Let’s give a warm Women in Tech Tuesday welcome to Audrey Mathis, the Director of 311 City Services at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).
Audrey oversees the City of Chicago’s 24/7 non-emergency 311 contact center, the agency responsible for addressing City service requests and offering information regarding city programs, initiatives, and events.
Audrey attended college at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and then accepted a position with the City of Chicago. Over time she worked in several departments with an emphasis on project management and eventually joined the 311 team before being appointed 311 Director nearly nine years ago. Citing the trailblazing astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison as inspiration, Audrey notes that we can create a more inclusive tech industry by advocating for and focusing on STEM programs for women in minority communities beginning in the early elementary school levels.
Outside of work, you can find Audrey singing, spending time with family and friends, and discussing good reads with her book club.
It’s the last Women in Tech Tuesday of June! To close out this month, we’re recognizing our Senior Salesforce Consultant, Sarah Emas. Sarah manages Catalyst’s 311 product; as such, she engages with users and stakeholders to get their feedback, and then relays their insight to Catalyst’s development team to make the suggested enhancements.
Since she interacts with clients so extensively, Sarah recalls some of the most influential advice that she has ever received is to never use acronyms in front of the client. She explains that acronyms can confuse clients and make them feel like they’re not making an informed decision. The underlying advice there is to always make clients feel as comfortable, empowered, and knowledgeable as possible, and this is a practice she brings to her day-to-day work at Catalyst.
Sarah advises fellow women in STEM to speak up in meetings and offer ideas to supervisors in a one-on-one setting. Perceived inexperience can hinder a lot of women from leaning in, but Sarah notes that everyone, including and especially those with a fresh perspective, can be integral to bringing great ideas from idea conception to project closeout.
Welcome back from the long weekend, folks! Believe it or not, it’s Tuesday…#WomenInTech Tuesday to be exact. Today, we recognize our Office Manager, Cindy.
Cindy handles a variety of accounting functions and general administration in the office to keep the wheels of our firm turning. She is also responsible for the monthly payroll, employee benefits, on-boarding tasks for new team members, and supply inventory. Cindy was brought on board when “temporary” help was needed in 2005…here she is in 2019, as integral to the day-to-day functions of our company as ever!
Cindy advises women in tech to always believe in themselves and take advantage of opportunities to lean in.
When she’s not in the office, you can find Cindy at work in her garden, crafting, cooking, and snuggling up with her best furry pal, Toby.
We’re back for another #WomenInTech Tuesday feature! Say hello to Nicole Nicholson, who is one of Catalyst’s stellar Project Managers and our Marketing Lead.
As a PM, Nicole plays a critical role on our City of Chicago 311 modernization initiative. She manages the external/public-facing components of the project, particularly the CHI311 mobile app and the Community Portal available at 311.chicago.gov, keeping the end user and their experiences using our platforms front-of-mind at all times. Internally, she leads the marketing efforts for our firm. In both roles, Nicole leverages the creativity cultivated from her content management and journalism background.
In fact, Nicole’s background informs her approach to advocating for diversity in STEM. She insists that people who don’t have an educational background in a “pure” STEM field can certainly carve out a place for themselves in this industry. Nicole is a living example of this advice, and she has been a superstar on the Catalyst team for the past 5 years because of it!
When she’s not in the office, you can find Nicole rock climbing at @brooklynboulders or diving into her next good read.
Wishing you a happy Women in Tech Tuesday…from Florida! We’re in Sarasota for the 2019 @agccp_311 conference, and today we’re spotlighting one of our Project Managers at the conference, Chelsie Gates.
Chelsie was driven to work in tech after a printer mishap during her undergraduate years. After a printer inconveniently broke as she was trying to print a mid-term, she knew she wanted to work in the tech industry and do whatever she could to make technology easier to use and understand.
The accessibility of technology is of the utmost importance to Catalyst and our clients. That said, Chelsie’s commitment to making tech more consumable for folks of all levels of technical sophistication has made her the integral team member that she is.
Outside of the office, you can find Chelsie traveling back to her native Alabama, as well as spending time with her new puppy, Ollie.
Happy Women in Tech Tuesday, friends! Today, we’re delighted to share more about one of our Business Analysts, Alissa Ahn. As a BA, Alissa learns more about clients’ business processes, identifies their pain points, gathers requirements for an ideal solution, and employs best practices along the way.
Alissa recalls that her most memorable experience at Catalyst was the day of her interview. She met with our COO and one of our Senior Project Managers, and the group ended up talking for hours…literally, hours!
For Alissa, Catalyst came with more than a new job; it came with a family. It came with leaders that challenge our teams. It came with incredibly smart and supportive co-workers. Finally, it came with the opportunity to learn and to innovate in an ever-changing industry.
When Alissa first started working at a different firm, a former colleague once asked her, “If the lead on your project was out sick, would you need to cancel meetings? Or could you step up to continue the project?” Since then, Alissa challenges herself every day to not fall into a pattern of mediocrity and leans in at every chance to do so. For that reason and many more, we are so grateful to have Alissa onboard!
Wishing a happy #WomeninTech Tuesday to all, friends! Today, we’re pleased to spotlight one of Catalyst’s brilliant Salesforce Consultants, Gloria Zhang.
Gloria is a University of Illinois alumna and took full advantage of the University’s renowned STEM programs, curricula, and extracurricular organizations during her time as a student. Now as a Salesforce Consultant, Gloria taps into the technical and analytical skills refined during her undergrad career to customize the Salesforce platform in ways that most optimally support Catalyst’s clients. Gloria has been an integral member of the Catalyst team’s modernization of the City of Chicago’s non-emergency 311 system, and she considers the continuous development and improvement of the project to be one of her most memorable experiences at Catalyst.
When not in the office, Gloria can be found breaking a sweat at the gym…or the dance machines at arcades! Thank you for sharing with us, Gloria!
She is responsible for communicating with clients to gather business requirements, analyze their pain points, and ultimately deliver a transformative solution.
Catherine is also Catalyst’s resident fashionista. Outside of work, you can find her sewing, exploring fashion trends, and taking pictures of murals around our great city. This creativity informs Catherine’s work at Catalyst, as the problem-solving and design stages of product delivery require a great deal of innovation and ingenuity.
Catherine advises fellow women in STEM to realize that the power for change starts from inside each and every one of us.
In combatting negative internal voices, Catherine notes that she finds the confidence to start something new. In starting something new, Catherine constantly pushes herself outside her comfort zone, gathering more experience and becoming more and more confident in her work. Catherine is an instrumental part of our team, and we thank her for her insight and inspirational words of wisdom!
Today, Catalyst is pleased to unveil our #WomenInTech Tuesday campaign! We’re thrilled to kick off this initiative that showcases the talent and spirit of the ladies of Catalyst.
Starting things off is Komal Shah, one of Catalyst’s Software Developers based at the Chicago Department of Aviation. Komal believes that the first step to producing great work is to love what you do. It is for this reason that she thrives off the challenges presented to developers like herself. She enjoys that software development is an ever-evolving field that allows for continuous learning, and she remarks that this constant learning is facilitated by Catalyst’s inviting atmosphere and support from other friendly faces at the company.
Outside of work hours, you can find Komal playing tennis, painting, or finding her next travel destination.
Komal urges STEM workplaces to celebrate the diversity on their team, pushing a step beyond simply having women’s representation on board.
You are an inspiration to us, Komal! Keep on shining.