Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Tapping into the Leadership Potential of your Engineers!

September 13, 2012

The HR SIG Presents…


Tapping into the Leadership Potential of your Engineers! from CommNexus on Vimeo.

There is an old adage that asks “What do you get  when you promote your best engineer to management?  Answer: You lose the best engineer and gain the mediocre manager.” So what to do with your best and brightest? How do you manage their career development and create succession planning to meet the needs of your organization?Please join the CommNexus HR sig and a panel of subject matter experts as they share their successful  ideas, strategies and best practices for developing high potential engineering talent. Contrary to the Dilbert Principle, the Peter Principle assumes that people are promoted because they are competent, but the tasks higher up require skills they don’t possess, so they fail.

Learn how a successful company has built multiple tracks for different stages of development of engineers to give them the training they need to succeed. We hope you can join us.  Please invite your engineering colleagues – they can be your best internal champions!


Melinda Del Toro
Director of Human Resources,
With a background in teaching, both in Academic and corporate environments, Melinda came to ViaSat in 2001 with the mission of building an Education & Development function. She helped develop a competency based leadership curriculum, a succession planning and people review process and ViaSat’s Leadership 360 instrument.  Today her role has broadened to include Education, Compensation, Benefits, Employee Relations, Immigration and HRIS. She leads a team of talented Human Resources professionals who get to practice “unconventional” HR in ViaSat’s dynamic engineering environment.

Simon Kuo
VP Quality,
Simon Kuo started as a Member of the Technical Staff at ViaSat fifteen years ago, and is now leading the quality organization at ViaSat by day, and oversees ViaSat’s Beijing office by night.  Throughout his tenure at ViaSat, he has participated in the ViaSat Leadership Institute, EPSE, and other professional development programs.  Prior to ViaSat, Simon has also been an engineer at RD Instruments, ARINC, PCSI, and TV/Com.  Simon is much more interesting when he is interacting (than making a speech), so make sure a lot of questions are asked.Roger Colbath
Director of Engineering,
Roger Colbath has over 30 years experience in the design, development, and management of communication products and programs, and nearly 20 years experience in the development and management of leaders. Leadership development is one of his favorite topics. He is a graduate of UCSD’s EPSE and AESE programs and teaches career progression for LAMP. Prior to his tenure at ViaSat, Roger held engineering and/or management positions at Torrey Science Corporation, ADC Wireless Systems, PCSI, General Instrument VideoCipher, and Loral TerraCom.


Loc Epsten

Locke Epsten is the Director of Corporate Education for UCSD Extension, Executive Programs.  She creates customized training programs for corporate clients in the areas of Leadership, Management, Engineering and Project Management.  Her clients include Viasat, General Atomics, Cubic, NASSCO, Sony, and  Mitchell as well as a host of San Diego’s smaller, but up-and-coming companies.  She originally came to UCSD to coordinate the CONNECT Most Innovative Product Awards, while working on her doctoral thesis in Strategic Management.  Prior to joining the university she served in senior marketing management positions in the financial services industry in LA.  At UCSD her training focus is on developing practical application of skills for effective results. She frequently uses the management skills she promotes – conflict resolution, negotiation, budgeting, and performance management on her two daughters.

SIG Co-Chairs:
Madonna Bentz, VP, Human Resources, Solekai Systems
Jean Center, President, Center Group Consulting, Fmr HR Director, Brooktree Corporation
Shannon Conway, Business Consultant, TriNet
D. Loc Epsten, Director, Corporate Education, UCSD
Reid Marquand, Account Executive, Barney & Barney
Brandon Willenberg, Associate, Mintz Levin
Suzanne Zoumaras, Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Entropic Communications

DATE:  September 13th, 2012

5:30PM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
6:00PM Program Begins
7:30PM Program Ends


9171 Towne Centre Dr., Suite 500
San Diego, CA 92122

**You may pay to park at Barney & Barney or FREE parking is available on the side streets and across the street at the UTC mall (at your own risk!)**

Pre-Registration: (Please pre-register by noon on 9/12/12)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door:
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

Students, Military & Press: FREE




Questions? Contact Brittany Bjerke at


September 13, 2012
Event Category: