Brigade Congress 2021
Bringing together Brigade leaders, government and community partners, and civic tech professionals from across the country.
Alex Ayon moved to Oklahoma City in 2015 to work in the pharmaceutical industry after earning a bioengineering degree from UC Santa Cruz. Soon after in 2017 he began attending Techlahoma meetups. In 2020 he helped co-lead FreeCodeCampOK and participated in organizing a Techlahoma sponsored job fair. He sees Techlahoma as a valuable resource for networking and learning and sees his involvement in the non-profit as as instrumental in helping him become a full-time developer. He currently serves as a Techlahoma board member.
Amanda has had a unique and diverse career starting out in the financial industry, moving to education as a teacher in her small hometown community, and finally spending the majority of her career in public service. She has served as the Chief of Operations at the California Department of Justice overseeing 1,000 public servants and an $850M budget, National Political Director for Secretary Clinton managing the political and outreach strategy for the 2016 Presidential Campaign, and as a Chief of Staff in the United States Senate during one of the most productive periods in our country’s history. She was named one of the most influential staffers by Roll Call and received a number of awards as the first Latina chief of staff in the history of the U.S. Senate. In addition to her policy work, she has also run for Congressional office in 2014 and Governor in 2018 believing that empowering others is at the heart of public service. She has degrees from Stanford University and Harvard Business School and serves on several non-profit boards.
Ben Treviño is an experienced executive, entrepreneur and technologist, and is a committed advocate for the public sector and civic engagement.
Previously, Treviño has served as the President and CEO for the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) as well as the Sustainability Planner with Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) where he developed a community-driven sustainability program as one of Code for America’s first Community Fellows in 2018. Treviño was the founding President and Chief Operating Officer of Bikeshare Hawaii, which launched the Biki bikeshare system in Honolulu in 2017. Prior to that, Treviño was with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) where he was the architect of the UHERO Dashboard Project, a community data visualization portal for Hawaii data. Additionally, he was a co-founder of Interisland Terminal, a Honolulu-based, non-profit organization with projects including community spaces, the Kaka‘ako Agora, and R&D Bookstore and Cafe. Treviño also has held previous positions with Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, and Google.
Treviño earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Computer Science from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Shidler School of Business at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a member of the inaugural class of Obama Leaders Asia-Pacific, the 6th Cohort of Omidyar Fellows, and was recognized as a member of the Pacific Business News Forty under 40 Class of 2016. Treviño serves as the co-chair for the National Advisory Council with Code for America as well as on serving on the boards of The Entrepreneur’s Foundation, The SEEQS (The School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability) Foundation, the organizing committee for the Code for Hawaii brigade, and the advisory boards of Common Cause Hawaii, and Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaiʻi. He has been commuting by bike in Hawaii for fourteen years and is committed to deepening his understanding of and drawing attention to indigenous knowledge systems as solutions to Hawaii’s most difficult challenges.
Billy is the Senior Organizer for the GYR team at Code for America. From a career in civic organizing, political campaigns, and leadership development, he holds deep conviction in the potential of government to support the flourishing of everyday people and the role of grassroots, people-powered movements to effect and reflect the world of our dreams. An advocate for equity in public service for Asian Americans and ally communities, Billy serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). He is a proud son of Cambodian refugees and was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University, where he was a recipient of the Mellon Mays & President’s Public Service fellowships. Billy is fond of traveling solo across Japan, staying physically active, consuming creative non-fiction, and singing (highly questionable). He probably smiles more than the average person.
Carlos Moreno is a graphic designer at CAP Tulsa, Oklahoma's largest anti-poverty nonprofit organization and a national leader in early childhood education. He also volunteers with Code for Tulsa, working to make local government work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century.
As a serial entrepreneur, writer, and community activist, he has been at the forefront of many of Tulsa’s innovative ideas and civic engagement movements including the formation of Tulsa Fablab, The Forge, YP Tulsa, TulsaNow, Smart Growth Tulsa, and the Tulsey Awards.
He was selected by national urban-affairs magazine NextCity as part of its 2014 Vanguard Class. In 2015, he was certified by IDEO and +Acumen, in the practice of Human-Centered Design. Carlos earned a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Leadership in 2017 and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a focus on civic technology in 2020 from the University of Oklahoma.
Carlos serves on the board of Urban Coders Guild which teaches programming skills to disadvantaged youth, as well as the Open Source Software Development Education Advisory Board at Tulsa University, the Advisory Board for the City of Tulsa’s Office of Performance Strategy and Innovation, the Gilcrease Museum Community Advisory Council, and the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) MPA Advisory Board.
Diana Varnes is the Program Lead for the Tom Love Innovation Hub and is currently based out of the OU-Tulsa campus, as the OU Innovation Hub is expanding its programming to other parts of the state. Diana's undergraduate degree is from the University of North Texas in Integrated Studies with a focus on STEM programming and non-profit management. Diana serves as the Vice President of Techlahoma as she has a passion for helping others though entrepreneurism, tech education, and civic tech, and she leads projects for Code for America and Code for Tulsa. In her free time, Diana enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking new recipes, learning new things, and spending time with her husband, dogs and cats.
Dr. Tiffany T. Crutcher is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was thrust into the national spotlight following the death of her twin brother Terence Crutcher, who was shot by a police officer in Tulsa while holding his hands in the air. The murder of her brother compelled Tiffany to speak out against police brutality, particularly the killing of unarmed black men. She has chosen to turn her personal tragedy into an opportunity to bridge fear and mistrust and help transform a justice system that has perpetuated injustice dating back to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, when white rioters burned down her great-grandmother’s prosperous community of Black Wall Street. Dr. Crutcher has remained committed to organizing coalitions throughout the country that promote the interests of minority communities. Dr. Crutcher is the founder of the Terence Crutcher Foundation (TCF), whose primary focus is criminal justice and policing reform, providing scholarships to African-American students, community and youth development, and policy advocacy.
Em Burnett (they/them) is an open government advocate and longtime member of the Code for America Brigade Network. Prior to joining Code for America, Em consulted on local political campaigns and with clients like Maine Equal Justice and the Maine AFL-CIO. In their spare time, Em enjoys creating endless civic schemes, reading, hiking, cooking, and gaining minimum viable knowledge on as many things as possible. Em lives in Portland, Maine.
Kendall was a Chemical Engineer for 10 years before switching fields to become a full stack developer in 2019. She has been working with Techlahoma since 2018 and had served various roles including user group, workshop, and conference organizer; treasurer; and now president.
I'm Krystina, a digital storyteller and content strategist who lives in the beautiful city of Orlando. I help makers, from small businesses to personal brands, create content that connects with their audience. I'm fueled by coffee and working with people that make a difference.
In 2017, I made a career change into content strategy. Before that I was a web designer for a few years. With a new career path to embark on and hopeful bliss in my heart, I invested in improving my digital marketing skills, taking various certification courses and working with cool technology teams like Code for Orlando and Timbr Technologies. Currently, I am looking for a new opportunity to grow in areas such as analytics, copywriting and content marketing.
Hi, I'm Mari (rhymes with Atari)!
I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies with a minor in Ethics, Public Policy, Science and Technology. I focus a lot of my work and studies around crafting care-based user experiences.
🔍 I am seeking opportunities to explore UX research, research operations, and community organizing.
🌟 What I’ve Been Up To:
• I’ve been actively involved in the Code for America (CfA) Brigade Network for a year!
• I lead the volunteer coordination effort for a campaign in Los Angeles.
In my spare time, I enjoy solving puzzles, learning about odd theme park facts, and exploring Google Maps in the quest of becoming a pretty decent GeoGuessr player.
I am a Co-Captain of Code for Fresno, a Volunteer Client Success Lead with Get Your Refund, and proudly a Revisioning Spokes member as well. Through my work of being an Independent Authorized Representative for both Social Security and Social Services CfA has helped to bring my goal of helping our communities become more of a reality. I have been an Account Executive for a major collection agency, Inventory manager, as well as assistant to a manager of a Fortune 500 Company. I have also been a recipient in need of help from Social Services as a single mother and had hardships to prevail within my 49 years. As a first-generation Mexican American on my fathers’ side and a female, I am grateful to have found such an innovative organization and platform, with colleagues I highly admire.
Meredith Horowski is the Senior Director for the Brigade Network. Meredith is an experienced campaigner with particular expertise in grassroots organizing and in creating powerful, diverse movements on pressing social issues. Prior to joining Code for America, she was the Campaign Manager for a 2018 gubernatorial campaign in Rhode Island. As an independent consultant, she led US strategy for the civic tech firm New/Mode and provided strategic support to NetChange Consulting. Meredith founded Beyond the Bomb—a grassroots organization to end systems of nuclear violence. She also served for four years as the Global Campaign Director at Global Zero, where she spearheaded GZ’s international advocacy strategy, creative campaigns, and public mobilization. She’s written for outlets including Teen Vogue, The Nation, and Huffington Post. In her free time, she organizes with a feminist collective in D.C. and enjoys hiking, swimming, and Michigan football. She also owns a miniature cow.
Relishes in discovering and learning new things. An Adaptive worker with experience in working with and implementing complex algorithms in python an C++. Experienced with Macintosh, Linux, and Windows. Interested in problem solving tasks and integrating multiple technologies to complete in- depth projects and create sustainable solutions.
Writer, peer specialist and game developer who transforms lived experience into actionable learning opportunities. Her work focuses on supporting the stories of vulnerable people and their communities as opportunities to respond directly to the systems that suppress them. She joined the Network ReVisioning Team in its Closing Phase as the lead writer on the Recommendation Draft; prior to that, she served on last year’s Brigade Congress Content Committee (and is a latecomer to this year’s planning team as well!)
Ryan Gentzler joined OK Policy in January of 2016 as a policy analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.
I use technology to improve public services and I use the podcasting medium to bring attention to the #civictech movement.
In the past I’ve thrown my hat in the political ring and have successfully lobbied for policy change.
Se Yeon Kim is a Senior Software Engineer for Mozilla where she works as a backend developer for products/features like Tracking Protection, Subscription Platform, and Relay. She joined Techlahoma in 2019 working on the text messaging bot to remind users of court dates called CourtBot with the Code for Tulsa group that meets during the Tulsa Web Dev nights. Se Yeon joined the board in 2020 to be more involved in advancing tech for junior developers or people transitioning to software engineering.
Full Stack Web Developer with over 15 years’ work experience in Marketing for global organizations fighting to end poverty and improve the lives of families around the world. A firm believer in the importance of collaboration and developing coherent web applications to meet users’ needs and maximize interaction. Currently, working at the intersection of digital marketing and web application development to streamline and develop technical feasibility that enhance users experience.
Currently Brigade Congress Event Organizer for CfA and Community Manager for Techlahoma. Since she was a little kid, she has always planned small events for friends and family, like luaus, birthday parties, and school events. When she started at Oklahoma State University (OSU), she joined the Student Union Activities Board organization and helped plan campus-wide events for all four years, eventually earning the position of President in her Senior year.
At Leonardo’s Children’s Museum, she worked on planning the annual Hometown Celebration, which had multiple activities, food, and venues to be prepped. Emily took this in stride and managed to pull off a successful event, with hundreds of attendees.
And finally, the most important thing to know about Emily is she loves talking to people, getting to know them, and building a long-term relationship. It’s not always convenient when you have other tasks to do, but she always tries to connect with people, as relationships are the foundation of any profession.
Emily Harden will serve as moderator for the Techlahoma Panel