Meet the Planning Committee

The SoTeC conference is a 100% volunteer run conference. Members from the 10 Sponsor Organizations form a planning committee coalition. Other volunteers join the ‘village’ and we plan and execute this conference. Planning started in Feb 2015, bi-weekly conference calls followed with three face to face meetings, and a conference bag stuffing session in October, and voila, we have a conference!

Meet the 2015 SoTeC Executive Committee Charpersons

Lori Shapiro, Conference Chair
Lori is returning this year as the SoTeC Conference Chair. In her day job, Lori is a Sr. Program Manager at Experian Consumer Services. In her ‘spare time’ she is member of four Toastmaster clubs, a whale watching naturalist, and SoTeC Conference chair. This is her fourth year after taking a year off last year to serve as a Division Governor for Toastmasters. She believes that SoTeC is a ‘hidden gem’ of a conference. She has seen it grow from 140 attendees to almost 400 (the current venue is nearly busting at the seams) The quality of speakers, the attendee ‘buzz’, and the amazing volunteers that put this conference together keeps her coming back year after year. In her hiatus last year, Lori was able to complete her Distinguished Toastmaster educational award, and her Division reached President’s Distinguished Status. She has the same expectations for SoTeC – high quality speakers, recognition for hardworking colleagues with the SoTeC Inspiration Award, a fun time at the Friday Night Meetup, and quality resume reviews and job opportunities for those in transition. Come to SoTeC to see what the excitement is all about. You will be amazed at the quality of this conference, and, you may meet someone who will influence your career. You can connect with me on LinkedIn. See you at SoTeC.
Ron Rizza, Finance Chair
Ron has been on the board for 7 years. He has also been involved with SCQAA-OC for most of the 30+ years it has existed, including most years on the Board. He has been involved in all aspects of Software and Systems development , Software and Hardware Quality, Operations Research, Audit, Security, etc. for over 40 years at such companies as Lockheed-Martin, Ford Motor Company, Advanced Logic Research, Gateway and Panasonic Avionics Corporation. The high quality of the SoTeC conferences, and the opportunity to work with smart, energetic, creative people who put it together and attend is what keeps him coming back.
Mark Harbin, Registration Chair
Mark Harbin is an experienced professional with 30 years in the computer and information technology industries. He has been an active participate on the SoTeC committee for 8 years and over 13 years with the SCQAA-OC chapter. Mark has strong abilities in quality assurance, project management and product delivery. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has successfully led his company in obtaining its ISO certification. He has worked in a variety of industries including aerospace, telecommunications, security, finance, and the medical field. Mark has successfully built three exceptional SQA departments which have contributed to each company’s bottom line and the overall delivery of higher quality products. He excels at managing large teams of technical personnel while still maintaining technical expertise. Mark specializes in analyzing and resolving critical situations within tight deadlines.
Tammy Hawkins, Alliance Partner Chair
Tammy has extensive experience in the Technology Staffing and Services Industry, and currently holds the position of VP, West Region for Optomi. Optomi is an innovative IT Staffing Firm, who’s foundation is built on a core group of principles that are unique in the industry. She has held various roles to include; Consulting Services Manager, Account Executive, Sales Manager, Recruiting Manager, Managing Director, and Vice President. Her expertise around market development, leading sales and recruiting teams, and delivery has been leveraged in Southern California since 1999. Tammy’s philosophy is steeped in “community based sales and recruiting”. She is focused on helping technology clients and candidates realize success in their initiatives through helping them navigate the the market climate. Tammy is entrenched in the technology market by taking leadership roles within industry organizations. Tammy recently joined CWI (Connected Women of Influence) as a Director Level Sponsor and is involved in providing guidance, support and community outreach to this extraordinary organization. She has also been deeply involved in the Southland Technology Conference (SoTeC), for the past five years, with the last three serving as the Alliance Partner Chair.
Carole Schlocker, Speaker Chair
Carole has been involved with locating quality speakers for the SoTec conference for over 10 years and introduced the panel sessions and the structured networking lunch sessions. She has a passion for finding the best people and new topics that keep the conference current and interesting and make attendees want to return each year. She is extremely proud of the conference and the growth and popularity it has experienced over the last 10 years. She is also Program Chair for AITP-LA. At iSpace she works tirelessly to find the right job for each candidate and the right candidate for each Manager that she works with. Staffing is her passion. Currently she is on the Board of Stem Advantage and is a long time member of the UCLA I.S. Associates and has served on their board. She is a past Board Member of Tech Serve Alliance. She was the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Technology and helped to build the chapter from the ground up. Carole holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Temple University. She strongly believes that she is practicing social work every day in the IT staffing business.
Della Mahone, Speaker Co- Chair
Della “The Della-gator” Mahone is in her 3rd year as the Lead Speaker Coordinator for the SoTeC Conference. Her attention to detail, bubbly personality and non-stop energy makes her a treat to have on a team or in a room.
Della enjoys mentoring our youth and envisions a “preschool to Ph.D. pipeline” as a way of addressing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) challenges that our country faces. In addition to working as a Project Manager and Consultant, she actively promotes S.T.E.M. initiatives and has joined the leadership team of the Orange County Network of Women In Technology International (WITI-OC).
Also, she serves in leadership for Toastmasters International and makes time to volunteer as the Engineering Academy Champion for the High School Inc. Program housed at Valley High School in Santa Ana. A team of her engineering students recently won 1st place in the UC Davis Robotics Competition held in Irvine.
Della is a native of Gary, Indiana and is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Quantitative Business Analysis.
Mark Galligan, Inspiration Chair
Mark Galligan is a dedicated IT professional and is passionate about improving IT operations and the services it offers. He has nearly 30 years of leadership, management and technology experience improving technology operations, IT services and customer satisfaction for Fortune 500 companies.
His approach to IT Service or Technology operations is to “find a better way”.
How is this accomplished?
• Make it easy
• Reduce internal complexity
• Run your business well
Today, Mark is responsible for Data Center Operations and IT Service Management for the First American Financial Corporation. Mark is also an Adventure Motorcyclist and has ridden the Western Hemisphere of Planet Earth from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. He has also toured India by motorcycle.
Duane L. Nicholson, Marketing Chair
Mr. Nicholson is the founder and Principal Consultant for N.B.D. Consulting Services, a management consulting service focused on analytics, human capital, and strategic marketing. He possess more than 20 years of experience primarily in the financial services industry. Over his career, he has consistently proven his ability to make sound decisions through qualitative and quantitative analysis. Mr. Nicholson is recognized as both a professional with business savvy and technical literacy. Duane is known for overcoming challenging environments, people, and processes. He makes his mark by using original ideas to solve business problems.
Duane serves as the current President of the IIBA – Orange County, CA Chapter and this is his 4th year with the Southland Technology Conference. This is his 2nd year as the Marketing Chair. He previously served as the Sponsor Organization Marketing Chair.
Mr. Nicholson is extremely passionate about personal development and career growth. For this reason, he volunteers as a mentor for his alma mater, University Redlands School of Business and STEM Advantage.
Lily Sieu, Facilities Chair
Lily is the returning as Facilities Chair for the Southland Technology Conference. Lily is project/program manager of the Time Warner Cable Business Class Operations – Systems and Tools team. A member itSMF LA LIG, Lily is a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner and ITILv3 Service Foundations professional. An avid process improvement engineer and business operations infrastructure information technology designer, she has led projects and/or designed business application systems for companies that include Kia Motors America, Hyundai Motors America and City of Hope. Outside of work, Lily maintains a 180sqft organic garden, trains 2 working dogs, enjoys creating one of a kind art pieces through fused glass and silk painting. Lily is a former US national champion in English Sporting Clays and represented the United States in world level competition in English Sporting Clays and F.I.T.A.S.C. Lily also in an avid supporter of the all volunteer Stars and Stripes Foundation which helps returning US military veterans acclimate back into civilian life state side.
Jim Stoumpos, Job Fair Chair
Jim is the Founding Father of SoTeC and has been with the conference all 15 years. He has been in multiple roles from Conference Chair for 6 years, to Vice Chair to now Job Fair Chair. In this latest role, he coordinates the Job Fair with a mix of hiring managers, staffing firms, and educational firms that offer services to conference attendees, and those in transition, including discounted educational programs and resume reviews. Jim has was also a key player in founding the SCQAA Chapters, and is an active Board member of the San Fernando Valley Chapter. He is also active in multiple PMI chapters. He formed the Project Management Training Academy (PMTA) and offers PMP Certification training at a discount, and also specializes in CSQA, CSTE certifications. One of Jim’s goals is to raise the maturity level of Project Managers and Quality Managers to ensure more successful and improved projects for their associated companies.