Inspiring Across Generations (IAG) Conference 

Ignite! Personal Success Strategies in High Performing Organizations

Speaker Bios

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Ann Aerts

Partner, PwC

Ann Aerts is a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP U.S. Financial Services Internal Audit Service practice and provides assistance to internal audit, compliance and risk management assessment, design and implementation.  She has worked on numerous Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) engagements.  She is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 25 years of experience helping clients in the financial services industry.

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Nick Bayer

CEO & Founder, Saxbys

Nick Bayer, is Founder and CEO of Saxbys, a social impact company fueled by amazing food, beverage and hospitality with a singular mission:  Make Life Better.  The company has grown from a single café to a 30-unit business.  Nick is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, an adjunct professor at Drexel University and the Executive in Residence at Temple University's Fox School of Business and also serves on multiple boards.  In 2017, he was named the "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as well as EY’s "Social Entrepreneur of the Year."

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Urvi Bham

CEO & Founder, Vikara Risk and Compliance

Urvi Bham is the CEO and Founder of Vikara Risk and Compliance, a consulting firm focused on transforming risk and regulatory compliance in the financial services industry.  Most recently she was a Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Bank of America where she also led the Asian Leadership Network.  Her prior work experience includes Freddie Mac, AOL and EY.

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Kim Cermak*

Cross Cultural Trainer, Athena International

Kim Cermak is a cross-cultural and mindfulness trainer and coach at Athena International.  She has worked in the profit and non-profit sectors, started three businesses and has provided micro-enterprise consulting for WomenVenture.  In addition to being a certified Bikram yoga instructor and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, she also serves on several boards.

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Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan*

Entrepreneur, Board Member, Angel Investor, and Professor,

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan is an Entrepreneur, Board Member, Angel Investor, and a University of Pennsylvania Professor of Practice in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Undergraduate Chair of Materials Science & Engineering and a member of the Executive Committee of Penn Health Tech.  Prior to the University of Pennsylvania,  she was a McKinsey & Company partner and co-leader of their innovation practice.  She is a partner at Robin Hood Ventures, on the Advisory Board of several startups, co-President of Ellevate Network’s Philadelphia Chapter, and a founding member of the Innovation Advisory council for United Technology Corporation.  Dr. Chan earned her PhD from MIT and a BSE from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Materials Science and Engineering.

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Elaine Cheong

President, Ascend Greater Philadelphia; SVP, Bank of America

Elaine Cheong is a Senior Vice President with Bank of America responsible for developing client relationship strategies to drive its domestic and international commercial banking business. With over 25 years in banking, she currently leads a team of product partners who consults with clients on capital market structures, credit, treasury, global supply chain finance and risk management solutions to successfully grow their businesses.  She has held senior client account management roles with large multinational banks in Australia, U.K. and Singapore.  Elaine was born in Malaysia and moved to the United States in 1998.  Through her current role as President of Ascend Greater Philadelphia Chapter she helped to firmly establish the presence of Asian American professionals in Philadelphia by providing an eco-system for people to connect, grow and be inspired.  Elaine chairs the Asian employee resource group at Bank of America.  She also serves on the bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Council.  She graduated from Monash University, Australia with a Bachelor in Economics and holds a graduate diploma in Corporate Finance from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  She is married with two children and lives in Pennington, New Jersey.

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Srinath Chigullapalli

Senior IT Program Manager, Vanguard

Srinath Chigullapalli is the Senior IT Program Manager at Vanguard supporting the Office of General Counsel by providing technology solutions for their Legal and compliance Teams.  Srinath joined Vanguard as a developer and in his most recent role as head of Workforce Planning, was responsible for employee recruitment and contingent worker programs.

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Peter Lav

Senior Director, Operations Compliance, Comcast

Peter Lav is the Senior Director, Operations Compliance for Comcast and is responsible for developing and driving changes to processes and/or systems to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.  He spent 10 years in Comcast’s Internal Audit department focusing on cyber security and data privacy before joining the Operations Compliance group in 2015.  Peter began his career at PwC as a call center agent and IT technician before joining PwC’s Cyber Security practice.

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John Lee*

Partner, RSM US LLP

John Lee is a Partner at RSM, and leads the U.S. tax practice across Canada supporting public and privately held companies, partnerships, not-for-profit organizations, foreign-owned corporations, and high net worth individuals. John has advised clients on a wide range of US domestic and cross-border issues including business expansions into the US, financing and refinancing structures, tax due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, state income and franchise tax, sales and use tax, credits and incentives, treaty qualification, repatriation, withholding, and FATCA, among others.  He is a member of the New York and New Jersey State Bars and is admitted to the US District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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Sophia Lee

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Blank Rome

Sophia Lee is a Litigation Partner at Blank Rome LLP in the Energy, Environment and Mass Torts Practice Group and serves in a leadership role with the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  Ms. Lee is a trusted advisor and business litigator, handling commercial, environmental and products liability matters for energy and pharmaceutical companies and also represents governmental entities and non-profit organizations in other civil matters.  Additionally, Ms. Lee provides diversity and inclusion education and counsel to clients. She served as the Diversity Chair for the Philadelphia Bar Association, Vice-Chair of Mayor Michael Nutter’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, Co-President of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, and President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania. 

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Alex Lord

Partner, KPMG

Alex Lord is an Audit Partner in KPMG’s Philadelphia office providing audit and advisory services to clients in the Consumer and Industrial practice for over 19 years.   He has worked with a variety of public and private companies including manufacturing and chemical companies, power producers and international gas distribution companies.   In addition, Alex serves as the partner co-champion for the KPMG Philadelphia’s Office Asian and Pacific Islander Network.

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Sarita Maheshwari

Managing Director, Accenture

Sarita Maheshwari is a Managing  Director at Accenture and is responsible for managing complex Finance Transformation programs, including Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures.  She is the executive sponsor for Accenture Philadelphia Metro Asian American ERG.

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Carol Nevins

Managing Director, Market Executive, Bank of America

Carol Nevins is a Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Market Executive responsible for the Greater Philadelphia Market. She has been with Merrill Lynch for over 30 years in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, DC and Florida markets.  She served on the inaugural committee of Merrill Lynch’s Black/African Leadership Council, and as the chair of the GWIM D&I Development Committee. She is currently on the Market Executive Council and Co-Chair of the GWIM Employee Satisfaction Council.

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Ripa Rashid

Managing Director, Culture @ Work

Ripa Rashid, Managing Director at Culture @ Work, specializes in global talent strategies. She spent over a decade as a management consultant with leading global firms including Booz & Company, PwC, and Mitchell Madison Group, and held senior positions at MetLife and Time Warner. Ripa is the co-author of Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution; Asians in America: Unleashing the Potential of the "Model Minority," and Growing Global Executives: The New Competencies.  She has been featured by Fox News, Bloomberg, Newsweek, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, South China Morning Post and China Radio International.  

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Bala Sreenivasan

VP, Global Supply Chain Operations, Merck

Bala Sreenivasan, Vice President, leads Global Supply Chain Operations for Merck. Her team handles end-to-end planning for Merck’s Biologics, Vaccines and Small Molecule portfolio and all aspects of Distribution and Logistics. She is passionate about innovation and driving a “bold” culture where status quo is constantly challenged to benefit patients and drive value for the company and employees.

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Lakshmi Stockham

SVP, Technology Retail Product, TD Bank

Lakshmi Stockham, Senior Vice President, Technology Retail Product, TD Bank is responsible for technology strategy and delivery for the front office Retail Consumer Bank.   She has more than 20 years of experience advising, evaluating and delivering enterprise solutions, and has established a track record of driving technology-enabled results across the retail banking value chain.  Prior to joining TD Bank, Lakshmi spent the majority of her career working for consulting organizations such as EY and Capgemini. Lakshmi is on the board of directors of Hopeworks, a nonprofit that combines education, technology and entrepreneurship to upskill young men and women and help them secure permanent jobs.

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Kelvin Tran

CFO, TD Bank; Past President, Ascend Canada

Kelvin Tran, Chief Financial Officer of TD Bank, is responsible for planning, managing and reporting the Bank’s financial results as well as capital. He is accountable for Strategy & Efficiency, Financial Reporting, Planning and Analysis, Tax, Treasury and Capital Management.  Kelvin is also the founding President of Ascend Canada, and serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Pension and Audit Committee to the University of Toronto - Board of Regents of Victoria University.

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Kenneth Wong

Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army – Pennsylvania East

Ken Wong is a principal in NavPac Advisors, LLC which assists U.S. entities in developing strategies and building working relationships in China.  He is the President of CIG Asia, Ltd., a national property and casualty insurance brokerage firm.   Mr. Wong has been appointed to numerous leadership and advisory positions at the state and federal levels and is currently a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the U.S. Army.

* Moderator/Facilitator