Keynote Speakers

Nicole Malachowski

Keynote Speaker

Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) wanted to fly military jets from the moment she saw them at her first air show at five years old. She achieved that goal – and then some. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, an instructor, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. When Nicole’s distinguished military career was cut short by a neurological tick-borne illness that, at its worst, left her unable to walk safely or speak intelligibly, she overcame those challenges, as well.

While other high school students were practicing for their driver’s licenses, Nicole was accumulating flight time – she was sixteen years old when she took her first solo flight. Over her 21- year career, Nicole achieved the rating of Command Pilot with over 2,300 flight hours in six different Air Force aircraft. She was also selected to fly as Thunderbird #3 with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron – the first woman to fly on any Department of Defense military jet demonstration team. Colonel Malachowski has served as a mission ready fighter pilot in three operational F-15E fighter squadrons and has flown over 188 combat hours, including her proudest moment as a fighter pilot: leading the first fighter formation to provide security for Iraq’s historic democratic elections in 2005.

Nicole was a White House Fellow, class of 2008-2009, where she served on the Presidential Transition Support Team. She served two high-level staff assignments at the Pentagon and also served as the Executive Director of the White House’s national ‘Joining Forces’ initiative.

As Nicole continues to recover from her neurological tick-borne illness, she embraces any opportunity to educate others about her medical journey and gains energy from educating others about this growing epidemic. She is on the Board of Directors at the LivLyme Foundation and is a Patient Advisory Board Member of The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness.

Eric Thurston

Welcome Address

Eric Thurston has enabled many of the world’s leading organizations to leverage technology solutions to drive business performance. At Personify, he led the company through a founder transition, a major product rewrite and has transformed the organization into the market leader of constituent management and engagement solutions. In 2018, he led Personify’s acquisition of events software provider a2z, the company’s third acquisition under Eric’s guidance, and successfully positioned Personify to be sold from its private equity sponsor Rubicon Technology Partners to Pamlico Capital. Eric is committed to creating a suite of complementary best-in-breed solutions that help Personify’s clients achieve their missions. He has a wealth of experience in the software industry, serving in leadership roles at Mitratech, P2 Energy Solutions, Oracle and SAP. Eric lives in Austin and enjoys boating, hiking and fishing with his family.

Dave Cooper

Product Keynote

Dave Cooper brings more than 25 years of software leadership experience to his role as Chief Technology Officer where he is instrumental in leading Personify’s technology strategy and solutions development efforts. Previously, Dave helped drive the successful growth and acquisition of two market-leading cloud-based software platforms —FuelQuest and ZyTax. He has also held chief technology positions at Rockwell Software, Ten Fold Corporation, Echopass and LogicBay.

Award Program Speakers

Sarah Schmall

Sarah Schmall brings more than 15 years of experience helping customers implement and manage enterprise software systems. Prior to joining Personify, Sarah worked for SumTotal Systems, a software company that provides human resource management software and services to private and public sector organizations. Sarah lives with her family in the Chicagoland area where they enjoy participating in the various cultural opportunities the city of Chicago offers.

Shiv Narayanan

Shiv is the Vice President of Growth of Wild Apricot at Personify. He is an expert in building large-scale, self-serve, inbound and digital acquisition engines, where customer success and education are at the heart of marketing. Prior to Personify, Shiv served as the CMO of Wild Apricot and helped position the company as a thought leader for member and donor-centric organizations, growing Wild Apricot to more than 20,000 customers without a sales team before its acquisition by Personify in October 2017. Shiv also runs a podcast called How To SaaS focused on growing cloud software companies and has been a Strategic Advisor to several other SaaS founders, CEOs and growth leaders on how to leverage digital, inbound and content marketing in their demand generation activities. Shiv holds an iBBA degree from The Schulich School of Business at York University.


Teresa Zimmerman

Teresa Zimmerman serves as the Vice President of Marketing at Personify. She leads Personify’s global marketing organization and is responsible for driving market leadership, global awareness, demand generation, strategic events and product go-to-market plans. Teresa has a rich history of success driving excellence at enterprise SaaS companies, having spent time at Lithium, Vyopta and Fuze where she oversaw North American marketing programs, including field and solutions marketing, demand creation, advertising and events. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Mass Communication and Psychology from the University of South Dakota and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Nebraska. Beyond the office, Teresa serves on the board of directors for BookSpring, a nonprofit supporting childhood literacy and resides with her family in Austin, Texas.

Jim FitzGibbons

Jim FitzGibbons is a senior financial executive with significant experience in the software and services industries. He has over 20 years of increasing responsibility in public and private industry with proven leadership and technical skills. Jim possesses strong technical expertise related to GAAP and SEC filings as well as experience working with external auditors and regulators. His background also includes mergers and acquisitions, ERP implementation and Sarbanes Oxley. Jim is also a Certified Public Accountant.