SACC-SF/SV’s SofaTalks series celebrate successful women in the Bay Area while providing a unique forum for professionals to network in a convivial and relaxed environment. The aim is to create a broader cross-cultural perspective to discussions surround women’s issues and ignite conversations that inspire women to achieve their goals.
Each SofaTalks event focuses on a particular industry and the women on the sofa share candid conversations about their pathways to success, barriers faced as a result of being a woman and how those have been overcome, and how they achieve work-life balance.
Event sponsor & host
Silje Vallestad, Founder bSafe
Silje Vallestad is the founder of bSafe (formerly Bipper), a multiple award winning mobile safety company developing personal safety services for families (bSafe Kids) and women (bSafe You). In 2011 she was awarded Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Norway, and in 2013 she was honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and recognized as one of the 20 greatest business thinkers in the Nordics. She is a sought after speaker on entrepreneurship and digital safety. Vallestad founded bSafe with no background in technology or business based on the needs she saw for her own three kids, herself and women and children everywhere. With a clear vision about what was needed, she built the company from scratch and is now rolling the services out in more and more countries to help make people safer and save lives.
Denise Persson, CMO Apigee
Denise Persson has long brought her very significant marketing, sales and product management expertise to the task of developing global brands. Over a career that spans 20 years, Ms. Persson has built and led global marketing teams for high-growth, category-creating tech-companies and guided a number of businesses through multiple phases including mergers and acquisitions and public offerings. Currently CMO at digital business platform Apigee, Denise served 5 years as CMO at SaaS webcasting and virtual communications company ON24. Previous to her efforts at ON24, Ms. Persson was the EVP of global marketing at Genesys, where she helped to earn the company prestigious industry and product awards as revenues increased tenfold from $20 million to $200 million and the product base rose to include 200 of the Global Fortune 500.
Charlotte Fors, VP Sales mBlox Inc.
Charlotte Fors is the VP of Sales at mBlox Inc, a global leader in Mobile Messaging. She has been in the Wireless industry since 2003, successfully managing Sales and Account Management teams in US, Europe and Asia. Charlotte has an outstanding personal network spanning across the mobile value chain, from carriers and aggregators to service providers, content providers and enterprise companies. Charlotte is Co-Founder and on the board of Women in Wireless, a non-profit industry organization that promotes and develops female leaders in mobile and digital media. The organization has over 10,000 members and local chapters in most major US cities, and expanding overseas. In 2012, she was recognized by the Mobile Marketer as one of the top 25 Women to Watch in the Mobile industry.
Gunilla Jacobsson, PhD Organic Chemistry
Gunilla recently returned to Stanford University after two years at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet. Gunilla has spent 18 years working in her special expertise of nanotechnology and nanomedicine, with specific focus on drug delivery, nanoparticle formation and in vivo imaging. Gunilla particularly enjoys her work as a researcher, in Sweden and now at Stanford, “the days I spend in the lab are most rewarding, that’s where you finally see if your ideas work.”
Karin Rosén, MD PhD
Karin is Group Medical Director at Genentech Inc where she leads an international team of biotechnology professionals and medical scientists. She has been published in numerous scientific journals and is a previous member of the European Commission’s Life Sciences Expert Panel. Dr. Rosén has worked across all stages of medical research in academia and in the public and private sector and contributed her talents to international bio-pharmaceutical companies which include Pharmacia Biotech, Genzyme, and Aradigm. Commenting on her work at Genentech, Karin says that, “to be able to help patients with severe illness to a better life is a privilege”.
Kerstin Rosén, MD
Kerstin is a Pediatric Physician at Kaiser Permanente and Assistant Clinical Professor at Stanford University with 20 years of experience as a health care professional. With the inception of the Affordable Care Act, Kerstin joined with Kaiser Permanente to help improve efficiency and quality of care by enhancing Physician Education, Health Education for Patients, Innovation and Medical Communication. Kerstin, commenting on her goals at Kaiser and at Stanford, says, “in my experience, if you do your research, provide that data and equip people with the right tools by simply educating them, change has a much better chance of taking place”.