IoT Day Slam 2020 Panel: Women in IoT Center of Excellence


In the world of Digital Transformation – where does the employee fit?  The work environment is undergoing constant change and automation.  How does the employee maintain their relevance and ability to demonstrate personal value in an environment where the workforce is decentralized and under constant evolution, reorganization and automation. Brought to you by the Women in IoT Center of Excellence, our panelists will provide audience members a forum where they can learn to how to have their accomplishments stand out and be valued in this time of digital disruption.  The panel will discuss how these leaders embrace the changing landscape, culture and automation benefits of IoT to live their lives on-line and how they can continue to grow in their businesses and careers.


Deborah Sawyer – Managing Director, Dallas, ZRG Partners

Dr. Brenda Connor, Director of IoT Enterprise Services, Ericsson North America
Amy Wheelus, Vice President – Broadband and Video Systems, AT&T
Nancy Shemwell,
COO of IoT Community
Michele Null, Global Marketing Leader IoT Division at SAS, (WIoTCoE, Future of IoT Pillar of Excellence Leader)
Florence Hudson, Founder and CEO at FDHint

Deborah Sawyer joined ZRG Partners in June 2016 as part of the firm’s Technology Practice. Prior to ZRG Partners, Deborah led the technology practice for a Dallas (TX) based boutique executive search firm, served as a Managing Director with retained executive search firm’s Singapore office and as a Senior Client Partner with a global retained executive search firm. She has focused her career on helping medium to large public technology and media companies with talent acquisition, succession planning and geographic expansion. Deborah was named to the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology in 2019. With a well-worn passport and a career full of international experiences, Deborah is a citizen of the world who has led several major global client relationships and continues to work throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Her international executive search experience also includes assignments in London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Costa Rico and Africa, as well as throughout the United States. Using a partnership approach built on two-way communication, she begins every engagement by listening to her client’s needs, then merges her specialized industry expertise with an understanding of each client’s business culture to pinpoint ideally qualified candidates. Consistently recognized for understanding the strategic impact of her placements on her client companies’ futures, Deborah is dedicated to supporting her clients and placements long after she completes a search. A trusted advisor to her clients, Deborah specializes in advanced technology, renewables, life sciences and professional services. Prior to entering executive search, she worked in marketing research and statistics. Deborah earned a master of business administration degree from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University. Deborah is active in her community through board responsibilities for an arts organization and a technology association. She is past chairman of the board of the Richardson (Texas) Symphony Orchestra, where she also recently served as treasurer and vice president of finance. She serves on the board of directors, as well as the executive committee, of Tech Titans, the largest technology association in Texas, where she has chaired the annual Tech Titans Awards Gala and currently chairs the Programs committee that produces the monthly Tech Industry luncheons. Deborah was named Tech Titans Board Member of the Year for 2015 and 2017. She is a member of Women for Florida State University and serves on the University’s Mentoring and Recruitment committee. When not serving the community through her various volunteer roles, she spends time with her daughters and her dog. She enjoys cooking and hiking.

Dr. Brenda Connor, Director of IoT Enterprise Services, Ericsson North America; has been with Ericsson since 1994 and is providing thought leadership in Smart Cities, Intelligent Transport Systems, IOT/M2M and Business Enablement. Connor creates new business through innovative and transformative approaches focused on diverse stakeholder needs. She provides leadership in bridging stand-alone systems into system of system architectures including cloud and public private partnerships. Connor is a change maker for the Networked Society, where every individual and every industry is enabled to reach its true potential. Connor holds a B.S. and a M.S in Computer Engineering from Boston University, a PhD in Engineering Management and has submitted 5 patents in the open ecosystem space.

Amy Wheelus serves in the capacity of CIO for AT&T’s Broadband and Video business unit. Amy’s team is responsible for leading the cross-functional software delivery projects for business support systems, major initiatives and product launches such as AT&T TV and HBO Max for AT&T Communications Corporation. Her team is also responsible for the software design, delivery and life-cycle management of over 600 applications supporting AT&T’s Consumer and Business products. Amy is a transformative leader and technologist who has held a variety of positions within AT&T. A few of her many contributions to AT&T include leading teams that helped: deliver the first virtualized network functions and services on a network cloud using AT&Ts industry leading Network Cloud and ECOMP platforms; deliver Airship, an industry first fully declarative, fully containerized, under cloud platform; deliver AT&T’s VoLTE (voice over LTE) service; plan and deliver AT&T’s Ultra Long Haul Transport network; construct over 1 million square feet of web hosting data centers; and modernize AT&T’s central office infrastructure. Additionally, Amy contributes to her community and the field of engineering through her volunteer efforts. She currently serves as chair of the board of directors for Tech Titans and is engaged in their STEM Workforce initiatives. Amy received her Master of Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. She also holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Amy lives in Dallas, Texas, and enjoys traveling, photography, mentoring youth, walking and sports.

Ms. Nancy Shemwell, is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer of IoT Community, the largest global IoT industry thought leader association. A three-time Chief Executive Officer, she recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of entegra technologies, inc., recruited to migrate this early stage, ruggedized tablet company to provider of fully integrated portfolio of cyber security solutions for mission critical, industrial control systems (ICS). With a 20-year track record of driving high performance transformational global organizations, Ms. Shemwell has been Ranked #93 in ExecRank’s Top CSO Rankings” from 15,000 Chief Sales Officers and C-Level executives in the United States, she has also been recognized as a Finalist for 2015 D CEO M&A of the Year Award, Semi-finalist, 2018 Emerging Technology Tech Titan CEO of the Year and named a 2018 Phenomenal Women by Texas Wall Street Women. Ms. Shemwell has previously held a variety of senior positions with global business responsibilities including assignments in Europe and North America. Her experience covers a broad spectrum of general management, sales and marketing roles in rapidly developing markets. Previous positions include that of Chief Operating Officer and owner of DataSpan, President and CEO of Multi-Link, President and CEO Jovial Test Equipment, EVP Extreme Networks, EVP at Symmetricom and a 16 year career with Nortel Networks where she held titles of President, Micom Communications Corporation (a Nortel subsidiary), Vice President Business Segments, Vice President Sales and Marketing Wiltel (Nortel’s largest enterprise distributor) and Director Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Ms. Shemwell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M. She was named to the VoodooVox, Inc. (VVX – TSX) Board of Directors in 2006, and the NTXRCIC in 2012. Ms. Shemwell also serves as the Chair of the entegra technologies Board of Advisors, appointed in 2018 to the Board of Advisors of IoT Communities, a 22,000-member global IoT industry association. Ms. Shemwell also serves on the Associate Board at the SMU Cox School of Business and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and Women Corporate Directors.

SASMichele Null – As the global marketing leader in the IoT Division at SAS, Michele is an evangelist for artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, promoting the importance of a robust analytics lifecycle to drive valuable outcomes in IoT initiatives across industries. Michele and her team play an important role in growing SAS in the world of IoT. She is focused on collaborating with the commercial business development team to identify, further develop, and amplify strategic partnerships. She works closely with customers and partners to understand market requirements and then works in conjunction with product management and R&D to ensure technology and solutions meet key market needs and will help drive business value. Michele enjoys being an active member of leading IoT consortiums including the Industrial Internet Consortium, the IoT Community and RIoT. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Michele began her journey in the technology field, which has spanned nearly 20 years. Prior to joining SAS in 2014, Michele held various roles during her tenure at IBM including product management, product marketing and program management.

Florence Hudson is Founder & CEO of FDHint, LLC, an advanced technology and diversity & inclusion consulting firm. She consults and speaks globally regarding artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, connected healthcare, blockchain, smart cities, cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, and did a TEDxTalk on Sustainability on a Smarter Planet. She is a former IBM Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Internet2 Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, and aerospace engineer at Grumman and NASA. She is Special Advisor for the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at Indiana University leading Cybersecurity Research Transition To Practice, and Special Advisor for the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University leading EU-US collaboration on Next Generation Internet. Her recent book “Women Securing the Future with TIPPSS for IoT” showcases 17 women authors focused on ensuring Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety and Security in our increasingly connected world, from technology, policy, research, industry and academic perspectives. Her next book will be “Women Securing the Future with TIPPSS for Connected Healthcare”. She leads global working groups for IEEE on clinical IoT data and device interoperability with TIPPSS. She serves on Boards at Princeton University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Stony Brook University, Blockchain in Healthcare Today, and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. She graduated from Princeton University with a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with executive education at Harvard Business School and Columbia University. She is an experienced corporate Board director and compensation committee member, and is interested in additional corporate Board opportunities.

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