Pizza night this week – The Speakers!

Sorry for being quiet on the update front. Things here have been a little busy, but here’s some detail for Thursday’s event:

Please come to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand at 2 The Terrace around 5:30 PM. The Museum is just to the right as you walk in the main entrance. Pizza and drinks will be served shortly thereafter with talks starting at 6:15. We’ve got 2 speakers this time around.

First up is Jennifer Dickinson. Jennifer started her professional life as a lawyer, joining HunterMaclean in Savannah, Georgia (US) in 2001 as a litigation associate. As a litigator, she represented employers in federal discrimination and harassment lawsuits. After nine years of litigation, she moved to Wellington in June 2010 and began working for FairWay Resolution Limited (formerly Dispute Resolution Services Limited) as a Reviewer in the administrative tribunal setting. Ms Dickinson worked as an adjudicator working primarily with Accident Compensation Corporation claims and claims in the telecommunications arena, before moving into her current management position.

And then it happened. She slowly turned from someone who looked at all technology with a sceptical gaze and referred to it as “computery stuff”, to being able to hold her own in discussions about the merits of SaaS (or PaaS or DaaS). She successfully led two significant dispute resolution and technology projects, one internal to FairWay, and one cross-ministry project. She consults with the business on business transformation strategy and supportive technology and works directly with the software developers to ensure that technology assists and supports business requirements.

And she wouldn’t have been able to do it had she not been a lawyer.

The title of her presentation is A Lawyer and an IT Project Manager Walk into a Bar: The Transition from Law to Technology is No Joke

Our second speaker is Megan Whelan from The Wireless. Megan has worked at Radio New Zealand for much longer than she ever meant to, with stints in news, sport, and the award-winning Radio New Zealand International team. She has covered everything from elections to earthquakes (and tsunamis and cyclones), but her favourite reporting experience will always be the time she interviewed a not-entirely-sober Margaret Mahy.

Before becoming a journalist, Megan did a Masters degree in political science, and was shocked when the topic of her thesis actually came in handy later in life.

When she’s not at work (and sometimes when she is), she knits, brushes up on her understanding of brewing, and is amused by people trying to have serious political discussions on Twitter. She hopes one day to own two cats and a French bulldog called Gladstone, and is never not trying to find the perfect GIF.

She will be talking about the journey they had building The Wireless.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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