Trish Millines Dziko founded the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) in 1996 after spending 15 years as a developer, designer and manager in the high tech industry. A native of New Jersey who attended Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) on a basketball scholarship, she graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science in 1979 at a time when few people of color and few women were entering the field. Her successful career brought her to Microsoft in the mid-1980s, just as the pioneering software company was set to become a worldwide brand.
Over the next decade of tremendous growth, she saw very little change in the high tech industry: women and people of color remained grossly underrepresented. After looking closely at the problem as Microsoft’s first Sr. Diversity Administrator, she determined the only solution was to increase the number of qualified people graduating from college. She traced the root of the problem to the lack of access to rigorous, relevant technology training in our public schools, particularly those in traditionally underserved communities of color. Trish left Microsoft in 1996, the same year she founded TAF. More information about TAF is available at www.techaccess.org.
In addition to her work at TAF, Trish remains a committed, proactive leader and serves on the boards of several organizations that focus on children and education. Trish has received dozens of local and national awards for her work improving the educational opportunities for children of color.
Trish and her partner live on Vashon Island and are the proud parents of 4 children.
Before coming to her senses and catching the startup bug, Rebecca spent a decade in the corporate world in management, operations and business development roles, in the logistics, software, recruiting and legal industries. She went on to serve as the director of the Alliance of Angels program, executive director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, and most recently Chief Business Officer of GeekWire.
Rebecca teaches a class on Venture Capital in the University of Washington’s MBA program, serves as a mentor for TechStars and the Founder Institute, and is on the employer advisory board for the UW Foster School of Business and the board of directors of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. She also sits on the advisory boards for LikeBright and Fresh Consulting, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carleton College and Dean's Scholar, MBA program at the UW’s Foster School of Business. She is endlessly devoted to startups, tech, and karaoke.
Jessica Markowitz is a 17-year-old senior at Seattle’s Garfield High School. She founded Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE in October of 2006 and designed the organization to empower women, develop friendships and connect cultures across the globe. The organization’s focus is to support educational opportunities for Rwandan girls and a "never again" genocide awareness campaign in the U.S. She is a leader and role model through her commitment to civic responsibility and community involvement.
A tireless advocate for global education and a spokesperson for social justice, Jessica’s fundraising efforts support costs for Rwandans students, such as school fees, supplies, shoes, insurance, and lunch. Jessica’s nonprofit has already expanded to several chapters in Seattle on the East Coast and two in Rwanda. Jessica believes that advocating for girls’ education will ultimately allow girls and women to end the cycle of vicious poverty, and decrease infant, child, and maternal mortality rates, and reduce occurrences of HIV-AIDS and malaria while also improving national peace and security.
Jessica has traveled to Rwanda six times and in summer 2012, led the third annual cross-cultural service learning trip to Rwanda. Some 27 students from across the United States joined Jessica to teach English and deepen the "girl to girl" bonds with the students in the rural village of Nyamata, Rwanda.
Maggie Orth is an artist and technologist who designs and invents interactive textiles in Seattle, WA. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Fashion Machines, Inc.
Orth received her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab in June 2001. Her academic work at the Media Lab (1997-2001) included patents, research, publications and design in new physical interfaces, wearable computing, electronic textiles, and interactive textile musical instruments.
Prior to her academic work, she worked at the Media Lab as the Production Director and Designer of Tod Machover's massive, interactive musical production, Brain Opera (1996-1997). Before joining the Media Lab, she earned a Masters at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
In 2007, she was named a USA Target Fellow. She is one of 50 recipients of the United States Artists unrestricted grants of $50,000 in recognition of their creative work.
Her work has been widely exhibited at the Museum of Science, Boston, MA, NTT ICC, InterCommuncication Center, Japan, The National Textile Museum, Washington DC, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The DeCordova Museum, MA, SIGGRAPH, and Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria.
Chanel Summers began her career as a pioneering designer and producer of video games, developing innovative products ranging from high-performance 3D vehicle simulations, to action/arcade platform games, to hardware peripherals while working at early industry-leading companies such as Mindscape, Velocity and Mattel Media.
Recruited to Microsoft in the late '90s, Chanel was responsible for the release of that company's first multiplayer internet game, Fighter Ace, a precursor to the rise of online gaming. Chanel was subsequently selected as the company's first Audio Technical Evangelist, in which capacity she was responsible for launching innovative audio technologies such as DirectMusic (a revolutionary method of creating and delivering interactive music and sound design) and also dramatically increasing the use of Windows as a platform for audio creation.
With the inception of Microsoft's Xbox game system in 2000, Chanel was tapped to help design and promote the audio capabilities of the new hardware and to create the industry's first support team for content creators: a team of graphic artists, sound designers, composers and game designers who would work with the development community, coaching game creators to take advantage of the capabilities presented by Xbox. As a result, Chanel became a widely recognized figure in leading industry organizations, as well as the published author of a number of articles and technical white papers
After leaving Microsoft, Chanel co-founded Syndicate 17, an audio production house based in Seattle and Los Angeles that specializes in writing and producing original scores, cues, and sound effects for everything from films and television shows to video games and web sites. In addition, Chanel is also a highly sought-after professional drummer, recording with and performing frequently in a number of nationally touring bands, working alongside such bands as Missing Persons, The Dreaming, Smile Empty Soul, The Last Vegas, Endless Hallway, and Vast, and showcasing in festivals ranging from CMJ to SXSW.
Chanel is a frequent lecturer at both music and technology industry events around the world, as well as at leading educational institutions, captivating audiences as diverse as SESAC, Trinity College (Dublin), the Dublin Institute of Technology, The Irish Music Rights Organization and the Seattle Interactive Conference. Chanel sits on the advisory board for The Academy of Entertainment and Technology at Santa Monica College and, most recently has developed and is teaching a new course at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media Division in the School of Cinematic Arts which focuses on the art and aesthetics of creating audio for video games. She has also been advising the USC faculty on the creation of a dedicated minor in interactive audio for students looking to specialize in that area.
“Dr. T.” has taught physics and mathematics in the high school at Forest Ridge since 2005. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Yale University, and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY).
She earned her doctorate in astronomy from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded the Ralph B. Baldwin Prize in Astrophysics and Space Sciences Dissertation. Her dissertation title was Dark Matter Halo Properties of Nearby, Late-Type Galaxies. In 2006, Dr. T. was an astronomy lecturer for the Upward Bound Program at the University of Washington.
She serves on the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees as Faculty Liaison to the Board. Martiza’s daughter is a busy and involved middle school student at Forest Ridge.