GeekGirlCon’s staff is made of 100% volunteers. Right up to our fearless leaders. We are all really geeky. Get to know a little about us.
Manager of Design – Rachelle “Raye” Abellar
Raye is a designer, illustrator, and Whovian. Always one for impromptu adventures, she moved to Washington State from Southern California on a whim. She has spent the better part of her life immersed in art, sci-fi/fantasy, video games, and comic books. Other interests include time travel, typography, henching for the Mighty Monarch, oxford commas, roller derby, and carbs. Her geekiest point of pride is her Seal of Rassilon tattoo.
Raye is excited to meet like-minded individuals and be involved with a community where she can let her geek flag fly. You can follow her on Twitter @rachelleabellar.
Designer - Sayed Alamy
Sayed Alamy was created by an American and Afghan in the humid sun drenched mountainless void known as Alabama. He finished his twelve levels of eduction by the year two-thousand and advanced on to five more years of advanced training where he received knowledge of design and soul capturing skills of photography. Since graduating from university Sayed has had the opportunity to create in publishing, health and theater. After twenty-eight long years in the void, Sayed packed his car and drove cross-country with his brother. After this epic trip he came to live in the great damp city of Seattle. Sayed has since been doing freelance design while seeking a full time gig in design. When he’s not designing you can find him off doing photography, at a show, playing video games, exploring, trying new foods, hanging out with friends or whatever the great city of Seattle has to offer.
Volunteer Program Manager - Jessica Ballard
Jessica, aka “Jex”, has been a gamer since the age of 3 when she picked up her first controller and rocked out those Atari games. If she wasn’t gaming, she was reading. Still an avid gamer and book lover, Jex strives to feed her addiction with the latest and greatest in both worlds. On top of that, she’s added a love of board games, sci-fi movies, and anything paranormal. Jex has known all her life that event planning was a passion of hers, but it wasn’t until half way through college that she realized she could make a career out of it. She helped plan her first convention at the age of 16 for a youth group she was involved in. From there it was college events and whatever non-profit event would let her volunteer to get experience. In 2009 Jex attended her first geeky convention, PAX. From then on she volunteered at every con in the geek world (well, in the northwest) in order to soak in more of the amazing community and to learn more about the world of convention planning. She has sinced paired down the list to three cons that she works every year (PAX, Emerald City ComiCon, and GeekGirlCon), but hopes that someday she’ll find a paying gig in the con industry so she can work cons full time. Find Jex on Twitter @jexball
Manager of Special Events – Nova Barlow
A former GeekGirlCon convention volunteer, lifelong gamer Nova Barlow has leveled up to join staff as one of the Special Events Assistants.
When she’s not performing some seriously thrilling community management style heroics with a side of snark at her day job, you’ll find her exploring a wide variety of interests such as the outdoors, live music, falling down rabbit holes on the internet, steampunk, crafting, reading books in bars during happy hours, whittling down a list of games that needs finishing, finding things to cook and seeing just how far she can get on various transit systems. She also enjoys Firefly, Doctor Who, MMOs, and Scrabble.
Drinking her coffee by numbers, Nova is also probably the least likely to be eaten by a grue and can call up memes for any occasion. Check out her Pinterest or say hello on Twitter where she shares game industry news, shows off her cat, and posts whatever shiny thing has caught her attention today.
PR Content Producer – Shubz Blalack
Hailing from Seattle, WA, Shubz’ geekery comes from years of gaming, dance classes, and martial arts movies that Jean-Claude Van Damme has been in. Shubz made her debut as a rapper in NerdcoreNow’s First Annual Vocalist/Producer Competition and also won the site’s 2011 Best Newcomer award. After releasing her first compilation, The Campaign Mixtape, Shubz’ main focus is to release her first LP late 2013. Follow her Twitter @shubzilla for more hilarity or find her at facebook.com/shubillamc for music updates.
Media Administrator - Raychelle Burks
When a career as a deadly ninja assassin proved too tame, Raychelle turned to chemistry. To relax from a day of mad scientist duties, Raychelle enjoys sci-fi/horror movies, crafts, and reading. Her love affair with books spans all genres, leading to overtaxed bookshelves and books in odd places. In her spare time, she writes about science and culture for a number of blogs, rolls around on tumblr and tweets. Her family has come to accept her geekiness, but refuses to participate in her Dr. Who, Torchwood, Primeval, and Firefly marathons.
Designer - Amber Dawn Bushnell
Amber was born in Seattle and raised in the ‘burbs. She is a graphic designer, painter, and crafter; a real artsy-fartsy type. She loves all kinds of music, books, and movies, as well as learning: Researching new stuff is the best thing ever. Amber’s dad got her hooked on sci-fi movies at a young age and while she loves them, she still can’t watch Aliens without having nightmares (Totally worth it!).
Her movie obsession grew when she bought her first DVD player. Her favorite fandoms are Doctor Who, BBC Sherlock, and Supernatural (SUPERWHOLOCK). Avengers is also quickly climbing her list (thank you, Joss Whedon).
Lately, she’s been cheating on Twitter with Tumblr. She thinks GeoCaching is an awesome thing, even though she hasn’t actually tried it yet. Miss Piggy is her personal hero. And she thinks The Pretender was the greatest show to ever be on tv and no one will convince her otherwise.
Community Outreach Manager - Amy Cash
In an alternate universe Amy is a New York Yankee’s relief pitcher by day, Broadway chorus girl by night, and hardboiled 1930’s type newsman on the weekends. In this reality she is a teacher and tutor who enjoys science (fictional and non), swing dancing, sailing, and the company of her fellow nerds. Manufactured in New York during the Nixon administration, she moved to Seattle in the mid-Aughts to study Oceanography at UW. Her proudest Geek accomplishments are coming in 181st at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and beating IBM’s Watson in a Jeopardy test match.
Game Floor Ops Manager – Audrey Chang
Audrey grew up in Hyrule, and moved to Pallet Town early on. She then relocated to San Andreas, and after graduation, attended a University in Piltover on a blitzball scholarship. Her first day of work in Raccoon City didn’t turn out well, so she took another tour of duty on the USS Ishimura and SSV Norma
ndy before becoming the newest resident of Emerald City, on the lookout for her next adventure. Every party needs a grizzled veteran, and (while not exactly ‘grizzled’), when the time comes, you’ll be glad for her extensive EXP in organizing post-apocalyptical civilizations. But until Ragnarok dares to show its ugly face, she will apply those organizational powers to the gaming floor at GeekGirlCon.
Marketing Assistant - Rachel Crowell
At a young age, Rachel believed in much more than she saw. Memorable nights of watching Star Wars, The Princess Bride, and Beauty and the Beast among other classics bloomed into full time love of all things geeky. Having four older brothers, she never has to look far for a fellow adventurer in a MMO. Rachel frequently takes bubble baths with literature, actively plays RPGs, indulges in sushi, and hopes to one day have a ceiling to wall bookcase in need of a ladder. As an adventurous spirit who’s traveled the world from Beijing to ancient Egyptian tombs, she has realized Glenn Yarbrough’s quote in The Hobbit animated film is true, “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead…” Rachel lives incognito by night as a RN who is currently settled in Seattle with her husband and Durzo Blint the hedgehog.
Facebook Administrator - Anna Daniell
Anna Daniell is a 23-year-old lady who blames/thanks her family for her growing up as a geek. She watched Buffy: the Vampire Slayer with her dad from the first episode; was shown the world of webcomics by her brother; and her mother taught her how to solve a cryptic crossword (which Anna has yet to do on her own). She is studying to be a Speech-Language Pathologist with an emphasis in Deaf Studies. Her career path was influenced by her love of language. Her other obsessions include print comics, webcomics, B-movies, crosswords, dinosaurs, baking cupcakes, cartoons, sci-fi shows & movies, young adult novels, demolishing Super Mario World on the SNES repeatedly, old black & white movies, attending conventions, and all sorts of puzzles.
Customer Service Manager - Brittany Edwards
A recent transplant from upstate New York, Brittany wishes she could get paid to be silly, make squee-inducing cute things, and help others at the same time. Since that’s not likely to happen, she toils away in corporate America during the week. In her free time, she’s usually either tripping over her own feet with her nose buried in a book, playing piano, or working on whittling down her backlog of PC games to avoid getting sucked back into WoW–a real exercise in futility. Commander Keen and Illidan are her favorite game characters. Occasionally, the wild Britality can be found at Green Lake Park with her dog, Corky. She also likes to plan travel expeditions, both impromptu road trips and big trips abroad. Thailand, anyone?”
Copywriter - Sarah Grant
Sarah’s true ambition in life is to proofread the Internet for a living. Until that dream comes true, she continues to write her way through life – mainly science fiction and fantasy, but technical writing, copywriting, proofreading, and editing are the mainstays of her business, Write Words, LLC. Sarah’s first memorable geek experience was meeting Star Trek’s Walter Koenig at a convention in 1987; her first words to Mr. Koenig were unintelligible. Sarah mainly gravitates to science fiction/fantasy movies, television shows, books, and short stories, but recently discovered the wonders of comics and graphic novels as well.
Director of Operations - Melodie Hardwick
Melodie is a software engineer who loves science fiction, playing all kinds of games, and cooking weird recipes from the internet (much to the chagrin of her two kids). She plays WOW very recreationally, but can probably pwn you at Tetris and would welcome the challenge. She grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington, moved to the Seattle area in early 2002, and loves it here. The trees are green, nerds and geeks are everywhere, and there is no shortage of pub trivia. When she is not at a computer or off on an adventure, she can be found reading her Kindle Fire in the dark, running just fast enough to elude zombies, or rooting for the underdog.
Twitter Administrator - Kristine Hassell
In a nondescript Texas town, Kristine’s nerd cred began early. Each month, her father returned from his Naval reserves with a stack of Marvel comics. It soon became tradition to read them together at home. When she wasn’t playing Galaxian and Centipede at the local arcade, she could be found rollerskating happily for hours. To this day, she still laments the loss of her Commodore 64 with her well-worn copy of Bubble Ghost!
She has played in a Star Wars RPG that’s lasted over a decade, run by her boyfriend who spirited her away to Seattle in 2006 with their polydactyl cat. She can be mercurial but some enduring addictions include live music, reading, food photography, anime, hockey, eating out, collecting Pinky:st figures, video games, and new wave music.
Geek bragging rights include: watched every Star Wars film on opening day, even skipping school for ESB, walking the red carpet and attending the world premiere of Serenity, and being invited to attend the final KITH taping at the CBC. You might find her practicing scales on her cello but you’ll definitely find her twittering madly @GermanCityGirl.
Programming Project Manager - Meg Humphrey
Meg’s first and true love is Star Wars, even though it has hurt her. She has gone steady with Stargate SG-1 and has Disney’s letterman’s jacket, but Marine Biology’s class ring. Meg has been on-again-off-again with Baking and has a crush on Criminal Justice. This year she’s hoping that Comics will ask her to prom, or at the very least, share a milkshake (two straws!) with Kirby!
Meg has been Programming staff for Sakura-Con for several years and hosts panels at many geek-themed conventions around the PNW. She enthusiastically shares her geekiness with anyone and everyone and does her best to bring it out in others. Every year she tries to increase her nerd-cred and every year she is successful!
No, she does not dislike Star Trek. The episode “I, Borg” from TNG made her cry.
Manager of Gaming – Alyssa Jones
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 sock-monkey slippers playing xbox.
When she’s not playing video games, you can often find her catching up on various animes, beefing up her D&D character or initiating some kind of nerf battle.
Even though Alyssa spent more time managing her WoW Guild, DoomKittens, than she did studying, she still managed to complete her BA in Visual Communications. Currently she works as a Playtest Coordinator for Microsoft Studio’s Playtest program.
Manager of Programming - Alison Kozar
At age 8, Alison regularly checked out as many books from the library as she could, and then return home to try to read them all simultaneously. The library never stopped being a place of unbelievable wealth to her. In the years since, she’s added video games, music, science and computers to a long list of passions. She’s left a successful career in IT to pursue a degree in Biology, with plans to save the world using science, empathy, and the power of the human heart.
TBD - Allexa Laycock
Long time Seatlleite Allexa Laycock is an aspiring college graduate, dancer, performer and occasional filmmaker. She believes in Disney magic and dress up with the same intensity that she believes the things we love the most deserve the greatest nuanced critique. A UW Comparative History of Ideas student, Allexa has taught two focus groups on the implications of the Disney Canon. Other over-analyzed loves include, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Whedon etc.), Harvest Moon N64, Harry Potter, persnickety cosplay, some of which you can see here (Jane Espenson approved) 80’s adventure movies (because Goonies never say die) and musicals. A rampant theory head, she utilizes pop culture and performance opportunities to spoofify and analyze life in accordance with the tingliest of theories. She can be spotted around Seattle performing in various Burlesque and Drag shows and quoting Moonstruck at the grocery store.
Director of Marketing - Erica McGillivray
Erica McGillivray spends too much contemplating the socioeconomic importance of the bananaphone. She’s a snarky feminist geek. Erica loves kittens and tiny baby polar bears, soap opera plots in comic books, and dreams of flying in the stars. She works for SEOmoz as a community attache and specializes in social media and SEO. Erica lives and loves in Seattle, her adopted hometown. You can find more about her on her website, Sliver of Ice.
Web Administrator - Stephanie Little
Stephanie Little is addicted to adventure. Confident that she can take down an army of zombies with an NES Zapper, she has no fear of the impending apocalypse. Her obsessions include cheese, playing adventure games on her PC (especially King’s Quest), and bouldering. Sometimes you can find her sorting through MTG cards while watching Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, or LOST. She is a firm believer that Firefly is the greatest show ever, and performs “caraoke” by rocking out to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in her Mazda. In her spare time, she is training to become a Jedi and learning Java. Please note that she will gladly accept any and all gifts of cheesecake.
Web Content Producer - Laurel McJannet
Back in the day (we won’t say when), Laurel cut out words from Seventeen™, took pictures of friends/cute boys, and arranged them onto her PeeChee, protecting the final masterpiece with strips of Scotch tape as makeshift lamination.
Fast-forward a ”few” years later where Laurel now writes, designs and consults as a marketing communications professional. The day she got access from IT to update a website (using straight up HTML, BTW) was the day she became… A GEEK. This website led to more websites and managing major ecommerce projects. Today, there isn’t a CMS she doesn’t like, she’s mastered the art of translating tech-speak for the non-techie, and she is proof positive that Marketing and IT can co-exist and not implode.
Manager of Registration & Admissions - Rose Minier
Rose Minier is a multi-purpose geek. She recently had to move into a larger apartment to accommodate her book and comic collection, including an entire room dedicated to sci-fi/fantasy. She is also an avid gamer, with especial love of RPGs (traditional or computer) and German board games. At 18, she dropped out of college to found a broadband ISP with friends; the company is still running strong, though she ran screaming from the professional IT world.
Outside of traditionally geeky pursuits, Rose knits almost continuously, serves on a board at Seattle Opera, and tends (and grazes her way through) a large vegetable garden.
Merchandise Manager - Victoria Nguyen
Being a geeky girl for most of my life, I am super excited to take part of the Geek Girl Con this year. I graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Cellular Molecular and Developmental Biology. After graduating, I got to work at Seattle Children’s as a Research Technician in a lab growing lovely bacteria. Through this opportunity I have been able to meet many scientists and gain knowledge in the science world. I have recently expanded my knowledge in research by taking a position as a Clinical Research Associate I within Seattle Children’s. With all this science, I still make time for anime, origami and taking part in Cons like Sakura Con and Geek Girl Con. Overall I am happy to be part of the Geek Girl Con Team.
GeekGirlConnections Manager - Terra Olsen
Terra credits her family for instilling the geek in her. Family board game nights and Nintendo sessions with her father ignited Terra’s love for gaming. In addition, her family’s extensive comic collections created the false belief that every family must obsess over the Golden and Silver Ages. Terra’s other obsessions include Tolkien, Star Wars, Firefly, 1970’s Sci-Fi, and History. She has happily converted her husband, Randall, into a gamer as well and now he asks her to play MTG. In addition to being a staff member of GGC, Terra also writes for Have You Nerd, a nerdista Blog.
Terra has a BA in History from UCLA, and a MA in Medieval Studies from University of Toronto. Terra also enjoys cooking, painting, hiking/backpacking, and traveling.
You can follow Terra on twitter @terrasum.
Exhibitor Services Manager - Kris Panchyk
It took going to college at a small conservative Southern Baptist school to get me started in the geek world, where I was offered the opportunity to join a 2nd Ed. D&D game run by some of the drama majors. Once I rolled up my first character, I moved on to vampires, werewolves, and superheroes, and haven’t looked back since.
When I’m not working as a project manager at a litigation support firm, I’m roleplaying, watching various geeky TV shows, knitting, and attempting to read everything I can get my hands on. In my other spare time, I volunteer at many of the local cons, specifically ECCC, PAX, and Jet City Comic Show.
Executive Director - Amanda Powter
Amanda Powter is somewhere in the geek-nerd-dork continuum and considers herself a geek-of-many-interests/master-of-none. Amanda’s geeky tendencies range from technology, science fiction, TV (almost anything Whedon, Doctor Who, Star [Wars|Trek], Red Dwarf..) & web series, to comics & graphic novels, board games, lock-picking, food/cooking, and casual web games.
Amanda grew up just north of Seattle and left a promising junior high career to start college at the age of 14 via the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington. She spent her undergrad studying Latin & Ancient Greek then returned to the UW to master Library and Information Science. She now spends daylight hours working as a Director of Product Management at a technology startup where she secretly hopes to bring about an alternate universe, in which Firefly never got cancelled.
Amanda loves to travel and visit India every couple of years. Her superpower’s draining fun from parties.
Social Events Manager - Donna “Danicia” Prior
Donna “Danicia” Prior is the self-proclaimed Sparkly Princess of Social Media; don’t call her a “guru”. She is currently creating & managing the Freebooter Volunteer Program at Green Ronin. Donna is a gamer and a beer geek, often combining both hobbies. From miniatures, table top RPGs, board/card games, and video games, she plays them all. Her favorites are stouts & porters, but she’s always looking for a great IPA to knock her stripey socks off. Donna volunteers at numerous conventions & conferences, such as GDC, NorWesCon, and was the Games Chair for SteamCon I & II. She has spoken at PAX 2010, PAX 2012, Gen Con 2011, Mensa Annual Gathering 2010, numerous years at NorWesCon, and the Community Manager Conference in Leipzig, Germany. She’s a certified beer geek who also insists she is NOT a Hobbit. You can follow Donna on Twitter: @_Danicia_. Find her also on http://about.me/Danicia andhttps://untappd.com/user/Danicia
Manager of Public Relations - Susie Rantz
Susie Rantz is a Whovian, Whedonista, and Ringer. She spends her days at GMMB, a communications company that works with clients who address important social issues, from education to global health. Outside of work, she loves sci-fi/fantasy, documentaries, her two rotten rescue dogs, and sports (including soccer and fantasy football). Her two tattoos have a connection to three different geeky things: Lord of the Rings, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Doctor Who.
Some of Susie’s most memorable moments include: watching the U.S. Women’s National Team win the World Cup in 1999, missing the chance to compete at the state math competition because her brother didn’t fully erase bubble-test answers they changed, and getting to be the Tenderheart Bear during a play in second grade. Say hello to her on Twitter: @susierants.
Hospitality and Transportation Manager - Abby Rhinehart
Abby grew up in Kenmore, Washington, where she spent (perhaps) too much time in front of the television watching Mulder and Scully. She went to Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she studied history and Spanish, and loved it. During the day, Abby works as the Programming Coordinator for Humanities Washington, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to sparking conversation. In her free time, she loves Netflix instaview, her Kindle, British sitcoms, stand up comedy, internet culture, and still watching too much television. She’s really excited to join the GeekGirlCon staff and help make the con happen with all of these wonderful people!
Manager of Editorial Services - Adrienne Roehrich
Associate Design Manager - Tiffany Smith
Tiffany was born and raised in the PNW. At a young age, she developed a fascination with unicorns (before it was cool, dangit!) leading to copious amounts of fantasy novels involving dragons, lady warriors and magical intrigue.
Later during those turbulent teenage years, a steady rotation of Bradbury, Vonnegut and Crichton novels could be found strewn about her room. Around the same time, she was also turned onto the idea of graphic design. Her lust for sexy typography and Pantone chips was further indulged through higher education.
Post college years she participated obsessively in roller derby, which she still loves despite taking her skates off.
Currently she is an MMO/RPG gamer, sci-fi fiend, pusher of pixels, maker of arts, armchair electronic music maker, squirrel enthusiast and cheese fanatic.
UX Designer - Kathryn Storm
Kathryn’s love of geek began with watching her dad build computers, episodes of Buck Rogers, and Broderbund. Kathryn is Intensely curious about the intersection of human behavior and technology and in her former life, formally studied illustration and authored a monthly food hacking workshop [link: http://www.veganhackersf.com/] in San Francisco. Currently, she is intimately involved with medieval RPGs, catching up on classic science fiction film, and Pacific Northwest adventures with her awesome dog, Regina.
Director of Programming & Events - Jennifer Kate Stuller
Jennifer Kate Stuller is a professional writer, critic, pop culture historian, and scholar, and the author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology — a comprehensive history, critique, and reference guide examining feminist history and potential within popular culture (I.B. Tauris, 2010). As an erudite connoisseur of television, films, novels and comic books, with a special interest in gender, sexuality, and diversity, Ms. Stuller strives to be the Joseph Campbell of modern myth — only much more feminist and much less crotchety.
She has written for Geek Monthly and Bitch Media, on everything from James Bond to Jim Henson, to Honey West, Peggy Hill, and Quentin Tarantino, and has also contributed to several books, including Gotham City 14 Miles: 14 Essays on Why the 1960s Batman TV Series Matters (Sequart), What is a Superhero? (Oxford), and Critical Approaches to Comics and Graphic Novels: Theories and Methods (Routledge) – for which she wrote the feminist analysis chapter using 1970s Lois Lane comic books. Her most recent presentation for the Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, as well as her other work, can be found at her website: www.ink-stainedamazon.com.
Corporate Sponsorhip Manager - Sabrina Taylor
Sabrina is a geek who blames her mother for her geeky tendencies, which started with a healthy dose of Dr. Who (Tom Baker) and spending many a Sunday night watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and then Voyager, and then Deep Space 9….and yes, even the Enterprise series. Moving from Iowa City, IA to the Emerald City in 2003, Sabrina found her home in the geek culture of Seattle. She works in public health and social services in the daytime while going to school (again) to become a nurse. For the past three years she has been part of the Relations and Sponsorship department at Sakura-Con and is thrilled at the chance to work with the GeekGirlCon. When she’s not doing work, con work or school, you can find her hanging out at her favorite comic book shop, knitting or gardening.