2017 Recap

A safe, inclusive tech leadership conference and community for adult (18+) women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to connect with and empower one another.

Leadership skills are crucial to making an impact in the field and creating diversity in the workplace. Companies with greater top-level gender diversity perform better financially, are more empathetic, and more innovative. When marginalized individuals become leaders, the entire tech community benefits.

We held the third Ela Conf on October 27th and 28th at Gershman Hall at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Learn about our events in 2015 and 2016.

On Friday night, we hosted a meet and greet and talks. Saturday's day-long event featured 7 main stage talks and 2 break-out sessions with 3 workshops and panels. We concluded Saturday with a networking event at Mission Taqueria.

Overall, we had 193 attendees including 28 speakers, 20 volunteers, 22 sponsors, and 5 organizers!

Thanks again to our 2017 sponsors!

Braintree, Panic, GitHub, Mapbox, AgileBits, iStrategyLabs, Wildbit, Zapier, US Cellular, PromptWorks, React Rally, Message Agency, Elsevier, nvite, Sketch, CodePen, The Omni Group, Seer, A Book Apart, Ela Bffs, Customer.io, Protocol Labs
Ela Conf was established in 2015 by women, is run by women organizers, and is reserved exclusively for women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to speak and attend.


Joni Trythall is a designer that works from home at the top of Delaware. She publishes books and articles on front-end design, such as Pocket Guide to Writing SVG, and co-founded Ela in 2015 to create a more welcoming and inclusive conference experience for marginalized individuals in tech. Joni makes gluten free cookies that “don’t taste gluten free” and enjoys sharing drawing projects with her son on their blog.

Joni Trythall

LeeAnn Kinney is a karaoke-loving, emoji-overusing front-end developer living in Philadelphia. She is a web accessibility advocate, chapter leader of Girl Develop It Philly, and co-organizer of LadyHacks, a community event for women that follows the model of a civic hackathon, with a goal of working on projects for the social good rather than hosting a competition. LeeAnn lives in South Philly with her partner Dan, her pup, Johnny and fat cat, Cutie. She loves spending time outdoors whenever she can, hiking, biking, camping, or floating in a lake or river.

LeeAnn Kinney

Katy DeCorah builds internal tools at Mapbox. She loves playing with CSS and building Slack bots. In her free time she enjoys getting lost in a side project, the woods, or a Golden Girls marathon. Katy lives and works from home with her husband in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Katy DeCorah

Arti Walker-Peddakolta is a Senior Product Manager, Advocate, Microbiologist, and US Army veteran. Arti advocates for the empowerment of women and underrepresented groups in STEM, is a co-organizer of Ela Conf, and is on the board of Institute for Science Education and Technology (ISET), which hosts the annual Percy Julian Science Symposium. Arti is a leader with Veterans for American Ideals, a non-partisan group of military veterans that advocates for refugee and immigrant rights. Arti lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family, where she loves to garden, bake like Ina Garten, and can always be found starting a new home improvement project.

Arti Walker-Peddakotla

Shanise Barona is a web developer who is passionate about the place where technology and social good intersect. She wants to live in a world where emails are short, empathy is a forethought, and Netflix doesn’t ask if you want to keep watching (the answer is always yes!). Currently, she lives and works in the suburbs of Philadelphia. And when her eyes aren’t glued to a computer screen, you can find her doing yoga, reading, and tending to her extensive plant collection.

Shanise Barona