It's a tech vibe of influential leaders, change-makers and trailblazing entrepreneurs joining Google Women Techmakers, Bitwise Industries, Bay Valley Tech for a day of disruption as they take over Modesto’s tech scene in celebration of International Women's Day!
Location: 820 H Street, Modesto CA
AI Leadership Institute
Founder & Principal Architect
Manager, Business Recruiting Coordinator
Vice President of Bitwise Merced
Noelle Silver Russell is a multi-award-winning technologist and entrepreneur who specializes in advising companies on emerging technology, cloud, AI and Web 3.0. She has led teams at NPR, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon Alexa, and is a consistent champion for public understanding of the ethical use of AI based on her work building some of the largest AI Models in the world. She is the founder of AI Leadership Institute and serves as an executive at IBM. Noelle has spoken at Google’s Women in ML summit as well as delivered keynotes for many Google sponsored events and was awarded the Women in AI Award for Responsibility and Ethics in AI from VentureBeat.
Born and raised in the Central Valley, Ritika is a proud CSU Stanislaus Alumni with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. She has spent almost 7 years in the Talent Acquisition space and is currently working at LinkedIn as a talent Acquisition Manager supporting the Business Recruiting organization. During her free time, she taps into her creative side and freelances in the fashion and radio industries. Ritika loves using her different passions and identities to elevate the Sikh Community and those around her, personally and professionally.
Norma C. Cardona actively pursues a positive perspective in life by actively looking for everyday occurrences of what is going right in the moment and by highlighting the greatness qualities in people. She believes that everyone can have a positive impact on anyone--they just need the right tools. Her outlook on life stems from her upbringing by immigrant parents and the childhood experiences she faced. She was born and raised in Central California; she was born in Santa Maria, CA located in the Central Coast where she lived in a trailer park most of her life, and later moved to and finished raising herself in Merced in pursuit of higher education where she’s been living for the last 15 years. Norma fulfilled her life-long dreams of holding a human brain, buying a house, and being a small-business owner. She is a servant-leader with an entrepreneurial spirit who is thankful to the many women who supported her throughout her career. Women have opened doors for Norma, and she continues to let that guide her to opening doors for others.
Norma is a lifelong learner; she likes to take community classes, go on walks in Downtown Merced and the Bear Creek Loop, go on nature hikes in and around the Central Valley, practice yoga, enjoys reading and dancing, and spend time at home with her partner and 13-year old English Bulldog.
Bay Valley Tech
Latinos In Tech Giving Circle Lead
Circle H Dairy Ranch Inc.
Retired CEO & Public Figure
Strategy Enthusiast, Entrepreneur, & MBA Candidate (2022)
A non-traditional Latinx Software Engineer, philanthropist, and non-profit founding member. Experience in leading product development end to end (Front End to Back End), mentoring junior engineers, and contributing to company product development.
Margo Souza, former president and CEO of Turlock’s Circle H Dairy Ranch Inc.
Souza, an alumna of Seattle University, said graduating from college has enriched her life immensely. Her passion for leadership and desire to help youth led her to donate to the newest UC campus. She believes the leadership center will be the catalyst to guide students — more than 60 percent who are the first in the family to earn a college degree — to become strong leaders and contributing members of society.
“We need to reinvent our future through the eyes of our youth,” said Souza. “Over time, this university will enhance and change many lives in the Central Valley.”
Emmanuel Escamilla studied at Modesto Junior College, completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, and received his master's degree from Harvard University. Emmanuel is currently an MBA candidate at the UC Davis GSM.
Emmanuel has an entrepreneurial background. As an undergrad, he founded the CodeX Program, an ed-tech company focused on making tech education accessible to rural communities. Today is the co-founder of Debrief Methods, a community-focused data company located in Stanislaus County.
He has been recognized as a McNair Scholar and a Forbes Under 30 Scholar; he was awarded the Westly Prize for Top Young Innovators of California and was a 20 Under 40 Honoree by The Modesto Bee. You can also hear his TED Talk "Sermon to the Classroom."
Google Computer Science Summer Institute
Golden Valley Health Centers
Modesto City Schools
Computer Science Teacher
I am a lesbian- mother, a wife, an Army veteran, baseball fanatic and puzzle enthusiast.
I am currently a Project Manager at Bitwise Industries.
I am motivated to make the world a better place for my kids and the next generation.
With hope in her heart, fire in her blood and fierce determination for the advancement of her fellow BIPOC, Karlha is a child of Mexican immigrant farm workers from Hughson, one of California’s most conservative counties. She’s been able to occupy spaces not meant for her voice and passion and while others have tried to extinguish her flame, it’s allowed Karlha to realize her purpose in life is to show up authentically and with the integrity of her ancestors. Karlha’s professional success begins with being the first in her family to attend and graduate from college, #StanStateAlumni. She boasts an impressive 25+ year career in public relations, fundraising and community engagement in the sectors of non-profit, higher education, government, and private business. Her ability to be successful in all sectors, speaks volumes to her creativity, leadership, and ability to succeed in whatever field she’s chosen to stand behind. She has been awarded a Hometown Hero, Outstanding Woman of Stanislaus County and a Latina Heroé for her commitment to advocating for others in her community inspiring her to start Korazón Konsultants, a collective of BIPOC and accomplices who have created our own table of power with the goal of supporting one another’s passions and strengths while influencing systems of inequities in our communities.
She invites you to follow her on Insta at @konkorazon or @korazonkonsultants
Foundry (formerly IDG Communications)
Korazon Konsultants Collective
Founder and Chingona