Meet Our Breakout Speakers
Our speakers are experts in their fields who have designed timely and engaging presentations for the EBWC—find out more about who they are.
Founder and CEO
Komal Ahmad, founder and CEO of Copia, is solving the World’s Dumbest Problem by ending hunger and reducing food waste globally. Under her leadership, Copia has recovered over 1,500,000 pounds of food and will feed 2 million people this year with high-quality food that would have otherwise been wasted. Her company has managed food recovery from high profile events including Super Bowl 50 and the Oscars. Most recently, Copia served food to victims and first responders of the California wildfires. Copia is recognized as 1 of the top 3 startups run by women in the U.S and 1 of the top 8 startups graduating out of Y Combinator.
Komal graduated from UC Berkeley with honors and was awarded Forbes 30 Under 30, the University of California’s Global Food Changemaker, 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2017 MIT Solver. She has been named by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in Business and a Toyota Mother of Invention by Toyota. She has been highlighted by Marie Claire as one of the most powerful and impactful women in business and was recently honored with the Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award.
The reasonable woman adapts herself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to herself. Komal is an unreasonable woman.
Principal, Office Managing Partner
Jackson Lewis, PC San Francsico
Lisa Barnett Sween is a Principal and Office Managing Partner of the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents employers in all aspects of employment law and litigation, including state and federal employment harassment and discrimination litigation, wrongful discharge litigation, FMLA, CFRA, ADA, and wage and hour litigation. In addition to her litigation expertise, Lisa regularly counsels employers on preventative employment policies and practices involving all areas of federal, state and local employment law, including recruiting and hiring, employee handbooks, leaves of absence, discipline and termination, workforce reductions, discrimination and harassment, reasonable accommodation and wage and hour. Lisa has conducted over 200 hours of harassment prevention training in various jurisdictions throughout the United States. Lisa's counseling practice includes strategic human resources advice in preparation for mergers and acquisitions, preparing executive and other employment agreements, offer letters, proprietary information agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Lisa has given numerous presentations on a wide variety of employment-related issues to organizations including the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA), the California Employer Advisory Counsel and the American Conference Institute. Before joining Jackson Lewis, Lisa was a partner in the employment and labor group at one of California’s largest law firms, where she served as the national vice-chair and chair of the San Francisco employment department.
Dr. Alan Brast, PhD, CCHT, CSA, NLP
Alan D. Brast, Ph.D., Inc.
Dr. Alan Brast has 4 decades of experience working in the medical / mental health field. His primary areas of expertise include suicidology, medical hypnotherapy / analysis, grief and trauma counseling for suicidal ideation, rape, battering, abuse, anxiety, phobia disorders, and other areas of medical psycho trauma. He does extensive lecturing world wide and teaches the understanding of these maladies to medical, mental health and educational professionals at several universities. Dr. Brast is affiliated with John Muir Medical Center, has served on the county trauma team and sees patients for the Contra Costa Crisis Center as well as his private practice in San Ramon.
Founder and CEO
P2P Transformation Center
LaTasha Renée, Founder and CEO of Push Ups 2 Pin Ups (aka P2P Transformation Center), has been involved with health and fitness for 26 years. She spent 13 of those years traveling while changing people’s lives as a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach for people in places such as Hawaii, Hollywood, Long Beach, New Jersey, varies places throughout Northern California — even Cairo, Egypt!
After years of working for Gold’s Gym corporate, she now shares her enthusiasm for helping others with a team of P2P dedicated coaches and customer service Team Members who find pride in servicing a community of thousands. While Gold's Gym took her far from her hometown of Walnut Creek, California, she is now a single mother of two teenagers and is excited to be back in the East Bay bringing her experience and passion for overall well being to her P2P Transformation Centers.
LaTasha decided she wanted to help more than she could on her own and began P2P Transformation Center and has 4 locations; Concord, Brentwood, Fairfield and Pleasanton while a team of almost 100. LaTasha and her team are dedicated to serving their members through encouragement, guidance and instruction; helping them attain their fitness goals through P2P's group HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions and Nutrition Coaching. She and her team are passionate about helping their community find comfort in their own skin by encouraging them to define what that place of comfort is for each individual member, telling them "YOU define YOU!"
P2P was created to help its clients experience a mental, physical and emotional transformation in a fun-filled environment!! The center allows them to feel good about taking time for themselves, build more confidence, become inspired, get encouraged, find camaraderie — all while gaining support on their fitness journeys.
Dr. Brenda Wade reaches millions as the relationship expert on The Dr. Oz Show, host of Modern Love Radio, a sought-after keynote speaker, trainer, and the best-selling author of four books on love. She developed the Power Coaching program to train coaches in the unique integrative method of transformation which is her signature.
Dr. Oz describes her as “one of the most renowned psychologists in America”. She created the Modern Love Training programs, igniting transformation with her unique blend of Psychology, Science and Spirituality.
City of Concord
Valerie Barone has served as the City Manager for the City of Concord, CA (pop 129,000) since February of 2012. Concord is a full service City with over 400 full-time, regular employees. Valerie has experience in the public and private sector. Prior to her role as City Manager in Concord, she served as the Assistant City Manager in Concord, the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Walnut Creek, and as Community & Recreation Services Director for the City of Milpitas. She also worked as a land use and environmental planner for the Company of Eric J. Toll, a Nevada Company, and served in the Peace Corps as a Community Development Specialist on Panay Island in the Philippines. She holds a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Planning from HumboldtStateUniversity and an MBA from Cal State Sacramento. She is on the Boards of the City Managers' Department of the League of California Cities and Women Leading Government, an affiliate organization to the International City and County Managers' Association.
Co-founder and CEO
Maximum Games LLC
Christina Seelye serves as CEO of Maximum Games, a boutique video game publishing company she cofounded in 2009. Specializing in bringing original and inventive games to the mainstream, Maximum Games publishes console and PC titles in a wide range of categories from action and sports to simulation, racing, first-person shooters and more. The company has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, making both the Inc. 5000 and San Francisco Business Times’ Fast 100 lists for the past three years in a row. Additionally, Maximum Games is listed as one of the Top 15 Video Game Publishers in the world by NPD. Prior to founding Maximum Games, Christina led Avanquest Publishing USA as CEO and President, growing the international software company’s revenues from $8 million to $65 million. She is the recipient of four American Business Awards and graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Fine Arts.
As a successful CEO of her Executive Coaching and Consulting business, Allison helps entrepreneurs, executives and their teams in the areas of Leadership, Interpersonal Communication and Strategic Planning. Seamlessly integrating and complimenting her Coaching and Consulting, Allison also facilitates for the International Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) www.womenpresidentsorg.com, leading two peer advisory groups of Bay Area multi-million dollar entrepreneurial women presidents and CEO’s. Additionally, she is a group leader for ProVisors, a community of professionals who serve their clients as trusted advisors. Prior to her executive coaching business, Allison owned and led a successful structural engineering company with her husband for 23 years. She is certified as a DISC Consultant, One Page Business Plan® Specialist and Professional Coach. With a love of business and behavioral science, Allison is a Master Connector who seeks to understand and help people. She has made a difference with hundreds of executives and their teams in various industries including: professional services, manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality and others, many of which are family owned.
EVP & President of Hospital Operations
John Muir Health
Jane oversees the operations of John Muir Health’s two acute care medical centers located in Walnut Creek (554-licensed beds) and Concord (245-licensed beds), and a third facility for Behavioral Health services (73-licensed beds) also located in Concord, serving Contra Costa and Solano counties. Combined, the three facilities have net revenues of $1.3 billion, 3,686 FTEs, and 32,620 discharges. Her responsibilities also include overseeing strategic service lines, medical staff relations, and accountability for completion of major expansion projects at all three facilities.
In addition to these responsibilities, Jane serves as Governing Board Co-Chair of the highly successful Children’s Specialty Services Partnership, a joint venture with Stanford Children’s Health/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She also serves as a member of the John Muir Health Executive Operations Council, which makes key decisions and sets the strategic direction for the health system. In addition, she recently oversaw the $300M implementation and rollout of the Epic© electronic medical records system throughout John Muir Health.
Before assuming her new position, Jane served as President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Walnut Creek Medical Center for 10 years. Under her leadership, the medical center achieved numerous quality recognitions, including being named as one of America’s and the region’s top hospitals by U.S. News and World Report with a nationally ranked service(s) for 11 consecutive years. The medical center was also named by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals from 2014-2017 and achieved the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (top 5% nationally for clinical excellence) for seven consecutive years. The Walnut Creek Medical Center also achieved Magnet® recognition status for excellence in nursing services and quality nursing care in 2008 and re-designation in 2013.
Prior to joining John Muir Health in 2006 as President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Walnut Creek Medical Center, Ms. Willemsen served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California. She also worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago as Vice President of Nursing and Allied Health and Assistant Director of Nursing. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.