ChickTech Austin Leaders

Brandie Meister

Director


Brandie works as an Operations Supervisor in Austin while also volunteering with local organizations. Much of the volunteer work is focused around youth and building the community. Brandie has volunteered abroad and is pursuing a career with a worldwide Nonprofit organization. Outside of her busy schedule, Brandie enjoys finding new hang-out spots in Austin as well as hiking, shopping for old books and traveling, all fit into her fast-paced lifestyle.

Julie Jarzemsky

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 the 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.

Alyssa Murphy

High School Program Manager

Alyssa is an IT Associate at Compass Real Estate where she supports an ever-changing, faced-paced startup environment. Before Compass, Alyssa worked at Blue Apron as a Systems Administrator in their New York City headquarters. She started her tech career working for Apple and developed an interest in technology from a young age. Alyssa loves sharing her passion for technology and is excited to be a part of ChickTech. Alyssa is a New Jersey native and moved to Austin in 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her Corgi, Chloe and Goldendoodle, Phoebe to the local dog park, exploring Austin and binge-watching her favorite TV shows with her Husband, Glen and their quirky cat, Gus.

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 underserved 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.

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. 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.

Rakhi Agrawal

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! 

Kayla Peace

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 of experience as a graphic designer. When the recession hit, she a lay off lead Kayla to join 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. 

Victoria Barnato

Marketing Manager

Victoria Barnato is a technical writer, currently working as a contractor at IBM, producing end user content on a diverse range of products. She believes that everyone can learn to love technology with the right documentation! She is passionate about helping disadvantaged communities gain digital skills to achieve economic independence. In addition to working with ChickTech, Victoria works for a local non-profit called Austin-Free Net helping people transition into IT roles. In her spare time, she likes learning to code, drawing, and running.

Advisory Board

Nicole Baratta

ChickTech Advisor – Finance 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

ChickTech Advisor

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.

Margaret Lewis

ChickTech Advisor

Margaret Lewis is a retired high tech executive with over 30 years experience with leading-edge technology organizations. This includes overseeing the development of innovative software and hardware products for AMD and partnering with leading software developers including Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat and the Open Source Software community. She currently does technical consulting and is an advisor to ChickTech Austin.

 

Maxine Eiland

ChickTech Advisor

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.

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.