4th Annual Women's Leadership Summit

A Real Conversation About Leadership Excellence

What does it mean to be truly excellent? In our fast paced, rapidly changing world of expanding opportunities, how can you reach the pinnacle of effectiveness?
Hear from Merage School’s Margarethe Wiersema, dean’s professor of strategic management, as she is interviewed by Terry Goldfarb, Networking & Relationship-Building coach. Professor Wiersema will share her expertise on the subject of leadership excellence by incorporating strategic analysis and thinking, she will challenge you to think differently about your role, and explain how to harness the power of leadership as we move into the digital age.
Hear an encore of our featured speakers as they share in-depth insights addressing:
• Your Unique Leadership Brand
• Entrepreneurial vs Corporate Leadership
• Team Leaders vs Individual Contributors
• Knowing the Numbers and People
• Seeking Champions Throughout Your Career




7:00 a.m.:  Registration

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.: Full breakfast and table topics

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Program featuring keynote and guest speakers

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Open networking


Katie Bianchi Katie Bianchi
VP Human Resources, Global Business Services
Capital Group

As a senior-level global Human Resources executive with an outstanding record of accelerated achievement, Katie has driven sustainable performance through all components of human resources partnering with all disciplines of the business. She provides leadership and expertise for the full scope of human resources functions including all aspects of organizational development, talent management, performance management, benefits, compensation and communications for the Global Business Services client groups. She has a 24+ year career in the service industry with a strong reputation for managerial excellence, diplomacy, professionalism, relationship-building, team leadership skills and humor. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Wellesley College and her Master’s in Business Administration at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.

Bernadette M. Chala Bernadette M. Chala
CLO/General Counsel
Arbonne International

As the Chief Legal Officer of Arbonne International, Bernadette serves as a key business advisor, advocate and liaison between legal issues, emerging legal trends, and the business needs of the company to help navigate the most challenging issues of today. Bernadette has evolved as the business needs of the company have evolved, with the company nearly doubling in size since Bernadette first started, and steering the entire organization through various legal, regulatory and compliance challenges culminating with a strategic sale last year. Bernadette is not afraid to be a working leader and believes the best form of leadership is the one that is set by example. Bernadette loves working at a company where she happily uses its products every day and would like to remind you that you are only as old as your skincare regimen. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and her Master’s degree in Law from UCLA.

Carol Fawcett Carol Fawcett
Corporate Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Golden State Foods

As the Corporate Vice President & Chief Information Officer at Golden State Foods (GSF), Carol provides vision and leadership for developing and executing digital transformation initiatives to improve GSF’s supply chain management operations, improving cost effectiveness, service quality and business development which service over 125,000 restaurants and stores from 41 locations on five continents. Prior to joining GSF, Carol served as Chief Information Officer of Dell Software from 2012-2017, leading teams through an IT transformation resulting in a fully automated, simplified IT footprint that delivered significant efficiency and innovation opportunities across the businesses. While at Dell, Carol was also responsible for the strategic vision of M&A IT acquisition integrations and infrastructure companywide. Prior to Dell, Carol served as the Chief Information Officer at Quest Software from 2000-2012. Before joining Quest in 2000, she held IT leadership roles at Western Digital, Coldwell Banker and Pacific Mutual.

Terry Goldfarb Terry Goldfarb
Networking & Relationship-Building coach

Terry Goldfarb brings her expertise in networking, relationship building, business development and marketing to her individual, corporate and organizational clients. Terry has fostered an outstanding reputation as a genuine connector and relationship builder. With a career beginning as a tour guide at Disneyland, she learned the fundamentals of networking and a customer focus through interacting with people from all walks of life, including dignitaries, politicians, celebrities, CEOs, and major philanthropists from around the world. She has been acknowledged in “The $100,000+ Career”, John Davies book about networking for executives in transition, “The Key: A Networking Guide to Meeting, Connecting, and Succeeding” by Ken Tudhope, and profiled in “Leading Well: The Essence of Wholehearted Inspirational Leaders” by Randy Noe. Terry also sits on the Advisory Board of Titan Health and Security Technologies, a for-profit software company in Newport Beach. Several organizations have recognized Terry for her professional and volunteer activities. She was identified as one of “The Hottest 25 People in Orange County” by the OC Metro, received an “Award for Individual Achievement” by the South Coast Metro Alliance, and nominated for the “Spirit of Volunteerism” award by OneOC. Terry studied Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Scharrell Jackson Scharrell Jackson
Partner, COO/CFO
Squar Milner LLP

Scharrell is a Partner, COO/CFO of Squar Milner LLP, one of the nation’s 50 largest accounting firms. She is known for her remarkable business acumen and her commitment to developing leadership attributes in others. As a strategic thought leader, streamlining business operations and automating processes that drive growth and increase efficiency resulting in top line revenue growth and bottom line profit.

She plays an integral role in the firm’s growth and success, executing multiple mergers that continue to expand the firm’s footprint. As a human capital expert, she provides executive leadership to the Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, Administrative, Payroll and Benefits Departments.

Scharrell is the Founder and CEO of “Leadership in Heels,” an authentic, intimate and powerful professional speaker series and also a highly sought-after and engaging keynote speaker. These sold out events have captured Orange County business leaders and positively impacted the community.

Scharrell serves on a number of boards such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, Concordia University’s President’s Advisory Council, Center for Leadership Board of Advisors, California State University - Fullerton and University of California - Irvine Center for Investment and Wealth Management Advisory Board. Scharrell is an active member of Saddleback Church, hosts a small group in her home and her greatest accomplishment is being a mother of three amazing sons.

Kimberly Kovacs Kimberly Kovacs
Managing Director
Arroyo Ventures

Kimberly created MyJane in May 2018 and it is a new online wellness community designed to empower women to feel better. Kimberly Kovacs has a distinguished career in executive leadership and finance. She is also the Managing Director for Arroyo Ventures and is an active angel investor, advisor and executive consultant for emerging companies. She is passionate about the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provides mentorship to students and startups in LA and Orange County. She is currently on the boards of the OCTANe and the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and is active in many industry organizations such as FEI and FENG. She is a former member of the Women Presidents Organization (WPO) and the Association of Women in Technology (AWT). Other past board seats include the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and the All-American Boys Chorus. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from San Diego State University.

Jimmee Medina Jimmee Medina
Director of Human Resources & Innovation
City of Irvine

Jimmee is responsible for creating and enhancing valuable services that attract, develop and retain a talented and diverse workforce that is well equipped to respond to the needs of Irvine’s residents, visitors and business community. As part of her more than 12 years of service to the City of Irvine, Jimmee has overseen the launch and implementation of several organizational development programs including the Irvine Supervisor Academy. In 2017, she was a recipient of the City Manager’s Award for Team of the Year. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master’s degree of Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She is an International Public Management Association for Human Resources Certified Professional and holds a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University and a certificate in Negotiations and Leadership from Harvard Law School in Boston.

Margarethe-Wiersema Margarethe Wiersema
Dean's Professor, Strategic Management
The Paul Merage School of Business

Margarethe F. Wiersema holds the Dean’s Professorship in Strategic Management at The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. She has an MBA and Ph.D. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

The recipient of numerous awards for excellence in research and teaching, Professor Wiersema was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Copenhagen Business School in 2016 in recognition of a remarkable contribution to research dissemination and education. She was elected as a Strategic Management Society Fellow in 2012 for making significant contributions to the theory and practice of strategic management. In 2006, she was awarded the Distinguished PhD Alumni Award from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is an International Fellow for the Advanced Institute of Management Research in the UK. She has received numerous teaching awards for the Executive MBA and Health Care Executive MBA program at UCI. She has served on the faculty at the Business Schools at the University of Michigan, Rice University (where she held the Fayez Sarofim Vanguard Professorship in Management), and as a visiting scholar at London Business School and Copenhagen Business School.



Event Details

Date: 02.28.2020
Time: 07:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Event Type: Public


UCI Paul Merage School of Business
4293 Pereira Drive, Merage School Auditorium
Irvine, CA 92697
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