Women of AT&T ERG Presents
Shift Beyond

Speaker Bios

Bonnie Marcus

Award winning entrepreneur, speaker, Forbes columnist, and published author, Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., assists professional women to successfully position and promote themselves to advance their careers. Her book, The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead provides a road map for women to navigate the complexities of their workplace to get the promotion they deserve.


With 20+ years of sales and management experience, Bonnie’s extensive business background includes CEO of a ServiceMaster company and VP of Sales at Medical Staffing Network and two others national companies in the healthcare and software industries.  She has held executive positions in startup companies and Fortune 500 companies.


Forbes.com honored Women’s Success Coaching three years in a row as one of the Top 100 Websites for Professional Women stating, “Women’s Success Coaching weighs on the many building blocks of empowering women in business, from assertive communication to self promotion to sensitivity training.” In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Global Gurus honored Bonnie as one of the World’s Top 30 Coaches. In 2019, Databird Research Journal cited Bonnie as one of the Top 100 Keynote Speakers.


In addition to Forbes, Bonnie has been published in many publications including Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Women in HR, Daily Worth, Reader’s Digest, Intercontinental Finance, Careers in Government, Diversity MBA, Upstart Business Journal, Washington Business Journal, and CIO Magazine. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc, Crain’s NY Business, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Fortune, Psychology Today, Men’s Health, and more.


Bonnie received a BA from Connecticut College and a M.Ed. from New York University.


Heather MacArthur

The author of, “Low Man on the Totem Pole: Stop Begging for a Promotion, Start Selling Your Genius,” Heather MacArthur, has built her expertise through hard fought career experiences of her own, as well as having the honor of partnering closely with people on their own journey from all walks of life, levels of success, and points of career change.
From serving in the military to carving out her role as a coach and a consultant with several Fortune 500 companies, she has collected a wide array of experiences that gave her endless scenarios of workplace challenges and successes to draw upon and learn from.
Her passion is taking those experiences and helping others make their work, work for them. She works with individuals and organizations to help them identify the changes they need to make and the action steps to make it happen.

Sinan Akkaya

Sinan Akkaya is a technology leader specialized in telecommunications, wireless/mobile, enterprise infrastructure and IT. He has +20 years of engineering and management experience at various levels in the global telecom space with significant practice on operations and strategic issues. He is an expert in wireless network operations, capital investment and operational budget planning as well as organizational transformation.


He is currently living in the Bay Area. He has a MSc. degree in Electrical Engineering. Sinan is presently the Director of RAN Engineering in AT&T managing a group of 100+ engineers responsible of designing, optimizing and managing one of the most complex wireless networks in the world. His recent challenge is to implement the 5G technology in the Bay Area.


Laurie Bigler

Laurie has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications, focused on identifying key emerging technologies, shaping them to meet customer and service provider needs, and moving them from the lab into the network.  Laurie started her career in SBC TRI Labs, holding various technical positions in development, applied research, and architecture for wireless communications.  Laurie’s responsibilites within AT&T have included radio access network design and architecture as well as device certification and testing for AT&T’s wireless network.  In her current position, Laurie  is responsible for Video, Broadband, and Mobility Customer Experience and Network Performance Analytics.

Laurie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Insitute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Veronica Dangerfield

Veronica Dangerfield has enthusiasm that is riveting. It will grab your mind, ignite your soul, and fatten your wallet.  She is a Financial Educator for Patelco Credit Union, an award-winning speaker, a published poet, and a professional comedienne. What you will remember most about Veronica’s presentations is how much fun you had learning. 


She has won numerous awards for her work as a financial educator.  In 2017, she was awarded the Credit Union Rock Star Award and a national award called Desjardins for her contributions to adult financial literacy. As a philanthropist, she supported the Bay Area Crisis Nursery for six years producing and performing in an annual Mother’s Day Comedy Show. She teaches financial empowerment for Habitat for Humanity. She has taught financial literacy for 15 years at UC Berkeley, Cal State University East Bay, San Francisco State University, Diablo Valley College, and Sierra Junior College as well as dozens of high schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the state. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Sacramento State University.


Veronica is an avid traveler, the mother of three, and a committed to life-long learning.  She believes that in order to achieve financial prosperity people need to understand the psychology along with fundamentals of money management.


Sonia Ferrell

Sonia Ferrell is a Bay area native with Over 15 years advocating growth for success.  She values creativity, integrity, courage, support, and authenticity.   Her mission is to provide Organizational learning and development that brings together people, tools and ideas toward a common goal.  She specializes in leadership training, developing leadership skills, people management, employee engagement, and involvement


Adam Gentry

Adam Gentry is a Director of the AT&T Lab Site Reliability Engineering Center, with over 15 years of technical and business leadership delivering R&D, Test, & Support Engineering integration initiatives for AT&T.


Adam is responsible for leading 200+ engineering resources across multiple technical disciplines, projects, and locations and is a recognized change agent at AT&T, having unified, consolidated, and automated end-to-end test engineering and support operations across all business lines and product categories. 


Alka Roy

Alka is a product and technology leader at AT&T Foundry. She served as the lead technology strategist for wireless core and transport for Cingular Wireless and Director of New Technology & Product Development for Cloud Enablers and Enterprise Conversational Voice Apps for AT&T. She has led numerous technology initiatives and published position papers for video streaming and video delivery for AT&T and holds patents for security gateway and data policy management.


She has also advised non-profits and startups and is passionate about mentoring, coaching and exploring the intersections between art, technology & ethics.


Alka holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and was one of the recipients of the Rising Star, National Women of Color in Technology Outstanding Contribution Award.


Caterina Rando

Caterina Rando, is the author of Learn to Power Think, published by Chronicle Books and the ABCs of Public Speaking from Morgan James Publishing. She is also frequently quoted in national magazines including Woman’s Day, Self and Redbook.

Caterina is a certified emotional intelligence in the workplace trainer, a certified personal and professional coach, and master certified coach, the highest designation awarded by The International Coach Federation. She also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Life Transitions Counseling Psychology.

Caterina is also the founder of the Thriving Women in Business Center in San Francisco and co-founder of the Thriving Women in Business Giving Circle, a group that raises funds for education and entrepreneurship training for women and girls around the world.


Jae Spikes

Jae Spikes has 21 years with AT&T and currently serves in the AT&T West Region Labor Relations Organization as a Lead Labor Relations Manager. Previously, she served in AT&T University as a Lead Training Performance Consultant and spent 17 years as an Area Manager in the Technology Planning and Engineering Organization.


Ms. Spikes is known by her peers as a tenacious leader and seasoned network professional exemplifying a commitment to excellence with passion for developing others. She specializes in bridging the gap between technical aptitude and professional development. She served as the Diversity & Inclusion Champion facilitating Subtle Bias workshops, and “interview clinics” for various organizations. Jae has also served as the Director of Programs, Mentoring Lead, and VP of Membership for ERG Women of AT&T and as the National VP of Professional Development for The NETwork. She has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award 2015, 2016 & 2017, Silver & Bronze for  hours of community service.


Jae was nominated in 2014 for the Women of Color STEM Association award for Outstanding Technical Achievement. She was nominated again in 2018 and received the Women of Color STEM Association Technology Rising Star Award for her outstanding Professional Achievement.  Jae is a Six Sigma Green Belt, has a B.S. in Organizational Management from Patten University and an MBA from Golden Gate University.


In July of 2018, Jae unleashed her potential and founded WiseHAT Consulting Inc., a non profit organization dedicated to provide professional development tools and resources to underserved women.


Jae’s motto is “if you stay ready, you never have to waste time getting ready”.


Jae is a wife and mother of a blended family of four children and five grandchildren.


Sheila Penelope Thorne

Sheila Thorne is a mechanical engineer by training and a consultant by experience. She designed cash gates for ATMs, implemented networks, developed applications and facilitated strategy and requirements sessions. Sheila has over 25 years of corporate experience working with a worldwide teams and clients seeing  the good, the bad and the ugly. That experience enables her to speak to a variety of business topics.


She is a Distinguished Certified IT Specialist with the Open Group, a senior member of IEEE and a member of the National Speaker's Association. She blogs about the challenges of finding balance in an ever shifting environment at bousbous.com.


Jongki Suwandi

Jongki Suwandi has been at Google for 8 years, working on user interface for internal tools to help other engineers run tests and debug their products.  Prior to that, Jongki had worked at various companies including Tandem Computers, Sun Microsystems and Interwoven. 


Jongki is also part of a team which volunteers to go to schools and educational events to demo AR and VR Expeditions and enjoys hearing the oohs and aahs and watching the excitement of students seeing VR for the first time.