ChickTech Austin Leaders

Nicole Baratta

Director

Nicole C. Baratta is a Content Strategist at Red Hat. She has been involved in open source communities for the last ten years and believes strongly in the power of community and openness. Nicole is known for many different publications including her books on technology in libraries including “Practical Open Source Software for Libraries”.  In addition to her passion for technology and open source, Nicole is a lover of all animals and lives at home with her 2 rescued shelties and 1 rescue cat.

Dana DeFebbo

Assistant Director

Dana is the Web Services Librarian at the Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law where she is responsible for managing all aspects of the the library’s website presence. She values excellent customer service, treating people with respect and getting the job done thoroughly and correctly.  Growing up, Dana was always interested in technology but had few female mentors to share this interest with.  She is excited to be involved with ChickTech because she loves helping young women realize their potential in the tech industry.

Maxine Eiland

High School Program Manager

Maxine is the Director of Digital Marketing & Web at SailPoint Technologies. She started her career as a self-taught coder, but over the years she has gained experience in everything from web development to SEO, content strategy, eCommerce and UX. A natural leader, Maxine has conquered the adversity a woman in the technology world often faces by learning to adapt and maneuver without wavering from her goals. Outside of ChickTech and her love for all things tech-related, her passions include playing tug-of-war with her pit-bull mix Petey, watching football, relaxing with friends and family, meditation, yoga and crossfitting. She also loves to try new foods and travel to adventurous destinations.

Margaret Becker

HS Outreach Manager

Margaret Becker is a Senior Project Manager at Directions Research, where she manages custom market research projects for industry-leading technology companies. She received a B.A. in Psychology as well as a B.A. and M.A. in French at the University of Louisville before moving to Austin in 2009. Her previous volunteer work includes counseling and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault with SAFE Austin and providing equine therapy for children and teens with intellectual and physical disabilities. Cultivating opportunities for self-discovery and growth for young people has always been a fulfilling endeavor for Margaret, and is what brought her to join the ChickTech Austin team. In her spare time she can be found on the wall at the climbing gym or on the dance floor of a local honky tonk.

Geeta Shukla

Co-Mentor Program Manager

Geeta has been working in management consulting for over 7 years, focused primarily on software implementations for companies in the healthcare, government, technology, and non-profit sectors. She has a personal passion for increasing access to resources for women and children in the areas of healthcare and education. In addition to working with ChickTech, Geeta serves on the board of a local non-profit called Circle of Health International whose focus is to provide safe healthcare options to moms and babies in rural or undeserved communities impacted by disaster.
She is currently focusing on complimenting her professional experience with courses in the areas of User Experience Design and Mobile App Development. In her spare time, Geeta can be found trotting around town with her two favorite pups and favorite human in tow, trying new food trucks, or spending hours at a time watching Game of Thrones or Parenthood.

Dana Wen

Co-Mentor Program Manager

Dana Wen is a software engineer, technology advisor, and pianist. She has created software for Zillow, Clean Power Research, and Medio. Currently, she teaches computer programming at Austin Coding Academy. In her first college course as a computer science major, Dana noticed that she was one of only a handful of women in the lecture hall. Ever since, she has been passionate about transforming the tech community into a more diverse and inclusive space.

Dana has mentored young women and people of color with an interest in technology through organizations like Seattle Girls School and the University of Washington. Most recently, she participated in the first year of ChickTech Austin’s high school mentorship program.

In addition to volunteering with ChickTech Austin, Dana serves as Vice President of 350 Austin, an organization fighting climate change and advocating for renewable energy. A lifelong musician, Dana has performed with ensembles in Austin and Seattle. She also enjoys gardening, dancing lindy hop and tango, and riding her bike everywhere.

Ashley Estacion

Co-Fundraising/Development Manager

Ashley began her professional life as a dancer and choreographer in the Houston area for nine years. She has performed and choreographed for various competitive dance teams as well as the Houston Comets and Rockets. She then earned a degree in Interactive Media Design from the Art Institute of Houston and ran her own multimedia company for two years before joining the interactive agency, SixFoot, in 2008 as a UI engineer. Ashley moved to Austin in 2011 to join HomeAway and has since worked on various global payment functionalities and vacation property owner experiences as a Staff UI engineer. She’s now digging into Java to expand her knowledge and abilities for future opportunities.

Kathy Garin

Co-Fundraising/Development Manager

Kathy provides a consultative approach as a software sales professional for NetSuite (NYSE:N), helping companies leverage cloud-based platforms for their businesses. She utilizes her experience in SaaS sales to increase opportunities for women in tech and is committed to helping decrease the gender gap in the industry. In her spare time, she is a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister of Central Texas, and strives to be a role model for high-school girls who enjoy technology and want to build a successful career.
In addition to ChickTech, she spends her time as an active TableTop board game enthusiast, live-music fanatic, or preparing delicious home-cooked meals for her loved ones.

Brandie Meister

Co-Volunteer Manager

Brandie works as a Team Lead at an IT company in Austin while also volunteering with local organizations. Much of the volunteer work is focused around youth and building opportunities for them to succeed past all obstacles. Brandie has volunteered abroad and is pursuing a career with worldwide Nonprofit organization. Outside of her busy schedule, Brandie enjoys finding new hang out spots in Austin. Hiking, shopping for old books, and traveling all fit into her fast paced lifestyle.

Julie Jarzemsky

Co-Volunteer Manager

Julie is a programmer and teacher passionate about helping youth gain technology skills. She works for American Youthworks, teaching IT for their YouthBuild program. She started volunteering with ChickTech during their first year in Austin and is now part of the leadership team managing volunteers. After studying Computer Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, she moved to Austin to work as a Software Engineer at HomeAway. She worked as a front-end web developer for a few years before transitioning to teaching. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time outside.

Rakhi Agrawal

Co-Logistics Manager

Rakhi is a local educator and nonprofit professional who is extremely excited by tech and data. She earned a degree in Applied Mathematics and Philosophy from Columbia University before moving to Austin in 2015. In her spare time, she is a mentor with Explore Austin and enjoys making new friends, going on outdoor adventures and hikes, and watching movies. She is excited to work and connect with a generation of women ready to take the tech world by storm! 

Christina Sudderth

Co-Logistics Manager

Christina joined ChickTech the team in 2017. Formerly she worked as the Presenter Relations and Logistics Senior Manager for Tales of the Cocktail, the premiere cocktail festival based in New Orleans. She left that role to stay at home with her two little girls and volunteer with ChickTech. Through her work she has become a self taught techie and worked with web designers, recipe developers and app builders on a variety of projects. She has enjoyed watching ChickTech grow and connect with the growing tech industry in Austin.

Angel Lo

Fundraising Manager

Angel is a recent graduate from UT Austin and currently works as a Software Engineer at Electronic Arts. During her time in undergrad, she was involved in Code Orange, a mentorship program that aimed to expose kids in underprivileged areas of Austin to programming fundamentals by building games in Scratch. Her involvement with Code Orange has inspired her to get involved with ChickTech, which aims to fulfill a similar need in the Austin community. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, keeping up with the latest fitness fads, watching stand-up comedy, listening to podcasts (almost exclusively to Stuff You Should Know), and checking out more self-help books from the library than one can actually digest. 

Elmira Bonab

Co-Development Manager

Elmira is a Data Scientist at Sparkcognition. She enjoys coding, and translating real-world problem into mathematical models. She received her PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio before moving to Austin in 2015. She is also the organizer of the monthly book club called “Thanks God it’s Thursday”. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, organizing parties, and cooking new recipes while listening to weird podcasts. 

Amanda MacDonald

Co-Website Manager

Amanda MacDonald is a freelance Webmaster with a focus in E-Commerce Development. She has been building her career in the technology industry for five years by self-teaching and on-the-job training. She is always eager to help her friends reach their online goals by volunteering her time. In her personal time, Amanda is training to be a boxer for an all-women team in Austin, enjoys teaming up with other creatives in the community to practice developing her skills in graphic design, and building an audience as a social media presence geared towards health and social consciousness.  

Kayla Peace

Co-Website Manager

Kayla Peace is a Web Designer at Results Generation. She earned her bachelor’s from the Art Institute of Phoenix in Graphic Design. After college, Kayla gained a few years experience as a graphic designer. When the recession hit, she was laid off and decided a change was needed and joined the US Army to gain more skills and broaden her horizons. Through her 4 years in the Army, Kayla never lost her love of design and was determined as a veteran to find a career that used her love for technology and design. Fast forward to now, Kayla has been at her current position with Results Generation over 5 years, where she is continually learning new skills to help make an impact.  

Margaret Lewis

ChickTech Advisor

Margaret Lewis is a technology consultant with extensive experience developing leading-edge software and hardware products for innovative technology organizations. Her background includes Director of Software Planning at AMD, where she developed strategic software plans for AMD’s 64-bit server processors and managed relationships with key software partners. Prior to that she was an Associate Director at the Maui High Performance Computing Center, where she focused on developing and maintaining a user base for their Top500 computer. She also served as a Senior Software Program Manager for Novell, managing a broad range of software development tools for their operating environment. Margaret has a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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