DCFemTech Professional Advisor Profiles

The following Professional Advisors are 12 dynamic women who are happy to discuss career options, and how/if technology might play a role. They have voluntarily offered their profiles and are looking forward to sharing their insights. These women are associated with one or more of the 25+ organizations that are affiliated with DCFemTech, a coalition of women-in-tech organizations that GUWWC is also affiliated with. Please contact the advisors via the contact information given in these profiles. The profiles are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Each profile includes:

·      Contact Info
·      College
·      Graduate School (if applicable)
·      First Job After College
·      Current Company/Position
·      Relevant Skills/Industries
·      Hobbies


For quick reference, here is a list of the advisors and their positions:

1.    Fox, Michelle: Executive Director of Code for Progress
2.    Doran, Michelle: Account Executive at Social Tables
3.    Ghessie, Sarah: Operations Manager at Social Tables
4.    Lai, Amy: Data Manager at a Genetic Testing Company
5.    Link, Jessie: Director of Engineering at Consumer Mobile
6.    McMillan, Allison: Engineer at General Assembly
7.    Paulino, Mariella: Code for Progress Fellow, Hear Me Code participant, Georgetown Grad Student
8.    Pongor, Madeline: EdTech Startup Founder & Georgetown Grad Student
9.    Shorey, Rachel: Software Developer at Sunlight Foundation
10.Soderberg, Beth: Front-end Web Developer at APCO Worldwide
11.Turner, Shannon: Founder and Software Developer at Hear Me Code
12.Van Campenhout, Tatiana: Designer and Front-end Developer at Mapbox


Fox, Michelle
Executive Director of Code for Progress 

·      Contact Info: michelle@codeforprogress.org

·      College: Hofstra University, Sociology BA

·      First Job After College: Dove Center Domestic Violence Shelter, Case Manager

·      Current Company/Position: Code for Progress, Executive Director. We train women and people of color to code and help them start careers in social-good tech.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: Management, networking, business skills, being a woman of color in a white man’s world, self-care

·      Hobbies: Making quilts, greeting cards, food, anything homey; reading; spending time with family; traveling; exploring my city; laughing.


Doran, Michelle
Account Executive at Social Tables

·      Contact Info:

o   michelle.doran000@gmail.com or michelle@socialtables.com

o   856 981 9993

·      College: I attended the University of Richmond with a BA in Rhetoric and Communication Studies.

·      First Job After College: Out of college, I moved to Spain traveling around the country for a few months. Upon my return I worked for an inside sales company, Vorsight, performing lead generation for small tech startups.

·      Current Company/Position: Through Vorsight I was introduced to Social Tables where I now hold an Account Executive role on our Sales Team. I had the unique opportunity to work in sales for companies selling products across all industries and verticals - Fortune 500 companies, Higher Education, Health Systems etc. - so no industry is off limits.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: My professional background is in Strategic Sales, but my degree is more aligned with Public Relations. Working for Start Ups has given me the opportunity to wear many hats beyond sales, and I would be happy to mentor anyone regardless of their background.

·      Hobbies: Apart from work, I am a huge yogi. I like spending time outside when it is nice and trying new restaurants and coffee shops in DC.


Ghessie, Sarah
Operations Manager at Social Tables

·      Contact Info:

o   sarah@socialtables.com

o   240-447-7726

·      College: University of South Carolina; majored in Fashion Merchandising.

·      Graduate School: University of South Carolina; Masters in Retail.

·      First Job After College: My first job out of grad school was for a start-up in New York City called Hukkster. I was an Operations Assistant and my primary tasks were to monitor the items that people "Hukked" on our site and send out notifications when they went on sale.

·      Current Company/Position: I currently work at Social Tables as the Operations Manager. My role is pretty unique in that my first year or so here, I was handling Finance, HR, Operations, Office Management, and Culture for our company. My primary role now is to ensure that our culture continues to grow as we grow in numbers and handle all operational tasks.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: Finance, HR, Operations, Culture

·      Hobbies: I love to read, travel, go out to eat, and hang out with dogs.


Lai, Amy
Data Manager at a Genetic Testing Company

·      Contact Info: amy.jh.lai@gmail.com

·      College: I majored in chemistry at Princeton University

·      First Job After College: Before getting into tech, I worked at a perfumery after college doing problem-solving on air care products, then did a brief stint teaching English in China and eventually coming back to do pharmaceutical research. I started learning to code when I was 29 and attended Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco.

·      Current Company/Position: Now, I work at a genetic testing company writing an internal web application to help the scientists at my company manage their lab data.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: I'd probably be the most useful to people who are learning Ruby on Rails, are interested in science-related coding jobs, are wondering how to manage a career transition, and/or are stressed out about not having their entire life plan (or even just the next step) figured out yet.

·      Hobbies: I enjoy cooking and traveling.


Link, Jessie

Director of Engineering at Consumer Mobile

·      Contact Info: mad_typist@yahoo.com

·      College: Wellesley College, B.A. Computer Science

·      Graduate School: Hawaii Pacific University, M.S. Information Systems

·      First Job After College: U.S. Air Force officer (served 6 years). My first job was actually pretty awesome - I got to work as a software developer creating the virtual MPF, a first of its kind web application that let Air Force members manage their personnel records via the web. It was neat getting to work on an application that literally every Air Force member could use and benefit from.

·      Current Company/Position: My current position is as Director of Engineering - Consumer Mobile. Basically, if you interact with LivingSocial at all on a mobile device, you're touching work done by one of my teams. I supervise a mobile web development team, an android team, and an iOS team. My responsibilities include supervising and motivating my team, working with engineering management on high-level initiatives, and whatever else needs doing. I'm also working on improving my Android development skills so I can hopefully jump into that code base as well.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries

o   Ruby/Ruby on Rails

o   Front-end web development (HTML, CSS, JS)

o   Team leadership

o   Project management

·      Hobbies

o   I host a semi-monthly podcast for nerdy pop culture things

o   I love videogames and am currently obsessed with Minecraft and League of Legends

o   I love going to the movies and I also enjoy riding my bike


McMillan, Allison
Engineer at General Assembly 

·      Contact Info: allison.p.mcmillan@gmail.com

·      College: University of Michigan, BAs in Political Science and Israel Studies.

·      First Job After College: She worked as a nonprofit executive for Jewish campus and national nonprofit organizations for a number of years helping to manage the nonprofit by hiring and overseeing staff, implementing new and innovative campus and nationwide initiatives, budgeting, and more. She then left to launch a startup focused on connecting neighbors with one another. While launching the startup, she started to learn how to code through involvement with Rails Girls and loved it.

·      Current Company/Position: She is now an engineer at General Assembly doing web development full time.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: She can mentor in some Ruby/Rails, becoming/transitioning into a role as a developer (especially from a female perspective), career transitions, and anything related to running a nonprofit or launching a startup.


Paulino, Mariella
Code for Progress Fellow, Hear Me Code participant, Georgetown Grad Student

·      Contact Info: mariella@codeforprogress.org

·      College: New York University

·      Graduate School: Georgetown University: Master's in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.

·      First Job After College: My first job after college was working for the Department of Defense as an intern and was quickly promoted to a financial analyst.  

·      Current Company/Position: I am a Code for Progress fellow, a Hear Me Code participant, and a Georgetown University graduate student. Currently I am working as a contracting software and web developer and designing my own applications.  

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: The skills I feel most confident teaching is introductions to coding and applying coding to normal every-day jobs.  Python and HTML are two big loves of mine.  I'm also a strong advocate of using coding for social good projects, this being one of the main reasons I was accepted into the Code for Progress program.  I'm interested in mentoring and telling other women that coding, really, isn't as hard as it is made out to be.  And it is also incredibly fun, enthralling, and gratifying.

·      Hobbies: For fun I workout and have recently rediscovered the joy of crossfit, so I'm trying to find a good balance after sitting in front of a computer all day.  


Pongor, Madeline
EdTech Startup Founder & Georgetown Grad Student

·       Contact Info: mmpongor@gmail.com

·       College: Duke University -- Bachelor’s in Public Policy, Minor in Spanish, and Certificate in Journalism and Media Studies

·       Graduate School: Georgetown McDonough School of Business and Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy (MBA/MPP, Class of 2015)

·       First Job After College: Executive Assistant to the American Ambassador to Spain at the US Embassy in Madrid. I primarily conducted research on international technology, science, and economic policies and coordinated events that united the Spanish Ministry of Science and NASA. I then went on to work in Mumbai (India) as a Duke Hart Research Fellow with a nonprofit providing education and healthcare for the children of migrant construction workers.

·       Current Company/Position: I am about to complete my graduate studies at Georgetown while also running an edtech startup (www.partnerportal.org). I co-founded this startup with a team of my fellow Education Pioneers alumni; we have developed an online partnership management system specifically for service-learning courses. Our first iteration has been sold to a medical school and we are in talks with over a dozen US universities that are front-runners in experiential learning. My role has included everything from managing a team of coders, front-end website development, legal negotiations, fundraising, presenting and pitching, and marketing/sales.

·       Relevant Industries & Skill-Sets:

o   Skill-sets: Front-end website development; managing teams of coders; IT product development and implementation; education technology; navigating the startup process.

o   Industries: Business; education policy; international affairs; consulting; research.

·       Hobbies: I love running long-distance and traveling to random places to get off the beaten path. I’m a huge food lover, but a terrible cook!


Shorey, Rachel
Software Developer at Sunlight Foundation

·      Contact Info: rshorey@gmail.com

·      College: Swarthmore College with a degree in mathematics and linguistics

·      Graduate School: MS in computer science at UMass Amherst, with a focus on machine learning and natural language processing.

·      First Job After College: After college, her first job was as a researcher in the linguistics department at University of Maryland, where she reviewed literature and wrote code to simulate theories of human language learning. She has also worked on political campaigns as a software engineer and a data analyst.

·      Current Company/Position: Rachel Shorey is a software developer at Sunlight Foundation, working on mostly back-end projects relating to open government data. She is also a programmer and teacher/TA/coach/mentor with Hear Me Code.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: Her programming language of choice these days is Python, and she uses a lot of SQL, but she is also familiar with a variety of other programming languages, and she remains interested in machine learning and data analysis techniques, especially applications involving text data.

·      Hobbies: When she's not hunched over her computer, she can often be found knitting or taking her dog for a hike in Rock Creek Park.


Soderberg, Beth
Front-end Web Developer at APCO Worldwide

·      Contact Info: beth.soderberg@gmail.com

·      College: I did not study web development in college and instead have two bachelors degrees in Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies from American University.

·      Graduate School: I also have a certificate in Web Design from the Corcoran College of Art & Design. Though I have that web design certificate, I am primarily a self-taught developer. I continue to learn huge amounts of new things every day that make me a better developer and designer.

·      First Job After College: The first company I worked for after college was the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. Magazine. I worked there initially as an executive assistant and online news editor. My primary responsibilities were to assist the executive director in keeping track of her schedule and projects, write and publish a daily newswire, and handle all media and press relations. Over time, my role shifted to be more and more technical and by the time I left FMF/Ms. five years later I had achieved the title of "web developer."

·      Current Company/Position: I am currently a front-end web developer at APCO Worldwide. I spend most of my time building websites for clients and am the resident WordPress expert on my team. I also build lots of sites in Drupal. Recently I've started to specialize in web animation and the more cutting edge front-end designs that my team produces. Overall, it's my job to make sure that the websites we produce are as visually perfect as can be. I also have put together quite a few trainings related to web development processes and basics for non-technical members of my team.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: I am most confident mentoring around front end development topics, especially CSS, HTML, animation, responsive design, the relationship between information architecture/UX and web development, WordPress, Drupal, and how to teach yourself technical things.

·      Hobbies: In my free time I love to visit art museums, read books, make art, do genealogy research, and work on my yet to be published blog. I also have dreams of starting an Etsy shop, and I am determined to make both the blog and the Etsy shop happen in 2015!


Turner, Shannon
Founder and Software Developer at Hear Me Code 

·      Contact Info: shannon.v.turner@gmail.com

·      College: I studied Political Science in Cleveland.  I took one programming class (Java) but didn't get into it and couldn't see how to make it relevant to what I wanted to do.

·      First Job After College: I worked at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights as a coordinator for our nationwide voter assistance program.  We had call centers in 33 cities across the country, and my job was to coordinate our national efforts, create training manuals, recruit volunteers, ensure the program ran smoothly on Election day, and analyze the results.

·      Current Company/Position: I'm a software developer and founder of Hear Me Code, which offers free, beginner-friendly women-only coding classes here in DC. I'm self-taught, and remember how difficult it was to learn on my own, so I wanted to make a curriculum that was actually helpful to beginners.  What started off informally with four women learning around my kitchen table has grown in one year to over 700 women learning and growing together. Now I also work for a nonprofit called the New Organizing Institute as a software developer, where I build new features for our websites, redesign websites, create mobile apps, and create tools for our staff to use.

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: I started teaching myself Python 2.5 years ago, and have picked up HTML, CSS, and JavaScript along the way.  All of my projects are listed in my portfolio at http://shannonvturner.com/

·      Hobbies: I love to cook and share food with friends, listen to podcasts, and go to museums.


Van Campenhout, Tatiana
Designer and Front-end Developer at Mapbox

·      Contact Info: tatiana@mapbox.com

·      College: Bachelor’s degree in Development and Design at Howest University College in Kortrijk, Belgium, where I learned how to code. This program consists of 50% design and 50% development classes. I learned the basics of Actionscript, JavaScript, php, MySQL, html/css/sass, Objective-c, open frameworks… So I know a little about a lot, but I'm most confident about my design and frontend development skills.

·      Graduate School: I have a Masters in Visual Arts, focusing on Graphic and Multimedia design at Sint-Lucas, School of Arts in Ghent (Belgium) where I developed most of my design skills. The main focus was on design and typography (mostly print focused).

·      First Job After College: I started working at Mapbox right after graduating from my second bachelor. One of the first big projects I worked on was the Mapbox Redesign, where I had to combine my design skills (from UI/UX to illustrations to animations) with my frontend development skills.

·      Current Company/Position: I'm a designer and frontend developer at Mapbox (www.mapbox.com) and I fill my days illustrating, animating, and breathing personality into Mapbox' growing product suite. My most recent work can be found on: www.tatiana.be

·      Relevant Skills/Industries: Front-end web development, UI/UX, design.

·      Hobbies: I've been mentoring a couple of students from The Washington Center (a program I participated in myself) last semester and I really enjoyed doing this, so I'm super excited to help more students out wherever I can!