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Thu, April 06, 2023 at 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM CT

Dream in STEAM

Dream in STEAM: Breakfast and Conversation
Thursday, April 6  
8:30 – 10:30 AM

Doors open at 8 AM
Optional networking: 10:30 – 11 AM  


South Congress Hotel  
1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 


We look forward to seeing you at Dream in STEAM on Thursday, April 6 at the South Congress Hotel. Doors will open at 8 AM and the event will begin at 8:30 AM. It is going to be an inspiring morning filled with insightful conversation, community building, and an exciting update from Thinkery. There will also be a photo booth and a hands-on project that you’ll complete at your tables! Be sure to tag Thinkery in any of your photos and use #DreamThinkery. 

If you have any questions prior to the event, please contact us at


For this year’s theme – women in STEAM – we will feature an all-star panel, moderated by Dr. Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, and feature three local thought leaders in the fields of education, STEM, and research: Dr. Annette Tielle, Karuna Annavajjala, and Iskra Lawrence.  

Event Details 

8:00 AM - Doors Open

8:30 AM - Event Program & Remarks
Brooke Turner, Thinkery
Andy Bell, Thinkery
Beth Deck, Netspend

9:15 AM – Panel Conversation moderated by Dr. Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez
Panelists: Dr. Anette TielleKaruna Annavajjala, and Iskra Lawrence

10:30 – 11 AM – Optional Networking

Food and Beverage

Breakfast, coffee, and tea will be provided. There will be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options available. Special thanks to our Breakfast Sponsor SNic Solutions.

Meet the Speakers


Beth Deck, Netspend

Beth Deck serves as Netspend's Executive Vice President of Finance and is responsible for all aspects of FP&A, accounting, finance analytics, and risk and fraud management. Prior to joining Netspend in 2008, Beth provided a wide range of accounting services to clients at Tatum and within the Audit practice of KPMG in Austin. Beth received her BBA in Accounting and her Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a licensed CPA in Texas. She is passionate about enabling people to improve their financial lives via education at all ages, and about supporting women in their careers. Beth serves as a board member of PayTech Women, a professional organization for women in payments and fintech, and has been a supporter of Thinkery for almost ten years. Beth lives in Austin with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. 

Photo of Dr. Annette Tielle




Dr. Annette Tielle, Del Valle ISD 
Dr. Annette Tielle is the Superintendent of Del Valle ISD near Austin, TX.  With 30 years of experience, she was formerly the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum in Comal ISD and Pflugerville ISD, respectively.  She is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and received her Masters degree at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She continued her education to pursue a doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in the Cooperative Superintendency Program.  

As a former reading specialist, she has a passion for literacy for all students. Her expertise lies in curriculum; however, she ensures all departmental areas are aligned to put ALL students first.  She has created a culture of support and collective efficacy while maintaining the core belief that all students will succeed and Dr. Tielle believes that it is her responsibility to model and cultivate this belief system.


Karuna Annavajjala, Silicon Labs
Karuna Annavajjala serves as Chief Information Officer for Silicon Labs, where she oversees IT and Security for the company’s global business operations including strategic planning, infrastructure services, business application platforms, cybersecurity and data privacy, and IT service delivery. Prior to joining Silicon Labs, Karuna served as CIO of Corporate Functions at AIG and as the executive director of technology delivery at TIAA. Karuna holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in computer science from West Virginia University, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Osmania University. In addition, she completed an executive leadership certificate at Cornell University, S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management. Karuna is passionate about STEM education for girls, is an advocate for women in technology, and is actively involved in various local and international nonprofit causes including Thinkery where she serves on the board of directors. 


Iskra Lawrence, Saltair 
Iskra is the founder of Saltair and Self Funding. She's dedicated her career to empowering women. Her candid discussions online and TEDx talk disrupt societal norms and inspire millions, landing her places on Forbes 30 Under 30, and BBC World’s 100 Most Influential Women.


Dr. Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, UT Austin
Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Austin School of Information. Dr. Bradshaw de Hernandez's research interests include the intersection of science and technological innovations, risk perceptions, and job security in building a transformational U.S. workforce focused on economic competitiveness, national security, and vulnerable populations. A key element of this ecosystem is public higher education and its intersection with funding and its combined roles in addressing large-scale cultural and social challenges. Dr. Bradshaw de Hernandez translates her research into her work as Executive Director of Foundation Relations at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Bradshaw was selected as a Public Interest Technology University Network Social Justice Informatics Faculty Fellow in 2021 and serves on the Texas Mindset Behavioral Institute and is a board member of the Advancement Leadership Lab. 


Special thanks to our Dream in STEAM Sponsors! 
Updated as of 3/7/2023

Founding Sponsor 

Netspend Logo

District Sponsor 

HEB Logo


Breakfast Sponsor 

SNic Solutions Logo


Can't join the event? You can still support this cause…


Thinkery Alicia Van Rensburg 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin TX 78723 5124696200