Grace and Grit: A Conversation with Women in Product Leadership
Despite Marty Cagan’s argument that ‘Women Make the Best Product Managers’, they still comprise a minority of the product management field and an even smaller minority in product leadership positions like Director and VP. In this panel, women with experience in these leadership roles from among Denver’s product management community will reflect on the work, experiences and learnings that brought them into product leadership. They will share what they’ve learned about product management, professional development, mentorship, and contributing to a strong community of practice. At the end of a guided discussion, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions directly in an interactive Q & A.
Shawna Barnhart, Product Management Leader and Former VP of Product at Artifact Uprising
Shawna has a passion for solving burning customer needs using Lean Design principles. She has managed products and product portfolios through the entire product lifecycle from ideation, research, design, execution, release, & iterate. Most recently she was at Artifact Uprising where she built out the product and engineering team, elevating technology with simple product design and Agile methodologies. When not at work, she tries to spend as much time outside in the wonderful Colorado sunshine.
Holly Vezina, Director of Product at APR Consulting
Holly, a Colorado native and outdoor enthusiast who when she isn’t skiing or hiking can be found helping to solve complex customer/user puzzles. An MBA and IT professional with over ten years of experience coordinating and managing project teams, implementing enterprise-level software, and architecting data analysis tools, she’s also an undercover data lover. She’s currently leading the product efforts at APR Consulting including overseeing custom software and data product development to help large advertisers optimize their production processes and budgets.
Jenn Dearth, Product at Stedi
Jenn Dearth loves how Product Management blends her neuroscience background with her 11+ years of experience in tech. She is heading up Product at Stedi, a Boulder startup that raised $3.7 million in seed funding from First Round Capital, Bloomberg BETA, and others. Prior to taking on her role at Stedi, Jenn worked at Pivotal Labs where she helped clients build various products in a variety of industries, including a backend platform for the world's largest automaker, a marketplace app to match volunteers with opportunities, and a labor management system for the nation's largest member-owned healthcare services company. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries, discussing social issues, being a mom, and beating her husband in Street Fighter 2. Just don’t ask him about it.
Ann Koerner, Adjunct Professor of Product Management at DU and Former VP of Product at GutCheck
Ann is a recovering product manager. Her last stint was at GutCheck as their VP of Product and was part of the employee growth 20 to 150. Previously, she fed her B2C/B2B product management addiction at MapQuest, AOL, and Blue Martini. She’s adding a new twist and will be teaching product management at the DU Daniels MBA program this fall. If asked about her summer, she’ll tell you peer pressure made her run a half-marathon, she got a golf handicap, learned Thai again, traveled and read a lot of good books. You can also find her working with her husband at their LoDo sandwich shop, STACK Subs, fueling their entrepreneurial spirit.
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