SuperWomen of FMS Leadership Award

SuperWomen of FMS

SuperWomen of FMS was created to promote and celebrate the success of women in the industry with the goal of encouraging more women to enter and succeed in our marketplace. The SuperWomen in Flash Leadership award recognizes women who have shown outstanding leadership in the growth, development and use of flash memory and associated technologies and systems.

We look for those who have:

  • Created and/or promoted an important flash technology or system (or a technology that flash superseded)
  • Created and/or promoted a significant new market category or offering with measurable impact on the industry
  • Shown leadership of a company, division, or business effort.

2024 Nominations

To submit a nomination please fill out the nomination form. Email Camberley Bates at [email protected] with any questions.

Prior Winners

2023 SuperWomen in Flash Leadership Award Winner

Amy Fowler, Vice President and General Manager of FlashBlade, Pure Storage

Amy Fowler, Vice President and General Manager of FlashBlade, Pure Storage

Over the past 20 years, Fowler has empowered women in IT by showing them the impact that they can have; she also regularly provides the women on her team with organizational visibility and opportunities to drive initiatives. In addition, Fowler leads the Women@Pure North America Chapter.

At Pure Storage Amy Fowler created the operational design of the FlashBlade business unit and built the organizational structure, strategy and product marketing surrounding this business unit. Her drive and passion have allowed Pure's customers boost their Formula 1 race strategy, accelerate DNA sequencing, and power key environmental research.

Prior to assuming the role of GM, Amy was the VP of Strategy and Solutions for the FlashBlade division. Amy's contributions also include leadership in empowering women both at Pure Storage and the technology industry at large. Including leading the Women@Pure North America Chapter.

FlashBlade is one of the industry's leading unified fast file and object platform, designed for all flash with a focus on modern workloads such as Analytics, Data Protection, Artificial Intelligence and High Performance Computing.

Prior to joining Pure Storage. Amy lead teams at EMC developing their North American Healthcare business for EMC. She's also served on the board of the American Cancer Society's Portland Chapter and as Board President.

2022 SuperWomen in Flash Leadership Award Winner

Dr. Yan Li, Vice President of Memory Technology, Western Digital

Dr. Yan Li, Vice President of Memory Technology, Western Digital

Dr. LI grew up in the cultural revolution of China. At the time, few went to college, but things were changing. Both of her parents were teachers, and the family was fortunate to live on the school compound which exposed her to classmates and their parent who were college professors. As a young woman, Yan was very good at math, and she went on to win a math competition in middle school. This opened doors to more education and, eventually, the University of Science and Technology of China where Yan studied solid state technology.

She came to the USA as a masters and doctoral student to study material science at Lehigh University. While most of her classmates went to Wall Street, she pursued technology and eventually joined Sandisk in 1998 when the company had only 300 employees. Ten years later she was Vice President, leading a global team of 200. Today, Yan holds more than 200 patents and is best known for her work in NAND, developing the first triple-layer-cell in 2008.

Before Flash could become accessible to a broad base of customers, it was critical to bring the cost of Flash down. Dr. Li contributed to the team who invented All-bit-line Architecture and Asynchronous Independent Plane Read technology - two key enablers of today's Flash industry and both critical building blocks that doubled the write performance and random reads to enable logical scaling, reducing the cost of Flash. This helped drive today's technologies and the industry we are here to celebrate.

Her work has touched the full range of the industry from enterprises and gaming to consumer and smart IOT.

2020 SuperWomen in Flash Leadership Award Winner

Barbara Murphy, Vice President, WekaIO

Barbara Murphy, Vice President, WekaIO

Barbara has led product and marketing for data management and storage organizations, pushing the edges of high-performance computing. Most recently she led marketing at WekaIO from stealth to establishing the firm as a key provider of file system software for flash storage for AI, fintech, life sciences and HPC.

As a young woman in Ireland she was an early stand-out, earning her bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland and then came to the USA to make her way in Silicon Valley. Barbara made an impact at 3ware as part of a team who pioneered Serial ATA in enterprise storage. After a successful acquisition by AMCC, she served as a Senior Vice President for its Storage Division. She led another high-performance computing firm, Panasas, as Chief Marketing Officer dealing with media and entertainment, life sciences and computer aided engineering industries, all now heavy users of Flash.

She has been honored for her work by the Irish Technology Leadership Group, a Silicon Valley 50 Honoree, Top Women in Storage and the YWCA Twin award, a tribute to women in the industry, and most recently, CRN's Women in the Channel 2020.

2019 SuperWomen in Flash Leadership Award Winner

Calline Sanchez, Vice President IBM Worldwide Systems Lab & Technical Universities Tucson Site Leader & New Mexico State Leader

Calline Sanchez, Vice President IBM Worldwide Systems Lab & Technical Universities Tucson Site Leader & New Mexico State Leader

Calline comes from an Arizona family where if you did not get a higher degree in science, you were not quite up to the level of your family peers. Even before she graduated from college, one of her first jobs was working at Sandia National Labs on US Department of Energy projects. She did keep up with her siblings and earned bachelor's degrees in business and technology, then a masters at the University of Arizona. Our industry is fortunate as after graduation, she joined IBM, first working on the Markov Chain Statistical tools and, eventually, the IBM Storage team, but not until she had traveled the world working on Innovation, Research and Educational projects as part of the IBM Fellow outreach.

Through her rise in leadership as VP of IBM Enterprise Systems Storage, she led the Enterprise Systems team, delivering the next generation FLASH optimized Enterprise Storage Systems, Data/Protection & Retention Offerings, and Software Defined Solutions. She oversaw the progression of these technologies to ensure they were fully integrated into IBM's strategy. Calline's duties spanned development, manufacturing, distribution, and sales. IBM led the market with the number one Mainframe attached storage solution, DS8880, which, at the time of her leadership, represented $700M in IBM storage revenue.

In addition to her Enterprise Storage leadership, Calline served the role as IBM's State of New Mexico and Southern Arizona Representative, is an active member with women's and Hispanic organizations such as WITI and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers which promotes STEM and diversity. She has received awards and recognition from Working Mothers, named 2018 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the year and AZ Business Magazine fifty most influential women.

2018 SuperWomen in Flash Leadership Award Winner

Amber Huffman, Intel Fellow

Amber Huffman, Intel Fellow

In the process of the Leadership Award selection, the SuperWomen in Flash committee was told Amber needed no introduction to the FMS audience but allowed SuperWomen in Flash to provide some background on her achievements and impact.

Amber came from an Iowa farm family. An English teacher encouraged her to pursue an engineering degree, something that was not even in her sights. Amber pursued engineering at the University of Michigan where she applied for a scholarship with Intel and never looked back.

As of this award, she is an Intel Fellow and the director of storage interfaces in the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. Most significantly, she was the leader in starting and chairing the NVM Express Working group - which, for FMS, is the next generation of storage. In starting the NVMe Working group, she worked with over 90 companies and gaining agreement for NVMe and the direction it is now heading.

During her career, Amber has authored over 20 patents, served as lead author and editor on the ONFI - Open NAND Flash Interface and chairs the NVMe work group. She led the development of the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI), which remains the standard programming interface for SATA today.

As previously mentioned, Amber was awarded the distinguished position as an Intel Fellow, but it is also notable that she was the second woman at Intel to receive this designation.