO/CIO, ForgeDX
Vance Checketts COO, DSCO

Tech Marketing & Sales:
Glen Mella CEO & Cofounder, Axcend
Mary-Lou Smulders CMO, 9th Gear

Product Development:
Ashley Dreier Chief Information & Technology Officer, HealthEquity
Gilbert Lee Head of Product, Pluralsight
Jamie Morningstar Engineering Lead, Qualtrics

“Bias” Film Screening

Presented by Silicon Valley Bank, WTC and eBay a special presentation of the film “Bias” along with an exclusive Q&A session with Director and Producer Robin Hauser.

“Bias” challenges us to confront our hidden biases and understand what we risk when we follow our gut. Through exposing her own biases, award-winning documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser highlights the nature of implicit bias, the grip it holds on our social and professional lives, and what it will take to induce change.

Every tech company is focused on building an inclusive culture with high performing teams. Gender bias in the workplace was cited as the third most identified barrier for female candidates from entering or staying in the tech industry, according to ISACA.

Customer Experience In Tech

Customer Experience is a core trend, focus and investment area for companies. We live in a hyper-competitive Experience Economy where consumers are digitally empowered, yet feel forever time-starved. Companies have a fundamental choice to make with their Customer Experience strategy to make every encounter and interaction a value-add engagement with their brand.

We discussed customer experience with some of the top experts in Silicon Slopes, Denise Leleux from Telsa, Alison Lutjemeier from Adobe, and Cydni Tetro from ForgeDX. We covered CX from every angle, digital, call center, in-person interactions, product experience and more.

Must Watch Tech Trends

Four leading tech companies share trends taking over the industry. Sharon Lambson of SoFi discussed the latest trends in team organization in the tech industry, Jeremy Warren from Vivint shared how residential loT goes mainstream, Deanna Walters with Teem talked about finding community and purpose in an elastic workplace, and Chris Cooper of Pelion Ventures explained tech trends from an investors perspective.

Enterprise Tech Stacks

Tech Stacks, what’s that? It’s how we describe technology delivery systems that are transforming how companies build, communicate and delivery to their customers. Over the last year, we have seen large companies release their tech stacks for Marketing, Customer Service, Operations and Development.

March Chenn of Saltstack, Bassam Salem of AtlasRTX and Kathryn Murpy of Salesforce led this tech talk to learn about the trends, companies and technologies that are part of the Tech Stack world.

What Will AI Do For You

Katherine Matsumoto from Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Logan Deans of Inside, Brandon Bunker with Vivint Smart Home, and Ben Lambert of Pelion Venture Partners came together to discuss the future of this industry and how it’s changing everything from medical treatments to wildlife preservation.

Virtual Reality Tech Talk

Travel beneath the sea and stare a whale in the face. Walk through your dream home before it is built. “Virtual reality” is a technology that will transform not just gaming, but education, medicine, and sales of real estate. And it is already here, being developed by Utah companies. Chris Madsen of Morph 3D, Valeria Rodriguez of Impact Hub, Carol Dalrymple of KUED, and Joe Gabriel from The VOID  came together to discuss how virtual reality is transforming our world.

Internet Of Things And Connected Homes

Refrigerators with photos of what’s on the shelves and their expiration dates. Sprinklers you adjust from your phone. Front doors you never have to open to see who is there. The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us. It’s driven by the Internet of Things and 3D printing – merging physical worlds with digital. Utah technology companies are driving the home automation innovation in this space. Paul Williams, Vice President of Control4, Matthew Mahar, VP Consumer Experience at Vivint and Jim Young, President of AVI, moderator Donna Milakovic of USTAR discussed the connected home evolution.

Online Retail

Overstock, eBay and STEALS are three of the great online retail brands here in Utah. Representatives from these companies came together to discuss what it means to drive conversion, build a customer base and create success in the online retail space.

Stormy Simon is the President of, She has been with Overstock for more than 15 years.

Denise Leleux runs the eBay Global Customer Service team of more than 3000 people.

Jana Francis is the co-founder of the, a successful network of sites of consumer-sourced brands.

LaRae Wright is lead faculty at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. GS10KSB is a program for small businesses that links learning to action.

Women In Tech Make A Difference

Leadership – Cydni Tetro, Founder and Executive Director
Entrepreneurship – Kim Jones, Founder and Chair of the Board
Partnership – Sara Jones, Founder and VP Operations
Learning – Gretta Spendlove, Board Member and VP Tech Talks
Mentorship – Julie Simmons, Board Member and VP Outreach

These themes have helped build Utah’s most visible professional organization to support women in technology. These women from Women Tech Council discussed how they operate the organization and what drives their passion.

Watch this tech talk on YouTube.

Top Cybersecurity Issues With Expert From FireEye

Women Tech Council and AIM Utah (Association of Information Management) partnered with FireEye to discuss IT security trends. FireEye is a leader in Cybersecurity and has been involved in helping some of the world’s largest organizations with their security protection programs. Jennifer Weedon spoke on the sophistication and challenges of cyberworld intelligence and how corporations and individuals can best protect against a data security breach.

If you missed the 60 minutes feature with FireEye check it out here

Snapchat Celebrity Shaun McBride: Using Technology To Make Dreams Come True

Shaun McBride has been named by Forbes magazine as “Snapchat’s first homegrown celebrity and one of the first people to make money off of his intricate Snapchat art.”

Shaun, better known on Snapchat as “Shonduras,” has created branded content for Disney, Taco Bell, Major League Soccer, television networks and more.

Shaun McBride is an Ogden native and received his Bachelors degree in Technical Sales from Weber State University in 2010. Shaun enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding and spending time with his wife, Jennie, and their two dogs, Olive and Koopa.

Achieving Hyper Business Growth By Developing Partnership

A powerhouse panel from inContact discussed the rules of engagement with partners, how channels can help you scale faster and how to prepare for lasting growth. The right relationships can help you expand your footprint, gain valuable insight and experience and react when challenges arise.

These inContact panelists shared the best practices for success in the fast-paced cloud technology world:
-Victoria Head, Director of Cloud Connectivity
-Sara Udy-Hegvik, Manager Professional Services
-Jessica Smith, Product Marketing Manager

Movies, Photos, And Financial Information—Behind The Scenes, Through The Satellites, And On The Cloud

Scott Calder is the founder of Mainstream Data, a Utah company which digitally transmits 70% of movies in US theaters, operates one of the largest stock photo repositories in the world, and moves financial information for Bloomberg Financial and other major companies. Scott described how he grew his company from daydream to international business, and discussed the latest technologies in both storing media and financial information and moving it around the world.

High-Tech Innovations In Business Training

Service reps wearing Google glasses. Software engineers tweaking training materials based on sophisticated analytics. iPads containing a company’s entire suite of training videos, certification tests, and equipment manuals. That is where the world of training and support is headed.

Experts from PluralsightVivintGE Healthcare and inContact came together to discuss the Next Gen technology in training and support. They talked about how they are meeting the challenge of educating a mobile workforce through app development, how they make training materials more interactive and how they enable personal and corporate success.

Our expert panelists:

Jeff Ross, VP, Pluralsight
Clain Udy, Field Services Training Manager, Vivint
John Love, Training Leader, GE Healthcare
Emily Lucht, Manager Employee Education & Development, inContact
Read about the event here

Big Genomics: How Utah Is Leading The Genetic Information Age

Women Tech Council hosted a two-part series on “Big Genomics: How Utah is leading the genetic information age.” From cancer tests to DNA analysis for family history research, Utah companies are leveraging immense data capabilities to create innovative genetics products.

The first event focused on how technology is driving diverse products in genetics research and the second part focused specifically on using genetics intelligence to fight cancer.

A panel of top executives from Utah’s genetics companies discussed their products for today and tomorrow.

The panel included

  • Ken Chahine, President of Ancestry DNA, LLC
  • Lars Mourtisen, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of Business Development at Sorenson Genomics
  • Reid Robison, Chief Executive Officer of PierianDx, formally Tute Genomics

March Tech Talk: Embracing Fear And Leveraging Social Media To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

Many people call Nicole Donnelly fearless. Maybe it’s because she was a professional snowboarder, or maybe because she has founded her own company, But the truth is, Nicole isn’t fearless—she embraces her fear and utilizes it to propel her to success.

At this Tech Talk, Nicole shared her path to becoming an entrepreneur, the challenges she faced along the way and how she overcame them. She will also provided insights on how to successfully leverage social media to enable your company and protect your brand.

The New University, How Higher Ed Is Meeting The Needs Of Mobile Learners

Nationally, more than 40% of college students take at least one course online and the number is growing every year. Experts leading online higher education here in Utah came together to talk about the needs of online learners, what’s working, and what we can expect in the future.

Our panelists included:

The event was sponsored by Durham Jones & Pinegar, a leading law firm with offices in Utah and Nevada, offering a spectrum of services in more than 20 practice areas.

Emerging Print Technologies From Hewlett-Packard

Every generation has had a defining industry and IT is ours. As a pioneer IT company, Hewlett-Packard has a unique 75-year history innovating for IT’s evolution and trends.

HP AMS Print Services Director Tami Beach presented an overview of the trends in IT and what customers’ needs are today. Tami discussed how HP is addressing these trends and customers’ needs with exciting and innovative printing products and solutions.

Building A Tech Company

Utah is a hotbed for emerging companies, fueled by technology. A panel of female entrepreneurs came together to discuss how they moved a product or service from an idea to profitable reality and how they continue to grow their business.

Our panelists included:

Inside 3D Printing– The Changing World Of Manufacturing And Retail

3D Printing is the next big wave of technology. Imagine printing parts to fix your car, or your next product prototype, or a medical device, or you as a Stormtrooper or Star Trek figurine. You don’t have to imagine that world anymore, it is happening with 3D printing. This Tech Talk covered what is happening, where 3D printing is headed and what you should know.

“Mentoring: Tools, Methods, And Best Practices”

Mentoring is one of the most powerful ways we can both receive and give career assistance. Identifying appropriate mentors and learning from them is key to your long-term career success. Celeste is a mentoring expert. She provided unique insights into mentoring within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) industry.

To be a mentor, you don’t need special skills, just an ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance and encouragement to a young person. However, you can take your mentoring relationship to the next level by learning just a few simple tricks. Celeste’s presentation covered proven tools, methods and best practices to encourage more girls and under-represented minorities to pursue careers in (STEM).

“Breaking The Glass Ceiling In Utah’s High Tech Industries—Skills You’ll Need” Part 2

This Tech Talk provided a panel discussion with a group of women who have been involved in high tech industries who discussed various issues relating to women breaking the “glass ceiling” in tech industries.

The panelists included:

Kim Jones, CEO Vérité
Susan Cashen, SVP, Worldwide Marketing, Control4
Alison Wistner, Director, Mercato Partners
Heather Zynczak, CMO, Domo
Carol Fineagan, CIO, Nelson Laboratories

Tech Industries—Skills You’ll Need” Part 1

Join us this fall for a two-part series on succeeding at the top levels of Utah’s high tech companies. Our first event will include a brief overview of statistics on high-level women in Utah’s tech companies, followed by a 90-minute workshop by Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. Jo will help us, through an interactive presentation, to identify our ideal career niches, build our leadership brands, and make our value visible.

“New Developments At Hill Field”

Women Tech Council provided a unique view into military technology in Utah and the high-ranking women who produce it.

The women included:

  • Colonel Sarah Zabel, Hill Air Force Base commander and brigadier general
  • Sandy Fitzgerald, supervisor of the F-16 production line
  • Major Eileen Frock, manages the production lines
  • Captain Laura Griggs, manages the production lines.

This event provided participants with the opportunity to tour the F-16 and A-10 fighter jet repair areas, normally off-limits to civilians.

“Personalized Medicine And Women’s Health”

Dr. Vivien Lee, Dean of the U of U Medical Center, came to discuss some of the medical breakthroughs made in Utah, focusing specifically on women’s health. Dr. Lee is a Harvard-Radcliffe College graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and graduated with honors from Harvard Medical School. She also holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Dr. Lee’s specialty is radiology, and she has authored over 140 research publications.

“Flying The Space Shuttle”

Kent Rominger joined Women Tech Council to share his experiences as an astronaut, including flying the shuttle and using it to assemble the International Space Station. Kent is the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Space Launch Division, ATK Aerospace Group and is responsible for growing ATK’s NASA and commercial space pursuits. A veteran of five space shuttle flights including two as the mission commander, Kent has logged over 1600 hours and traveled 27 million miles in space. He culminated his NASA career as the chief of the Astronaut Office.

“LinkedIn Boot Camp For Business Success”

The WTC was proud to present an industry-leading SME on LinkedIn. The nationally known social media speaker, Kevin Knebl, focused on the importance and relevance of interpersonal skills and effective networking strategies, techniques and methods. We learned the most impactful ways of utilizing LinkedIn as a tremendously powerful tool to assist in your business lead generation, brand exposure, business development, client acquisition and revenue-generating efforts. We learned immediately applicable strategies and methods to increase your organizations’ visibility, showcase their credibility and grow their revenues.

Educating Utah’s Women For Tomorrow’s Jobs

How does the rate of college attendance among Utah women compare to the national average? At what rates do Utah women enter scientific and technical fields? What factors can increase those rates, from family influences to governmental action? Susan Madsen and Cheryl Hanewicz, two Utah Valley University professors who have done statewide research on Utah women and higher education presented on how society and government can facilitate change in these areas.

How You Should Protect Personal And Company Information

Women Tech Council hosted a lively discussion on privacy and data security issues with Ryan Marsh, Counsel at eBay, and Lisa Hone, Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, formerly with the Federal Trade Commission.

Top Mobile Apps Busy Professionals Can’t Live Without!

Which mobile phone apps increase your productivity the most? Which apps make life simpler? Kim Jones, of Vérité; Alison Wistner, of Mercato Partners; and Brian Lampright of Marketstar shared their favorite apps and lead a discussion on what works and what doesn’t. The program had an interactive portion where we asked questions and tabulated audience responses through their mobile phones.