About Us

Staff & Board of Directors


Staff


Programming Department


Director of Panel Programming – Kristine Hassell (she/her)

Born in a Friday Night Lights-esque town to a dragon mother and a polar bear father, Kristine’s nerd education began early by reading comics aloud with her dad and playing games on their Commodore 64. When she wasn’t gallivanting at the local arcade, she was rollerskating until the sun set or lost in books for days. Kristine plays in several long running RPGs and can play Diablo III for hours. While mercurial at times, she loves dim sum, sharing music, macarons, hockey, K-pop, stickers, board/role playing/video, and dark wave. Geek bragging rights include: watching the original Star Wars trilogy on their opening days, even skipping school for ESB, walking the red carpet at the world premiere/attending the after party for Serenity, and being invited to attend the final KITH taping at the CBC. Find this old school goth twittering madly @GermanCityGirl about the importance of better representation for non-white faces and other sundry things.


Director of Interactive Programming – Jen Mehltretter (she/her)

Jen is a true 90’s girl with Game Boy being her first video game experience. There she got to train Pokémon and fight Bowser to save Princess Peach. Now, she’s a self-described Adoptee from Taiwan, Jersey Girl, Spongebob Geek, Mother of all Labradoodles (or really any dogs), and Avid Reader. Jen is excited to be the Director of Interactive Programming and inspiring the next generation of geeks.


Panel Program Manager – Marina Martinez (she/her)

As Panel Program Manager Marina creates the programming schedule for the con and helps curate the panels that are selected. Marina grew up in San Diego, California reading fantasy novels and watching Shaun of the Dead on repeat. She fell into the world of online fandom and fan culture at a young age when she discovered other people were as obsessed with anime as she was. Marina’s hobbies include watching copious amounts of television, playing quidditch for the Emerald City Admirals, and reading epic length fics. In her everyday life she work in the fine art world as a project manager.


Panel Coordinator – Ashley Wilkins (she/her)

Ashley Wilkins is a sunny, literary geek from Arizona who dabbles in tv/movie geekdom and gaming geekdom. She loves getting book and graphic novel recommendations and is currently relearning Magic:The Gathering. She has a background in coordinating events with authors and sustainability minded folks doing all of the behind the scenes work it takes to get cool people in to talk about important things. She is excited to get to work more closely with the GeekGirlCon community and to meet a lot of new people.


Workshop Coordinator – Kay Ratcliff (she/her)

Growing up, Kay went from reading under the desk in math class to studying math, physics, and computer science in college. Since graduating, she has worked to improve representation in stem fields as an informal educator and tutor, and is excited to bring this perspective to Geek Girl Con workshops.
Alongside her existing crafting and baking hobbies, she is always seeking out new things to learn. She is currently learning how to stay upright on a snowboard and how to keep plants alive.
Kay’s interests include Star Wars, Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lord of the Rings, and most stories where a woman has a sword. She spends her time planning board game nights, replaying Dragon Age for the millionth time, and overthinking her favorite stories.


Activities Manager – Neetika Agarwal

Just 2.5 years old in USA, Neetika is still exploring American culture, food and people. She’s a passionate dancer (always up for it) and enjoys playing volleyball & ping pong. A hardcore party person by heart (maybe that’s the reason she loves organizing events), Neetika firmly believes in work hard and party harder. She loves being with people and you will mostly find her craziest with fun loving people around. Neetika also has a little dachshund who takes up most of her free time. Neetika is really excited to be part of GeekGirlCon and working with the team.


STEM Talent Coordinator – Kelly Henckel (she/her)

Originally hailing from Michigan, Kelly is excited to spend her first year in Seattle as a member of the GeekGirl family. As a lifelong gamer, feminist, and scientist, she is passionate about supporting women in all things geeky. When Kelly’s not farming tomatoes in Stardew Valley, you’ll find her throwing plasma grenades at grunts.


Arts Talent Coordinator – Jessie Gaupel (she/her)

Jessie Gaupel supports the Directors of Programming to help make GeekGirlCon the geekiest it can be! She received her BA in Theatre at CSU Long Beach and her MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. Jessie is a veteran geek who still remembers livejournal and when using “XD” was cool. At any given day, you can be sure she’s watching cartoons, crying about Kingdom Hearts, or writing her manuscript (which she’s also probably crying about). Jessie is excited to be working to be bring this incredible event to Seattle.


Arts Talent Coordinator – Jazmine Santayana (she/her)

As an Arts Talent Coordinator, Jazmine sources the guests for the convention and is the point of contact to ensure that everything runs smoothly from the back end. She knew she wanted to be part of a conference encouraging women to exist in their respective fields after attending the Women of the World conference which had a diverse spread of workshops and panels ranging from Twerkshops to women rappers talking about their experience in a male dominated field.

Jazmine moved from LA in 2018 and is typically running around the city trying to find all the secret Seattle spots and hole in the wall gems. Jazmine loves live music, dancing, literature, the general arts, horrible would you rathers, community, empowering marginalized groups, and just general shenanigans.


Fashion Show Coordinator – Hannah Koennecke (she/her)

Hannah “Hans” (she/her) is thrilled to be a part of the staff this year as the fashion show coordinator. She has 10 years of event experience, a deep love for all things Sailor Moon, Star Wars, pop culture and YA books. In her free time, you can find her googling conspiracy theories, watching true crime docs or thrifting.


Cosplay Contest Coordinator – Emily Karrmarshall (she/her)

Emily is the newly appointed Cosplay Contest Coordinator for GeekGirlCon. As the coordinator, Emily sources judges, hosts, prizes, and partners for the contest. During the show, you’ll find her backstage helping assist cosplayers and making sure the show runs smoothly. She’s looking forward to seeing all the amazing work our participants have put together!

Emily is a domestic engineer (aka stay at home parent) and a cosplayer herself. Her other interests and fandoms include: books, comic books, science fiction/fantasy, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Disney.


Manager of Gaming – Alyssa Askew (she/her)

As the Manager of Gaming, Alyssa is here to utilize her geeky and organizational tendencies to bring the game floor of GeekGirlCon to life. She brings to the table experience organizing events for Girl Guides of Canada (like Girl Scouts, but more north) and lots of production experience from her day job nerd-herding in the games industry.

Alyssa loves polka-dots, bows, Spider-Man, R2D2, Hufflepuff-life, crafting, and playing all the games. Favorite video games include Spyro the Dragon: Ripto’s Rage and Ori and the Blind Forest. Favorite board games include any game won the first time she played, even if she never succeeds again.


Assistant Gaming Manager – Cypress Payne (she/her)

Cypress is the new Assistant Manager of Gaming for GeekGirlCon and is thrilled to be a part of an organization focused on inclusivity.

Currently pursuing a degree in computer science, Cypress spends her time coding, listening to podcasts, or playing games with friends.


Video Game Coordinator – Julia Kallweit (she/her)

Julia used to be a Special Agent at GeekGirlCon and joined the Programming Department and then Game Team.

Born and raised in a small German town, she found out about the lack of local Geeks early and discovered her passion for video gaming while quarreling with her older brother to play Maniac Mansion on his C64 and conquering foreign nations in Age of Empires on her Dad’s PC. Over time she developed an interest in different fandoms and won her first carnival costume contest as Leonardo from Ninja Turtles (“And the first prize goes to this cute tortoise” – 5-year-old Julia shouting into the microphone: Wrong! I am a TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE! – True story, unfortunately there is no video evidence).

Even though her environment mostly ignored her early advances into Geek culture, she never stopped doing what she loved and eventually found a partner who is equally interested in overthrow…*cough* rescuing virtual worlds together.

When she is not tending her farm in Stardew Valley or leveling her Hunter in Destiny, she can be seen kayaking on Lake Washington or training for her next half-marathon.


Tabletop Coordinator – Jennifer Urrabazo (she/her)

Hello you beautiful creatures! My name is Jennifer but I answer to Jenn or Jenny as well. I am the Tabletop Coordinator at GeekGirlCon. I am a recent transplant from Austin, Texas. I have been in Seattle for a year and half. I have two little chihuahuas, knit, sew, paint and dance for fun in my bedroom. A few geeky things I love include Dr. Who, Star Trek (any of them), documentaries about space and aliens, World of Warcraft, Sega games, cute fuzzy things, board games and coffee.


DIY Science Zone Project Manager – Raychelle Burks (she/her)

Raychelle BurksWhen a career as a deadly ninja assassin proved too tame, Raychelle turned to chemistry. She’s currently an Assistant Professor at a super-secret-but-not-that-secret institution. To relax from a day of mad scientist duties, Raychelle enjoys sci-fi/horror movies, knitting, and consuming books of all genres. In her spare time, she writes about science and culture for a number of blogs and tweets up a storm.


DIY Science Zone Events Coordinator – Torrey Stenmark (she/her)

torrey_stenmarkStenmark is an award-winning costumer and a college chemistry instructor at Shoreline Community College. The same skill set (attention to detail, exacting record-keeping, and refusal to be intimidated by new problems, among others) that earned her a master’s degree in organic chemistry has enabled her to compete and win in the masters division of costume contests on the local and national levels. Follow Torrey on Twitter @tereshkova2001.


Operations Department


Director of Operations – Amy Gradzewicz-Kuan (she/her)

Amy has a passion for list making and spreadsheets which aid her volunteer goals. Her passion for social justice and creating positive communities led her to GeekGirlCon. In her spare time she enjoys science fiction and fantasy genre media (Zelda, Star Trek), painting and drawing, crocheting, and recreating recipes.


Admissions and Registration Manager – Courtney Elston (she/they)

Courtney is an east coast transplant and the new Admissions and Registration Manager at GeekGirlCon. By day you can find her working at an arts education nonprofit, and in her free time you can find her any place books or coffee are sold, where she will be writing or reading queer sci fi/fantasy, trying a new artistic medium, or playing a suspiciously bloodthirsty monk in her D&D campaign. She believes in getting unapologetically excited about the things you love, and she can’t wait to do that with GeekGirlCon!


Admissions and Registration Coordinator – Janae Brooks (she/her)

With a background in customer service and small businesses/nonprofits, Janae is excited to join the GeekGirlCon team as the Registration and Admissions Coordinator. Nonprofit theatre occupies her days, but at night you can find her working through her Steam library, reading anything from books about death to afrofuturism, and creating futuristic and fantastical worlds for black queer women.


Exhibitor Services Manager – Christina Ramey (she/her/they/them)

Christina approaches new challenges with playful curiosity and a passion for making others’ lives easier. In the past, Christina has been a producer and designer in the game industry, run an online geek and gamer-themed perfume and body products shop, and interned through Americorps for a social justice non-profit. She’s excited to support a buttery smooth exhibitor experience for GeekGirlCon by applying her perspective as a prior convention exhibitor herself.

Christina enjoys dabbling in various creative endeavors including writing, jewelry-making, painting, audio/video editing, and costuming. She will unironically hug any tree that looks like it needs it. You’ll often find her enjoying time with her spouse going on hikes, playing games, and struggling to understand their 5,000 year old dog Sherlock who speaks riddles in ancient Sumerian (his accent is atrocious).


Exhibitor Services Coordinator – Diana Kapsner (she/her/they/them)

Diana supports the amazing community members, artists, and exhibitors participating at GeekGirlCon. Diana has organized public programs in museums, weddings, and corporate private events for 10 years. Native to California and new to Seattle, you’ll typically find her riding bikes, petting cats, and thinking about museums. Her childhood hero was/still is Xena Warrior Princess.


Interpreter Services Coordinator – Julie Tergliafera (she/her)

Julie Tergliafera has been working with GeekGirlCon since 2013 as a volunteer interpreter. Originally from Louisiana, she has lived in Seattle since 2008 and enjoys everything the area has to offer: from outdoors activities such as hiking and camping to game nights and craft beers. Julie is an avid knitter and crocheter and is known for completing projects during science fiction movies and Star Trek marathons.


Data & Survey Manager – Sierra Campbell (she/her)

A single data point can provide important information – hundreds can weave an intricate and powerful story over time! While she may be the Survey & Data Manager in title, Sierra fancies herself a storyteller. When she isn’t intently listening to or reading stories, she is creating her own: as a mother to 5 furry creatures; as Elm, her rogue assassin/wizard in D&D; or as an independent fighter Khajiit adventuring the world of Skyrim. She also enjoys adventuring with her wife to distant magical lands like Banff. She can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!


Reaction Team Coordinator – Bill Creasey (he/him)

Bill Creasey is currently serving the GeekGirlCon community as Reaction Team Director. A life long geek and a fan of all the geeky things lately has been obsessed with RPGs and board games. He has many years of convention support experience and enjoys giving back to the community that he is part of. He’s also been known to make a puppet or two in his time.


Volunteer Manager – Maggie Franquemont (she/her)

Maggie is serving as the GeekGirlCon Volunteer Manager. Originally from Colorado, Maggie has settled in Seattle after living in most of the Western US. She likes to combine her geeky tendencies with her passion for the outdoors and is always up for an adventure whether at the table or in the woods. She is a jack-of-all trades and will give most things a shot at least once. Her most repeated activities include climbing tall rocks, using thread to make cool things, and protecting her party with her Aura of Protection. Maggie’s favorite dinosaur is the Stegosaurus.


Human Resources Manager – Valerie Conner (she/her)

As the Human Resources Manager, Valerie gets to support GeekGirlCon’s volunteer staff from the hiring process onward. She is passionate about creating order from chaos, empowering others, and Oxford commas. Valerie is an extrovert who loves getting to know new people and an all-purpose geek who loves getting to know new fandoms. Her geeky interests include sci fi and fantasy media; tabletop RPG’s; literature; anime and manga; comics and superheroes; French Horn (band nerd!); grammar; personality assessments (she’s an ENFJ, 6w7, and Ravenclaw); and crocheting amigurumi.


Human Resourcecs Assistant – Pallavi Ramaswamy Iyer (she/her)

Pallavi Ramaswamy Iyer is a Volunteer HR Assistant with GeekGirlCon. Pallavi is tech savvy and likes to explore gadgets.
 
 


Marketing Department


Director of Digital Experiences – Anabel Amis (she/her)

Anabel is excited to wield her kaleidoscope of digital marketing experience (including building a website for a haunted prison in New Zealand…while living in it) for her role as the Director of Digital Experiences.

Anabel moved from Arizona in 2018 and has fallen fully in love with the PNW. She has a passion for otome/horror/adventure games, TTRPGs, solving mysteries, drawing sci-fi/fantasy art, pirates, reading, cosplay, Tom Hardy movies, red wine and taking cute pictures of her three chihuahuas. She has died as an extra in exactly one horror movie.

You can follow her on Twitter at @anabelsays


Social Media Manager – Tina Burns

Graphic Designer, Book lover, Crafting Geek, Gamer Girl, all wrapped up on one sweet package. What more could you want?
 
 


Social Media Specialist, Facebook – Emerald Peterson (she/her)

INFJ Hufflepuff Emerald Peterson is constantly on the lookout for ways to be more like a hobbit. When being a music major wasn’t for her, she instead graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a major in history and a minor in psychology. Since learning new things is great, she then went on to receive a graduate certificate in Children’s Literature and another in Storytelling and Content Strategy.

Hobbies include reading, writing, NOT ‘rithmatic, but drawing her friends as superheroes, baking for her weekly board game night, and taking life advice from her cat, Brisco. She is committed to encouraging growth, harmony, and positive change among the geek community, as well as supporting everybody’s right to enjoy both Star Wars and Star Trek.


Manager of Editorial Services – Teal Christensen (she/her)

Teal Christensen Teal (she/her) joined GeekGirlCon in 2016 and is currently Manager of Editorial Services. Her team runs the blog and creates most of the public-facing copy for the org.

Outside of GeekGirlCon, Teal is studying to become a librarian. Some of her library-related interests are curating good collections and programs for queer teens and helping our public libraries become the anti-racist institutions they have the potential to be.

Teal’s primary geeky arenas are books and TV, where she gravitates mostly to women- and queer-centric media. Right now, her main hobbies are trying to write novels about magic and science and meeting every week with her Twilight book club. She lives in Seattle with her three sisters and two cats.


Principal Content Strategist – Caitlin Foskey (she/her)

Caitlin (she/her) is thrilled to pair her professional writing and editing background with her nerdy interests as a Content Strategist for GeekGirlCon. A lifelong geek, Caitlin grew up with Star Wars, wrote awful anime fanfics in middle school, celebrated her love of Tolkien’s writings and art with a full back tattoo, and has a lot of thoughts about the MCU.


Senior Content Strategist – Kalyna Durbak (she/her)

Kalyna (she/her) joined GeekGirlCon in 2018 to stretch her writing muscles and find more geeky things to consume. She is currently switching careers and studying to become a biologist. When she is not studying, Kalyna loves reading fantasy novels, watching K-dramas, and tending to her plants.

Kalyna knew she was a geek from a young age. Some of her earliest memories include waking up early to watch Sailor Moon, hand coding fan anime websites that never saw the light of day, and reading fantasy novels way past her bedtime. She currently fills her time watching more anime, reading more fantasy novels, playing board games, and picking up any craft project that inspires her. She also loves to hike in the mystical forests of the Pacific Northwest with her husband, partially because it makes her feel like she’s a character in Skyrim.


Associate Content Strategist – Lucy Hodge (she/her)

Born and raised in Minnesota, Lucy spent a few years in Boston before making her way via I-90 to Seattle in 2018. She spends her days combining her training as a pharmacist with her love of words, working as a medical writer for a pharmaceutical company, and she is excited to flex her writing chops creating content for GeekGirlCon.

Foreign languages, coonhounds, and good craft beer top the list of her favorite things. When not engaged with any of the above, she is most likely to be found wearing fleece and hiking in the PNW or curled up on the couch with her nose in a book.


Blog Engagement Specialist – Kelsey Christensen (she/her)

Kelsey (she/her) loves everything to do with digital marketing, being a cat mom, and Disney Channel Original Movies. She has a passion for giving life to community voices and has worked as a strategic communication specialist at a variety of organizations. Hair color is her other passion, and she’s never afraid to try a new color or help a friend do something new with their hair!


Copy Editor – Becca Anglesey (she/her)

Becca (she/her) has been with GeekGirlCon since 2019 and loves giving a fresh perspective on the local geek culture scene. Becca loves to write and edit, especially if it is for something nerdy, and she hopes to parlay her passions into working in the video game industry someday. Becca enjoys doing all things crafty, watching movies, playing with her cats, and still actively plays Pokemon GO!


Marketing Designer – Camille Meehan (she/her)

Str 5 – Dex 13 – Wis 2 – Con 10 – Int 18 – Cha 16
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Camille joins the GeekGirlCon adventuring party! As a trustworthy teammate, she can be relied upon to spot the orcs in the bushes ahead, stay up half of her nightly watch (sleep is sacred), and slap on that +1 band-aid of healing when the stampede of excited con-goers gets out of hand.

So what if the orcs are poor font choices, and her nightly watch is on Zoom? She wields over a decade of design experience, churns out art @camillemeehan, and splashes recklessly in the murky waters of 3D modeling and game art.


Merch Assistant – Amanda Zwar (she/her)

As the Merchandise Assistant, Amanda supports the Merchandise Manager in ensuring GeekGirlCon customers have a diverse selection of GeekGirlCon branded merchandise. Amanda celebrates her inner geek by playing and painting Warhammer miniatures, collecting Funko Pops!, Tiny Ghosts, anything Harry Potter (especially Snape related) and comic books. Amanda’s goal is to have the Warhammer/ wargaming community have more women and non-binary representation in a largely male dominated game/community and hopes to produce online painting tutorials for the community.


Twitch Manager – Alyssa Jones-Comtois (she/her)

Alyssa’s first video game experience was wielding the NES Zapper while shooting ducks on Duck Hunt with her grandpa. Since that day gaming has been a big part of her life. Today she can almost always be found scanning Steam for new deals or wrapped up in her snuggie and playing Xbox. When she’s not playing video games, you can often find her catching up on various animes, building props for cosplay or Halloween parties, or initiating some kind of nerf battle.

Alyssa loves to bring organization to chaos. With a degree in communications and a SCRUM certificate she is always looking for new ways to improve efficiency. When not working on GeekGirlCon, Alyssa can be found managing the latest gaming content as a Producer at Xbox Live.


Twitch Content Producer – Jannae Fong (she/her)

Jannae Fong is a Twitch Content Producer with GeekGirlCon. She is from Los Angeles and spent most of her formative years at Disneyland. She loves Harry Potter, Marvel, Mean Girls, Star Wars, Disney/Pixar, and Broadway musicals. She is known to never turn down a cookie and to read the Wikipedia summaries of movies and TV shows she deems too scary to watch. Sometimes she eats a vegetable.


Twitch Content Producer – Teryn Bence (she/her)

Teryn grew up north of Seattle researching a constant rotation of interests. After studying English and Linguistics yet ending up in the consumer electronics industry, she has worked in a variety of roles to bring new technologies to a wider audience. As a Twitch content producer, she hopes to continue showcasing what the amazing world of games and geek talent have to offer.

She can be found playing genre mashup video games, shadowboxing, unearthing a new nonfiction book to dive into, or still trying to figure out what her cat wants.


Marketing Analyst – Kelly Hsieh

Kelly is super passionate about using data visualization in storytelling. She joined GeekGirlCon in 2019 as a marketing data analyst and has loved the amazing culture/ people ever since!

Besides work, she enjoys travel and Netflix shows (especially documentaries). She also loves to explore different restaurants and cafes whenever she travels.


Senior Web Administrator – Constance Chen (they/them/she/her)

As GeekGirlCon’s web admin, Constance spends most of her time maintaining the site, updating WordPress, fixing code, and muttering about the command line. She loves almost everything about the internet and has been tinkering with websites since she was a wee lass, from Neopets pages to World of Warcraft guild forums. She spends her free time babying her houseplants and riding around on the Pacific Northwest on her scooter. Her favorite game is Chrono Trigger.


Outreach Department


Events Program Manager – Madleine Makori (she/her)

Madleine (Maddy) Makori is the new Events Program Manager at Girl Geek Con. She is a Pharm.D by training but works as a consultant on clinical trials, advisory boards and managed markets. Maddy loves geeking out on science, traveling, ATVing, jet skiing, hiking and staying fit.


Events Coordinator – Jacqueline (Jacky) Graham

Jacky is a Washington native who attended the University of Washington, go huskies! She is the new Events Coordinator and is excited to get involved with outreach and being part of something meaningful for diverse communities. She is also a huge Seahawks fan and loves playing the GameCube and Nintendo games in general. Lastly, she is unstoppable on Mario Kart!


South Seattle Events Coordinator – Queenie Baker

Queenie BakerQueenie’s work experience of over 24+ years at Seattle Central College as the e-Learning Director gave her the chance to meet all kinds of people and even host students from all over the world. After her retirement she knew she needed something else to do. She is happily caring for a 54 year old lady who suffers from dementia. This assignment keeps her busy during the day. She joins GeekGirlCon as their South Seattle Events Coordinator.


Board of Directors


President of the Board – Bethy Winkopp (she/her)

A lifelong roleplayer, Bethy has a passion for bringing diversity into gaming. When she has enough manna to spend outside of her day job Bethy loves being a Field Investigations and Response team member for the ASPCA, and traveling all over the globe for immersive roleplay experiences.

Her passions for roleplaying and love of strategic planning shows when she larps, or rolls those crit hits in 5E which she hopes to reflect at GeekGirlCon. Her lifelong dream is to make an EDH MtG deck that is composed solely of horsemanship.


Secretary of the Board – Jenn Krebsbach (she/her)

Jenn is a lifelong learner who just keeps going back to school for more. She has two master’s degrees (one in gender equity studies) and she is learning to code in Python to help her be a more effective researcher using larger data sets. Jenn is applying to several PhD programs and will continue to smash the patriarchy by publishing as many journals articles and books as humanly possible.

Jenn enjoys lots of geeky things like creating craft cocktails and aging them in oak barrels, books by Brandon Sanderson, Harry Potter, video games like old school Off Roadin’ and board games like Clank! In Space. (oh, and she’ll destroy you in dominoes)


Treasurer of the Board – Kuo-Yu Liang (he/him)

Ku is a pop culture strategist who has worked at ReedPOP, Diamond Comics and Penguin Random House. Geeky fun fact: while being associate publisher at Del Rey, he published Anne McCaffrey, Nicola Griffith, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Brooks, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.


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