Current Forum

Leadership Through the Decades: How Our Past Influences Our Future

REGISTRATION for this year’s Shelton Forum is NOW available. On-line registration will close end of day, Wednesday, November 7. On-site registration will be available day of event.

The 17th Annual Shelton Leadership Forum hosted by NC State Foundation is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2018 at the McKimmon Conference Center at NC State University. After October 31, the registration fee will be $189.

Registration Details:

Beginning November 8, on-line registration will no longer be available for the event. We will have on-site registration available for anyone day of the event. Please go to the SPECIAL GUESTS Registration area to register day of the event.

Individuals NOT associated with NC State University: Please go to REGISTRATION LINK. You will be directed to a new page REPORTER. If you do not have an account, please click the link, “No Account? Sign Up Here” if you are not associated with NC State University. It will ask you for an email address and to create a password. Once you have completed this step, you will see 2018 Shelton Forum Registration. Please click the link to add it to your cart. There will be several questions to complete prior to your payment option to complete the registration.

Individuals associated with NC State University: Please go to REGISTRATION LINK. You will be directed to a new page REPORTER. Please log in with your Unity ID and Password. Once you have completed this step, you will see 2018 Shelton Forum Registration. Please click the link to add it to your cart. There will be several questions to complete prior to your payment option to complete the registration.


Friday, November 9, 2018

7:45-8:30 a.m. Registration and Check-in

8:30-9:30 a.m Keynote: “ Vuja De: A Futurist Take a Backwards Stroll into Your World of Tomorrow”

Speaker: Jack Uldrich, Global Futurist & Best-selling Author of Higher Unlearning

Winston Churchill once said, “The farther back one can look, the farther ahead one can see.” He was right. And what better time for any organization to look into the future than when celebrating 25, 50 or 100 years of success?

Global futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich has the unique ability to use yesterday’s history lessons as a prism for helping his clients and his audiences understand how the world of tomorrow will be transformed. He has created dozens of customized keynote presentations for centennial celebrations as well as diamond, golden and silver anniversaries. From organizations as diverse as the Casualty Actuarial Society and Stiles Machinery to the Cleveland Community College and the International Card Manufacturers Association, Jack always leaves his audiences proud of their rich tradition and past accomplishments but poised to confidently create their new future. Find out how he can do the same for your organization or company.

9:45-10:30 a.m. Panel: Women’s Leadership: Impacts of the Glass Ceiling Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


  • Jean Davis, MCNC, President & CEO
  • Deana A. Labriola, Ward and Smith, P.A., Geographic Team Leader
  • Sepi Saidi, SEPI, President & CEO
  • Janet Ramey, CISCO, Senior Vice President, Employee Services

During this session, each panel member will share key leadership competencies that have led the way for their success. Our panel experts will share philosophy and strategies for the audience to consider and apply in their own organizations. After the brief presentations, Barbara Mulkey will facilitate a question and answer dialog between the panel and audience.

10:45-11:45 a.m. Keynote: “Leadership Success: How AI and Quantum Computing is Changing the Way Leaders Will Lead in the Future”

Speaker: Dr. Dario Gil, COO, IBM Research and VP, AI and Quantum

Dr. Gil will share a historical perspective of the digital age to where we are society is headed in the future and explain the significant impacts of AI and Quantum for organizations in the future.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Luncheon

1:15-2:15 p.m. Keynote: “The Business of Innovation While Building Digital Relationships”

Speaker: Terry Jones, Founder and Former CEO of Travelocity & Former Chairman of
Terry Jones explores the fundamentals of innovation: how to generate great ideas, how to “fail fast,” how to kill projects without killing people, how to experiment and “do more with less,” and how digital age has and will be necessary in order for companies to thrive in the future.
Questions addressing digital relationships discussed during this presentation will have the audience thinking about how do your customers contact you today? In the store, by phone, through your website, in a tweet, on Facebook? While face-to-face contact is still relevant, businesses that lack an effective online relationship strategy are being left behind. Terry educates audiences on all phases of the digital conversation from search to social media, using examples drawn from his extensive experience in the online world.
With real-world examples from his experience at, on the boards of seven startups, and his extensive consulting work, he provides your audience step-by-step plans to envision the future.
2:15 p.m. Adjourn



The speakers for the November 2018 Forum include:

Jean Davis
MCNC President & Chief Executive Officer

Jean Davis is president and CEO of MCNC, the technology nonprofit that builds, owns, and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). This 2,600 miles of high speed fiber runs through 82 North Carolina counties and serves community anchor institutions in all 100 counties. Her love for technology and passion for economic development helps ensure MCNC provides the highest level of broadband connectivity and network services for North Carolina’s research, education, non-profit health care, and other community institutions.

Jean’s areas of expertise include global operations management, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and technology-led economic development. She joined MCNC from the N.C. Department of Commerce where served as COO and Executive Director of Business, Industry and Trade, directing efforts toward the creation and retention of high-quality jobs by attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones all over the state. Prior to joining Commerce, Jean was a partner at Empire Properties, the co-owner of Serentec, Inc., and held progressive international positions at IBM, Computer Digest Magazine and McGraw Hill. Jean spent eight years living and working in Europe and has extensive experience in building business operations in Asia, Europe and South America.

Jean is a 2005 Eisenhower Fellow and 2009 Henry Toll Fellow. She received her undergraduate honors degree in Political Science and Business Administration at New England College in Arundel, England and her Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.

Dr. Dario Gil

Vice President of AI and IBM Q

Dr. Gil is a leading technologist and senior executive at IBM. As Vice President of AI and IBM Q, Dr. Gil is responsible for IBM’s artificial intelligence research efforts and for IBM’s commercial quantum computing program (IBM Q). Prior to his current position Dr. Gil was the VP of Science and Solutions, directing a global organization of 1,500 researchers across 12 laboratories with a broad portfolio of activities spanning the physical sciences, the mathematical sciences, and industry solutions based on AI, IoT, Blockchain and Quantum technologies. His research results have appeared in over 20 international journals and conferences and he is the author of numerous patents. Dr. Gil is an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.


Terry Jones
Founder and Former CEO of Travelocity & Former Chairman of

Booking travel was made easy, accessible and self-reliant when Terry Jones disrupted the business of travel booking and founded, the first website that allowed consumers to reserve, book, and purchase travel online without going to a travel agency.

With more than four decades in the travel industry, Jones began his career as a travel agent prior to joining American Airlines as Director of Product Development in 1978. He then served as Chief Information Officer and President of Computer Services at the airline’s digital reservations system, Sabre, Inc., and led product development, programming, and operations. In 1996, during his 24-year tenure, Jones created the revolutionary website, and led the company as President and CEO until 2002. He served as the Chairman of from inception until it was sold to Priceline for $1.8 billion, and is currently Executive Chairman of Wayblazer, a travel company based on IBM’s Watson technology and Managing Principal of ON, Inc. a consultancy to help companies transition to the digital economy.

The author of ON Innovation, Jones outlines simple, yet powerful ideas for fostering innovation in organizations of all types and sizes and the power of search and creativity in the digital age.

With extensive expertise on the rapidly changing digital world and utilizing technology as a competitive advantage, Jones provides audiences with eye-opening insight on the advantages of being a disruptor and the business of innovation, including leadership in a wired world, the importance of building digital relationships, and the “third channel” – the idea that the internet can create the most personal customer relationship.


Deana Labriola
Geographic Team Leader for the Triangle, Ward and Smith, P.A.

Business attorney Deana Labriola is a Geographic Team Leader for the Triangle for the North Carolina law firm Ward and Smith, P.A. In that role, Deana leads the Triangle-based attorneys to enact the firm’s strategic plan, and is involved with decisions regarding diversity, firm culture, technology, recruiting, and business development. Outside of her corporate law practice, Deana is passionately involved in several community organizations, including YMCA of the Triangle, Durham’s Housing for New Hope, and the American Heart Association’s Triangle Go Red for Women campaign.

Recently, Deana has served as a mentor at the Triangle Business Journal’s annual Mentoring Monday event, which matches female mentors and mentees for short and dynamic conversations. She has presented on succession planning in businesses with an all-female panel at the 2018 Triangle chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and led a panel of women discussing the state of women and gender equality in manufacturing at the statewide NC Manufacturing Conference (MFGCon). She leads several internal initiatives on diversity, including partnering with other Triangle organizational leaders to provide opportunities for teams of women to connect, network and do business with one another.


Janet Ramey
Senior Vice President, Employee Services, CISCO

Janet Ramey is Senior Vice President of Employee Services at Cisco. In this role, Janet is responsible for global delivery of foundational employee services such as workplace resources, payroll, stock, and benefits. The mission of the organization is to lift both employee productivity and experience to differentiate Cisco as an employer of choice and great place to work.

Janet has over 20 years’ experience in networking and the IT industry. She joined Cisco in 1998 and has led global teams including Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China Technical Services, Strategic Global Operations & Serviceability, Emerging Markets Technical Services, and the web team. Throughout her career, Janet has played a key role in enhancing strategic planning processes, leading key initiatives, developing strategies to successfully scale delivery operations and is a strong advocate for talent development.

Janet has a passion for giving back to the community and has served on the American Red Cross, North Carolina New Schools and the Moxie Exchange Boards. She also previously served as colead for Connected Women of North Carolina.

Janet holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University of Winston-Salem, NC, a Masters of Arts from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, and a Computer Science certificate from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Janet lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughter.


Sepi Saidi

Sepi Engineering & Consultation

Sepi Saidi is a visionary leader who founded SEPI Engineering & Construction in 2001 and has led the company to become a premier full service civil, environmental planning, and construction management engineering firm in the Southeast. The firm’s awards include Fast 50 firm by Triangle Business Journal, Zweig White Hot Firm List, Inc. 5000, and being ranked as a Top 500 Design Firm on the Engineering News-Record’s 2017 list.

Incorporating the firm’s core values, SEPI is dedicated to providing a unique work space and environment for its employees to plan, design, build, and give back to the communities in which we serve. With a dedicated passion to support organizations that align with the health, safety, and well-being of the families in our communities, Ms. Saidi and the firm are proud to be champions of community service.

A Professional Engineer and alumna of North Carolina State University, with degrees in Civil and Agricultural Engineering, Ms. Saidi has been named by the Triangle Business Journal as a Top 20 CEO of the Year, was recently selected as a Charlotte Business Journal 2018 Women in Business Achievement Award winner, and has been inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame.


Jack Uldrich

Global Futurist and Best-selling Author of “Higher Unlearning”

Jack Uldrich reveals how future trends and paradigm-shifters will change business, and how “learning to unlearn” can help organizations prepare for unpredictability and success tomorrow.

A noted global futurist and independent scholar, Jack knows how to read the future landscape to help audiences set goals and position themselves to take advantage of emerging trends and developments – including blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence, the impact of the rise of autonomous vehicles and more.

The founder and ”chief unlearning officer” of The School of Unlearning, an international leadership, change management, and technology consultancy, he has distilled his visionary thinking and iconoclastic insights into several popular books, including “The Next Big Thing is Really Small,” “Jump the Curve,” and “Higher Unlearning.” His latest is “Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow.”

As the go-to authority for helping businesses adapt to the rapid pace of transformation, Jack shares his invaluable perspective coupled with game-changing takeaways about future trends, innovation, change management, and emerging technologies. His eye-opening presentations help audiences harness the opportunity inherent in the future, gain the competitive advantage, pave the way for innovation, and turn the unexpected into organization-wide assets.