ChiWitCon : Reconnect
Showing Up and Leading in the Hybrid World

September 8, 2022 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The hectic two years of a global pandemic have altered our work and home lives in no small measure. As we return to working together, navigating a mix of in-person and virtual spaces, each of us carries with us to work the impact of the time we spent apart. As we recalibrate our routines and adjust to yet another phase full of unknowns, how can we show up for each other (and ourselves) in the hybrid world? Join the powerful community of Chicago’s women technologists for this year’s CHIWITCON: Reconnect, a half-day of inspiring conversations and workshops designed to expand your network, broaden your community, and help you craft your narrative in this new chapter.

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.


Interested in a CHIWITCON™ coffee mug? How about a t-shirt? Represent CHIWITCON™ anywhere you go with our swag, available here.


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Presented by 


Disha Gulati

CEO and Founder

Here Here Market

Disha Gulati is the founder and CEO of Here Here Market, a technology startup in the consumer-packed goods space. Prior to this, she was the head of global analytics for Mondelez International, a fortune 100 CPG company. She also has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy, innovation, and analytics. She spent her corporate years as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting and as the Vice President of Corporate Innovation for 1871, one of the largest tech-incubator in North America.

Disha has her MBA from the Booth School of Business. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and toddler son.

Madeline Stone Kutis

Professional Services Manager


Madeline Stone Kutis (she/her) grows teams, relationships, trust, and a wild garden in her beloved Upper Midwest. Her background in healthcare technology has shaped her into an empathetic problem solver with a no-nonsense streak. She loves a good fix-it project, whether it’s a strategic program roadmap or an antique light fixture. Bring Madeline your trickiest challenge – she lives to brainstorm.

Nishu Thurkal



Nishu is an innovator and leader in the payments industry with over 20 years of experience as an operator, investor, advisor, and entrepreneur. He currently leads Pangea Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Enova disrupting the international mobile money remittance industry. Nishu specializes in creating disruptive payment technology strategies, building world-class teams and developing scalable operations. Prior to starting Pangea, Nishu served in various operating and investing roles at Redbox and Susquehanna Growth Equity.

Kendra Cato

Director of Enterprise Strategy


An energetic and analytical services professional with nearly 20 years of sales, marketing, research, and executive-level client management experience, Kendra has held strategic leadership roles in industries spanning from investment banking and corporate law to procurement and talent management software. Since joining Bullhorn in 2018, she can usually be found learning from the leaders of the largest and most innovative staffing and recruiting firms across the globe, implementing new initiatives to scale the enterprise business, or discovering how the latest trends may impact the future of work. In 2022, Kendra co-authored Together We Rise, a collection of stories from 15 incredible women who came together during the pandemic, exemplifying the power of Women Supporting Women.

Her passion is people, and she is grateful each day for the opportunity to help put the world to work. She is active in the American Staffing Association (ASA) and Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) as a member and speaker, and is a proud council member of the ASA Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advocacy (IDEA) Group. Kendra is especially passionate about lifting up women and young Black professionals in the industry and beyond.

Kat Knight

Talent Development Specialist II


Kat Knight (she/her) is a Talent Development Specialist II on the Enova People Team. Kat has worked in the Learning and Development and Career Coaching space for the last 7+ years including experience facilitating career workshops for MBA students and creating professional development opportunities for people managers.  Kat is most energized helping folks be the best versions of themselves!

Joe DeCosmo

Chief Analytics and Technology Officer

Enova International

Joe joined Enova as Chief Analytics Officer in 2014. As CAO, Joe leads a multi-disciplinary analytics team that provides end-to-end data and analytic services including data warehousing, business intelligence, business analytics, fraud, credit risk and marketing. His team supports the global online financial services offered by Enova International and delivers on-demand decision-making technology and real-time predictive analytics services to clients through the Enova Decisions® brand. Prior to working at Enova, he served as Director and Practice Leader of Advanced Analytics for Chicago-based West Monroe Partners. He has also held a number of executive positions at HAVI Global Solutions and the Allant Group. Joe received a B.A. in economics from Lewis University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is Immediate Past-President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association and is on the Advisory Board of the UIC College of Business Administration. Joe lives in the Chicago area with his wife and daughters.

Sandee Kastrul

President and Co-Founder


Sandee is the proud president and chief hope officer of i.c.stars, a workforce development organization and a social enterprise. i.c.stars exists to develop change-driven individuals to excel in technology careers and effect change as community leaders. Sandee is also an Advisory Board Member of Chicago Innovation Awards, The Axelson Center and RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity. Sandee enjoys working with i.c.stars alums in their entrepreneurial endeavors both for profit and non-profit and is currently working on expanding the i.c.stars model into new cities. Sandee is close to finishing her book, Change and Equity.



  1. 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM : Lunch and Networking (Policy Center)

    Lunch networking will include easy icebreaker activities and interactive poster/mural for participants to engage with the theme of the day.

  2. 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM : ARA Panel (Policy Center)
    The Pandemic’s Catalyst Effect: The Great “Re”, Presented by ARA
    Recent research from Gallup’s Global Workplace 2022 report highlights the changes on the work front. A few statistics for context:
    • 60% of people are emotionally detached at work, and 19% are miserable.
    • Only three in ten workers are thriving in their overall wellbeing.
    Beginning in early 2021, we saw an ongoing economic trend in which employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs. The Great Resignation was coined and became known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle. Causes include wage stagnation amid the rising cost of living, long-lasting job dissatisfaction, safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the desire to work for companies with better remote-working policies.
    The world has seen (and continues to navigate) massive shifts due to the pandemic; behaviors, the economy, medicine, and more have been impacted over the past two years. 2020 will forever stamp and change our lives. We all have experienced response shifts–our personal “re” moments. What was yours? Recalibrate? Reclaim? Reinvent? Reset?
    During TED-style presentations, hear from three female Chicago technology leaders about their journey over the past two years and how their individual “re” moments impacted their decisions, actions, and outcomes. Immediately following the talks, we will host an interactive audience Q&A with the presenters.
    Speakers include:
    ARA, an organization that aspires to Attract, Retain, and Advance women in technology, is pleased to partner with the Women of Enova for the seventh consecutive year of ChiWitCon. We believe women’s voices are critical to all aspects of life, and our mission continues to be one of support, action, and, ultimately, lifting other women.
  3. 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM : Workshop by Kat Knight (Policy Center)

    After hearing from a handful of incredible panelists on their “Re” moments, we turn the focus to you! In this session you will work in small groups to “re-craft” your story, “re-define” what you need in this “re-invented” work environment, and gain helpful tips on how to “re-engage” and support one-another through the rest of the conference and beyond.

  4. 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM : Networking and Trivia

    Join us for rooftop drinks and compete in women-in-tech themed trivia for a chance to win a networking dinner!


175 W Jackson | 22nd Floor, 175 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL, USA




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