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Ultimate list of Austin women who can speak at your tech event

(TECH) Event organizers don’t always know where to look when hoping to improve diversity, so here are hundreds of Austin women ready to get involved!

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austin women in tech

Have you ever been to a tech event and were struck by the lack of women on panels? Not any of our events of course, but it happens, and in Austin, we don’t believe it is intentional. Yet it still happens.

Instead of complain and move on, we’re doing something about it by publishing a list of women that have raised their hands, ready to to get involved!

Click to tweet: “There are no more excuses for events without women speakers, here are several hundred in Austin tech ready to help!”

We intend on updating this list from time to time, so check back for more names, or add yours if you’re interested.

This isn’t any sort of speaker agreement, just a list of people that identify as female that are willing to step in to speak on their areas of expertise. Austin is a cool town to be involved in, and we’re proud to be headquartered here!!

The categories are: Business Development and/or Sales, Creative, Development and/or Engineering, Finance and/or Investing, IT and/or Programming, Marketing and/or Media, Non-Profit and/or Academia, Operations and/or Management, Security and/or Tech Law, UX/UI Research and/or Design.

It was difficult for each person to select only one category that describes them (for example, I tend to speak on marketing, but my title is COO, so I am listed under “Operations/Management”), so click around to find a good fit for your event.

Business Development and/or Sales

Allison Ramsey
CEO & Founder, Empire Life

Amber Gunst
CEO, Austin Technology Council

Christina Trapolino
Enterprise Solutions Engineer, Sprout Social

Cindy Goldsberry
Revenue & Relationships Partner, Investor, Author, Higher State Technology

Elisa Sepulveda
Evangelist, Galvanize

Irene Brinker
CEO/Founder, Devali

Janet Zaretsky
BS-to-Brilliance Master, Empowered Women Enterprises, LLC

Jennifer Archambeault
Broker/Owner

Jennifer Monk Lin
Principal Product Manager, IBM Cloud

Nicole Forbes
Sr Strategic Partner Manager, BigCommerce

Patti DeNucci
The Intentional Networker(tm)

Phoebe Nygren
Corporate Account Executive, Box

Rochelle Gonzalez
Senior Sales Executive, Shogun

Sabrina Wojtewicz
Regional Executive Director, Bunker Labs

Sloan Foster
CMO, Kuware

Teri Kelly
VP of Strategy and Business Development, Valkyrie Intelligence

Creative

Amy Weissgarber
Creative Director/Photographer

April Kling Meyer
Proprietor, ALKM.me

Emily Leach
Founder, The Freelance Conference

Kristen Dunn
Graphic Designer + Illustrator, Kristen Dunn Media

Liz Feezor
Founder and Principal, Liz Feezor Creative

Lizette Resendez
Associate Creative Director, Oracle

Melanie Sexton
Learning and Experience Designer, Sonatype

Dr. Mickra Hamilton
CEO, Apeiron Zoh Corporation

Roanna Flowers
Program Developer, Strategy & Story

Sarabeth Flowers Lewis
Freelance SaaS Copywriter, Lewis Commercial Writing

Sequoyah Johnson
Artist & Teacher

Sheana Firth
Principal, Breakaway Graphics LLC

Shannon Lea
Certified Coach, Strengths Strategy, Inc.

Vana Ash
Designer & Photographer, Vana Ash Creative

Development and/or Engineering

Annie Hsieh
Dev Lead, Square Root

Bindiya Mansharamani
Director of Engineering, Rigup

Candace Ohm
Senior Business Intelligence Developer, DOSH

Cheryl Tulkoff
Director of Corporate Quality, National Instruments

Claire Bingham
Software Engineer (Mobile Android), HomeAway

Dana Lachman
Front End Engineer, HomeAway

Emily Bartha
Senior Data Scientist, The Zebra

Giselle Valenzuela Aldridge
Founder, Colossians Consulting

Jamy Squillace
Director of Product Management, uShip

Katie McNeil
Software Engineer, Senseye

Kristen Beane
Product Manager, Rooster Teeth Games

Molly Mae Potter
Director – Client Engineering Operations, Dell

Olivia Hayes
Director of Product, FetchMD

Robin Dykema
UI Engineer, Taulia

Robin Reynolds
Director of Product, uShip & Founder, Roots and Revival

Sara Inés Calderón
Sr. React Native Engineer, Tribl & musx

Siobhan Burch
Software Engineer, HomeAway

Tasha McCarter
Manager of Development, SunPower Corporation

Tess Snider
Owner/Programmer, Hidden Achievement

Finance and/or Investing

Kerry Rupp
General Partner, True Wealth Ventures

Mari Ramirez
Owner/CPA

Meredith Butterfield
Principal Data Scientist, Valkyrie Intelligence


Tina Cannon
VP Government Relations, Austin Chamber of Commerc

IT and/or Programming

Emilie Yeager
Director of Product & Software Engineering, Curb

Emily Cogsdill
Senior Data Insight Analyst, HomeAway

Jessica Salinas
Content & Collaboration Manager, Cloudera

Magdalena Vial
Sr. Manager, IT Strategy & Business Operations, Forcepoint

Sara Hall
Advisor, Valkyrie Intelligence

Sasha Parsons
Associate Product Manager, Indeed

Spencer Unangst
IT Business Operations, Forcepoint

Marketing and/or Media

Alexis Davis
Founder, The Content Plug

Alicia Palomares
Digital Marketing Analyst, Kadence Digital

Amanda Powell
Acquisitions Manager, DigitalMarketer

Amy Lemen
Product Marketing Manager – Cloud, Blue Prism

Andrea Bridges-Smith
Global Product Marketing Manager, HomeAway

Angelica Erazo
Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Oracle

Ashley Jennings
Program Manager, Co-Owner, Spero Labs

Ashley Malcom
Social Media & Advertising Manager, uShip

Catherine Jewell
Head Coach, The Career Passion Coach

Caroline Gormley
Lifecycle Marketing Strategist, Freelance

Casey Taylor
Analytics Consultant

Cathy Tilton
Founder, Digital Creative

Christa Tuttle
CEO, Launch Marketing

Christina Linnell
Social Media Community Manager, Indeed

Christina Freeman
Director of Product (Marketing Growth), The Zebra

Christy Leger Kirby
Strategy Director, Spredfast-Lithium

Corina Kellam
Director, Omnichannel Strategy, W2O Group

Courtney Lowell
Head of Corporate Communications and PR, Silvercar

Dakota Lowe
Freelancer and Social Media Manager, Spredfast

Dana Marruffo
Freelance PR/Principal BuzzPR

Deanna Root
Owner, Marketing & Project Management Agency

Donnet Bruce
Integrated Marketing Manager, Freelance

Elisa Leichty
Owner and Digital Marketer, Heavy Fuel

Erin Wike
Career Coach & Lecturer, The University of Texas

Fran Harris
CEO, Fran Harris Enterprises, LLC

Haley Martis
Global Event Operations, Dell

Hope Ruiz
Marketing Specialist, SolarWinds

Hudaina Baig
Account Director, SocialWithin

Jenny Magic
Consultant, Convince & Convert

Jenny (Ryan) Ragusa
Head of Product Marketing, data.world

Jodi Holzband
Owner, Jodi Bart Holzband PR Consulting

Joleen Jernigan
Writer & Social Media Manager, Reach Social Media

Julie Niehoff
Founder, Distance Learning Media

Kelly Treybig
Videographer

Lisa O’Neill
Principal, Breakaway Public Relations

Kat Mandelstein
Director of Marketing, PwC

Kelly Rohm
Go to Market Manager, Dell Financial Services

Kelsey Hayenga
Marketing Events Manager, PostUp

Kim Carpenter
Founder, World Changing Women

Kristina Smith-Puerto
Social Selling Program Manager, NetSuite

Lani Dame
Agile Marketing Coach, IBM

Laura Furr
Owner, Lollipop Social Media

Laura Musa
Director of Channel Solutions, Adlucent

Laurie Felker Jones
Founder + CEO, JuceBox Hero

Lauren Mireles
Integrated Marketing Manager, Americas at National Instruments

Leslie Wingo
President/CEO, Sanders\Wingo

Lisa Boe
Senior Marketing Communications and Strategic Design Consultant

Lisa Friedrich
SEO Manager, uShip

LuAnn Glowacz
Owner, WordCove

Marcy Comer
VP Marketing, Dosh

Meagan Dobson
Coach, Consultant, Marketer and Evangelist, Future of Work

Megan Headley
VP of Research, TrustRadius

Melanie Wise
Principal, MW Marketing Consulting

Melina Moreno
Founder, Social Ads Made Simple

Melissa Lopez
Sr. Global Talent Acquisition Specialist, AMD

Michael Manning
President & Head of Marketing, Rocksauce Studios

Michelle Williams
Paid Media, Aceable

Monica Teredesai
Product Management, ObjectSolutions, Inc.

Nammy Sirur
Cofounder, The 9to5 MisFits and MisFit Communications

Nerissa Sardi
Founder, Marketing In the Wild

Nichele Lindstrom
Director of Digital, Whole Foods Market

Nicole Beck
PR Manager, The Zebra

Nicole Boynton
Director of Education, Texas National Title

Noreen Vincent
Marketing and Ecommerce Consultant

Pavi S Dinamani
Cofounder, The 9to5 MisFits and MisFit Communications

Piper LeMoine
Web Developer, AT&T Cybersecurity

Rachel Jamail
Site Lead, Facebook

Rachel Truair
Director of Global Enterprise Campaigns, Adobe

Rachelle McWright
Social Media Community Manager, Emerson

Samantha Rae Lopez
Social Media Strategist, Spredfast-Lithium

Sarah Boyd
Principal & Marketing Strategist, Confido Marketing

Sarah L Cook
Director of Marketing, Caringo Inc.

Shilpa Bakre
Communications Strategist, UT at Austin

Tracy Cooper
Drupal Digital Marketing, SEO, & Analytics, Volacci Marketing

Tzatzil LeMair
Senior Content Marketing Strategist, Sensis

Upasna Gautam
SEO Manager, Ziff Davis

Valerie Whitmore
Founder & Director of Marketing, CDKitchen, Inc.

Vickie Flaugher
Founder, Content Enterprises

Whitney Magnuson
Global Head of Social Media & Influencer Marketing, IBM

Non-Profit and/or Academia

Amenity Applewhite
Product Manager, City of Austin

Beverly Hamilton
Principal, Small But Mighty Consulting

Estefanita Jaselle Valdez
Instructional Designer, Aceable

Gina Helfrich
Communications Director &Program Manager for Diversity & Inclusion, NumFOCUS

Kelly Mayberry
Business Consultant, Ngage Live Chat

Leigh Petersen
Business Analyst, HomeAway

Patty Prado
Project Manager, Leadership Development & Assessment, Dell Medical School

Operations and/or Management

Alexandria Porter
Founder & CEO, Volumer & Underminer Studios

Alora Chistiakoff
President, Firebird Summit

Amanda Kirchem
Sr. Agile Project Manager, Cvent

Amber Bass
Vice President, Integreon

Anna Miller
Owner & President, Higher State Technology

Angela Melpolder
Human Resources Generalist, Cvent

Anita Tavakley
Client and Customer Success

Anna Dickerson
Director of Marketing and Operations, The Agent School

Ashley Connell
Founder, Prowess Project

Ashley Perryman
Director of Global Talent Management at Epicor Software

Barbary Brunner
CMO, Phunware

Brooke Olson
Recruiter, Rooster Teeth

Carla Carrasco
Strategy Analyst, Indeed.com

Chelle Honiker
CEO, Athenia Creative, LLC

Christine Bolaños
Freelance Journalist

Courtney Langdon
Knowledge Manager, Q2 eBanking

Elise Graham Kennedy
Honey & Vinegar, Founder

Jami Caruso
Director of Customer Happiness, uShip

Jennifer Haston
Founder, Haston Helping Hands

Jessica Miller-Merrell
CEO, Workology

Kaneisha Grayson
Founder & CEO, The Art of Applying

Katie Stephens
CEO & Founder, MakeCrate

Kelsi Cochran
Head of People, Personify

Kristin Steiner
Digital Lifecycle Services Manager, Emerson Automation Solutions

Lani Rosales
COO at The American Genius

Lauren Goldstein
Founder, Golden Key Partnership

Lav Chintapalli
Leadership Coach & Strategist, Pathway Power & Founder, Alcye

Lisa Besserman
CEO & Founder, Startup Buenos Aires

Mandalyn McDaniel
Data Analyst, FEMA

Melissa Arnett
Business Intelligence Program Manager, Oracle

Melissa Moloney
Senior Manager, Accenture

Mirrya Huszka
Director of Program Management, Entegris

Mojdeh Gharbi
Co-Owner/VP of Marketing & Operations, Certain Affinity

Nada Lulic
Director – Employee Success, Zenoss

Nancy Maxfield-Wilson
Chief Resilience Officer, MyMaxPerformance LLC

Renee Trudeau
Founder & President, Renee Trudea

Lisa Besserman
CEO & Founder, Startup Buenos Aires

Rachelle Oribio
CEO & Founder at ValorUp

Raechele Greenwald
Founder + CEO, Software Sandbox

Renée Hopkins
Head of Global Workforce Planning & Analytics, Facebook

Sarah Roche
Digital Project Manager, Charles Schwab

Shelley Delayne
Founder, Orange Coworking

Siri Chakka
Co-founder, Reset

Unji Udeshi
Director of Global Customer Marketing, HomeAway

Valerie Figlin
Program/Project Manager, Facebook

Vickie Sokol Evans
Founder, RedCape Co.

Victoria Sherman
Partner/Head of Global Operations, The Lonely Entrepreneur

Security and/or Tech Law

Cheska Lesaca
Paralegal

Laura Frederick
Senior Counsel, Tesla

Marissa E Palmer
IT Security Risk & Compliance Analyst, HomeAway

Reda Hicks
Founder, GotSpot, Inc.

UX/UI Design and/or Research

Abbey McCoy
CEO/CXO, AbbeyXD

Addy Ruth
Sr. Front End Web Design/Developer, Strive Logistics

Alyssa Hess
Lead Researcher, UX Measurement & Foundations, HomeAway

Annie Hardy
Founder and Managing Director, zeet insights

April Wright
UX Designer, Blackbaud

Emily Sue Tomac
Research Manager, TrustRadius

Hailey Farris
Experience Designer, HomeAway

Jenn Lindeman
UX Designer, Silvercar

Jennifer Houlihan
Freelance UX Designer & Researcher

Jess Moss
Sr. Experience Designer, projekt202

Jessica Sustaita
Senior UX Research, HomeAway

Joie Chung
Design Lead, HomeAway

Kati Presley
Head of UX, Rocksauce Studios

Laura Trujillo
Content Strategist, City of Austin

Leslie Harris
Visual Designer, T3

Marla Erwin
UX/UI Product Design Manager, Charles Schwab

Melissa Lau
UX Design, Self-employed

Sarah Kettles
Director of Research, The Zebra

Selina Martinez
Senior Product Owner, Quest Software

Sharon Brener
Director of User Experience, data.world

Tori Breitling
Product Designer, City of Austin

Zoha Shafiq
Experience Designer, HomeAway


Methodology Notes:
– We opted out of using pictures because this is not about appearances, rather skill.
– This is not an awards show, these are people who filled out a simple form indicating their interest.
– We asked for LinkedIn profiles rather than transient social media profiles or websites that may not remain up to date.

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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mary Pustejovsky

    February 24, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    How do we go about being added? I am a Senior Technical Product Manager and I’m happy to speak at events.

  2. Pingback: Ultimate list of Austin women who can speak at your tech event – The American GeniusDave Hendricks Blog | Dave Hendricks Blog

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Silicon Valley created tech for your family that’s too addictive for theirs

(TECHNOLOGY) Tech inventors are big on innovating and advancing tools, but a growing parenting trend in tech circles seems hypocritical.

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tech addiction in children

I consider myself an older Millennial. I was slowly but surely introduced to technologies as they became mass-marketable, but they didn’t affect every moment of my day-to-day life. I learned how to use computers in elementary school, I chatted on AOL as a preteen, and when I was 16, my parents gave me my own cell phone “for emergencies.” I promptly dropped it under the car seat, where it remained for a year, before I or my parents even noticed that it was missing.

In less than a generation, our relationship to cell phones has transformed completely. For one thing, my first cell phone didn’t have a touch screen. It didn’t have an internet connection. Hell, for an entire year, I didn’t even use the damn thing.

Fast forward to 2018, when your children can learn to use an iPad at the same time that they learn to use a toilet.

Interestingly, the tech whizzes who designed much of the technology that now pervades nearly every moment of our lives seem wariest of the negative impact screen time might have on kids. The NYT reports that the trend amongst Silicon Valley parents is to severely limit or even ban cell phone use by their children.

Parents in all echelons of the tech industry are limiting their kids’ exposure. Steve Jobs kept iPads out of the hands of his young children. The Gates offspring didn’t receive cell phones until high school (just like me, in 2001), and Tim Cook discourages his nephew from using social networks.

These concerned parents describe the addictive potential and negative consequences of screen time in increasingly pessimistic terms.

Athena Chavarria, a former Facebook employee, believes that “the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.”

Chris Anderson (yes that Chris Anderson), former editor of Wired and founder of GeekDad, says that when it comes to screens, “On a scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine.”

Parents are even making contractual agreements to make sure their kids don’t use screens while under the supervision of their nanny or babysitter.

Like basically every human idea or invention ever, connected, screened devices reveal that our ability to create new technologies far outpaces our ability to understand the consequences – positive or negative – of that tech.

Those closest to the situation – the inventors themselves – are often the first ones to sound the alarm when they realize that their hard-won advancements may not have been such a great idea after all.

Said Chris Anderson of the addictive nature of cell phones, “We thought we could control it. And this is beyond our power to control.”

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Amazingly fun tech toys that are secretly educational

(TECHNOLOGY) STEM toys for children are fun *and* educational – here are some that have caught our eye.

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STEM tech toys for kids

There’s a new trend amongst startups – and amongst kids’ toys: educational playthings that teach your little ones STEM skills like programming and coding.

Toys that double as learning tools are nothing new, but digital, connected technology still is, and so is the idea that your toddler can get a leg up in the tech industry by getting an early start.

Parents, universities, and economists seem concerned that acquiring STEM skills will soon be the only way to guarantee a good job, despite reports from the U.S. Census Bureau that 3 out of 4 STEM majors end up in non-STEM fields anyway.

So if your kid is more into, say, baseball or dancing than computers, you might be wasting the pretty pennies these high-powered educational toys will cost you.

Kids, with their alarmingly short attention spans, are as likely to toss these toys back into the toybox as any other. But if your wee one seems to have a knack for all things technical – or if you’d just rather see them learn how to build a device than passively stare at one all day – then check out TC’s guide to STEM toys.

Even though these toys are marketed towards the younger set, I found myself a little envious, wishing I could take a few for a test drive – especially since many of them are modern, high-tech reboots on old standbys from my childhood.

Lego’s Boost Creative Toolbox uses the same classic Lego blocks, but allows you to animate and program your creations.

Several products cross-market with some of my childhood favorites; Dash Robotics has teamed up with Mattel to make Jurassic World robots, and Kano makes a Harry Potter Coding Kit that teaches kids to program a wand that can interact with digital content. There’s even Electro Dough which is basically electrically-conductive Play-Doh that can light up and make sounds. I want!

In fact, a lot of the toys combine arts ‘n’ crafts with STEM lessons. Adafruits makes a marker with electronically conductive ink that can light up circuits and interact with computer programs, and an electronic pencil that synthesizes music. Root Robotic’s little bot can draw pictures and compose songs.

For the more straightforward tech nerds, Makeblock, Evo, Robo Wunderkind, and Wonder Workshop all make programmable robots – a big step up from the “artificially intelligent” Furby’s of my childhood. Sphero’s Bolt is a ball-shaped robot, while Airblock makes a programmable hovercraft.

There’s the Pi-top Modular Laptop that teaching kids coding, and there are even opportunities for kids to build their own electronics; Kano offers a build-it-yourself computer.

The holidays are just around the corner – but whether STEM educational toys will be the next Tickle Me Elmo remains to be seen.

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Tech News

A deepfakes creator for text so realistic it can’t be made public yet

(TECHNOLOGY) You know about video deepfakes, but the technology exists for doing convincing deepfakes for text. It’s so good that they aren’t ready to release it to the public yet…

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Artificial intelligence is being used to complete more and more human tasks. But as of right now, news stories you read online – including all the articles here on American Genius – have been written by real human beings.

Until recently, even the most intelligent computers couldn’t be trained to recreate the complex rules and stylistic subtleties of language. AI-generated text would often wander off topic or mix up the syntax and lack context or analysis.

However, a non-profit called OpenAI says they have developed a text generator that can simulate human writing with remarkable accuracy.

The program is called GPT2. When fed any amount of text, from a few words to a page, it can complete the story, whether it be a news story or a fictional one.

You already know about video deepfakes, but these “deepfakes for text” stay on subject and match the style of the original text. For example, when fed the first line of George Orwell’s 1984, GPT2 created a science-fiction story set in a futuristic China.

This improved text generator is much better at simulating human writing because it has learned from a dataset that is “15 times bigger and broader” than its predecessor, according to OpenAI research director, Dario Amodei.

Usually researchers are eager to share their creations with the world – but in the case, the Elon Musk-backed organization has, at least of the time being, withheld GPT2 from the public out of fear of what criminals and other malicious users might do with it.

Jack Clark, OpenAI’s head of policy, says that the organization needs more time to experiment with GPT2’s capabilities so that they can anticipate malicious uses. “If you can’t anticipate all the abilities of a model, you have to prod it to see what it can do,” he says. “There are many more people than us who are better at thinking what it can do maliciously.”

Some potential malicious uses of GPT2 could include generating fake positive reviews for products (or fake negative reviews of competitors’ products); generating SPAM messages; writing fake news stories that would be indistinguishable from real news stories; and spreading conspiracy theories.

Furthermore, because GPT2 learns from the internet, it wouldn’t be hard to program GPT2 to produce hate speech and other offensive messages.

As a writer, I can’t think of very many good reasons to use an AI story generator that doesn’t put me out of job. So I appreciate that the researchers at OpenAI are taking time to fully think through the implications before making this Pandora’s box of technology available to the general public.

Says Clark, “We are trying to develop more rigorous thinking here. We’re trying to build the road as we travel across it.”

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