Athena San Diego
Prev MonthPrev Month Next MonthNext Month
TSIG/WITI: How to be Successful in a Technology Company
La Jolla Square Event Center | Sunset Room
4225 Executive Square
La Jolla, CA 92037
Thursday, February 08, 2018, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM PST
Category: SIG Events

TSIG and WITI present: How to be Successful in a Technology Company

Who wouldn’t want to work for an emerging startup or an established, leading edge multinational, brand-name technology company? Employees want to work in the technology sector because these jobs are often thought of as high paying positions, and the companies are considered cool or sexy. But what does it take for someone without an engineering background or formal technical training to be successful at a technology company? How does a person without a technical degree land an engineering position? And what about engineers in a non-technical position? Why would an engineer, or someone with a technical background, want to work in a non-technical, business-centric role? 

Athena and WITI (Women in Technology International) invite you to hear the experiences of 4 women who work in various roles at technology firms and learn how they were able to succeed in the tech sector. Learn from their experiences to advance your own career at a tech company, or perhaps position yourself to land a job at one.



Maria Keckler

President/Founder, Superb Communication

An unlikely techie, Maria Keckler started out as a high risk, sweatshop worker in Los Angeles Garment District when she arrived to the US as a sixteen year old Mexican immigrant. Driven by her late father’s key life lesson, “One pivot move can change the momentum of the game,” she embarked on a journey that eventually led her to be the first Cal Poly, SLO, graduate student to help design, and eventually teach, one of the most effective Technical Writing for Engineers courses on campus—the first hybrid/simulation based course of its kind.

An educator at heart, Maria went on to serve as the Director of Instructional Technology for a consortium of K-20 schools and colleges that included San Diego Christian College and Southern California Seminary. Under her leadership, the organization moved from zero instructional technology to 80 percent adoption in 12 months. Maria went on to serve on the Beta Release Innovation Team for Blackboard, Inc., and sharing educational technology best practices at the Blackboard World Conferences.

In 2012, Maria founded Superb Communication, a San Diego-based agency that works with global clients in the technology and financial services sectors to remove costly communication barriers. She’s the bestselling author of Bridge Builders: How Superb Communicators Get What They Want (listed in Inc. Magazine's list "60 Great Business and Leadership Books All Written By Women”) and “The Bridge Builder Way,” an executive coaching program that increases high potentials’s capacity to bridge generational, diversity, and technical communication gaps in the workplace.

Maria holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English with concentrations in Linguistics and Technical Communication from Cal Poly, SLO. She regularly speaks nationally and internationally at technology, business, and innovation conferences. She’s been married to her best friend for 30 years and is the proud mom of a 25 year old daughter embarking on a career in Communications and HR.


Anne Riley

Director, Experience Design, Intuit

Anne Riley joined Intuit in 1998 and is currently the Director of Experience Design for Intuit's IT organization. Anne and her team of User Interaction Designers, Researchers and Visual Designers are responsible for identifying internal customer needs and creating solutions that will delight all 8,000 of Intuit’s employees. Through the use of Customer Driven Innovation, Design for Delight and Lean Experimentation methodologies, Anne and her team are able to address even the most complex business process and ease-of-use challenges. Prior to joining the IT team, Anne spent 14 years working on the company’s online banking and professional tax products.

Anne is also responsible for the Early Career Program in the IT group. Partnering with Intuit’s University Recruiting Team, Anne drives an early career program that is designed to give interns and new college graduates an experience so rewarding that they can’t imagine starting and growing their career anywhere else!

Anne holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration.


Amy Waterman

Director, Technology Advocacy, Intel Corporation

Amy Waterman leads the Technology Advocacy and Spectrum Strategy (TASS) team within Intel’s Next Generation and Standards (NGS) group. TASS works to build out a technical messaging platform to influence industry via coalition building, engaging in spectrum and standards advocacy and developing content that aims to gain thought leadership and ecosystem awareness across Intel technology initiatives.

Amy has over 20 years of wireless industry experience. Prior to her work at Intel, she worked in public affairs, public relations, industry and investor analyst relations, as well as competitive intelligence and secondary research functions for Qualcomm Incorporated. Before moving into the technology industry, Amy worked for American Express Financial as a research analyst for a global portfolio of equity and fixed income investments covering an array of industries. 

 Amy holds a degree in Writing and has pursued a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Finance. She also is the proud mother of two children – a daughter who is currently pursuing her dream to become a nurse practitioner and a son who wants to be an environmentalist, architect, game developer when he grows up. 


Elicia Young

Staff Program Manager, Workplace Services, Intuit

From Computers to Cafes … Elicia Young transitioned a 20-year career in accounting and technology in 2014 when she joined Intuit Workplace Services and assumed a new role responsible for the café and fitness programs across Intuit. Her passion to enable Intuit’s workforce to do the best work of their lives is fueled by forming collaborative partnerships with external providers and setting the vision for awesome food and fitness experiences. 

Prior to her current role, she spent six years with Intuit’s Technology Team deploying enterprise-wide technology solutions with projects ranging from data center consolidation to a new collaborative video platform. Before joining Intuit, Elicia was a Controller for a wealth management firm, IT Director for real estate owner/developer, and an entrepreneur managing her own consulting business and logistics company. Elicia has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Studies from Webster University.  

Elicia shares her home in San Diego with her husband, two dogs and two teenage kids. She and her husband also enjoy a second home in Cleveland where they spend time with his five children.               


Ken Schmitt

CEO and Founder, TurningPoint Executive Search

Ken Schmitt, a San Diego native, grew up in an entrepreneurial household with a father who was a Jack in the Box franchisee for 25 years, and a mother who left the accounting world to become a real estate agent.

Prior to entering the Executive Search industry, Ken spent more than 5 years with Enterprise Rent a Car. Earning 3 promotions along the way, Ken worked in San Diego and Orange County, managing teams from 5-15 professionals.  

In 1998, he answered an ad in the newspaper for a recruiting job and never looked back.  After spending 9 years working for a local boutique firm, a large regional firm and one of the world's largest Executive Search firms, Heidrick & Struggles, he launched TurningPoint Executive Search in 2007, and now employs 7 professionals in a 100% remote work environment. 

In 2016 and 2017, TurningPoint was ranked as one of the Top 150 Fastest Growing Private Companies in San Diego (SDBJ). Ken and his team at TurningPoint have placed nearly 400 of the nation's leading sales, marketing and operations professionals, partnering with national clients across numerous industries such as tech, software, manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, professional and financial services, healthcare, lifesciences and hospitality. The team at TurningPoint takes a high touch, concierge-style approach to placing first class talent, in a variety of business structures including privately held, venture backed start-up, private equity owned, early stage and mature, family-owned businesses. 

Ken is also the Founder and CEO of the Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance, which he launched in 2011, and the Annual Sales & Marketing Leader of the Year Awards (SMLYs). With chapters in San Diego and Orange County, and supporting over 120 members, the Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance is a professional membership organization committed to providing peer-2-peer networking and professional development to the region’s sales and marketing leaders. Likewise, the SMLY Awards showcase San Diego’s top performing, and most well rounded sales & marketing leaders


When: Thursday, February 8, 2018, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM

5:30 - 6:15 pm | Registration and networking

6:15 - 6:30 pm | Welcomes and introductions

6:30 - 7:45 pm | Program

7:45 - 8:00 pm | Q&A; program concludes

Where: La Jolla Square Event Center, Sunset Room | 4225 Executive Square, La Jolla, CA 92037

Cost: Athena and WITI members: $30; non-members $40 *please note - parking is not included

Register for the event


Presented by