Posted October 13, 2015 by Editorial Staff in 2015

[PHOTOS] Tech Professionals Converge for Inaugural “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” Reception and Awards Ceremony

40 Under 40: Tech Diversity - Silicon Valley
40 Under 40: Tech Diversity - Silicon Valley

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logo bug 40 under 40Over 350 technology professionals and supporters attended the “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” recognition program on Wednesday evening, September 16, hosted by Airbnb at their San Francisco headquarters. Conceived by and produced in partnership with Digital Diversity Network (DDN), the inaugural event celebrated the achievements of 40 leaders from diverse backgrounds, under the age of 40 in the innovation economy. Two special categories, the Silicon Icon and Game Changer, were awarded to Roy Clay, Sr., Founder and Former CEO, ROD-L Electronics, and Shellye Archambeau, CEO, MetricStream, respectively.

With a heightened focus in the tech industry to embed diversity into their companies, services and products, as well as their working practices, “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity-Silicon Valley” was designed to highlight the underrepresented role models and achievements of the wide range of people who make the tech industry brilliant.

Specific goals of the recognition program include acknowledging tech industry progress and promise in advancing diversity; facilitating networking and introductions among diverse tech professionals, hiring companies and tech investors; inspiring future generations to pursue innovation and tech careers, regardless of socio-economic background; and inspiring tech companies and the industry at-large, to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.

40 Under 40 Class of 2015 Announcement
Event Photo Gallery

Click to view Class of 2015 list

  1. Chris Amos, Co-founder & President, Ampush
  2. Ime Archibong, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Facebook
  3. Angela Benton, Founder & CEO, NewMe Accelerato
  4. Aisha Bowe, Co-founder & CEO, STEMBoard
  5. Marla Britt, Technical Project/Program Manager, Applied Materials
  6. Edwin Broni-Mensah, Founder & CEO, Give Me Tap
  7. Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO, TaskRabbit
  8. Kendra Desrosiers, Digital Strategy & Partnerships, Google
  9. Brian Dixon, Principal, Kapor Capital
  10. Nancy Douyon, User Experience Research Program Manager, Google
  11. Jotaka Eaddy, Consultant, PayNearMe, Inc. & Kapor
  12. Pablo Fuentes, CEO & Co-founder, Proven
  13. Martin Gilliard, GM, AdTruth, Experian Marketing Services
  14. Ricardo Garcia-Amaya, CEO & Founder, VOI
  15. Zakiya Harris, Chief Education Officer, Hack the Hood
  16. Charles Hudson, Partner, SoftTech VC
  17. Nicole Isaac, Head of Economic Graph Policy Partnerships, LinkedIn
  18. Ibi Krukrubo, Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young
  19. Chris Lyons, Chief of Staff, Andreessen Horowitz
  20. Vanessa Mason, CEO & Founder, Riveted Partners & Founder, WISE Health
  21. Isaac Matthews, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center
  22. Aston Motes, Founder, Assorted Bits
  23. Matthew Mugo Fields, Co-founder, Rocket Group & President, Red Bird Advanced Learnin
  24. Marlon Nichols, Director/Founding Partner, Intel Capital/Cross Vulture VC
  25. Mekka Okereke, Senior Manager, Software Engineering, Google
  26. Stephen Ozoigbo, CEO, African Technology Foundation
  27. Devin Pauley, Engineering Program Manager, Apple
  28. Kalimah Priforce, Headmaster CEO, Qeyno Labs
  29. Erika D. Rodriguez, Materials Research Scientist, ERC Inc. at NASA
  30. Merline Sainthil, Head of Operations, Office of the CTO, Intuit
  31. Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, Head of Multicultural Strategy, Twitter
  32. Michael Seibel, Partner, Y Combinator
  33. Ayori Selassie, Senior Solutions Engineer/President, Boldforce at Salesforce
  34. Wayne Sutton, Founder,
  35. Erin Teague, Director of Product Management, Yahoo
  36. Christina Trampota, Senior Director, Global Marketing Innovation, VISA
  37. Laura Weidman Powers, Co-founder & CEO, Code2040
  38. Bari Williams, Counsel, Facebook
  39. Glenn Williamson, Senior Software Engineering Manager, Intel Corporation
  40. Jason Young, Co-founder & CEO, Mindblown Labs/Hidden Genius Project
Roy Clay

Ken Coleman, Christopher Clay, Roy Clay, Sr.,
Rodney Clay, Tracy Lawrence

In one of the evening’s more poignant moments, Roy Clay, Sr., a Silicon Valley pioneer; a key figure in the development of Hewlett Packard’s computer division; and coincidentally, mentor to Shellye Archambeau, the evening’s Game Changer recipient, was conferred with the Silicon Icon award by close friend and accomplished tech executive Ken Coleman. Often lauded as the “Black Godfather of Silicon Valley,” the 86-year-old Clay admonished attendees to follow the advice given to him by his own mother when he was wrongfully apprehended as a teen in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, “Never let racism be an excuse for failure.”

The video tribute below captures Mr. Clay’s significant achievements, including his journey from Ferguson, Missouri; to being one of the first Black persons to be admitted to St. Louis University; to being denied opportunity at as “a professional Negro”; to his nearly 50-year career in Silicon Valley, including the eventual founding of his own company, ROD-L Electronics.

Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the entire staircase.” With this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Game Changer honoree and MetricStream CEO Shellye Archambeau captured the inspirational essence of the inaugural “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” awards program during her acceptance speech. Archambeau was awed by the assembly of more than 350 diverse tech professionals and urged them to keep striving for their goals–even when the path is not always clear.

Ms. Archambeau received the Game Changer award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in advancing diversity in the tech sector through personal career achievements; helping to advance the careers of others in the industry; and fostering a culture of inclusion. Ms. Archambeau is a leader both in business and in the community, demonstrated through decades of involvement on several Boards of Directors and committees.

She currently serves on the board of directors of Verizon Communications Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. In April 2013, Ms. Archambeau was named the “#2 Most Influential African American in Technology” by Business Insider.

Michael DeFlorimonte, Tracy lawrence

Michael DeFlorimonte, Tracy Lawrence

“theREGISTRY is proud to launch this unprecedented recognition of underrepresented Blacks and Latinos in the tech industry, stated Michael DeFlorimonte, Managing Editor, “Through this inter-generational celebration, we acknowledge the contributions, both past and present, as well as the future promise of diverse tech professionals.”

Tracy L. Lawrence, Founder, Digital Diversity Network & Managing Director, Tracy L. Lawrence Associates added: “Reward and recognition are integral to increasing diversity in the tech industry, as they help to increase employee retention and reduce the need to continually backfill the talent pipeline. Having a major tech company like Airbnb on board cements the importance of programs like “40 Under 40” and reinforces their commitment to diversity.”

Never let racism be an excuse for failure. – Roy Clay, Sr.

A public call for nominations was issued March 26 through May 22, 2015 by, Digital Diversity Network and more than 25 outreach partners, including tech diversity organizations and tech company employee resource groups (ERGS). The response was robust and yielded over 350 submissions and 150 qualified nominations of young professionals from Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area corporations, start-ups, accelerators, venture capital firms, non-profits and pro-social enterprises—all of whom are influencers in the industry.

Honorees were evaluated on the basis of their outstanding achievements; career success; volunteer and civic engagement; influence and impact; and honors and recognitions by a selection committee comprising 12 highly respected tech professionals.

Event sponsors, in addition to Airbnb, included Intel, the Kapor Center for Social Impact, Intel, Google, Youtube, Comcast NBCUniversal, Twitter, Applied Materials and Mosaic Coaching Solutions.