The Workforce Show

The Workforce Show brings you stories of men and women who are doing something extraordinary to make their careers meaningful. You will hear tales of failures, successes and a desire to ultimately be the best they can be whether a head of a corporation, entrepreneur or someone whose profession drives them to a purposeful life.

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Cindy Gurne

Lilia Abron

President of Peer Consulting

Dr. Abron has long been a strong advocate of environmental justice and improving our efforts to find environmental sustainability.

She is President and Chief Executive Officer of PEER and a pioneer and visionary in the industry. She has built one of the largest black, female-owned and operated, environmental engineering firms in the United States.

Dr. Abron’s experience spans over 45 years in planning, managing and directing environmental engineering programs for the improvement, maintenance and enhancement of the natural and built environments.

Cindy Gurne

Jennifer Taylor

Vice President

US Jobs, Policy and Industry Affairs

She has a strong commitment to creating an awareness of the importance of consumer electronics as a driver of new jobs.

Prior to her current position she has done marketing, business development and strategic planning in such industries as pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, Care Giving, and Technology.

She is also going to be a host of The Workforce Show.

She's a graduate of University of Michigan and comes from Middletown, Ohio (the home of the author of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D.Vance).

Aaron Burciaga

Greg Pesik

Greg is a senior executive with 20+ years of delivering market expansion and profit optimization on both large and small platforms. Whether leading an organization as CEO or as a Senior Operations executive, Greg applied transformational strategies leading to measurable and sustainable client acquisition and revenue growth. A trailblazer who has been at the forefront of predictive revenue optimization, enterprise SaaS software development and has led complex digital transformation projects for global organizations.

He leverages his sophisticated communications skills to inform and empower his teams while building the trust of his client’s or investors in the rightness of the path to successful business outcomes. Creating a culture of inclusivity and respect, Greg believes every member of the team plays a critical role in achieving an organization's goals. Greg is recognized as a trusted steward of his clients and investors resources with the proven ability to drive sales and global expansion.

As a first-time CEO of a company that provides group reservations and optimization technology solutions to the global travel industry, Greg stepped into his role knowing that unless he was able to deliver immediate results, the outcomes were likely bankruptcy or a fire sale. He designed a turnaround strategy, but he had to overcome skepticism in and out of the building, hire new staff and inspire internal team members while overcoming investor fatigue. The plan required rapid organic growth, expansion into a lucrative new sector, and conversion to a SaaS pricing model.

Charles Britt

Nicole Smith

Dr. Nicole Smith is Chief Economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between education, career qualifications, and workforce demands. Since 2008, Dr. Smith and fellow economists have conducted research related to jobs, skills, and equity to better inform students, parents, teachers, and policymakers about the changing relationship between education and careers.

Aaron Burciaga

Brett Fraser

Brett is the Vice President of Business Development for Artificial Intelligence at NCI Inc., where he applies his expertise to expand the firm’s artificial intelligence offering and strengthens the AI presence within the technology industry and among his commercial, defense and federal government clients. Brett develops and drives technology market strategy, coordinates the day-to-day activities of the AI service offering, and collaborates across the firm to make it easier for clients to experience the benefit of AI solutions. ​

Prior to joining NCI, Brett was the director of automation for Booz Allen Hamilton where he launched their RPA service into the federal market. He successfully developed automation programs for the National Science Foundation and the Veterans Administration and managed pilot efforts for the FDA, Navy and Immigration Service. Before spearheading the automation program at Booz Allen, Brett was the director of sales engineering for the federal program at IPsoft, where he launched several Department of Defense and federal pilots focused on Amelia, the artificial intelligence virtual agent. He also spent three and a half years as the global head of automation, also at IPsoft, where he refined and expanded the automation business and developed automation centers of excellence to allow large enterprise clients like IBM, AT&T, Bank of America, and Cisco to develop their own successful robotic process automation (RPA) programs. ​

While global head of video services at Cisco Systems, Brett pioneered the use of IT RPA to fully automate more than 90 percent of Cisco’s internal IT processes. His dynamic leadership and strong experience with automation, cognitive technology, and AI advances the mission of clients and enhances our nation’s technology capabilities through innovation. ​

Brett is a contributing member to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence and an esteemed panel member for Technited We Stand.

Aaron Burciaga

Andrew Musselman

Andrew is Chief Analytics Officer for Analytics2Go, building apps ranging from customer experience to industrial and operational areas. He is Chair of the Apache Mahout machine learning library and co-host of the Adversarial Learning podcast. His work history includes consulting, Data Engineering, Apache Software Foundation, Lucidworks and Accenture.

Cindy Gurne

Mary Abbajay

Mary Abbajay,President of Careerstone Group, LLC and author of Managing Up. A must read for surviving and moving up in organizations.

Mary currently serves on the Market President’s Board of BB&T Bank and is past Chairman of the Board for Leadership Greater Washington where she also chaired and led the adult Signature program, the Youth Leadership Program and the Rising Leaders Program. She was a volunteer mentor for Mentor’s Inc., an urban youth mentoring program and served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre and was president of the Adams Morgan Business Association.

Mary earned a master’s degree in organizational management from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. and a degree in Organizational development from Georgetown University’s Organizational Development Program and the Coaches Training Institute. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Kenyon College.

In 2010, Mary was named as one of Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and was a Smart CEO Brava Award Recipient in 2017.

Cindy Gurne

Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is an American film producer, best selling and Award winning Author and international speaker. She is co-producer of the 4 time EMMY Award winning documentary, "A New Leash on Life: The K9s for Warriors Story". The film is currently available on Amazon Prime and will be shown on PBS stations nationwide in 2019!

Karen was born in Washington DC and attended the D.C. public schools. She is one of 8 siblings. Her mom only reached an 8th grade education and spent her life as a short order cook. Her father was a truck driver.

Dr. Hardy has spent her 30 year career in both the private and public sectors where she served in multiple capacities including Senior Advisor at the White House Office of Management and Budget and also spent time in retail banking. Her expertise spans organizational leadership, policy, and risk management but she is known for being a creative strategist, risk taker, and Opportunity Thinker.

Karen has written for books including the Amazon bestseller, "Mastering the Art of Success" which she co-authored with Jack Canfield (co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul). She is a member of the National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences, the International Filmmakers Academy, and the National Academy of Bestselling Authors.

She received her Doctor of Education degree in Leadership & Human Resource Development from Nova Southeastern Univ and is a graduate of Hampton University.

Cindy Gurne

Maria Trujillo

Maria has more than 25 years solving problems at the intersection of knowledge, technology and education. Her main areas of expertise include systems analysis, capacity development, knowledge management, project management, information audits, and curriculum development. And, she knows a thing or two about AI, ML and how it’s applied nationally and globally.

Faculty Director and Associate Professor of the Practice of the Technology Management and Systems Engineering Management Master's Programs in the School of Continuing Studies in Georgetown University. And she has taught courses in managing organizations such as “Global Innovation: The Silicon Valley Effect".

Dr. Trujillo designed a Jumpstart Funding initiative for a set of tripartite groupings of 12 global partners called the “Innovation Pods” and a P2PX – Peer to Peer eXchange Program in my role as Deputy Director of Capacity Development in the GMS project (a consortium of 29 partners) with a budget of approximately $4 million US/year funded by USAID. I also had oversight of the integrity of the GMS Consultant and Training Management Applications hosting 400+ active consultants.

Nicknamed the ‘Internet Girl’ for being the only woman among a group of men that connected Colombia to the internet in 1995, she also created the first Linux Center in the country, and the largest installation of Sun workstations in Latin America at the time. The network servers were managed by a group of 60 student administrators. It was awarded the Scientific Merit Award in 1996 by the Junior Chamber International.

Charles Britt

Payman Taei

I'm an avid technologist. I love new trends and try to keep up with the ever-evolving internet. My background in Biology has led me to truly believe in the art of evolution. Everything changes in time. You either follow or create new trends or will be left behind.

I Started HindSite Interactive with a mere $170 to pay my way through College and over last 16 years my team and I have worked with over 300 companies large and small from all walks of life.

Frustrated with the lack easy-to-use tools to empower non-designers to speak visually, I went on to create Visme, the "Swiss Knife of Visual Content" bootstrapped to profitability within 18 months of launch and now used by over 1.8 million businesses, non-profits and individuals from over 100 countries including NASA, IBM, Manpower, and NBCUniversal helping to improve the way ideas are visualized into engaging Presentations, Infographics and other forms of visual content

Cindy Gurne

Elena Meyers

The daughter of a professional football player, Elana was born in Oceanside, California, but grew up in Douglasville, Georgia. A naturally gifted athlete across many sports, she was drawn to softball and by 9 years old she declared her intention to become an Olympian. She attended George Washington University on a softball scholarship and went on to play professionally for the Mid-Michigan Ice.

After what she calls, ‘the worst tryout ever in the history of tryouts’ for the US Olympic Softball Team it appeared her Olympic dreams were over. It was actually her parents who saw bobsled on TV and suggested she give it a try. That turned out to be great advice.

In the summer of 2007 she made the trip to Lake Placid, NY, home of the US National Bobsled Team. She never left. Elana turned out to be an incredibly powerful brakeman and less than three years later she stood on the podium in Vancouver as an Olympic Bronze Medalist.

Post Vancouver, Elana decided to take the wheel, or in the case of bobsled, the ‘D-rings’, and transition to the role of driver. That too turned out to be a great decision. Not long thereafter she became a regular on medals’ podiums around the world, and eventually drove herself all the way back to the Olympic podium in 2014, this time in Sochi, Russia, and this time for silver.

Later in 2014, she became Elana Meyers Taylor, marrying fellow bobsled athlete Nic Taylor in April of that year. Nic now competes on the US Skeleton Team.

In 2015, Elana made history, becoming the first woman to earn a spot on the US National Team competing with the men, as a 4-man bobsled pilot (a feat that her husband helped her accomplish as the brakeman on her team). She went on to become the first woman to win a medal in international competition in a men’s event. That same year she won the 2015 World Championships in the 2-woman event, the first woman in US history to do so. That season she won 6 of 8 World Cup races and became the Overall World Cup Champion.

Despite missing most of the 2015-16 season due to a concussion injury, Elana won the final two World Cup races of the season and a bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships. She also represented the U.S. in the first ever women’s 4-man World Championship exhibition race.

In 2018, at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Elana battled back and forth with Team Germany over the four heat Olympic competition missing the gold medal by just .07. Elana intends to return to the Olympic Games in 2022 and once again fight for gold.

Cindy Gurne

Aaron Burciaga

Aaron Burciaga is a renowned data scientist and leader in commercial and defense business, focusing on the application of descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive forms of analysis to drive strategic decision making and millions of dollars in cost savings for his clients. In his more than 15 years of experience, Aaron has shaped commercial, federal, and Department of Defense strategies in automation, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, quantum computing, and much more. He leads innovation teams, thought leadership, and training at the crossroads of his technical interests: analytics, global logistics, and information management. Currently he is CTO of Analytics 2 Go.

Aaron is the CTO at Analytics2Go. Aaron's prior roles were Vice President Data Science and AI at Booz Allen, Global Analytics Platform Lead at Accenture, and Senior Research Scientist at Elder Research. Before turning his attention to commercial and public sectors, Aaron was a Marine Corps officer and Iraq war veteran, and was the head operations research analyst and director of an operations analysis activity at the Pentagon, supporting the Marine Corps Headquarters. He is currently a Marine Reservist, where he supports the Chief Information Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps-Pentagon as Lead Data Technologist.

Aaron graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2003 and earned his M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2010. He is also a Certified Analytics Professional.