Raleigh-Durham Leadership Team

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Jen Albertson | Chapter Co-Director

Jen is an Engineering Manager at Red Hat, leading two teams of incredibly talented engineers in developing open source projects. Prior to joining Red Hat, Jen worked as a manager, project manager, software engineer at several other companies. Jen started her software engineering career by accident – as a Geology major at Penn State University, she stumbled into her first programming class while trying to avoid another math course. She fell in love with programming, starting her first business creating web pages while still getting her degree.

Jen has been actively involved in volunteering, especially in areas that provide access to science and technology to underrepresented groups. Starting her career as the only woman at many of the software companies she worked for, she was swept away when attending Grace Hopper with 14,000 other women in technology. After hearing about ChickTech at the conference, she became passionate about bringing this opportunity to girls in the Raleigh-Durham area.

You can reach Jen at jen.albertson@ChickTech.org

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Preethi Thomas | Chapter Co-Director

I am a quality engineer at Red Hat. As a Quality Engineer I advocates for customer needs and ensures timely releases of the software. I have a Master’s degree in Computer Science. Passionate about engaging women in technology, I remotely mentors students at her alma mater Bishop Heber College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.

As a mom to 2 teenage girls, I am very aware of the lack of programs for encouraging teenage girls to join the tech world and feels passionate about getting involved in such programs.

You can reach Preethi at preethi.thomas@ChickTech.org

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Sarah Harvey | Marketer

I’m a talker, creator, and determined to understand how things work which lead me into the sparkling world of marketing.

You can reach Sarah at sarah.harvey@ChickTech.org

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Jessica Forrester | Volunteer Coordinator

I have been working in frontend software development for nine years across products ranging from social software for business to my current job as the user interface lead of OpenShift Container Platform at Red Hat. I have a Master’s degree in Computer Science from NC State but my other scholarly pursuits covered mathematics and biology, because all of STEM is fun!

I first got involved volunteering to promote girls in computing during my undergrad years at Virginia Tech, through the AWC Women in Computing Day. I’m excited to recruit and organize more volunteers to helping the same cause.

You can reach Jessica at jessica.forrester@ChickTech.org

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Kelly Curtin | Volunteer Coordinator

My dad wanted me to be a plastics engineer but I refused. I wanted to be a marine biologist because I love the ocean. I discovered biology involved chemistry, which I was really bad at. I changed my major to political science because that was what my sister was studying. Once I realized that political science majors make 16K out of school (it was the 1980’s), I changed my major to MIS. I took my first computer class soon after and was failing. Then one day, a light when on and I got it. I decided to minor in computer science and never look back.

Almost 30 years later, I am still writing software and I still love it. I currently am a director of data analysis at Fidelity Investments. I still love the ocean and am an avid scuba diver. My motto is try everything because you never know what you love until you try it.

You can reach Kelly at kelly.curtin@ChickTech.org 

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Rima Chakravarty | Business Development Lead

I believe in empowerment and gender equality for women. Diversity enhances creativity and provokes unique perspectives leading to better decisions, breakthrough innovations and constructive problem solving leading to betterment of societies. Given opportunities and guidance, women can make significant contributions to the tech industry and help in reducing the gender gap.

For the past several years, I worked in various roles related to data and analytics in government, financial, and technology sectors. Currently I am the Product Analytics Lead at Red Hat. I have Masters degrees in Economics, with concentrations in Mathematics and Statistics.

You can reach Rima at rima.chakravarty@chicktech.org

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Roshni Pattath | Activities and Workshop Lead

I have been working in the software development/testing field since the last ~10 years. Art/craft and yoga are some other activities that I love to spend time on. I like to be engaged in volunteering activities especially if it is related to helping kids in some way.

You can reach Roshni at roshni.pattath@chicktech.org

Bihan Zhang | Activities and Workshop Lead

Bihan is a software engineer at Red Hat working on www.pulpproject.org. She likes open source, python, and coffee, all of which are plentiful at her current job.

You can reach Bihan at bihan.zhang@gmail.com

Michael Hrivnak | Activities and Workshop Lead

You can reach Michael at michael.hrivnak@chicktech.org

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Michelle Adley | Participant Engagement Lead

Michelle Adley is a Solution Architect with NetApp’s IT department and has over 20 years of IT experience. She is originally from Wilmington, NC and she went to NC State and Meredith College where she got her BS in Computer Science. She enjoys cake decorating and camping with her husband and two young daughters.

You can reach Michelle at michelle.adley@gmail.com

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Sandra Parker | Participant Engagement Lead

Sandra has been in the technology space for 20 years. She has had positions at Red Hat, Lulu Publishing (open source self publishing), and Cisco/NetApp (FlexPod Sales Desk). She currently works in sales at Red Hat and loves introducing clients to new technologies.

She is the mother of two boys and is passionate about diversity and inclusion in all areas of business. With an English major from UNC-Chapel Hill she started in banking, but through her own personal experiences in technology she has learned that the opportunity to be equal, and even rise above, is prevalent in technology. She is excited about learning to code with her 11 year old son using Scratch and code.org and hopes to one day contribute to the world of useful apps and programs.

You can reach Sandra at sandypar00@gmail.com

Raleigh-Durham Advisory Board Members

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Arup Chakravarty

Technology professional with 23 years of IT networking & telecommunications industry experience, with a passion for continuous learning, leadership and driving technology transformation. I am a strong believer that education is a motivator, with some guidance, it makes a huge difference in attitude, aptitude and impact to any individuals.

After serving 21 years in high-tech industry vendor companies, I am currently in a leadership role in MetLife’s Engineering team.

You can reach Arup at arup.chakravarty@ChickTech.org

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