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Auditorium A - Panel

Thursday June 13th, 14:30-15:30

Diversity and Inclusion Panel: Bring the Thunder!

Session Recording

About this Session

Join us to learn and discuss how we can bring daily acts of inclusion into our personal and work contexts.

Lightbend has partnered with sponsors and the tech community to bring you an expert panel of speakers focused on how individuals can create more inclusive environments. This format, pioneered by Cisco Meraki, has proven to stimulate awareness and individual action so we’re thrilled to continue to bring the thunder.

Panelists will be sharing personal stories along with research knowledge to provide insight into how to create an inclusive environment in day to day work.

Required Knowledge

No prior knowledge needed.


Sushila Sahay

As a Peruvian born Canadian of Indian heritage with a passion for business, technology, and human connection, Sushila is often the only woman of color in the room. Striving to have a positive impact on everyone with whom she interacts, she has spent over 25 years with tech companies and forged a successful career leading global teams and initiatives for Silicon Valley startups. Currently she leads all Customer and Employee Success teams globally, as VP, Customer Operations and HR at Lightbend, Inc. A classically trained singer, she holds an MBA with Honors in Strategic Management from the University of Alberta.

Tara Hernandez

Tara Hernandez is a specialist in software engineering infrastructure and was an early promoter of what came to be known as the Continuous Integration revolution. Her most notable stint was at Netscape Communications Corporation where she initially helped develop new developer tools such as Tinderbox and Bugzilla, both of which were later released to the public as open source along with the Netscape browser codebase as part of the creation of At one point she ended up at Pixar Animation Studios where her team reinvented much of the development infrastructure to handle the challenges of writing software in a film production environment. She then moved on to do Systems and Build Engineering at Linden Lab, doing really Fun Things(tm) with deployment pipelines and cloud technologies for virtual worlds. She is now at Google, working to help create a really cool cloud developer platform. In her copious amounts of free time she blogs hopefully useful things about engineering management, is an Associate Board member of Women Who Code, and hosts the 'Women Who Code Radio' podcast.

Mike Kelland

Mike Kelland leads Professional Services for Lightbend and brings over 15 years of software industry experience to Lightbend. Mike was most recently the CEO of BoldRadius Solutions, a services company focused on the Lightbend Reactive Platform. Prior to that, Mike was an early employee or founder in a variety of technology companies working in the infrastructure, custom software, network security, web development and hardware sectors where he excelled in creating successful growth through curiosity, culture and focused execution. Mike holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Darja Jovanovic

Running the community and communications side of the Scala Center My goal in this role is to build a stronger, more connected, and more inclusive Scala community. Scala Days 2019 concept creator.

Hywel Evans

Hywel Evans leads Lightbend’s team of Global Solution Architects (GSA). Hywel brings over 25 years of technical, sales, and business development experience to Lightbend. Prior to leading the GSA team, he worked in various roles across the Lightbend organization. Before joining Lightbend, Hywel worked at a wide variety of companies - both small and large - including IBM, Lombardi Software, BEA Systems, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Hywel lives with his wife Sherry in San Francisco where they eat brunch (a lot) and serve the needs of two irritable dachshunds named Maggie and Penny.

Kiki Carter

I have a passion for leading enterprise transformations, creating innovative solutions using emerging technologies to modernize heritage environments. I find a certain joy developing large scale distributed systems using Reactive Principles, especially when building with Lightbend Reactive Platform - Akka and friends. I have slight Scala bias, but at least half of my time is spent with Java. I enjoy the benefits of broad industry experience having worked in entertainment, hospitality, retail, life science and others. I do play favorites, but you’ll have to ask on the right day. My personal passion project involves non-profit missions in anti human trafficking with focus on prevention and aftercare.