No Girl Geek Dinner for March

We won’t be having a Dinner this month, but we’ll be back in April and geeking out over music. Stay tuned for details!


Fly it Forward is back – time for Girl Geeks to take to the skies!

Last March we were graciously invited to take part in Women of Aviation‘s Fly it Forward program, which was centred at our local Region of Waterloo Airport.

Check out our recap with pictures here.

This year, Women of Aviation Week is back, March 2nd to 8th, and the festivities to “Celebrate Women of Aviation – Engage – Experience – Inspire” in Waterloo Region at our airport are on March 7th from 9am to 4pm. We can’t recommend it enough. Let’s Fly it Forward, geeks. (We’ve been the third busiest airport in the world for this event. Let’s get to #1!)

Be sure to reserve your flight spot to go up in a small plane. The view over Waterloo Region is absolutely gorgeous. These flights start at 9am, and are reserved for girls (age 4 and up) and women who haven’t been in a small plane before. Spaces are limited, so don’t wait!

Other cool stuff to check out includes an experiential aviation career expo, a speaker’s panel (with special guest Dee Brasseur, Canada’s first female F-18 pilot and Natalie Panek, who’s an actual rocket scientist), and plenty of other amazing women of aviation.

For more information, check out the Women of Aviation CYKF Facebook page, and keep up with their Twitter feed: @FlyitForwardYKF.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Girl Geeks Waterloo Region! :)


Melanie Baker to present on The Internets 101

We ended up without a February speaker, and not really enough time to find one, so it gave me a good opportunity to present a topic I’d been pondering. I’ve been working for a domain registrar for nearly a year now, and have learned a LOT about how the Internet works. It’s one of those topics that you can cover at high, mid, or very deep levels, so I’ll try to strike a bit of a balance, looking at the sorts of things we do and use every day.

We’ll be meeting up at the Communitech Hub, in the Jelly Bean room, starting off at 6pm, on Tuesday, February 24th. Taco Farm will be catering. If you’re not familiar with the Jelly Bean room, when you arrive at the Hub and walk toward the elevators, it’s through the glass door on the left, down the hall, through the big doors on the left just before you get to the reception desk. (When we use the EBR room, it’s through glass doors across the hall.)

Huge thanks as well to our sponsors for this month’s event, Communitech and bitHound! (bitHound is in open beta now – you should totally check them out.)

Tickets are available now. Join us!

I won’t be covering how to put a web page or site together, per se, since I’m not a web developer, but rather some of what goes on underneath that. When you type “” into a browser, what happens next? Where does your computer actually get the information that is a web page or site, or an email message, for that matter? What’s the difference between using web hosting and a third-party platform? How do you use instead of or some other service?

I’ll talk some about DNS as well, which involves the different types of records used for websites and email, what they do, and how they reflect the design and history of the Internet.

Bring a friend — we love new faces! Hope to see you on the 24th.


Velocity team to present on the mission, the members, and more

Welcome to 2015! We’re back in action and our first Dinner of the year is coming up fast. Velocity has been fascinating since its inception as a bit of an experiment in entrepreneurial academe at University of Waterloo, and as it’s grown and evolved over the years it’s just gotten more interesting.

We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual on Tuesday, January 20th. We’ll be at the Communitech Hub in the Matrix/Atlas room(s). (Those are the ones you get to when you go through the doorway to the right of the elevators, down the short hall, through the door on the right, and they’re just to the right of the big blue doors.)

Register now!

For our January Dinner we’re welcoming Nancy Heide, Velocity’s Associate Director and Popy Dimoulas-Graham, Velocity member and founder of Charity Republic. (You might remember we’d planned to have Popy join us in the past and were thwarted by a snowstorm.)

The ladies will be giving us the rundown on Velocity: what and where it is, what they do, some of their stories, and what their goals are. We’ll learn about the original core program, and how they’ve expanded with Velocity Science, Foundry, and Garage, as well as the Velocity Fund. Popy will be able to give us a front-row seat to membership and that process, and how it’s working for her and her company.

Tickets are available now. Can’t wait to see everyone!


Jacqui Murphy to present on tech marketing for startups

For November we’re getting back into the startup groove with Jacqui Murphy from Auvik Networks. Marketing may not seem like hardcore geekery, but you might be surprised how much data and tech it involves now. And, hey, you try becoming the next Google without it…

We’ll be meeting up at Ren@41 for this one, 6pm as usual, on Wednesday, November 26th. (The Wednesday thing isn’t a permanent change for us; it just happens to be when several of our speakers were available.)

Get your tickets now.

Jacqui is a veteran of the local tech scene, currently serving as VP, Marketing at Auvik Networks. Prior to that she was VP, Marketing at Fongo, Manager of Marketing Operations at PixStream, and later Director of Marketing once it was acquired by Cisco. She was also a partner at Tech Capital Partners, founded Art Allies, and is on the board for Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region. Jacqui knows her way around the local tech scene.

She has also received the Michael R. Follett Community Leader of the Year award, the Communitech Tech Impact Award, and has been recognized as one of Waterloo Region’s Top 40 Under 40.

Jacqui will be talking to us about a variety of things, like how you define explain to people what you do, to figuring out who you want your customers to be, to how to build your communications. She can also help us better understand how you tell if your efforts are working, or what should be tweaked. And there’s the age old dilemma of how to do cool things and get the world aware of who you are when you don’t exactly have millions to spend.

Tickets are available now, so get yours now and join us to learn about the unique challenges of marketing startups and tech.


Ed Barsalou and Mike Kelly to present on the Internet of Things

The Internet of All the Things!!!

This Dinner topic is both something I’ve been really interested in myself (particularly working for a domains/DNS company) and it’s been specifically requested. Conveniently, having gadget-centric friends makes it easy to plan. This is going to be a serious geeking out opportunity. :)

For our October Dinner, we’ll be congregating at McCabe’s in downtown Kitchener. We’ll be in the back, so when you arrive you can just let them know you’re there for the Girl Geek Dinner. They’ll be providing us with a limited menu to order from, and folks will be paying for their own dinners this time around.

We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual on Wednesday, October 22nd. Tickets are available now!

Our speakers this time around will be Ed Barsalou and Mike Kelly, who will be tag-teaming to tell us about the Internet of Things: what it is, what it’s made up of, what it might include in the future, its potential, its risks, etc. (Apple Watches and Nest thermostats are just the tip of the iceberg…)

Ed is currently an instructor at University of Waterloo and Conestoga College, and an engineer by trade and background. He’s also an inveterate tinkerer, fixer, and lover of tech, from vintage British cars to Arduinos. He can also make steel mills run. Mike is an entrepreneur running his own company doing system administration and software development. Also a lover of tech gadgets and doodads, he can think of 100 things to do with LED strips and BeagleBones, and is constantly challenged to come up with geeky entertainment for his five-year-old twin girls. He has an impressive collection of archaic hardware.

This is going to be a popular topic, so get your tickets ASAP. Can’t wait for this one, and I bet the Q&A is going to be fantastic.


Danielle Malik to present on data’s role in design

Welcome back! Wasn’t the hottest of summers, but hopefully you got some fresh air and sunshine, and are raring to go for September. We’re back and, per tradition, are borrowing one of the Fluxible conference’s fantastic speakers for our September Dinner. (We also highly recommend checking out Fluxible and the related events they’ll have going on.)

We’ll be kicking things off at the Communitech Hub at 6pm on Thursday, September 11th. Note that this is a) soon, and b) NOT a Tuesday – to accommodate our speaker’s schedule.

Tickets are available now. Join us and get your learn on!

This year we’re welcoming Facebook’s Dani(elle) Malik, where she fights the good fight as a Product Design Manager. She’ll be joining us to talk about data (Data?) and its influence (earned or otherwise), how it can help us answer questions or lead us astray, and how it can be intelligently used in conjunction with good design principles to best benefit users.

Data, especially the Big variety, is big news and big sexy these days, so we’re pretty jazzed to be getting the inside scoop and some perspective from the real world.

To blatantly rip off Danielle’s bio that the Fluxible folks kindly assembled:

After nearly 15 years in the industry, watching (and sometimes shaping) the Great Design Revolution, Danielle has learned a few lessons. And she has a few stories to tell.

Danielle is a Product Design Manager at Facebook where she leads projects in the Commerce group. Prior to that, she led the UX team at the fabulous but now sadly closed Hot Studio, a design consultancy in San Francisco. Over her career she has found inspiration in collaboration, helping companies large and small embrace new technologies, define product strategies, and craft approaches to great user experiences.

Danielle is chronically active in the UX community, planning and organizing professional events and conferences. She founded the IxDA San Francisco chapter in 2008, which today features nearly 4000 members, and now she currently sits on the Board of Directors for IxDA.

Danielle also raises children and chickens, with varying degrees of success.

Tickets will go fast. Join us and bring a friend!


Kristin Johnson-Perlock to present on KPL and the geek potential of libraries

It’s our final Dinner of the season already! We’ve had a slew of fantastic and brilliant speakers, and we’re going out with a bang. As you may know, Central Library (formerly Kitchener Public Library) has recently re-opened after a four year phased renovation. So we’re not only going to learn about what an awesome resource they are: we’re going to have our Dinner there. And West of Seoul will be catering!

Get your tickets now!

Joining us will be Librarian and Pub Lit organizer Kristin Johnson-Perlock. Her co-host will be Barb Janicek, who is Children’s Librarian and outreach mastermind at Central Library.

A bit more about these ladies:

Barb is a graduate of Trent University (B.A. Hons.), Queen’s University (B.Ed.), and received her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to becoming a Librarian, she spent nearly a decade working with both the Summer Camp and Outdoor Centre programs at Camp Wenonah. Barb worked on behalf of Wenonah at the Shikoku Canadian Global Camp (Takamatsu, Japan) for two years, spending seven months living in Japan. After retiring from camp and completing her Masters, she was a Children’s Librarian in Kingston, Saskatoon, and Cambridge, before finally returning to her K-W roots. Barb is currently the Children’s Librarian at Kitchener Public Library. When she is not advocating for early literacy on local committees, or volunteering with the Canadian Library Association to choose the winner of the Young Adult Book Award (5 years) she spends her time at the YMCA trying to get fit and blogging about it.

Kristin is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (B.A.) and received her Masters of Library and Information Science, with a specialization in Digital Content Management, from Wayne State University. During her Masters studies, she held a metadata internship with the Society of Architectural Historians and was Marketing and Events Chairperson for the first ever student chapter of National Digital Stewardship Alliance. She currently is a Librarian in the Information Services department at Kitchener Public Library where she co-facilitates Pub Lit, a book discussion group in the pub. Outside of the library, she enjoys film and digital photography, cycling, and running.

Kristin and Barb are going to give us the run-down on what’s new and different at the Central Library (besides the name and logo), and take us on a tour of the kinds of resources libraries really offer these days (books are just the beginning). Instead of just sitting and listening, we’ll be talking and walking, which should be a nice, interactive change of pace. The card catalogue (remember those?) is a thing of the past, and libraries are a vibrant and important resource for technology and community.

We’re working on some super-duper deliciousness for our dining pleasure (those of you into the local food truck scene might find the fare familiar…), and we’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual. If you haven’t been to the Library, it’s at 85 Queen St. N. in Kitchener, and there’s underground parking on-site.

Registration is now open. Join us!


Claudia de Rham to present on dark matter and dark energy

With Perimeter Institute right here in town, it’s taken far too long to arrange a physics-centric Dinner. The time has come, however!

Join us on Tuesday, May 27th to hear Dr. Claudia de Rham, Visiting Fellow at PI, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University, who will be joining us to talk about cosmology, and more specifically dark matter and dark energy – not yet well understood (or seen), but seeming to make up a large part of our universe.

This presentation will be science-centric, but interesting to all geeks with an interest in space – no PhDs necessary.

We’ll be back at Centre in the Square in the Members’ Lounge. As usual, we’ll be kicking things off at 6pm, with catering by one of their excellent purveyors.

Get your ticket now – and why not bring a friend?

For those who haven’t been to the Members’ Lounge at Centre in the Square, here are instructions on how to get down there:

Parking is available in the Centre in the Square’s private lot on Ellen Street (at the back of the building).

Turn onto Ellen Street from Queen Street, drive past Centre In The Square and just before the street turns into a one-way you will see the private lot on your right. Parking arm will be raised (map shows entrance to the parking lot on the right).

Walk back around to the Stage Door entrance which is located just past the loading dock (map shows loading dock on left, entrance on right).

We’ll have signage to get you down to the Members’ Lounge, too. Hope we’ll see you then!


CANCELLATION: Sheila Colla will not be presenting at the April Dinner

Update: This Dinner has been cancelled. We will re-book both Dr. Colla and our startup-themed Dinner for the fall. Stay tuned for the announcement shortly about our May Dinner! We’re heading to space…

Unfortunately, due to a conflict that has arisen, Dr. Colla will not be able to join us for the Dinner on April 22nd. We are currently working with her to re-book her presentation on bumblebee conservation for the fall.

We’re really sorry for the late notice. However! We’ve moved up another speaker/topic in our lineup, and our own co-organizer, Pj, and her husband Dan will be presenting on “Startup 2.0″. Tickets are still available!

Pj and Dan are local startup veterans, having founded tinyHippos, Nom Nom Treats, and bitHound, among other projects, ventures, groups, and mentorship. They’re also instrumental in our own Girl Geek Dinners, MoBeers, Startup Drinks Waterloo, and FIRST LEGO League. In short, they have some serious tech cred.

They’ll be talking the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of startup life, from basically being a couple folks in someone’s basement, to successful acquisition and exit, to “what’s next?”

Date, time, and location for the Dinner will all remain the same: 6pm, April 22nd, Centre in the Square Members’ Lounge. And again, our apologies for the late notice. This one’s gonna be great stuff, too.

For anyone who bought a ticket but can’t make it or isn’t interested in the new topic, feel free to let us know and we’ll refund your ticket. Hope to see you there, though, and in the fall when we do get Dr. Colla to join us!