MITX - Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange


Event Detail

Influence(her) Mentor Round Robin - During The City of Boston Women Entrepreneur’s Week 10/20/2016
Event Type: MITX Event
Dates: 10/20/2016
Times: 06:00pm - 08:00pm


Google Cambridge
355 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142


MITX Influence(her) is an event series for young women in the MITX community who are looking to empower and educate themselves and grow in their careers. Our goal in creating this series is to support and develop the next level of female leaders in Boston. The Influence(her) series seeks to provide opportunities for young women to connect and find inspiration through exclusive access to leaders in the business field. After each event, attendees will leave feeling armed with the necessary tools to take their careers to the next level.​

Join us for the final event in this series of MITX Influence(her) events in 2016!

This is a mentor round robin, where 10 groups of 10 women rotate every 10 minutes to 10 senior female executives. No formal agenda, but rather an open dialogue where attendees can bring questions like:

  • Who's one person in your life you always consult when you're about to take big risks?
  • Taking a new job in a new city- pro tips for handling all the change at once?
  • What's the best advice you've heard, that's helped you make a tough decision in your career?
  • Have you ever had to choose between salary and equity when starting a new job or negotiating a promotion? If so, how did you make this decision?
  • What advice do you have for risk taking when there are other parties involved (ie making a risky business decision that could affect your company / employees, taking a risk that impacts your significant other)
  • If you were to do it all over again, what's one thing that you know now that you wish you knew then (when getting started).
  • What mental model/framework do you go through to determine if a risk is worth taking?
  • Tell us about one of the most pivotal parts of your life that helped you get to where you are today.
  • How long did you take to make your decision?
  • Sometimes opportunities come at the wrong time, what was your story?
  • Is there any risk that you wish you had taken, but you decided to play it safe?
  • Any regrets? 

We’re providing you with unprecedented access to some of the best leaders in Boston, so bring your questions for these mentors - or start with these!

This event takes place during The City of Boston Women Entrepreneur’s Week, happening Sept 17-21, 2016. 

Mentors include a variety of women with POV’s like:

  • Venture Capitalist
  • CMO 
  • Head of Sales
  • Startup Founder
  • Project Management
  • CFO
  • Marketing Leader
  • And more!

MEET OUR MENTORS! More coming soon:

Leys Bostrom, Digital Experience – FastWorks, Business Innovations, GE

Leys is an experienced people manager and communications strategist with a passion for trying new things, inspiring change and driving growth. She recently relocated back to Boston with the GE move.

Leys Bostrom is the Digital Marketing Leader for FastWorks on the Business Innovation team at GE. Based at GE’s new Corporate Headquarters in Boston, she is responsible for the digital strategy, communications, and marketing of FastWorks across GE and externally. FastWorks is an integral part of the large cultural transformation GE is currently undertaking. She is focused on driving behavior change and engagement globally by leveraging digital channels.

Prior to joining GE, Leys managed a pilot offering for a new customer segment and later led a new product to launch and scale within the international tours division at EF Education First at the U.S. Headquarters in Boston. She was responsible for the marketing and communications strategy, product innovation, sales, and customer experience. Driving growth and change, she helped her team adopt a new selling model that focused on understanding the needs of the customer in a different way. Earlier at EF, she was a founding member of a field sales initiative, responsible for operationalizing new capabilities and growth strategies. 

Previously, Leys co-founded a non-profit focused on providing international travel opportunities for students who otherwise could not afford them. She spent her early years in the education and social work sectors and was a head crew coach for several years, helping launch the rowing programs at both Somerville and Malden High Schools. She is a Board Member for a local non-profit serving people with special needs and a member of several marketing groups. Passionate for travel, she holds a Global MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and BA from Connecticut College.

Jessica DeVlieger, SVP, Sales & Marketing, Americas, C Space​​ - With more than fifteen years of experience, Jessica DeVlieger has worked in business development and management for a range of marketing organizations from boutique consulting firms to The Oprah Show. ​

As SVP of Sales and Marketing, Jessica oversees go-to-market strategy and is responsible for topline revenue performance at C Space. Jessica's team includes field sales, sales operations and marketing. Jessica has been with C Space for 8 years, always in a sales and sales management capacity.

Outside of work, most of Jessica's time is spent with her husband, 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. She loves traveling, cooking and is an avid downhill skier. Jessica is on the board of Positive Tracks, an organization that combines philanthropy with athletics to get kids active in both.

Sarah Fay, Managing Director, Glasswing Ventures - Sarah is a Venture Capitalist and advisor. She recently wrote an article on running an advisory board, and will soon publish another piece about being an advisor.

Sarah Fay is a veteran of the media services industry: in her two decades of experience, she has developed and implemented groundbreaking new models for advertising and media. Over the course of her career, Sarah has become a well-known voice in the advertising industry on the topics of digital marketing and media integration. She has helped to build one of the most recognized digital companies in the world through a combination of acquisitions, new business wins, and organic growth. 

In her role as President of Carat Interactive and then President of Isobar, Sarah orchestrated the successful acquisitions and merging of several companies including Lot21, Vizium, Freestyle Interactive, Molecular, iProspect, Ammo and Bluestreak. Sarah is also responsible for launching Isobar Mobile, a highly regarded mobile marketing entity. 

An industry thought leader, Sarah initiated several ground breaking studies including “Born to Be Wired” (2003), which examined rapidly increasing internet use by teens, and “Never Ending Friending” (2007), which considered the increasingly vital role of social networking as a component of social behavior and also calculated marketing ROI for Social Marketing campaigns. Sarah has been widely quoted in such sources as Ad Age, Ad Week, DM News, B2B Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Additionally, Sarah regularly addresses audiences at major marketing conferences and participates on a number of company and industry boards.

Sasha Hoffman, Co-Founder, Fuzzy Compass & COO, Piaggio Group, Piaggio Fast Forward​ - Sasha Hoffman is a former MITX Future Leaders Group member. She is an entrepreneur, who is active participant in the Boston startup community. She wrote this blog on "How to Get Involved in the Boston Start-Up Scene in 30 Days."

Sasha Hoffman is the Chief Operating Officer of Piaggio Fast Forward, a new company she helped spearhead in 2015 of the Piaggio Group (the manufacturers of Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Piaggio). She leads an interdisciplinary team of innovators building autonomous robots and lightweight transportation solutions designed to safely and efficiently move people and goods in urban settings. She is also the Co-Founder of Fuzzy Compass, a travel startup turning the world's top travel bloggers and influencers into modern-day travel consultants.
Prior to this, she was Head of Business Development for Plastiq, a venture-backed payments startup. As one of the first hires, she was responsible for many aspects of the business but primarily growing the company from 2-27 employees, setting the strategy for entering new industries and geographies, and building and maintaining all partner relationships. Prior to that, she worked as an investment banker in the technology group at Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. She worked on transactions worth more than $100 billion including several high-profile IPOs and M&A deals for such clients as Facebook, Yelp, and SanDisk.

Having traveled to over 90 countries she was the 2016 Global Ambassador for Women in Travel and part of Phocuswright’s 2015 Class of 35 rising stars in the travel industry under 35. She is passionate about tech and social entrepreneurship and is an active member of the Boston entrepreneurship community. She created the Entrepreneur Games, sits on the board of BUILD Boston, is an instructor at General Assembly, Youth CITIES, and the Startup Institute, was part of the Future Leaders Group of MITX, and guest lectures at Northeastern University.

Sandi Kirshner, CMO, Cengage Learning​ - In this role, Sandi focuses on all aspects of internal and external communications, as well as branding and public policy work. Although she never set out to be a ground-breaker, she has helped many women (and men) move ahead in their careers – and this is an aspect of Sandi's work today she really enjoys.​

Sandi Kirshner is the Chief Communications Officer for Cengage Learning.  In this role, she is responsible for working closely with the executive team on driving global communications, branding, and thought leadership to support the company’s mission to be the education and technology company built for learners. 

Prior to joining Cengage in 2013, Ms. Kirshner served in a number of marketing and executive roles at Pearson Education including: Executive Vice President for Higher Education Policy; Chief Marketing Officer for Higher Education; President of the Addison Wesley Higher Education Group; and President of Allyn and Bacon.

These diverse roles have positioned her as a leader uniquely suited to drive marketing and communications efforts for a company transitioning to digital learning.  Ms. Kirshner accomplished many ground breaking wins and pioneered programs centered on learning technology, and she has a deep sense of the challenges and opportunities that exist in today’s education marketplace.  She also understands how to develop and implement branding, messaging, and campaigns that produce maximum impact while building relationships with key stakeholders – including students, faculty, authors, and thought leaders.

Ms. Kirshner holds an MS in Marketing Communication and a BS in Journalism both from Boston University.  She is based out of the Cengage Learning Boston, MA office.​

Deborah Pine, Executive Director, Center for Women & Business, Bentley University​ - Deborah Pine is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with a track record of successfully starting, building and optimizing organizations and business value. ​The Center for Women and Business envisions a world where corporations recognize the importance of gender balance throughout their organizations and at all levels of leadership.​

As Executive Director for Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business, Deborah Pine sets and leads all external and internal strategic efforts, including corporate engagement, student initiatives, faculty collaboration, and research.

​Deb joined Bentley from Harvard Business School, where she served as a consultant and advisor as well as a student career coach and mentor for start-up teams. Previously, she served as COO of, a curated online e-commerce site that was acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. She also co-founded PreVision Marketing, a customer marketing and technology firm which developed breakthrough customer loyalty marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies. Under her leadership, PreVision was ranked on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies and the Software 500 representing leading technology providers.

Deb’s wealth of experience includes positions as head of business development for ADVO, a leader in direct-to-consumer print advertising, where she spearheaded M&A initiatives, and head of major accounts for Epsilon, a pioneer in database development and loyalty marketing.

She has served as an investor and advisor to early-stage ventures and as a non-profit board member, and currently sits on the board for UNITIO, a nonprofit organization that builds patient and community research platforms dedicated to eradicating chronic diseases.

Deb is an internationally recognized speaker in the customer relationship management field and is a member of the Harvard Business School Women’s Association and  the Boston Club.
She is committed to furthering progress toward corporate gender equity and is an active mentor and advisor to several women led businesses.

Deb earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Kristina D. Tsipouras, CEO, Moroccan Magic & Founder, Boston Business Women, LLC. - Kristina launched her first company at age 27. She's a Huffington Post blogger, a brand, marketing and social media consultant, a Top Finalist in Mass Challenge class of 2015 and Top 5 Finalist in Under Armour's startup competition, Founder of The Innovation Conference for Boston Business Women Networking, and Founder of Busy Girl Daily.

Kristina D. Tsipouras is a 31 year old Entrepreneur born and raised in the Boston area. She spent the first ten years of her career as an event & wedding planner in Manhattan and moved back to Boston to launch her first company at the age of 23. She is now the Founder of Boston Business Women and the Boston Business Women's Conference, Founder & CEO of Moroccan Magic Organic Argan Oil lip balms and this year, she published her first book, Busy Girl's Guide to Happiness. You can read more about Kristina on


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