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Many of us have benefited in our careers from a relationship with a mentor who helped show us the ropes. A strong, thoughtful mentor can play a significant role in a person’s professional growth and advancement. In this panel, we’ll hear personal experiences from individuals who have either taken the time to mentor someone in need of guidance or have sought mentorship from someone they know. We’ll talk about what a person should consider when seeking and identifying a prospective mentor as well as how to approach that person. We’ll also discuss how mentors can assist their mentees with navigating the challenges of their career paths and career advancement while maintaining boundaries that ensure mentee agency.

Host: Sarah Spangler, Vice President of Customer Success @ xTuple

Moderator: Nicole Carry, CISSP @ ADP

Ms. Carry is originally from Clarkston, Michigan when she joined the military ultimately serving as one of the first women onboard combatant ships. After separating from the Navy, Ms. Carry made her residence permanent in Norfolk where she now works with ADP leading their Global Network Management Team.

Ms. Carry is also extremely involved in her community serving on the following: Norfolk City Council as interim Councilmember, a Virginia Veterans Services Foundation Trustee, a Norfolk Naval Centennial Commissioner, Virginia Zoo Board Member and most recently her gubernatorial appointment to theVirginia Council on Women.

Ms. Carry lives in Ocean View with her 2 adopted dogs, Whitman and Frida.


Dr. Lanae Harris, ECPI University

As co-founder and chief executive officer of KTTSolutions Dr. Lanae Harris is responsible for designing and developing business and IT solutions for clients. She also writes curriculum and teaches computer information science at ECPI University. Dr. Harris frequently volunteers, mentors, and gives workshops on emerging technologies and software development. She holds a PhD in Information Technology from Capella University; a master’s degree in Engineering Management and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University.

Chazona Baum, MAXX Potential

As a Principal Technologist at MAXX Potential, Chazona Baum is responsible for facilitating the execution of projects by technology apprentices. Baum has volunteered with Code for Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Women in Technology and 757ColorCoded, and has given talks at Hampton Roads DevFest, Slover Library and local technology meetups. She transitioned into a technology career from a decade of customer service roles through self-study and an apprenticeship with MAXX Potential.

Ciara Rogers, Vice President of Product @ xTuple

As Vice President of Product at xTuple, Ciara Rogers manages all aspects of and teams contributing to the software development cycle, including R&D, production, quality assurance, and user experience. After a successful career in academia teaching Sociology, Ciara transitioned to a market research position that allowed her to follow her passion for data science. From there, she worked her way up the ropes at xTuple from marketing to support, project management, and eventually product management. When she isn’t glued to a computer screen, she spends her time listening to audiobooks and podcasts, knitting, and drinking too much coffee. Ciara earned her M.A. in Applied Sociology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a B.S. in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice from Towson University.

Steven Tibbetts, Digital Product and Services Manager @ Caterpillar Asset Intelligence

Steven currently holds the role of Digital Product and Services Manager for Caterpillar Asset Intelligence in Virginia Beach. Steven has over 15 years of software product management experience in industrial industries such as Power Generation, Marine, Passenger Rail, and Government Services in both small and large business. Steven is an industry expert in product vision, requirements generation, and customer driven development of enterprise software solutions using Lean Startup principles. Steven holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University and obtained a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University. Steven serves on ODU’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Industrial Advisory board and is extremely involved in veteran hiring and transition programs such as Onward to Opportunity and the Hampton Roads Employer Advisor board for Veterans.

Chris Burroughs, CTO @ PRA Group

Chris Burroughs

Chris is PRA Group’s Chief Technology Officer and has been working in IT infrastructure for 25+ years in retail, legal, insurance, and financial services. Her role is responsible for servers, network, telecom, end user computing, databases, middleware, document management, and application support.

She has a passion for challenging the status quo and loves the thrill of developing people, improving processes and leveraging technologies to deliver business value. Her infrastructure team is currently transforming itself to use the DevSecOps framework including deploying infrastructure as code and implementing a CI/CD pipeline. She is an adjunct instructor in the VCU Fast Track Masters of Information Systems program and is also a frequent speaker on infrastructure topics.

Event graciously sponsored by:

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