Women's Leadership Panel Discussion + Mixer

Public group

Microsoft Playa Vista Office

13031 W. Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 200 · Los Angeles, ca

How to find us

From Jefferson Blvd, turn north on Alla Rd. and go to Gate 1 on the left side at the end of Alla Rd. Walk down Row D to find the courtyard between the buildings and Microsoft is on the left. Parking fee is $10.

Location image of event venue


Join us for a networking night and inspiring panel discussion on women's leadership. You'll hear from women leaders from the intersection of technology and journalism about collaborations between product and editorial, women's leadership journeys and more.

This event is a special collaboration with ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a yearlong program aimed at advancing women in digital journalism. This fourth annual mixer serves as a celebration of women's leadership and a welcome to LA for the cohort, speakers and mentors.

Refreshments will be available thanks to our host sponsor, Microsoft News.

Attendees must bring a photo ID. Parking costs $10.

All visitors must enter through Gate 1 on Alla Rd, behind the building. From Jefferson Blvd, turn north on Alla Rd. and drive to the end of the road. Gate 1 will be on the left. The parking lot has a 10-min grace period, so rideshares can enter at Gate 1 and drive down Row D to drop off. The building entrance is in the courtyard between the buildings on the left hand side. Parking fee is $10 with validation; please bring in your ticket when you arrive.

6:30: Doors open
7:7:50: Panel & Q&A
7:50-8:30: Networking

Vera Chan is Sr. Manager, Worldwide Journalist Relations at Microsoft News Labs. A UCB Journalism school graduate, Vera got her start covering lifestyle, A&E and business at local Bay Area newspapers. She joined Yahoo at a time when 1 out of 2 people who went on the Internet went to the search giant: There she served various roles including Front Page reporter, global projects editor and Web trends analyst, studying millions of search terms to track news interests and shifting information consumption patterns. At Microsoft, she was “chief journalist”/content strategist for the Bing News product & engineering team before moving on to Labs to work with journalists and newsrooms to find innovation solutions.

Laura Hertzfeld is an Emmy-winning producer, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience helping news organizations develop online content, engagement and distribution strategies. She leads the newly launched XR Partner Program at RYOT/Verizon Media Group, building next-generation projects with Yahoo News, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and more. Laura was a[masked] John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University where she researched the intersection of art, immersive storytelling, and journalism. She previously led Journalism 360, an immersive storytelling initiative from Google News Lab, Knight Foundation, and ONA.

Sona Patel is a Sr. Audience editor for The New York Times, based in Los Angeles. Prior to moving to L.A., she was based in The Times’s New York City headquarters for nearly 5 years, where she served as a deputy of the social media team. Her current role on The Times’s Audience team is at the intersection of editorial and analytics, and one of her primary goals is to grow The Times’s California audience. Prior to joining The Times, she worked for The Seattle Times as a social media producer where she was part of the team that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.

Microsoft News is a publishing platform that delivers high-quality news from the world’s most popular and trusted publishers, across web and mobile experiences for Microsoft and syndication partners. Our team of 800 editors reaches 500M readers across 180 countries in 31 languages. We’ve delivered $900M in revenue to partners and are on our way to a $1 billion in 2020.