Raleigh-Durham Leadership Team

rdu-preethi-thomas_headshot-for-ghc_1-1

Preethi Thomas | Chapter 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

MichelleBio

Michelle Adley | Chapter Director

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

bio_pic

Jen Albertson | Finance Director

Jen is an Engineering Manager at Red Hat. 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

SarahHarvey

Sarah Harvey | Marketing Manager

Sarah Harvey is an accidental technology marketer to marketers. Working at Red Hat, the world’s largest open source software company, she supports marketers through training and communication about utilizing and optimizing marketing technology for their day-to-day efforts. She began her Red Hat career in pre-sales before making the switch to marketing automation and found her calling in enabling others to be more independent through the use of software.

A new mom to baby Lyla, she’s passionate about seeing the workplace disparities she sees disappear for her daughter, young cousins, and nieces by introducing technology early, encouraging young girls to try new things, and managing the automation platform and marketing strategy for ChickTech.

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

Chandrika

Chandrika Raghavan | Fundraising Manager

I am passionate about initiatives and programs that further gender equality. I have over fifteen years experience in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries and have led compliance and ethics programs. Being technology-savy and qualification as an Oracle certified database administrator provided me with the insights to manage and utilize data efficiently in furthering my goals in biotechnology-related functions.

You can reach Chandrika at chandrika.raghavan@chicktech.org

sallyw_image

Sally Wahba | Participant Engagement Coordinator

Sally is a Member of Technical Staff at NetApp. Sally joined NetApp after obtaining her PhD in Computer Science from Clemson University. Her passion for outreach activities started at Clemson when she became aware of the low number of women in STEM — a problem that did not exist in her home country, Egypt. When not working or doing outreach activities, you will find her serving as a reviewer for a technical conference, baking, or training for a running race.

You can reach Sally at sally.wahba@chicktech.org

Sherrill

Sherrill Berry | Volunteer Coordinator

My path to IT was not a conventional one. I started my college curriculum in nursing, quickly realized it wasn’t for me, so switched my major to Animal and Veterinary Science. I loved my pre-vet courses but found that I was allergic to a lot of the animals I was supposed to be caring for!

After graduation, I got my first job at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as a medical research technician. It was a fun job but didn’t come close to paying my bills. While working 2 jobs, and still barely able to make ends meet, I found the Computer Learning Center in Massachusetts where I pursued a Programming certificate. From there I have never looked back. I spent over 30 years in IT doing a variety of jobs including, programming, development manager, project manager, and scrum master. All were as rewarding as the next. The cool thing is that I was able to try out all these roles because the company I was working for allowed the flexibility.

I also love to volunteer, cook, play piano, cycle, and travel!

You can reach Sherrill at sherrill.berry@ChickTech.org

kelly-1-1

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 

rima

Rima Chakravarty | Career Events 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

roshni

Roshni Pattath | Workshop Manager

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

Raleigh-Durham Advisory Board Members

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.