Spotlight 2017

Saturday March 25, 2017
6:00 PM - Midnight

In 2017, Spotlight just gets bigger, better, and more fun. Polish your brass rats and join us a memorable evening.

Keynote Speaker

Megan Smith ’86, SM’88

United States CTO and Assistant to President Obama

Megan Smith was the 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Assistant to the President, serving under President Barak Obama.  As U.S. CTO, Megan focused on how technology policy, data and innovation can advance the future of our nation.

Megan is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. She most recently served as a Vice President at Google, first leading New Business Development -- where she managed early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing across Google’s global engineering and product teams for nine years -- and later serving as a VP in the leadership team at Google[x] -- where she co-created the company’s “SolveForX” innovation community project as well as its “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative and worked on a range of other projects.


Megan previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, a leading LGBT online community in the early days of the web, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and other major web players. Megan was part of designing early smartphone technologies at General Magic and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan. She has served on the boards of MIT Corporation, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review and Vital Voices, as a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, and as an advisor to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Malala Fund which she co-­founded.


She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she completed her master’s thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.

Fireside Host

Shishir Mehrotra ’00

Shishir is an entrepreneur, currently working on a stealth startup focused on a new productivity solution. Shishir was formerly an executive at YouTube, overseeing the product management, engineering, and design teams. Over his 6 years tenure, he helped grow YouTube to the world’s largest video destination.

Shishir is married to his MIT sweetheart, Anjuli, who is now a practicing physician as an allergist in the Bay Area. They have two beautiful young girls, Anika and Riya.

Master of Ceremonies

Jeff Applebaum ’89

After 25+ years in California, this New York City native is finally learning to speak English. After completing his BS and MSEE at MIT (Course 6-1), Jeff came to Silicon Valley to work as an IC Design Engineer, and then moved to the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) sector at Cadence Design Systems, where he contributed for many years.

Jeff was cast by Sandy Hackett, the late Buddy Hackett's son, to play the principal role of Joey Bishop in the long-running musical tribute "The Rat Pack Is Back," in San Francisco.


  • WHAT:
  • MIT Club of Northern California, Spotlight 2017 - Mens et Manus + HEART
  • WHEN:
  • Saturday, March 25th
  • WHERE:
  • Sofitel Redwood City - A Pullman Hotel - 223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA
  • WHO:
  • Megan Smith - U.S. CTO and assistant to the president
    Shishir Mehrotra - Entrepreneur
    Jeff Applebaum - Comedian
    400 awesome MIT friends, and YOU!


  • 6:00 - 7:30pm
    VIP and General Receptions
  • 7:30 - 8:30pm
    Gourmet Sit-down Dinner
  • 8:30 - 9:30pm
    Megan Smith Interview and Q&A
  • 9:30 – midnight
    Dessert Buffet, Dancing and Casino Night


You must be pre-registered to Join the Club! Buy your MITCNC membership HERE (MIT alums only) for special member pricing.  Please LOG IN to access MIT Alum pricing.


  • $180 
    for MIT10
  • $250
    MITCNC Member (MIT Alums only)
  • $500

$125 - VIP Reception (SOLD OUT)

$500 - MITCNC Tech Conference full-day pass (MIT Alums)

$1,900 - MITCNC Tech Conference full-day pass (Non-Alums)


  • $1,250
    Patron Table for 4
  • $2,500
    Patron Table for 10

$125 - VIP Reception

$500 - MITCNC Tech Conference full-day pass (MIT Alums)

$1,900 - MITCNC Tech Conference full-day pass (Non-Alums)

  • Sponsor Tables
    Tables available on request
    see below
  • Tax Deduction
    A large portion of your ticket price
    is tax-deductible
    see below
  • Event Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring? Download the sponsorship prospectus for the Tech Conference and Spotlight:

Titanium Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor


6:00 – 7:30pm


General Reception

The General Reception with a no-host cocktail bar and hors d’oeuvres will be held in the Hotel Lounge.

VIP Reception

The VIP reception, available for $125 per person, will be held in the intimate Veranda Room and provide an opportunity to meet with Megan Smith personally. It will include an open bar and gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Registrations will be limited to 75 people.

7:30 – 9:30pm

Dinner & Keynote Speaker

The sit-down dinner in the Grand Ballroom will include wine, salad and a choice of 4 entrees – chicken, fish, beef or vegetarian. Please choose your entrée during registration. After the entrée, Shishir Mehrotra will interview Megan Smith and discuss Mens et Manus + Heart. An in-depth Q&A session is planned, so please ask questions when registering.

9:30 – midnight

Dessert Reception & Entertainment

Still more fun and excitement to go! We’ll have a photo booth, dancing to DJ music and poker and other casino games in the Grand Ballroom and adjacent rooms.  Dance until midnight or be the best poker player in the room. Or just enjoy some blackjack or roulette.

Patron & Corporate Sponsor Tables

Patron Tables for 4 - $1,250

Want a great table, but for a smaller party? Buy a table for 4 and you’ll get a great seating location with 2 VIP Reception passes

Patron Tables for 10 - $2,500

Anyone, whether MIT alum or not, can buy a favorably positioned table for 10 and two VIP tickets for $2,500. With tax deductions (see below), this can be a great way to get a group together at an affordable price.

Corporate Sponsor Tables - $5,000 to $50,000

Companies can sponsor the event by buying tables of 8 up front at prices ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. Each table comes with 8 VIP Reception passes, ample recognition and two distinguished dinner guests. Please inquire by contacting Serena Chung at

Other Details


It’s free! Just keep your validated parking ticket and use it to leave the parking garage.

Dress Code:

Formal dress is recommended (but optional) - suits or tuxedos for the men and cocktail dresses for the women. This is a special occasion, so why not dress up?

Tax Deductions

Contributions to MIT Club of Northern California, a registered 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization, are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. MIT Club of Northern California Tax ID# 94-2521297.

Since we are a non-profit, you can deduct the non-cost value of each ticket you buy. Check the following table for how much you can deduct from taxes.

  • MITCNC Member
  • $25
  • MIT Alum Non-member
  • $50
  • Non- MIT Alum
  • $150
  • VIP Reception Add-on
  • $85
  • Table for 10
  • $1,420
  • Table for 4
  • $770

Tickets Policy

  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Tickets can be transferred up until three weeks prior
  • The ticket can only be used by the ticket holder

Press Pass

Press pass is provided only to full-time reporters / freelancers who work for established print, online, or broadcast news organizations. Industry analysts must be employed full time by a recognized research firm and consistently produce research reports. Request a press pass by emailing us at

By registering for this event, you acknowledge that you may receive promotional messages from the event sponsors. You may adjust your preferences at any time by clicking on the link in the e-mail.

Contact Information

Primary Contact

Serena Chung

Secondary Contact

Date & Location

Date: 3/25/2017
Time: 6:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Location: Pullman Hotel, Redwood City