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Signature Workshop Event

Session Overview: 

In recent years, the evolution of technology has caused businesses to shift dramatically. We’ve seen this shift in desired skills, jobs, and the way we work. Every industry and organization have been impacted, and whether you’re supporting a team of 10 or 10,000 as HR leaders you have a responsibility to explore and determine how best to manage these shifts. At IBM HR led the way serving as “client zero,” and harnessing technology to put the employee experience first. 

Join us to hear about IBM’s transformation story, gain knowledge on AI and explore use cases for how HR organizations are leveraging these technologies around the world.

Our Speakers:

Samantha Smitte
Samantha Smitte is an accomplished Data and AI leader with a distinguished career at IBM, currently working with communities and clients to demystify AI and consider how they can harness the power of these technologies. Her passion for both AI and people has led her to focus on their intersection and uncover ways to leverage AI for empowerment and good. Prior to her current role, as the Chief of Staff in Corporate Marketing, she played a pivotal role in supporting IBM’s internal journey emphasizing team culture, enablement, and engagement. Armed with an MBA from Rutgers Business School and certifications in Data and AI Strategy, Human Resource Management, and Marketing Samantha is an AI evangelist committed to supporting and elevating others on their business transformation journeys.

Alison Hickey
Alison Hickey is a Data and AI Leader supporting IBM’s clients in the Northeast. Since joining IBM in 2017, she has supported clients across industries with the guidance, tools, and resources to leverage AI technology to transform their businesses. From understanding the art of the possible, to empowering employees to focus on high value tasks and embrace change, she is passionate about helping organizations to begin their journey to increased productivity and efficiency with AI, and most recently, Generative AI. She comes with an understanding of business with a degree in Supply Chain and Retail Management from Syracuse University and an understanding of technology through her various successful client engagements at IBM.

Jessica Rockwood
Jessica Rockwood is the Vice President of Client Engineering, Americas. In her role, Jessica leads technical pre-sales teams across the Americas on a mission to jointly innovate and rapidly prove solutions to our client business opportunities leveraging hybrid cloud and AI. Client Engineering for watsonx has built deep skill in generative AI to deliver watsonx pilots for both AI products and the AI and data platform, watsonx. In pre-sales engagement, Client Engineering brings a multi-disciplinary team that leads with enterprise design thinking, business value assessment and technical expertise across IBM’s software and infrastructure portfolio to identify the best solution for a client’s business problem.

Prior to this role, Jessica held multiple leadership roles in IBM Software, the more recent being VP, Development & Support, AIOps & Hybrid Cloud Management. In that role, Jessica was responsible for building the strategic roadmap for AIOps and Hybrid Cloud Management, delivering new offerings such as Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps and enhancing existing offerings, to help clients optimize, transform, and automate their IT and network operations.

Prior to that, Jessica was Director of IBM Db2, leading a worldwide team of more than 350 people responsible for development and support of the product. During her tenure with Db2, the team embraced agile methodology and transformed to a continuous delivery model to allow frequent updates of features to clients while maintaining a high level of quality. IBM Db2 evolved with new features to enable clients to bring AI applications closer to the data that matters most.

Jessica has a passion for building talent in the organization and continues to stay deeply engaged in mentoring and activities to educate, enhance, and provide a positive on-boarding experience to new hires. Jessica also volunteers her time for various Women in Technology, diversity and inclusion, and STEM initiatives.


  • 8:30am – 9:00am: Registration & Networking
  • 9:00am – 10:30am: Session Part I
  • 10:30am – 10:50am: Break
  • 10:50am – 12:20pm: Session Part II
  • 12:20pm – 12:30pm: Closing