Amy Bergen Headshot

September 2019 Speaker


Amy has dedicated the last decade of her career to supporting women leaders. As Vice President of Business Development for The Leadership Edge, Amy expertly connects scientific leaders to the skill building and professional development necessary to accelerate their careers. With three decades of experience empowering over 6,000 leaders from the bench to the boardroom, The Leadership Edge has proven to be an invaluable resource to the life science community. Amy has been instrumental in creating a new program, Leadership EDGE for Women, which was designed to create a more robust pipeline of female leaders within the industry and support gender diversity at the executive and board levels.

Before joining The Leadership Edge, Amy served as the Executive Director of Athena San Diego, where she led the organization’s successful transition from UCSD to an independent nonprofit organization. During her tenure there, she connected over 500 women leaders to rich to diverse programming, mentoring and networking. Through wide-ranging relationships and partnerships, she recruited over 300 executives to lead voluntary, yet critical, roles for the organization including the Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, mentors, facilitators, and speakers. Each of these opportunities provided valuable leadership development for aspiring and established female leaders.

Amy was also a key driver of initiating a new one-on-one mentoring program, a unique offering designed to foster meaningful connections and valuable career advancement. Amy is passionate about Life Sciences and lifting up her peers to reach new heights. She excels at creating networks and fostering mutually beneficial relationships. Amy believes everyone can achieve their potential and finds ways to mentor, encourage and believe in those around her.

Tiffany Van Soest

May 2019 Speaker


Tiffany ‘TimeBomb’ van Soest is a 5x Muay Thai World Champion and 2x GLORY Kickboxing World Champion. She is an inspiring example of the power of resiliency and persistence.  Her mission is to use her platform to share the message of how everyone can continue to push and work for their dreams every day of their professional, as well as personal lives.

As a speaker, Tiffany authentically weaves relatable, raw personal experiences with sound fundamentals in mental fortitude, personal confidence, and goal tenacity from a unique perspective that will resonate and inspire.

As a young woman in a male dominated field, Tiffany’s workplace is extreme yet the themes and life lessons surprisingly transcend from the ring to the boardroom and remind us that, at our core, we all have ambitions, challenges, and opponents, no matter the profession. A free-thinker, artist, influencer and all-around fierce female, Tiffany deeply connects with audiences to show us that, when we fully channel our inner fighter, we can harness tremendous will power and bring forward the skills to achieve.

Samar Rashid

October 2018 Speaker


Samar Rashid is a family medicine physician and health coach whose passion for medicine coincides with her love for nutrition and wellness, translating into an earnest desire to find the health before the disease. Whether she’s trying out a new recipe, powering through a challenging workout, or immersing herself in self-reflection at a yoga retreat, she wholeheartedly believes in the benefits of holistic living.

After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Psychology and Global Health, Samar moved to New York City to work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While working at Sloan, she realized how important nutrition and healthy life choices are to the healing process. She became certified as a health coach and moved back to Texas for medical school at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Training in osteopathic medicine was the perfect setting to nurture her interests in integrative nutrition, culinary medicine, and mind-body healing.


May 2018 Speaker


Dawn Barry is the president and co-founder of Luna DNA, the first and only genomic and medical research database owned by its community of data donors. As President, Dawn communicates and implements the company’s vision, mission, and overall direction.
Dawn is an esteemed thought leader and veteran of the genomics industry. Prior to Luna DNA, Dawn served as the vice president of Applied Genomics at Illumina, Inc. Dawn integrated market development strategies with product and business model innovation to accelerate the application of genomics in medicine and personal healthcare. Dawn joined Illumina in 2005 as their first market development specialist and held leadership roles in business units, sales, and marketing for the company. 

Prior to Illumina, Dawn spent seven years at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, one of the first genomics startups focused on individualized medicine and DNA-based diagnostic testing, with the primary responsibility of promoting clinical genetics testing services for pharmaceutical clinical trials.

Dawn was named San Diego Business Journal’s 2017 Business Woman of the Year and was a speaker at TEDxSanDiego 2016. She holds a BS in biology from the University of Vermont and a MBA from the University of Connecticut School of Business.