September 26th, 2019

ChiWiTCon™ is an inspiring gathering of technologists from Chicago and beyond. Open to all genders across all platforms and technologies, the ChiWiTCon™ brings the achievements, aspirations, and career interests of inspiring individuals in technology to the forefront. Listen to exciting speakers with plenty of discussion time and enjoy a fireside chat. Stay for the fun, relaxing networking opportunity following the conference.


Registration Opening Soon!


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The Congress Plaza Hotel, 520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA



  1. 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM : Registration/Breakfast/Networking
  2. 10:00 AM - 10:10 AM : Intro and Opening Remarks
  3. 10:10 AM - 11:05 AM : Morning Keynote - Veronica Buitron

    How we can shape the face of technology – Inspire to Action

    Change has to start somewhere and the best way to make a difference is starting with the things you can control. Veronica will discuss the diversity challenges in technology and actions you can start taking today with inspiration from her twenty years spent in technology and the changes she was able to embrace.

  4. 11:05 AM - 11:35 AM : Short Talk (2 Tracks)
    • Track 1Emerging Leaders
      • Josh Nixon: Creativity for a Poetical Science
        • Josh will be discussing the origins of computer programming and the role that creativity and craft plays in modern day development.


    • Track 2Leaders
      • Jennifer Farver: Talkin’ about Talking for Tech Leaders
        • Words matter and when you’re a tech leader, your team’s effectiveness will hinge critically on how good you are at talking about technology, challenges, change and the future.  We’ll talk through some common anti-patterns in talking tech and how to correct them, whether you’re talking to your team, your peers, your boss, your customer or your investor.
  5. 11:35 AM - 12:05 PM : Michelle Y. Bess (Short Talk)

    How Being “Comfortable” Can Inhibit Diversity Efforts

    We live in a time where comfort is a favorable attribute for both our personal and professional lives; therefore, most organizations design their Diversity and Inclusion programs to make their employees feel good. This session will speak to why feeling “comfortable” about diversity simply isn’t enough and how the practice could actually inhibit your efforts. Additionally, we’ll discuss how adding equity into your DEI program leads to productive discomfort and even better results.

  6. 12:05 PM - 01:00 PM : Lunch

    The Metropolitan Club will be catering a buffet-style lunch. There will be gluten free options available and we have instructed the venue to have dietary and potential allergen information clearly notated.

  7. 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM : Panel - ARA

    Tribe of Trailblazers: Lessons Learned from Women Breaking Barriers and Setting the Stage for Generations to Come

    Join ARA, in partnership with ChiWitCon, as we showcase a panel discussion with leading women in traditionally male-dominated sectors who have broken down barriers, overcome obstacles, and created new career opportunities for themselves – all while opening doors for those who follow in their footsteps. The goal? A candid conversation to identify lessons that can help women, regardless of the career path they pursue, with time for audience engagement. We hope you’ll join us to learn, ask questions, and network.


  8. 02:00 PM - 02:30 PM : Joe DeCosmo (Short Talk)

    It’s All About Jane:  Lessons in Leadership from an Accidental Stoic

    Lessons in leadership often come from the most unexpected sources and at the most difficult times in your life.  From ancient philosophy to growing up as the youngest of six kids with four older sisters, Joe will share his own story about learning to lead with patience and humility, while embracing the differences that make us all special and our teams stronger.

  9. 02:30 PM - 02:40 PM : Break


  10. 02:40 PM - 03:10 PM : Short Talk (2 Tracks)
    • Track 1Emerging Leaders
      • Melissa McSherry: 5 Simple Steps to Prioritizing Your Profits
        • Most women in business have huge potential for their companies. But a shocking majority never even come close because they are buried under all the things they believe they need to do to be successful. The fastest path through stress and overwhelm, and to experience true profit and freedom, is when you have a crystal clear Profit Priority Plan, designed to create huge results, fast, for your unique business. In my talk I walk you through 5 Profit Priority Points including getting clear on, and connecting to, your goals, realistic time management, as well as create with you a concrete plan of action to success.


    • Track 2Leaders
      • Tina Hauri: Ethics and Technology. Who is responsible?
        • Where do ethics fit in building and sustaining your reputation? IT professionals impact the workplace and society in general, often holding “escalated privilege”  meaning an even higher ethical standard. Our session will reflect on practical ways to consider the ethics of how we behave as we carry out our duties.
  11. 03:15 PM - 04:00 PM : Afternoon Keynote - Julianna Cole

    The 4P’s of Career Life: Purpose, Passion, Profitability and Patience

    Are passion and purpose the most important keys to success? Evidence-based research says “yes”, and iconic technology leader Steve Jobs said, “the only way to do  great work is to love what you do.”  But what does this mean for the large number of people that research also indicates do not love their job? During this session we’ll discuss several techniques to align your passion , purpose and need to achieve career success during those inevitable times when work feels like a series of never-ending daily tasks.

  12. 04:30 PM - 06:30 PM : Happy Hour and Networking

    Venue: 67th floor of the Metropolitan Club

    There will be light hors-d’oeuvres as well as beer, wine, and soda


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