CHIWITCON 2021 will be virtual! Please join our mailing list and we'll let you know when registration opens.
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.
Shivani Anand is a Sr. Principal Solution Architect at Discover, focused around providing technology and data driven solutions for Data and Analytics (DNA) organization. At Discover, she is actively involved in business-critical Data Science and Analytics initiatives which requires solutions around. Cloud technologies, Containers, CICD, Data Integration and managing sensitive data. She is an energetic leader with 20 years of experience in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence space having an opportunity to work with multiple fortune 500 companies. She has led multiple technology forums within a company to promote the culture of learning from each other and showcasing your engineering craftsmanship. She is a big supporter of Women in Technology. She is a certified AWS Solutions Architect and a lifelong learner.
Sandra Dainora is Chief Product Officer at Sittercity, where she oversees the Product, Trust & Safety and Customer Success teams. In her role, she’s focused on making child care finally work by building a platform that simplifies the way parents and caregivers connect and manage their relationships. She’s also called mom by a hockey-loving and shipwreck-obsessed, five-year-old. Prior to joining Sittercity, Sandra spent 5 years at Grubhub where she led the rollout of the takeout industry’s first in-restaurant tablet and Grubhub’s entry into the delivery space. Past roles have also included time at the Oprah Winfrey Network, Harpo Productions, Chicago Tribune, Discover Financial Services and A&E Television Networks. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Prajakta is a part of the Cloud Data Products team at Discover Financial Services. She has been extensively working in cloud technology for over five years especially implementing a variety of data ingestion pipelines helping drive faster analytics. She has done her Masters of Science in Computer Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Having published two research papers at an International Journal regarding data mining in college, right after graduation, she started hands on with data engineering and cloud technologies involving CICD, automation, data integration solutions, migration of legacy databases, and its reporting. She is passionate about solving data problems and modern technologies. She is an active supporter of Women in STEM and outside work she enjoys dancing and kettlebell weight trainings, plays a flute and does volunteer events at Chicago Cares.
Ell Marquez, advocate for Hacking Is Not A Crime and Operation Safe Escape has traveled the world for the last five years, educating security practitioners on subjects from on-prem infrastructure to the cloud and everything in between. The journey has not always been easy, however with solid community support, she's been able to continue spreading the message that, “It’s Okay to Be New.”
Katie Branch is a senior manager, providing leadership for Ensono’s Mainframe Academy. Katie leads the development and enhancement of talent within the company’s mainframe sector. She holds over 18 years of leadership experience, previously working for companies including DXC Technology, HPE, and Acxiom. Katie is also a Regional Lead for Ensono’s Women Connected program, promoting the inclusion and recognition of women in IT on a local and global level.
Katie is a first-generation college graduate. From the start, her ultimate goal in life was to find ways to give back to those that struggled to see opportunity and found the field of IT to be a fruitful avenue to accomplish this goal. Over the years, Katie has gained an increased appreciation for acknowledging unrecognized potential in others. She is eager to make a difference in the lives of aspiring and new IT professionals and believes that her current position is a perfect opportunity to make use of this passion. In her free time, Katie loves spending quality time with her family and seeking opportunities to give back to the community when possible through volunteerism to help those less fortunate, especially through mentorship of young girls and women.
Alicia built her career in software consulting, in roles including Chief Employee Experience Officer, Project Manager, Program Manager, Consultant, DEIB Facilitator, Leadership Coach and Analyst. She’s worked across industries - financial services, healthcare, transportation, education, manufacturing, e-commerce and more.
Alicia recently transitioned to nonprofit work as the Interim Volunteer Coordinator role at Lambert House, an LGBTQ organization supporting youth. She also works with WalkShop, an executive coaching workshop and leadership conference for which participants spend a week hiking across the countryside to confront/solve shared professional concerns. Alicia moved to Spain in August 2021, and is focused on social impact, change, and adventure.
Judith is a strategy consultant working with software development consultancies to improve delivery and operations. She also works with code academies and individuals on a variety of Agile workshops and services.
Judith shares her 20+ years of project management experience as an instructor for Code Platoon in Chicago and CodeOp in Barcelona. She also served as a board member for Black Diamond Charities, serving US Veterans.
You can read more about Judith in https://www.thisisjudith.com/
Christine ('Tine) Zekis is an educator-turned-developer working as a Software Engineer in Chicago. She champions Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in tech, while delivering clean, well-tested code. She enjoys mentoring and sponsoring other career changers, especially those who are underrepresented in the industry. In her spare time...just kidding: 'Tine has a 3-year-old, a 1-year-old, and no spare time.
Ally Bubb combines enthusiasm, honesty, and authenticity into her work as an executive career coach and speaker, teaching people to tell compelling career stories to wow employers because when people genuinely love what they do, our workplaces, homes, and world are transformed. She is passionate about fixing the leak in the technology pipeline by equipping women and non-binary individuals to leverage their distinctive strengths in leadership creating more equity at all levels. She is the bestselling author of Success Authentically and Change Authentically. Ally earned a B.S. in Management of Information Systems from Michigan Technological University and a M.B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is an entrepreneur, coach, keynote speaker, blogger, educator, and author as well as a nature-lover, cat cuddler, and parent to two spirited kids.
Work Authentically is reinventing the world of work by teaching people to leverage their unique style, approach, and way of being through presentations, workshops, and individual and group coaching.
Jenn Donahue PhD is a civil engineer and US Navy Captain who works on large scale, high profile geotechnical projects. Over her 25-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River in the midst of the Iraq war, commanded an 800-personnel Battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents. Jenn has led earthquake and tsunami reconnaissance missions in places like Samoa and Japan; designed the seismic plans for a bridge over the Panama Canal; and built roads in the coldest climes of Ketchikan. Along the way she mentored scores of young leaders and facing down bullies in her own command structure. Today Jenn runs JL Donahue Engineering. She also lectures at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Jenn is working on her first book, Go Do Great Things: Ditch Your Camouflage and Become a Genuine Leader.
President / Elevate Performance Solutions, Inc.
Co-CEO / femmebought
For nearly 15 years, Kirsten Ramos has motivated individuals to look within themselves to work more effectively with others.
Kirsten’s background includes leading learning and development activities for smaller, post start-up organizations all the way to Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about helping people communicate more confidently, especially women. She continues to partner with organizations developing empathetic leaders that recognize the need to change within their companies.
Kirsten is a proud graduate of the University of Iowa – go Hawkeyes! She is certified in administering several communication and behavioral assessments including, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment ® (MBTI), EverythingDiSC ® , and FourSight ® Mindset creativity assessment. She has a Synchronous Learning Delivery certificate from the American Society for Training & Development (ATD) and has significant experience creating and delivering virtual learning to meet the demands of the global workforce.
Fun facts about Kirsten:
Contact her to discuss personalized coaching, presentation skills, management training needs, individual contributor training, corporate-wide learning initiatives, early career program development and management, for short and long-term contract durations – in live and virtual formats.
Women @ Enova is an Affinity Group launched to empower, attract, and support the development of Women at Enova. The group will help connect, develop and advance female talent by providing networking, professional development, and community engagement opportunities to all Enova employees, regardless of gender identity.
Enova is a leading FinTech company headquartered in downtown Chicago. Our mission is helping hardworking people get access to trustworthy credit. Powered by our advanced analytics and innovative technology, we’ve issued more than $20 billion in credit to over 5 million non-prime consumers and small businesses around the globe. In 2016 we launched Enova Decisions™ to offer on-demand digital decision-making technology and real-time predictive analytics services to clients across industries.
GoHealth has an ambitious mission: to improve the health care system in America. Achieving this mission relies on hiring and developing great people, which is why our team is our top priority. We encourage employees to do their best work through innovation and risk taking. Our environment is fun yet constructive, thanks to leaders whose doors are always open. And most importantly, we’ll never stop investing in you and your career. For the 3rd consecutive year, GoHealth has once again won the award, Chicago (2019) Best and Brightest Companies to Work For!
LogicGate®, creator of the Risk Cloud™ platform and Risk Cloud Exchange (RCX), is redefining the way businesses think about risk. Through the proactive management of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) processes via the no-code, agile Risk Cloud and RCX, hundreds of customers rely on Risk Cloud to improve organizational efficiency, reduce costs and enable revenue generation and retention. In addition to earning recognition for its technology innovation from Gartner and G2, the global company has also received accolades from Crain’s Chicago Business, Built in Chicago and the Chicago Tribune for its company culture.
Centro is a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations. Its technology platform, Basis, is the first of its kind SaaS advertising solution unifying programmatic and direct media buying, along with workflow automation, cross-channel campaign planning, universal reporting, and business intelligence. It boosts media, team and business performance by enabling advertisers to plan, buy and analyze real-time bidding (RTB), direct, search and social campaigns in a single platform. Headquartered in Chicago with 40 offices in North America, Centro has received numerous accolades for its commitment to employees and workplace culture.
Brad’s Deals was founded on the principle that you should never have to pay full price. As a college student in 2001, Brad Wilson got sticker shock at his college’s bookstore and started helping fellow students find better prices online. He developed a following of deal-seekers, giving him the idea to start a company where he could continue to “evangelize frugality,” as he puts it. Brad learned to build a website and set up shop in his Chicago apartment, and soon after, Brad's Deals was born. The company has grown from a one-person operation to a dynamic, 70-person team that helped shoppers save more than $227 Million in 2016 alone.
Everyday, you're out there making things happen. That's why the CEO, Pat Vihtelic, created Home Chef: to provide everything you need to bring more delicious meals and moments to the table, no matter how busy you are. From online, to doorstep, to your kitchen table, Home Chef makes home-cooking simple by providing fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes straight to your door. Since the creation of the company in 2013, there has been over 30 million meals delivered across the U.S. Home Chef is bringing people together, one home-cooked meal at a time.