CyberHype Charlotte was created by a group of individuals who are passionate about sharing their experiences with the greater Charlotte community thru networking, technical training, and community outreach events. Despite various backgrounds, they all feel passionate about the mission to grow Charlotte’s current technologists in their journeys while inspiring others to explore their opportunities in technology related fields. We would like to introduce our five founding members, all of whom have various but robust careers in the technology field and have been active in their own ways in the Charlotte technology community, leading them to finding a purpose together for filling a key need for additional support of Charlotte technology.
Ellie Alessio is super passionate about connecting recent technology graduates and helping them find their sweet spot in Charlotte’s technology community. Ellie’s career at Wells Fargo started while she was still in college. She joined Wells Fargo through the Technology Early Talent program in 2017. Today, she works as a Technology Business Management Analyst; standing up a new application to provide data reporting on financial transparency that supports the Technology Total Cost of Ownership Office. She grew up in Winston-Salem and after two years at Appalachian State University, she quickly learned that she hated mountain weather and moved to Charlotte in 2014. She graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in Computer Science and a secondary focus in Business. #NinerNation. Charlotte has been Ellie’s home for the past six years and she can’t see herself anywhere else.
With more than 19 years in technology, spanning public and private sectors, Meredith LaBonte has held leadership positions in technology development and operations, digital transformation, enterprise portfolio/program delivery, and enterprise/global integration. She is currently working with Novant Health Digital Products Services and is responsible for modernizing the Corporate Functions capabilities and technology platforms. Meredith has a passion for diversity and inclusion – she is active in the Charlotte technology community and regularly speaks to audiences about advancing female representation in technology leadership. She holds degrees from the Smith School at the University of Maryland, and the Pamplin School at the VA Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Amy Nichols has worked nearly thirty years in the financial services industry, all at Wells Fargo. During her career she has worked in various roles, specifically working through systems development challenges, risk and governance roles and lately in helping to secure the organization with enhanced cybersecurity processes. She is currently the head of Secure Development. Actively engaged in technology related non-profit activities for several years, CyberHypeCLT provides the perfect venue to engage with the Charlotte technology community overall. As a servant leader, Amy feels that “giving back and connecting people to activities that grow themselves as better technologists has become rewarding beyond measure.” Amy is a native of Wilkes County, North Carolina and graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Queens University right here in the Queen City. She also holds certifications with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). She has also been recognized with internal awards, and was named Woman of the Year by The National Association of Women for 2012-2013.
Lisa Russell’s love for technology is strong but her passion for empowering and expanding the presence of women in technology is even stronger. Lisa actively seeks out opportunities to meet, work with, encourage, and mentor women in technology. Her commitment to inclusion speaks thru her actions as she serves on the board of directors for Carolina Women in Technology (CWIT), CyberHypeCLT, and Fleurix.
Lisa’s career has spanned many facets of the technology lifecycle. Her early experiences include being a developer, an engineer, and a systems architect at AT&T Bell Laboratories (in Denver, CO and Columbus OH). While at Bell Labs, she was also involved with writing the code for the company’s Caller ID service. After her tenure at Bell Labs, Lisa helped launch a technical consulting company that eventually grew to over 80 consultants. While building out a technology delivery practice for a NY-based staffing firm, she was also involved in technology sales. Currently she is on the leadership team for the Hylaine technology solutions firm. At Hylaine, she enjoys the team atmosphere and the opportunity it provides to turn her focus back to solving client’s business problems while building digital solutions and products. She continues to exhibit her entrepreneurial spirit through her activities as the fractional-CTO for Amissa; a Charlotte based startup that builds solutions to assist Alzheimer patients, caregivers, physicians, and researchers.
Danielle Volman is a leader in launching programs designed to accelerate change through empowering individuals. For more than half of her career, she has built a proven track record of unwavering customer service excellence and superior technical and analytical skills as a SharePoint Support Escalation Engineer for Microsoft’s Commercial and Public Sector Enterprise customers. Almost a decade ago, Danielle started her career with Microsoft after graduating from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business where she concentrated in Management Information Systems and Organizational Behavior Today, she leads the Customer Service and Support’s Global Ambassador Program. She launched the Ambassador Program in 2017; empowering all employees to become change agents. “Ambassadors amplify the voice of our customers and other employees and implement solutions worldwide to directly influence, engineer, and accelerate positive, global change from culture to process to tools.” Recognizing that Charlotte could benefit from a similar approach with technology ambassadors, Danielle grew more engaged in sharing and cultivating her passion for STEM in the Charlotte community both on and off campus. She feels that CyberHypeCLT can be the change that fills a great need in accelerating interest, engagement, and development of an individual’s technical journey. Charlotte’s huge Fintech hub is growing rapidly. Together with the other founding members, Danielle believes this community is strategically placed to embrace the opportunities that will continue to propel Charlotte forward as the best place to be!