x Staff and Board of Directors | GeekGirlCon

Staff & Board of Directors

Programming Department

Panel Program Manager - Ashley Baker (she/her)

Ashley Baker is a technical designer and co-lead of Women@Bungie where she is an advocate and volunteer for initiatives that support women in the gaming industry. She earned her MFA in Costume Design from the University of Oregon and received national and international recognition for her design work. When she isn’t designing game mechanics or costumes she is likely baking delicious cupcakes, trying (and probably failing) to not fall while skating, or going on adventures with her incredible husband.

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

When 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)

Stenmark 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.

Programming Assistant – Teal Christensen (she/her)

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.

Activities Manager - Deepika Anand (She/her)

I am a software developer by profession and a budding flow artists by heart. I am the activities manager responsible to keep tech interactive as I am fascinated by the intersection of technology and creativity. I believe that geekiness knows no gender boundaries, and with the right support, we can all soar to unimaginable heights. Let’s change the game together!

Do you know the term bug actually originated from a real insect. The engineers working on Harvard Mark II computer found out that the cause of the problem was a moth that got trapped in one of the machine’s relays.The engineers documented this incident by taping the moth to the logbook. From that point on, the term “bug” has become synonymous with computer errors

Talent and Hospitality Coordinator - Sophie Evans (She/Her)

Sophie Evans is a Talent and Hospitality Coordinator at GeekGirlCon. Based in New York City, this will be her first year being a part of such a wonderful event, as well as her first time being on the west coast! Currently, Sophie is geeking out over creating her own Dungeons and Dragons one-shot. She has an immense love of cats, sweets, and cozy indie games.

Panel Coordinator - Lizzy Paulson (she/they)

Talofa Lava! Lizzy (Libra sun, Pisces rising, Taurus moon) is a part-time author and full-time advocate in public health. She loves spooky books, cozy video games, dismantling oppressive systems, and adding to her gang of Sonny Angel babies.

Her Pokemon team is built by aesthetics only and includes Teddiursa, Miltank, Gengar, Sprigatito, Entei, and Mew.

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 GeekGirlCon 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.

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.

Cosplay Contest Coordinator – Shiree Espinoza (she/they)

Hi! I’m Shiree! I live in Puyallup, WA and love to cosplay and act around the state! I currently have worked at (least) 4 of the cons in WA state and one in Oregon, this taught me how to work into the field you see me in at this con, Cosplay Contest Coordinator!

With that in mind I have been part of the cosplay community for 12 years now and seen everything; the good, the bad, and your seams. Just kidding.

I value cosplay diversity in skills we learn from the people around us. We don’t all need to be seamstresses to be the best cosplayers, we just need to show what is our best. If that means to alter clothes, buy an outfit, or other ways… so be it! I do not want anyone to feel discouraged to ask questions either. Cosplay is the best hobby ever and it broke me out of just being a potato my whole life after high school.

Manager of Gaming – 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 – Jess Schoonmaker (she/her)

Hi, I’m the Tabletop Coordinator, it’s me… Jess.

I didn’t grow up playing games, but got started when my partner designed a game for me. Then he pulled me in on the design of his next game. Now we run a company that makes games and apps for the Boardgaming community.

I went to my first GeekGirlCon in 2019, and have loved it ever since. I’m so excited to join the team and help connect people over the boardgaming table.

Video Gaming Coordinator - Terra (she/they)

Hellos! My name is Terra and I am the Video Gaming Coordinator! I’m frooty by day (Produce Manager) and causal gamer by night (Puzzles and Adventures). I’ve lived in Seattle for 17 years and have been a part of GGC, in some capacity, for almost a decade. I’ve also worked at ECCC and PAX. I hope to bring a lot of new and interesting games and programming to the con. I also look forward to buying as many stuffed animals as I can carry.

Random facts about me:
Portal 2 is my favourite video game.
My favourite word is between “Potato” and “Meow”, which I do say a lot.
I have an unholy love for cheese and have charcuterie almost once a week.
I have a large collect of baseball caps that I love putting pins in.

Operations Department

Exhibitor Services Manager – Amanda Smith-Hughes (she/her)

Amanda is a relative newcomer to the PNW. Having worked in various cons across the South, she is excited to bring her strengths and talents to GeekGirlCon as Exhibitor Services Manager. You can usually find Amanda dabbling in her many geeky interests from DnD to MCU to MtG and more. The consummate nerd, please come up and say, “Hi” as she can be a little shy.

Amanda is also a certified sign language interpreter and is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership with a concentration in DEI.

Registration & Admissions Manager – Khrystine Raymond (she/they)

One of the newest additions to the GeekGirlCon squad, Khrystine was born into a house of dragons, starships, and falling blocks, spending their formative years adventuring on Pern, seeking out new life and new civilizations, and chasing the ever elusive tetris.

Unfairly banished from the living room each night at bed time only to hear the sounds of Dr. Mario, Crash Bandicoot, and Super Mario Bros floating down the hallway Khrystine quickly developed a competitive streak that blossomed into a deep love for games in all their myriad forms.

Khrystine is excited to bring professional skills to bear in a passion role as the Registration and Admissions Manager for GGC. When not glued to a screen you can find them wandering the city in search of all of the best foods, being a lounger for the fluffiest of fluffy cats, Salem Purrcival, or exploring new hobbies.

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.

Registration Coordinator - Sarah Mongiat (She/They)

Born on the East Coast and raised in the Midwest, Sarah is pleased to be now living in the Pacific Northwest. With many years spent volunteering at event registrations for years as well as attendance at several conventions and extensive administrative work experience, she is bringing a solid presence to the role of Registration Coordinator.

Like many other neurodivergent people, she has a small amount of knowledge on any number of subjects, and her interest jumps from topic to topic regularly. If you ever want to have a discussion on scifi shows shot in Vancouver, the Queens of Crime, lesser known GBA titles, pi shawls, blackwork, British cozy mystery series, that one fantasy novel series you grew up with, obstacle course races, how cats have the squishiest paws, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, homemade gummy bears or button making, she’s your person.

Project Manager for Mobile Application - Ayoub Dib (he/him)

Ayoub’s love of nerdery started with watching the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS (gasp!) growing up. Since then, he’s gone on adventures with the Power Rangers, Ash Ketchum, SG-1, the X-Men, and countless others!

His own adventures have taken him to far-away lands, like the UAE, China, and even Minnesota! But now he’s settled in the PNW with his wife to slowly write his stories as all good writers do: in front of a nice warm fireplace, over second breakfast… and elevensies, tea, lunch, supper, and dinner….

Perhaps the most important thing that he’s learned through everything is this: This too shall pass. So, enjoy the good times while they last, and take comfort through the hard times.

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.

Survey and Data Manager - Jess Howard (they/them or she/her)

Jess wants all your details and opinions! They are the creator of surveys and keeper of responses for GeekGirlCon.

If you ever need a topic to discuss with them, we recommend time travel stories or socialist utopia (eg, the Star Trek episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” for both).

A five-year-old child once informed them that Jess’s catchphrase is “That’s true.” And that’s true.

IT Administrator – Eric Mack (he/him)

Eric Mack is an Atlanta native who wanders the world in search of the legendary Sushi-X.

His path led him to the PNW where he spends time either working on IT projects, assisting in surgery, watching anime, reading Korean subtitles, or listening to music. He is happy to join the team and put his information security skills to work.

Diversity is our strength.

Marketing Department

Outreach Coordinator - Jenn King (She/Her)

Jenn King is an Outreach Coordinator with Geek Girl Con, working with partners to collaborate and celebrate all geeks.

Jenn’s interests and fandoms cover many topics and hobbies.
After researching art history, anthropology, and various languages in university, Jenn went on to become a game developer, truly diving into her life long interest of video games.

Her spare time is often full of attending Renaissance Faires, practicing archery, digital painting, learning new languages, finding eclectic music and creating the perfect playlist for any mood, and learning random facts about astronomy.

Marketing Designer - (they/them)

Izzy Flint-Gonzales is a designer, artist, and lover of trinkets. They studied graphic design at Cal Poly and now live in San Francisco.

If you ask them about the Legend of Zelda series, tattoos, crocheting, or Neon Genesis Evangelian, you’ll probably get a really long explanation about why they’re the best things ever. They have way too many cat shirts, loves putting on hours-long video essays while chipping away at projects, and plays Stardew Valley almost every night before bed.

They value and implement intersectionality in all their work, whether in design, fashion, music, or any other endeavors.

Outreach Coordinator - Sandra Huynh (She/Her)

Sandra is thrilled to be joining the Outreach team to help find partners who are passionate about celebrating geeky women!

Outside of GGC, she’s probably enjoying any sliver of sunlight available or rewatching a comfort show for the millionth time.

A self-described “professional fangirl”, Sandra is an avid concert and sporting event lover. Also her favorite superhero is Spider-Man.m

Public Relations Coordinator - Ivy B (she/her)

Hi, I’m Ivy!
I am the PR Coordinator for GeekGirlCon!
I am a chaotic neutral American, living in Canada!
My professional career is filled with many years of administrative work, 3 years of Social Media and Community Manager work, as well as being a professional Dungeon Master for almost 2 years, and DMing in general for 8.

I have been a nerd, and geek since I was a child. I started off watching Star Trek, Sliders, etc with my dad, and my first console was my mom’s N64! I am an all-around nerd with a strong love of Doctor Who, Animes, Cartoons, and TTRPGS. I have been attending conventions since I was 16!

Marketing Designer - Harper Woods (she/her)

Self-proclaimed design nerd, Harper is a graphic designer (and sticker maker) who is thrilled to join the GeekGirlCon team as a Marketing Designer.
Harper tripped and fell into geek culture at a very young age, and never found her way out. She enjoys campy Grade-B horror flicks, classic monsters, science fiction, graphic novels, and all things spooky. Hobbies include drawing, zine-making, and sometimes writing about her favorite movies and music.

Harper holds a Bachelor of Design with a certificate in UX. She believes in creating responsible, inclusive messaging, and is always looking for ways to build new skills.

Community Communications Lead - Chika Onyedike (she/her)

Chika (she/her) is a showstopping enigma who shows up on Earth once every leap year to bless her subjects with her presence before hibernating once more for lasting world peace. Actually, she is a second-generation Nigerian-American, intersectional feminist, and fun-loving geek who marvels at the latest social media trends while podcasting with her friends on the weekends. She’s stoked to join the GGC team as a Community Communications Lead and hopes to add her quick wit and funny puns to this amazing, safe space.

Community Communications Manager – 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.

Email Marketing Specialist – Julia Nolan (she/her)

In addition to managing email marketing for GeekGirlCon, Julia works full time as a data scientist at PSE. In her free time, she loves cosplay, science fiction, hiking, and indulging a very spoiled dog. She’s also published a video game on Steam, is a senior editor at Allegory, and has had short stories published in a number of science fiction magazines.

Marketing Designer – Milynda Moore (she/her)

Milynda (she/her) is excited to be joining GGC as the newest Marketing Designer. She is very excited to be in this role as Milynda is currently in the process of changing careers and completing her Design degree. One of Milynda’s favorite things to do is mess with layouts and absolutely loves the UX side of design.

She absolutely loves all things Sailor Moon (especially Sailor Uranus and Neptune), Bob’s Burgers, and The Great North (look it up, it’s a fantastic show). Gravity Falls and Star vs the Forces of Evil also hold dear to her heart. When not spending time with work and school, Milynda spends a lot of time with her cat, Darwin, and husfriend. But when it’s time to have fun you can find her playing games from Hades to DBD to Little Witch in the Woods.

Full of moxie. History/mythology geek. Possibly funny. Hockey Enthusiast. Definite nerd. These elements combined create Milynda.

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.

Design Manager – LaDonna Duncan (she/her)

LaDonna (she/her) is excited to be joining GGC as a Design Manager. 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. She loves sharing music, macarons, K-pop, anime, stickers, and board/role playing/video games. LaDonna has a degree in graphic design with a minor in web design, and wants to capture the attention of viewers, communicate the right message, and inspire and attract the target audience. Her strongest skill is making a client’s vision come to life and caring about a client’s feelings when solving design problems for them. She always brings out her best work when designing.

Community Communications Specialist -Olivia Near (she/her/hers)

Olivia works as a videographer and social media creator for GeekGirlCon, and she is going to college at Chapman University for Film and Television Production. She has attended GeekGirlCon since she was 10, and it remains her favorite. In her free time she enjoys running Dungeons and Dragons games, rewatching Lord of the Rings, playing Baldur’s Gate III, and catching up on the latest episode of Critical Role.

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.

Twitch Content Producer – Marium Khan (she/her)

For Marium, her geek journey started at the age of 10 rewatching her one and only cassette of Sailor Moon. Now she enjoys illustrating, watching anime and reading comics to immerse herself in different worlds. Marium’s life goal is to create and complete at least her own comic story!

Twitch Content Producer - Joe Senese (he/him)

Originally from Staten Island, NY, Joe is a variety streamer on Twitch streaming both video game and tabletop content. He first ventured into tabletop gaming in 2013 when he played his first game of Pandemic.

Joe enjoys all kinds of board and video games but has an affinity for medium to heavy weight board games like 18xx, anything by Vital Lacerda, and Hansa Teutonica but definitely not opposed to trying and playing all kinds of games! As far as video games; JRPGs, Puzzle Games, Platformers, and retro games are where it’s at!

When not streaming Joe loves watching hockey and anime, cooking all kinds of food, hanging out with his fiancée, occasional co-host and fellow staffer Abby, our kid, and enjoys having (a rather large) knowledge and love of game shows!

Joe is a big proponent of maintaining and curating a welcoming, inclusive, safe space and community that folks can be comfortable being a part of and being in. You can find Joe everywhere on social media and Twitch @PhantomMeeple.

Board of Directors

President - Hadeel Jeanne

Hadeel is a fantasy writer, cosplayer, and fandom historian (that’s a real thing!). She found her way to geekdom as a child when she accidentally stumbled upon an episode of Sailor Moon and she’s been pretending to be the main character of her own Magical Girl anime ever since. You can frequently find her zipping around town on her hot pink bike, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and streaming her latest costume build or favorite video game on Twitch.

Vice President of Board of Directors - Dr. Amelia Herbst (she/her)

Dr. Amelia is a psychotherapist who works with geeks and gamers in the greater Seattle area. She is a Philadelphia native who fell in love with working with non-profits when she started at the age of 17. She has contributed to books and has spoken on panels about the psychology of video games and pop culture. Amelia loves fantasy and finds herself staying up late hours playing fantasy RPGs. Some of her favorite fandoms are The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher and she loves playing Destiny 2, FromSoftware games, and open-world RPGs.

Director of Panel Programming and Special Events – Marina Martinez (she/her)

“As Panel Program Manager Marina crafts 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 Yu-Gi-Oh! as she was. Marina’s hobbies include learning k-pop choreo, reading copious amounts of fanfiction, and watching BL dramas from around the world.

Chair of Operations Committee – Alyssa Askew (she/her)

Alyssa is here to utilize her geeky and organizational tendencies to lead the con operations team in coordinating all the behind the scenes logistics that are needed to keep GeekGirlCon running! In the day time, she is a producer working in the video games industry and also volunteers with the IGDA Foundation Next Gen Leaders Program.

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

Co-Chair of Marketing Committee – Tina Burns (she/her)

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

Co-Chair of Marketing Committee – Alyssa 'Prime' 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 Halloween parties, or streaming as part of the GeekGirlCon stream team!

Alyssa is a 10+ year video game industry veterean bringing organization to chaos as a Release Manager at Xbox. With a degree in communications and a SCRUM certificate she is always looking for new ways to improve efficiency. “

Director of Interactive Programming-Sarah "SG-1" Grant (She/her)

Sarah is a geek from way back, mainly in the fields of Star Trek and Star Wars. Between helping to put on plays featuring both of those genres and reading more fanfic than she can possibly remember, SG-1 geeks out to everything from cats to words to Wisconsin cheese to ice cream and Stargate (in no particular order). On any given evening you’ll find her watching Jeopardy, knitting or crocheting something, and cheering for herself when she gets an answer right. SG-1 is going to grad school in the fall of 2024, so don’t be surprised to find her either reading frantically for class with coffee in hand–or sitting somewhere half asleep–but she’ll always be happy to jump into a board game if you need another player.

Treasurer – Mary Kimball (she/her)

Mary Kimball (she/her) is a board member for GeekGirlCon. A queer nerd who loves to garden and hike, Mary is also involved with the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club, the Northwest Community Bail Fund, and US Quadball, where she is executive director. Her geeky passions include Star Wars, Marvel comics and the MCU, and books.

Board of Directors Secretary – Eli Reis (they/them)

Eli Reis (they/them) is a new board member for GeekGirlCon. Their earliest geek influences include watching Wonder Woman and Star Trek with their dad and a drive-in double feature of Star Wars and Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the foundation of their sense of humor was built. For a day gig, Eli herds geeks as an organizational change manager and organizational development practitioner for a local university’s IT department.

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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