ChiWitCon 2019

Speakers – 2019

Yemi Akisanya

Director of Diversity and Inclusion


Yemi Akisanya is a passionate leader and innovative thinker with over 10 years of experience in the Financial Market sector. Yemi has spent over 13 years in Technology, Business Development and Strategy. He is currently the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization and the foundation for secure markets.
Previously at OCC, Yemi served as a Product Development Manager and led a team of business analyst that balanced multiple responsibilities focused on new product and business development efforts in the liaison role between central party clearing and settlement services organization and external business customers such as exchanges, banks, and clearing members.
While he has held multiple positions at the company, Yemi's leadership qualities andaffinity toward social impact inspired his decision to transition to his role as Director of Diversity and Inclusion in 2018. In this role, he is responsible for the strategy creation and execution of OCC’s short and long-term Diversity & Inclusion plan. The mission is to inspire and engage OCC to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace and own a positive corporate culture ripe for social impact in the community.
Prior to joining OCC in 2011, Yemi held positions at Chicago Mercantile Exchange and JP Morgan Chase as a Lead QA Analyst, where he specialized in large-scale initiatives for the financial services industry specifically in Clearing.
Yemi serves on the Board of Directors for i.c.stars, which is a program that provides technology-based workforce development, leadership training, and access to career opportunities for low-income adults in the Chicagoland area. He also seats on the Advisory Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Yemi is currently an Executive MBA candidate at Northwestern’s Kellogg school of Management and holds a Master of Science in Communication degree from Northwestern University. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a B.A. in Management Information Systems where he also played and captained the college football team.

Helen Sun

Chief Technology Officer

STATS Perform

Dr. Helen Sun is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at STATS Perform, overseeing AI, Innovation, Global Engineering, Design, and IT.
Dr. Sun joins STATS Perform from JPMorgan Chase, most recently serving as Chief Technology Officer of the Commercial Banking division. For over 22 years, Sun has a proven record as a technology strategist and thought leader in previous roles as Vice President of Cloud Computing, Information Management, and Architecture at Motorola Solutions; Senior Director of Global Enterprise Architecture at Salesforce; and Director of Enterprise Architecture at Oracle.
Dr. Sun is a leader in transforming businesses through innovative solutions, and has published 3 books on the topics of big data and advanced analytics.
Sun earned a Ph.D. in Education Technology and Information Systems from The University of Toledo prior to her extensive leadership experience across multiple financial and software organizations. She has been recognized by the Chicago Business Journal as “Business Woman of the Year” and as a featured speaker at the University of Chicago’s “Women in Analytics” symposium. On July 16, 2018, Dr. Sun was recognized in Crain’s Tech 50 of 2018.

Amanda Hinchman-Dominguez

Software Engineer


Amanda Hinchman-Dominguez is a Kotlin and crocheting enthusiast, but her day job is Android engineering at Yello. She’s a technical writer on Medium for publications like Towards Data Science and as an active member in the Kotlin community, she likes to hang out on the TornadoFX channel on the Kotlinlang slack to answer questions. She has 3 parakeets named Biggie, Sunny, and Kiki, and she also decided to get a real hobby recently so she is also does hot yoga. It’s progressed from insufferable to somewhat sufferable.

Kristen Cho

Chief Marketing Officer


Kristen Cho is Chief Marketing Officer at Reverb, the leading online marketplace for buying and selling musical instruments and one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Chicago. As CMO at Reverb, Kristen leads Reverb’s 25+ person global marketing team. Previously, Kristen led the marketing teams at both designer consignment marketplace Luxury Garage Sale and at SpotHero, the Chicago-based parking reservation platform. Prior to joining Chicago’s tech startup scene, Kristen spent seven years in various leadership positions at digital marketing agencies iProspect and Digitas.

Joanna Burgraf



Joanna Burgraf joined Enova Int’l in 2007. She is the manager of Enova Studios, Enova’s in-house creative agency, leading the digital design and copy teams. In her current role, she builds scalable systems so her teams can create their most innovative work. Her teams developed the content and designed the front-end for Enova’s 11 brands. Prior to her current role, she established the creative front-end development team, filling a gap between Enova’s technology and marketing teams. She has been working in digital and print design for the last 17 years and her clients include GM, Kenmore, Whirlpool, NFL, RJR Nabisco as well as local tech startups. She formerly co-operated Fluxcore, a digitally-based experimental artist collective. Joanna is a resident at Platform Art Studios, where she is currently exploring creativity through painting.

Donna Claire

Senior Manager


Donna Claire is the Senior Manager of Enova Studios accountable for the UX practice across the organization. She has a strong management and user experience background, and a proven track record of directing teams and programs across multiple marketing brands and selling channels, increasing market share through implementation and support of innovative campaigns. With over fifteen years of demonstrated experience planning and executing integrated programs, she is a confident consensus builder and leader of diverse teams, as well as a hands-on contributor and team player adept at managing simultaneous projects and aligning cross-functional priorities and business goals. She focuses on performance-driven solutions, streamlining processes and reducing operating costs while improving quality, productivity and customer experiences.

Jamie Gilpin

Chief Marketing Officer

Sprout Social

ARA Panel Discussion - Panelist

Jamie Gilpin is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sprout Social, a leading provider of social media listening and analytics, social management, customer care, and advocacy solutions to more than 20,000 brands and agencies. She is responsible for elevating Sprout’s brand position and driving customer acquisition, retention and growth through strategic, integrated marketing efforts. Jamie is passionate about the critical role social media plays across the organization and often speaks on customer experience, marketing strategy, consumer insights and brand strategy. Her insights and advice has been covered in media outlets including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Inc., Bloomberg, Entrepreneur and Adweek.

Prior to joining Sprout, Jamie was Chief Marketing Officer at Envoy where she played a key role in building a powerful brand and the marketing function. Jamie also previously served as the vice president of marketing and branding at CareerBuilder LLC. In that role, she directed the development of strategic marketing and was responsible for their B2B strategy.

Jamie received a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida State University.

Alida Miranda-Wolff

CEO and Founder


Alida Miranda-Wolff is the CEO and Founder of Ethos, a culture consulting meets diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) firm serving over 30 growing and growth-stage companies across the U.S. At Ethos, Alida focuses on building incredible – and incredibly diverse – company cultures by creating the conditions for everyone to thrive through organizational design, culture strategy, learning and development, and DEI strategies and practices.

Before Ethos, Alida headed up investors, partners, brand, and portfolio company growth at Hyde Park Angels. While at Hyde Park Angels, she helped grow the organization into the most active early-stage investor in the Midwest by developing a people-first approach to investing, one that focused on leveraging human capital as well as financial capital to drive positive outcomes.

Outside of Ethos, Alida is the founder of the Chicago Mastermind Group, which organizes both large and small masterminds for women of all backgrounds. She is also an Advisory Board Member at Prosper Strategies, a certified Mindfulness and Meditation instructor, classical guitarist, and working artist. Formerly, she served on mHub’s Venture Board and taught marketing and career advancement at General Assembly.

Leslie Vickrey


ClearEdge Marketing

ARA Panel Discussion - Moderator

Leslie Vickrey is a marketing expert and business advisor who began her career with McDonald’s Corporation and Junior Achievement. However, after serving as head of marketing for Spherion’s technology division, Leslie quickly found her niche. Today, as CEO of ClearEdge Marketing, Leslie works closely with leaders in technology, HR tech, and recruitment to help them tackle the challenges they face in talent management and acquisition. Leslie’s passion for gender equality in the workplace led her to co-found ARA, a group dedicated to attracting, retaining and advancing women in tech. Her recruitment podcast, “TheEdge,” has featured over 35 impressive female industry leaders. She has been named to the UIC Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame; 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year and the TechWeek 100 Chicago. She also serves on the boards of Chicago area organizations, Chicago Innovation and i.c. stars.

Matt Pulley

Chief Technology Officer


ARA Panel Discussion - Panelist

Matt has been CTO at Home Chef for over 4 years, where he’s helped lead the company from early stage startup, through multiple fundraises, to acquisition. Most recently, the Technology team at Home Chef has more than doubled, while focusing on creating a healthy and diverse technology organization. Prior to Home Chef, Matt was CTO at Snapsheet, where he built an industry-leading Mobile Insurance Claims platform.

Shaelyn Otikor

Global Business Strategy Specialist, Senior Vice President

Northern Trust Corporation

ARA Panel Discussion - Panelist

Shaelyn is a Senior Vice President and Global Strategy Specialist in the Corporate and Institutional (C&IS) business unit at Northern Trust, a financial services company headquartered in Chicago. C&IS is dedicated to servicing fund managers and asset owners with a broad range of products. Shaelyn is responsible for developing and leading the business unit’s global workforce strategy for 9,000+ employees across 20 countries. Her position includes diversity and inclusion, talent management, employee engagement, location strategy, and digital technology. During her 23-year career at Northern Trust she has held multiple positions related to business development, operations, software upgrades, client relationship management, global program management, European financial regulation post-economic crisis, and corporate social responsibility publishing three annual reports (2010-2012) located at She has also relocated to London twice on multi-year assignments to lead projects across Northern Trust’s European offices.
Shaelyn obtained her bachelor’s from DePaul University where she majored in international project management with a minor in computer science. She received her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Taranjeet Kaur

Principal Architect

Huntington Bank

Taranjeet Kaur is a Technology Architect, Software Developer and Tech Community Leader. In her current role as a member of the Chief Development Office at Huntington bank she designs smarter technology solutions for the enterprise using modern tools and she helps the developer community by creating and sharing best practices for software development. She is part of the organizing committee as a track owner for DogFoodCon (

Miriah Peterson

Data Scientist


Miriah Peterson graduated from BYU August 2017 with a B.S. is Physics. After dropping out of graduate school, she decided to pursue a career in software. She now works as a Data Scientist at Nav. She works in both Go and Python. She is the organizer of the Women Who Go Utah chapter and holds monthly meetings to help women get started in development careers. She is also an active member of the Utah Go Users Group where she has spoken on Data Science in Go. When not building out production level ETL systems in go she spends a lot of free time reading about Data Science, Deep Learning and works on implementing new skills and tools on personal projects on both Go and Python.

Jacqueline Potts

Backend Engineer

Ruby and Python software engineer originally from New York City, currently enjoying life living in the deep woods of Colorado. Co-Creator of Push of Love, the app that sends you affirmations and words of encouragement every day, because YOU DESERVE IT. Mentor for #BUILTBYGIRLS,, and a mentor within the engineering team at Peerfit. Dog mom, avid hiker, and volunteer at the Boulder Humane Society.

Laura B. Janusek

Chief Product Officer

Modern Teacher

As a founding team member at Modern Teacher, Laura has held several roles. She’s currently the Chief Product Officer, focusing on the design and development of the company’s software solutions. In collaboration with the CEO, she defines Modern Teacher’s current and upcoming product offerings and uses client feedback to oversee the development lifecycle, from ideation through live releases and enhancements. Laura leads the development and quality assurance teams, which have included both U.S.-based and nearshore developers. She has also managed Modern Teacher’s professional learning content creation team, including graphic and e-learning designers.

Laura also acted as VP of Curriculum and VP of Client Experience with digedu, The Digital Education Company, leading a team of over 40 digital content creators and overseeing client relationships nationally. Prior to her work in EdTech, Laura was involved with a variety of educational organizations, teaching in both Special Education and English departments as well as nontraditional learning environments.

Laura enjoys practicing yoga, playing violin, and listening to audiobooks. She is an active member of communities for women in technology, she has recently been recognized in a series on “Women on Top in Tech”, and she is passionate about education equity and technology’s ability to improve lives in the education space and beyond.

Christine Stone


Brookfield Properties

Christine Stone is a strategist, connector and coach.
Christine's career began with technical project management - quickly evolving into project recovery, developing top performing IT teams, building business technical strategies and financial plans, then changing and building IT organizations to execute.
Currently with Brookfield Properties as the VP of PMO, Christine leads Strategic Planning, Budget, Governance and Talent Development for IT, and honed her skills at VW/Audi, EMC2 Dell, McDonald’s and consulting firms. Leading technical change and developing people is a natural part of Christine’s approach, formalized in her graduate work in Organizational Behavior. She mentors with Chicago Innovation, is active with the Chicago Women in Tech community including ARA, i.c.Stars, Chicago Executive Women’s network and others. She is an organic connector of technology and people and an author of articles and a book on work-life balance.

Amy Arambulo Negrette

Software Engineer

Amy Arambulo Negrette is a Software Engineer with ten years of professional experience. Before working with Cloud Technologies, she developed on a Public Sector LAMP stack. New technologies can feel daunting and like you’re being left behind. She found ways of pushing initiatives and new standards. Her goal with her talk is to get past initial hesitation and show how Serverless can enhance already experienced engineers.

Alice Zhao

Senior Data Scientist


Alice Zhao is currently a Senior Data Scientist at Metis, where she teaches 12-week data science bootcamps. Previously, she worked at, where she started as the company’s first data scientist, supporting multiple functions from Marketing to Technology. During that time, she also co-founded a data science education startup, Best Fit Analytics Workshop, teaching weekend courses to professionals at 1871 in Chicago. Prior to becoming a data scientist, she worked at Redfin as an analyst and at Accenture as a consultant. She has her M.S. in Analytics and B.S. in Electrical Engineering, both from Northwestern University. She blogs about analytics and pop culture on A Dash of Data. Her blog post, “How Text Messages Change From Dating to Marriage” made it onto the front page of Reddit, gaining over half a million views in the first week. She is passionate about teaching and mentoring, and loves using data to tell fun and compelling stories.


Sponsors – 2019