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 Hair 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 Senior Risk Analytics Consultant; standing up a new application to provide data reporting on financial transparency that supports Technology Finance. 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 eight years and she can’t see herself anywhere else.
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. Lisa is a Senior Director of Software Engineering at Slalom _Build. She recently moved into the location lead role and now leads the Charlotte _Build Center. She loves the culture, people, meaningful work and the opportunity to solve client problems while building modern digital solutions and products.
Danielle Waters is a leader in long range strategic planning supporting the Microsoft Federal Defense team embracing a mission-critical philosophy to meet evolving US Government needs by delivering world-class Cloud Services to maximize customer potential and drive Cloud adoption.
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. She has always focused her energy on making a positive impact on people and the customer through technology. For more than half of her career, Danielle has built a proven track record of unwavering customer service and excellence and superior technical and analytical skills as a SharePoint Support Escalation Engineer for Microsoft’s Commercial and Public Sector Enterprise customers. In 2017, she launched the Ambassador Program in the 20,000+ person Microsoft Customer Experience and Success team 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, but we have also recently made a name for ourselves as an innovative Tech hub, too. Together with CyberHypeCLT, Danielle believes this community is strategically placed to embrace the opportunities that will continue to propel Charlotte forward as the best place to be!
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.