Community NavigatorWomen of Innovation
[ August 3, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Danica Hershberger

Nikka is a purpose-inspired leader and operational strategist who thrives on elevating businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs to new levels of performance, vision, and mission.  

Proven track record of building customer centric organizations, collaborative and nimble cultures, implementing operational and systemic growth initiatives.  Innovative in approach and thought, Nikka excels in moving highly conceptual ideas into executable and thriving initiatives. 

Professionally, Nikka is currently the Managing Director at Dallas College Bill J Priest Institute.  Her main project is bringing an accessible, future-focused, and technologically advanced Innovation Hub to the DFW Community that drives long-term economic success for the area.  The Innovation Hub will serve as a central point for small businesses, workforce, corporations, and higher education to collaborate and engage.  She is also involved in sustainability initiatives at the college and creating sustainable, renewable, and agricultural programs and labs as part of the Innovation Hub offering.

Prior, Nikka worked with entrepreneurs and small business owners, as a Business Strategist and Consultant, helping them from ideation to realization, launching one company and moving another into development. She was the Director of Operations at Republic Elite, a countertop and cabinet Multifamily Construction company (post-merger) and Chief Business Officer of Elite Surface Innovations (pre-merger).  There she created, implemented, and managed the operating infrastructure for the start-up company, and helped the company grow from start-up to $8M in revenue in 4 years, and supported the company through merger and acquisition.  She was instrumental in developing a culture focused on project profitability, quality installation, and customer service.  She gained a solid foundation in consulting and business engagement while working with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting in New York City.

She has an MBA from Wake Forest University.  She was an active member of Junior League of Dallas, Toastmasters International, and all things fun!  She is also a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and has been blessed to journey with sacred teachers. 

Community Engagement

  • Speaker – Guest on Local & Thriving Podcast, 2020
  • Speaker – GridNEXT 2019
  • Panelist – Alternative Funding Resources at The Capital Factory, 2019

Women of Innovation
[ August 3, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Anne Chow

I believe that ideas, invention and innovation thrive at the intersection of technology and people. Fortunately, most of my career has been spent expanding and enhancing this intersection, leading diverse teams across product management, strategy and planning, direct and indirect sales, customer care and operations, and marketing.

Nothing is more rewarding than developing and sustaining meaningful relationships – with clients, partners, colleagues, friends, and communities. These relationships can be greatly enriched by leveraging technology with creative solutions to establish and deepen our connections.

Each day, I have the opportunity to work with people on a local, national, and global basis. Together, we strive to drive the positive change that builds and transforms business across numerous industries all around the world. Through these varied experiences, I have learned that greatness can be sparked in many ways – and have made it my purpose to discover, foster, and enable this greatness in people, teams, and organizations.

Views expressed are my own.

Corporate Startup Innovation
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Abid Neemuchwala

Over the course of a 3 decade long & distinguished career in the technology industry Abid has established a  reputation for bold transformative thinking, a laser focus on results and an unwavering commitment to maximizing  stakeholder value. He has displayed a consistent ability to align and motivate his organizations to envision and deliver  business results leveraging technology as it unfolds, resulting in market differentiation, rapid scaling and industry  leading profitability. 

Abid is currently investing and mentoring next generation technology software and services companies as Co-founder  of Dallas Venture Capital and as Chairman and CEO of Compass Digital Acquisition Corp (CDAQU). 

Abid began his journey with Tata Consulting Services (TCS) in 1992 out of campus at IIT Bombay. A time of rapid  acceleration in the nascent Indian IT services industry, Abid quickly rose through the ranks, from software engineer, to  sales, establishing new global delivery models, pioneering software engineering processes, running P&Ls, but what he  enjoyed most is conceptualizing and building new businesses and doing transformational mega deals. Post the GFC,  Abid took the mantle of building a new business and under his leadership TCS’s Digital Ops business scaled to $2 billion  in less than ten years and has to his credit personally leading many mega deals each of them billion dollar plus. 

In 2015, he joined Wipro as its COO, and was soon promoted to CEO and then to Managing Director. Overseeing over  $9 billion in revenues and 185,000 employees, Abid’s mandate was to lead the company into its digital future while  building a more diversified and profitable core. He implemented a strategy that focused on stronger client  partnerships and investing in digital-first and agile capabilities, while strengthening execution and driving deeper  employee engagement. Abid took assertive action in divesting non-core businesses; acquiring digital capabilities  resulting in Wipro’s digital business growing to 40% of overall revenues at a 35% CAGR over his 5 years along with  improving customer satisfaction by 1000 bps and signing Wipro’s largest deal to date. 

A believer in the impact of brand and culture on business performance, Abid led a strategic effort to rebrand Wipro  while concurrently streamlining and modernizing the company and promoting a culture of innovation. In his quest to  establish next generation paradigms he sponsored a first of its kind venture fund and piloted an enterprise crowd sourcing platform that will become a benchmark for the future of work in the IT services industry post-COVID. Always  focused on talent development, Abid drove the creation of deep capabilities in human-centric design, cloud,  artificial intelligence, and hyper-automation. 

In June 2020 after retiring from Wipro, he joined the board of Virtusa (VRTU) which was battling activists. He was a part  of the team that helped exit the company to Barings Asia PE at a 28% premium to its public market valuation. 

Over a remarkable career spanning multiple countries and organizations, Abid has established himself as a humble,  and passionate leader, focused on helping his clients, employees and peers realize the power of technology. He is  equally passionate about the community and his family. He has served on various non-profit boards including Texas  Economic Development Corporation and the World Affairs Council of DFW. He has been a member of the Business  

Roundtable in Washington DC and of the Indo-US CEO forum. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife of 26 years and  three children in college and beyond.

[ August 3, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

David Evenden

David is an experienced offensive security operator/analyst with 10 years of active work experience inside the Intelligence Community (IC). During his time inside the IC, he learned Persian Farsi, worked at NSA Red Team and was a member of an elite international team operating in conjunction with coalition forces to aid in the ongoing efforts in the Middle East.

While he currently works with an ISP and DHS to aid in the efforts to enhance the bidirectional sharing relationship between the US Government and Commercial entities, his passion is educating network administrators and security engineers on best practices when securing your network.

Arts & Entertainment
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Priscilla Dasilva

Priscilla Dasilva is the Owner of Positive Pri Photos, a Dallas based documentary style photographer and videographer. Since she began in 2018, she has done events, portraits, family, maternity and brand content. She has worked with brands like Poo-Pourri, LSU Catering, EWomen Network & California Lottery. In 2020 her and her business partner Mary Tran launched Embracing You Weddings, a wedding videography company. Some of their work has been showcased in the Dallas Morning News. 

Priscilla aspires to make specialized documentaries for families. Priscilla lives in Tyler with her fiance and their dog and is looking forward to expanding her network in east texas.

Featured Session
[ August 3, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Benjamin Vann

Benjamin Vann is a community builder, serial problem solver, and financial activist working at the intersection of technology, impact, policy, and capital. As a 5th generation entrepreneur, he is passionate about building new systems that center marginalized people and move them towards economic freedom and self-determination.

Benjamin currently serves as Impact Ventures Founder & CEO and leads overall strategic direction, executive management, and fundraising efforts. Benjamin’s journey to this work started in banking and corporate finance and evolved into social entrepreneurship, community organizing, global micro-finance, and impact investing.

When he is not strategizing on how to leverage capital to heal communities, he enjoys playing music and exploring city sites with his wife Cashmere and two sons Benjamin II and Braxton.

[ August 2, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Yasmine Salem Hamdan

Yasmine Salem Hamdan is a brand protection lawyer, business strategist, & educator in business & entrepreneurship.

She is also the founder of Coaches & Company, a legal startup & media company providing entrepreneurs with the educational resources & tools needed to protect themselves legally in business.

Learn more about Coaches & Company:

Media contact:

Connect on social media:

[ August 2, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Shahed Kader

Shahed took a different route to law. Before launching the practice, he worked in sales and growth for software companies for 10 years while attending law school at night–giving him an exceptional understanding of software business transactions and needs.

Shahed received his undergraduate degree from Temple University and his Juris Doctor from New-York Law School’s Evening Division. He has been featured in the ABA Journal for his efforts in modernizing the legal job market with alternative legal careers and is a mentor for multiple startup incubator programs. Shahed’s clients range from early-stage software startups to publicly listed software businesses requiring general counsel services in their day-to-day legal needs.

Shahed is well-reviewed on lawyer listing services because of his unique understanding of software businesses.

Featured Session
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Anthony McClure

Mr. McClure has wide‐ranging marketing and management accomplishments in global and domestic programs and procurement. First‐hand knowledge of international security, logistics, organizational planning, resource and personnel management, and administration.

Significant achievement in the negotiation of issues in politically sensitive environments. A consistent track record of winning bottom line results and growth.

As the President of The Peregrine Group International, Mr. McClure provides consulting and development to major industries and the US government in areas of security, terrorism, marketing, and management. Activities include threat assessment, risk analysis, security training and simulation, security briefings, corporate security analysis, marketing analysis, and research, new business development, and executive management. Clients include global businesses in such fields as governments, transportation and supply chain management, and entertainment.

While at E‐Systems (a Raytheon Company as of 1995), Anthony was the Regional Director ‐ Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He was instrumental in marketing/procurement/proposal activities for a wide range of products throughout the entire region. Introduced marketing, sales, service, support, and after‐sales activities as a mass data management and data storage system for major oil companies, weather bureaus, universities, large manufacturing firms, and governments. Responsible for marketing satellite communications on aircraft and ships; advanced data and voice secure communications involving law enforcement and special government departments; VIP and special cargo tracking for large
vehicle fleets and transportation companies; and multi‐media language and skills training marketing in Central Europe
after democratization and in South Africa.

Anthony was also involved in the sale of transportation, management, and traffic control systems for major municipalities
in the Netherlands and Greece. Provided telemedical radiological hardware and software to regional and local medical authorities and hospitals. Responsible for the sales of secure identification documents (ID cards, passports, card entry systems, etc.); non‐destructive testing systems for aircraft engines and structures; and law enforcement security devices for police, immigration services, and customs agencies. Managed a large organization of Value Added Resellers (VARs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, and agents throughout the region for sales and follow‐up sales and service support. Involved in many classified programs. Represented the company in several European Union (EU) and NATO agencies and regulatory groups for customs, intellectual property rights, and standards.

Corporate Startup InnovationUncategorized
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Steven Levy

Known as “America’s premier technology journalist” (Washington Post), Steven Levy has been covering the digital revolution since the early 1980s, reporting every major trend and profiling its key figures. He is currently Editor at Large at WIRED magazine, where he was one of its founding writers. During the height of the internet boom, he was the columnist and chief technology correspondent for Newsweek. He also wrote columns for Rolling Stone and Macworld.

His first book, Hackers (1984) would become known as the iconic story of computer culture and an inspiration to generations of coders and makers. His unparalleled coverage of Apple includes Insanely Great (1994), the history of Apple’s Macintosh computer; and The Perfect Thing (2006), the story of the iPod. He also wrote the Britannica entry on Steve Jobs, and his obituary on Jobs drew over a million readers.

Years before Bitcoin and the crypto explosion, Levy wrote Crypto (2001), the story behind that transformative technology. It won the Frankfurt Digital book prize for best nonfiction of the year. His definitive book on Google, In the Plex (2011), was a New York Times bestseller and Amazon’s business book of the year. He also wrote a true-crime book, The Unicorn’s Secret (1988), which was adapted into an NBC mini-series. Levy’s most recent book, Facebook: The Inside Story, is the definitive story—written with
unprecedented access to Mark Zuckerberg and other insiders– of the company that connected the world and reaped the consequences.

Earlier in his career, Levy interviewed Bob Marley and found Einstein’s brain, but not for the same story. He lives in New York City with his wife, Pulitzer prize-winning writer Teresa Carpenter.