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Part II: Q+A with Cloud Foundry Summit Frankfurt’s Unconference Emcees

Yesterday we posted the first half of a Q+A with this year’s Unconference emcees, Sara Lenz of anynines and Paula Kennedy of VMware. Don’t forget to join the Unconference on Monday, September 26 at the Cloud Foundry Summit in Frankfurt, starting at 5:00 pm. If you can’t make it to Frankfurt this year, follow along here to stay up to date on Summit news! Don’t forget to join the live conversation the entire week using the hashtag #CloudFoundry.

In addition to emcees Paula and Sara, Director of Product Marketing at HPE Cloud Amy Frampton will emcee Cloud Foundry Summit Frankfurt on Tuesday and Wednesday. Register here to view the live stream!

Now onto the Q+A!

CF: What do you think is the importance of having all female emcees at EU Summit, if any?

Paula: As my wonderful colleague Cornelia Davis puts it, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” I hope that by having more people who identify as female on stage at Summit, we demonstrate that the Cloud Foundry community is welcoming to everyone, we have shared values as well as valuing our differences and we want all voices to be heard.

Sara: It is important to have female emcees at every event. Without women, it would be only half as exciting! Women offer another perspective and strategy; they’re an asset thanks to their strength, empathy and farsightedness. Women have as much Cloud Foundry knowledge as men, and a combination of all that knowledge will always lead to better results!

CF: What advice would you give to people attending CF Summit for the first time?

Paula: I’d recommend looking out for Cloud Foundry Ambassadors. We’re a group of people from across the member companies of the Foundation and one of our main goals is to make newcomers feel welcome within our community. So, if you spot one of us in a hallway or at a session, please approach us and say “Hi.”

Sara: Be excited, have fun, be open to new contacts, and visit as many talks as you can. And be sure to check out the sponsor booths! You can find a lot of Cloud Foundry knowledge and will no doubt meet interesting people. Take a day off after Summit to explore the current city — it is always worth it, whether Santa Clara, San Francisco, Shanghai, Berlin or Frankfurt.

CF: What’s your favorite place in the whole world?

Paula: Is it too corny to say home? I love traveling, visiting new places and meeting new people, but my favorite place in the world is snuggling on my sofa at home with my kids!

Sara: I have no one favorite place. To me, good places mean being somewhere I feel comfortable and have people around me who let me feel good. This could be with my partner or my family and my friends. That said, I appreciate visiting beautiful new places, such as San Francisco, New York, Seychelles or London.

CF: Do you have any anecdotes about being a woman in the tech/cloud industry to illustrate how you’ve been inspired/motivated to go forth?

Sara: I have just one piece of advice for women: Just do it, because you can and you are great!

CF: Thank you both for representing diversity in our community! We can’t wait to see you at Summit!

Based in Berlin and an active member of the Cloud Foundry community, Sara Lenz is project manager of the anynines team, responsible for customer relations, and all organizational project processes concerning anynines. 

A veteran of the IT industry, Paula Kennedy joined VMware in 2015 as Director of Business Operations, EMEA Services and is focused on working together with clients to drive innovation, disruption and transformation. Be sure to see her speak on Cloud Foundry in the community on Tuesday, September 27 at 1:45 pm.


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Caitlyn O'Connell, AUTHOR

As Senior Marketing Manager of Cloud Foundry Foundation, Caitlyn runs content and manages diversity programming.