Inspiring the Young Female Leaders of Today (May 4th, 2018)

  • "Inspiring the Young Female Leaders of Today" features
    • 12 female professionals from different fields presenting, giving demos, and hands on experience
    • 4 main tracks
      • Artificial Intelligence
      • Personal Brand
      • Internships
      • Executive Leadership
  • Conference Goals:
    • Gain exposure to a wide range of career opportunities
    • Learn how to differentiate yourself as a leader through brand
    • Learn how to pursue areas of passion
    • Meet, connect, and learn from successful leaders
  • This event is being held at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, MN.


8:00 am Registration - Building C Entrance
8:20 am Opening Ceremony - Katie - Town Hall
8:25 am Keynote - Marilee Winiarski - Town Hall
8:45 am Break
Artificial Intelligence
Executive Leadership
Town Hall
Personal Brand
John B West
9:00 am Charese Smiley
Can you teach a computer to ryhme?
Leeann Blancfield
A journey worth taking
Brenda Peick
How to make better decisions
Carnina, Stephanie, and Chuck
Why and how to prepare
9:45 am Break
10:00 am Tom Zielund
The Two Pillars of A.I.
Christi Lee
Leadership lessons from the journey
Kelly Lucente
LinkedIn re-Boot
Michael Lynch
Genisys Works Interships
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Ronald Tao
Teaching computers to see with machine learning
Janet Swedal
The ladder, the lattice, and lesson's learned
Kelly Lucente
The brand of YOU
Elizabeth Nelson, Logan Thein, and Kate Shram
Jumpstart your STEM career – Explore, Experience and Excel
11:45 am Break
12:00 pm Lunch - C Cafeteria
12:45 pm Panel: Lisa Schlosser, Kelly Lucente, Chuck Sherwood, Janet Swedal, Charese Smiley, and Heather Walker
1:15 pm Closing Comments - Lisa Schlosser
1:25 pm Closing Ceremony - Katie Hendricksen

Speaker Bios and Topic Abstracts

Katie Hendricksen

  • Opening Ceremony (Town Hall - 8:20 am - 8:25 am)
  • Closing Ceremony (Town Hall - 1:25 pm - 1:30 pm)


Welcome to Thomson Reuters, brief background and overview of the day, and introduction to our keynote speaker.


Katie Hendricksen is the creator of this conference, a senior at First Baptist High School, Captain of the Eagan High School robotics team, and winner of the Target TWIST award - recognizing female high school students for their contributions to STEM.

Marilee Winiarski

  • Keynote (Town Hall - 8:25 am - 8:45 am) Plans, Serendipity & Risk


One woman’s story of dreams, ambition, and having a happy, exciting & productive life even when things don’t work out quite the way you envisioned when you started….


Marilee Winiarski has over 30 years of experience in the online information industry. Her varied career has included senior executive positions in marketing, product development, customer services and content acquisition in a number of online services and content organizations, most recently Thomson Reuters. In her current role as Senior Director, Strategic Licensing, Marilee along with her team of licensing professionals works closely with Thomson Reuters product management and a variety of information providers to license Legal Publishing, Public Records, Company and News content for use in Thomson Reuters products like Westlaw and Eikon. She received her Masters of Librarianship from the University of Washington in Seattle and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Washington State University.

Charese Smiley

  • Artificial Intelligence (D4-N1207 - 9:00 am - 9:45 am) Could you teach a computer how to rhyme?


Charese Smiley along with co-worker Hiroko Bretz recently won the 2017 Poetix Competition for Computer Generated Sonnets. Charese will discuss the growing field of computational linguistics and why it’s an exciting area to work in along with some of the techniques and challenges in getting a computer to generate poetry..


Charese Smiley is a Research Scientist in the R&D department at Thomson Reuters. Her primary research interests include Question Answering, Natural Language Generation, and Computational Linguistics centered around unstructured data. She has been working for Thomson Reuters for 4 years.

Leann Blanchfield

  • Executive Leadership (Town Hall - 9:00 am - 9:45 am) A Journey Worth Taking


This presentation will be a conversation about Leann's career ans come lessons learned aloong the way.


Leann is the Vice President of U.S. Content Strategy & Editorial (CS&E). CS&E is responsible for the strategic direction and creation of U.S. core legal content as well as the development of the content features and functionality for key platforms.

In her prior role, Leann was the Vice President of Litigation Product Development and Practice Solutions for U.S. Law Firms which included U.S. Legal workflow content and products. Leann joined Thomson Reuters in 1993 as a member of the Reference Attorneys and has held a variety of positions within the product development area.

Leann received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Morris and her J.D. from Hamline University. She practiced law in the areas of Family and Criminal Law prior to joining Thomson Reuters.

Brenda Peick

  • Personal Brand (John B West - D4-N700 - 9:00 am - 9:45 am) How to Make Better Decisions


This talk will define when to use a decision making process, practical tips for decision making, and how to improve the quality of your decisions by consistently evaluating.


Brenda Peick is the Director of a Portfolio Management team at Thomson Reuters, the powerhouse behind the strategic management of technology investments. A Diversity and Inclusion champion who channels her energy into a range of activities across and beyond Thomson Reuters, Brenda works with youth to help them develop their passion in technology.

Chuck Sherwood

  • Internships (D4-Alcove - 9:00 am - 9:45 am) Why and how to prepare by Maverick Software Consulting


I’ll talk about Maverick Software and then Carina, Stephanie and I will all talk about internships and their importance. We’ll also cover the interview and how to prepare. Including how to conduct yourself and a section on dressing appropriately. We’re going to leverage a bunch of the stuff we presented last semester for the Society of Women Engineers student group here at MSU.


Chuck Sherwood is Vice President and co-owner of Maverick Software Consulting. Chuck has been in the software industry for 23 years working primarily in the QA space. 12 years ago Maverick Software Consulting launched their partnership with Thomson Reuters and Chuck has been managing the MSC office in Mankato for all of that time. 157 Minnesota State University Mankato students have been part of the program over 12 years. 63 of those students have gone on to work for Thomson Reuters as full time employees.

Tom Zielund

  • Artificial Intelligence (D4-N1207 - 10:00 am - 10:45 am) The Two Pillars of A.I.


Just as human intelligence requires both intuitive and deliberate reasoning processes, the future of artificial intelligence requires both “cognitive” modeling and logical computing.


Tom Zielund is an information architect in Thomson Reuters’ Center for Cognitive Computing in Eagan, MN. He has master’s degrees in psychology and computer science with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

Christi Lee

  • Executive Leadership (Town Hall - 10:00 am - 10:45 am) Leadership Lessons from the Journey


Christi has performed many leadership roles across Thomson Reuters over the past 30 years leading global teams of up to 300 employees and managing budgets of up to $30 million. Her career began in Manufacturing and progressed through operations, purchasing and system implementations.

  • Ran Manufacturing Planning and Scheduling
  • Managed Bindery Operations
  • Developed Supply Chain Management for Manufacturing; raw materials purchasing, warehouse, and inventory management
  • Managed Travel and Expense (T&E) operations including negotiating, developing and managing Payment Card Programs
  • Managed overall Sourcing Operations including Card and Expense, Purchasing and Sourcing applications
  • Led SAP, SRM and Ariba system implementations

She will share some of her career experiences and lessons learned from them.


As vice president of Sourcing Operations and Vendor Management, within Enterprise Technology & Operations, Christi partners across the company to streamline processes such as improving software and maintenance renewals, technology approvals and contract compliance in SAP Ariba.

Christi has performed many leadership roles across Thomson Reuters over the past 30 years and has a proven track record delivering exceptional results in challenging environments. She achieves success through a combination of collaborative team management, influential relationships with key partners, and strong process and system knowledge.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from St. Cloud State University. Christi resides in Minnesota with her husband and enjoys mentoring, fitness, golf and travel.

Kelly Lucente

  • Personal Brand (John B West - D4-N700 - 10:00 am - 10:45 am) LinkedIn re-Boot


LinkedIn is quite possibly one of the strongest online business tools available today, yet very few are actually using it to be seen and heard. Here’s the truth: We live in an online world and if you want to go somewhere in business you need to be on LinkedIn. Bottom line: People are looking for YOU, so let's help them find you.

Consider this:

There are more than 497 MILLION LinkedIn users The average LinkedIn user makes $110,931/yr 52% of B2B buyers make purchasing decisions with LinkedIn Over 80% of leads generated through social media come through LinkedIn

Bottom line:

Don’t Look Like an Amateur Online

Would you go to a meeting without a shower and wearing clothes you grabbed straight from the laundry basket? Of course not. You want people to see you as a professional and a person they’d want to do business with and as such, you put forth effort in having a professional presence when you show up. Well the same principals hold true for your LinkedIn presence.

If your profile is unkempt, you’ll look like someone people should avoid. If it doesn't exist, nobody can find you and if they can't find you, they can't hire you.

Key Takeaways:

My #1 secret for getting someone to respond to your request. Tricks to improve your search rankings. Profile enhancements to get you noticed. The power of attachments.

  • Personal Brand (John B West - D4-N700 - 11:00 am - 11:45 am) The Brand of YOU



Seth Godin says you’re either a purple cow or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or you’re not and that you have to make the choice or your audience will.


The hard truth is, you're a brand whether you do anything about it or not. And no matter what you say you can do, there’s someone else who can do the exact same thing. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

The question is, what makes you DIFFERENT? WHY should someone CHOOSE YOU?

Did you know that less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently? Your personal brand communicates who you are and what you have to offer. It’s your reputation and your promise and why people should believe you. It’s how you are perceived outwardly and whether or not you will be taken seriously. What are you known for? What do you WANT to be known for? Do they match? If not, you’ve got a brand problem.

During The Brand of YOU, you will identify:

Who you are WHY you Who needs to know How they'll find out

Key Takeaways

The Power of 3: Image + Voice + Promise What to ask yourself before you enter a room Resources to find out where you show up online Why personal brand is such a big deal How you can influence others' perception of you


As vice president of Sourcing Operations and Vendor Management, within Enterprise Technology & Operations, Christi partners across the company to streamline processes such as improving software and maintenance renewals, technology approvals and contract compliance in SAP Ariba.

Christi has performed many leadership roles across Thomson Reuters over the past 30 years and has a proven track record delivering exceptional results in challenging environments. She achieves success through a combination of collaborative team management, influential relationships with key partners, and strong process and system knowledge.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from St. Cloud State University. Christi resides in Minnesota with her husband and enjoys mentoring, fitness, golf and travel.

Michael Lynch

  • Internships (D4-Alcove - 10:00 am - 10:45 am) Genisys Works Internships


This presenation will focus on key aspects surrounding internships including what are employers looking for in an intern.


Mike has 30+ years of software development experience…many of those years at West Publishing/Thomson Reuters. Mike has worked on a variety of internal/customer facing system such as internal publishing systems, Online Legal Research systems (Westlaw/Westlaw Next), Firm Central, and eDiscovery. Mike’s area of focus is in software project management in which he helps teams of developers work efficiently together using the Agile software methodology.

Mike and his wife Chris have four adult children (two boys and two girls)….the youngest of which is graduating from college in May!!! Mike enjoys paying college tuition and provides inspirational words of wisdom to each of his children who graduates from college: “Go forth into the world and find rewarding employment, experience what it is like to live on your own, pay rent, own your own car…..because the gravy train is over”!

Ronald Teo

  • Artificial Intelligence- (D4-Alcove - 11:00 am - 11:45 am) Teaching Computers to See with Machine Learning


“Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.” -Andrew Ng Deep Learning, a subfield of Machine learning is the main driving force behind this optimism. The presentation aims to provide some working demos pertaining to the application of Deep Learning technologies in the field of computer vision and natural language processing.


Ronald Teo is a Lead Software Engineer at TR Labs Center of Cognitive Computing. He holds a degree in Computer Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Data Science. He is passionate in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

Janet Swedal

  • Executive Leadershipo - (Town Hall - 11:00 am - 11:45 am) The Ladder, the Lattice, and the Lessons Learned


My story and journey to VP with some lessons I learned along with way.


Janet is a proven technology senior leader with over 25 years experience leading large multi-million dollar projects and cross-functional teams to deliver business value. Her experience includes wide-ranging application software development with a focus on enterprise and customer-facing solutions and services. She has experience with SaaS/Cloud, native mobile apps, and installed desktop software. She is a champion and coach on the use of “agile” software development methodologies to deliver business value.

Janet began her career as a software engineer before moving into technical management positions. In her current role as Technology VP, she leads technology strategy, development and maintenance of software used for Litigation and Transaction attorneys at the world’s largest law firms down to solo attorneys who are running their own business.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and an MBA from The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Janet has a special interest in getting girls interested in STEM subjects and pursuing STEM careers. She currently resides in a small southeast suburb of the Twin Cities with her husband and two dogs, and has 2 sons in their twenties.

Elizabeth Nelson, Logan Thein, Kate Shram

  • Internships - (D4-Alcove - 11:00 am - 11:45 am) Jumpstart your STEM career – Explore, Experience & Excel


  • Exploring opportunities in STEM, igniting your passion and proactively developing skills to enhance your education and career journey
  • Gaining hands-on experience though experiential learning, internships, volunteering and the value of doing so
  • Tips to excel and achieve your STEM career goals including internship/volunteer search strategies, building your personal brand (e.g. resumes, LinkedIn, etc.), and more

As part of our session, we will also have a former technology intern and now TR employee talk about her career journey, lessons learned along the way and what to potentially expect as a rising woman leader in STEM.


Elizabeth Nelson is the Diversity Recruiting and Marketing Program Manager for the Legal division of Thomson Reuters. In this role, she develops and executes the division’s diversity recruiting strategy including creating innovative ways to connect with job seekers and promote Thomson Reuters as a great place to work. Elizabeth has worked in talent acquisition for over a decade and has experience in the corporate, higher education and government sectors. Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Logan Thein is a Talent Acquisition, Manager at Thomson Reuters and supports our early careers hiring as well as the Eagan internship program. Logan started his career at Thomson Reuters after graduating from the Carlson School of Management with a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. After a couple years within human resources at Thomson Reuters, Logan left to join the human resources team at DirecTV and worked with that organization through their merger with AT&T. Logan returned to Thomson Reuters nearly 2 years ago and supported the Inside Sales function until his recent move to Talent Acquisition. Logan is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Kate Shram is a Software Engineer at Thomson Reuters in Legal Technology, working on a product called Drafting Assistant. She’s been with Thomson Reuters for 3 years full-time and 2 years part-time as a Maverick Software Consulting intern, working as a Software Test Engineer. Kate is a graduate of Minnesota State University – Mankato.

Lisa Schlosser

  • Panel - (Town Hall - 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm) Inspiring Your Female Leaders


Lisa will lead a lively conversation on female leadership with our expert panelists (Kelly Lucente, Chuck Sherwood, Janet Swedal, Charese Smiley, and Heather Walker).


Lisa Schlosser is chief technology officer for FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business providing law firm digital marketing solutions and, home to the largest online legal directory of lawyers. Fostering a dynamic and customer-centric work culture, she collaborates closely with the business to build innovative solutions.

Lisa has over 25 years of experience in information technology, holding several programming and leadership positions throughout her career. Leading global diverse teams and leveraging operational, financial, and human metrics that contribute to the business vision are areas of special interest. She earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Lisa believes strongly in volunteerism and currently chairs Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and is in her second year of board membership of the Science Museum of Minnesota. Since May 2015, she has served on the board of the Anita Borg Institute, focused on the advancement of women in computing and founder of the Grace Hopper Celebration. She is involved with many efforts in the community to promote students in STEM careers and women in technology. Check out Driving Change to hear Lisa’s thoughts on technology leadership.