BendTECH is celebrating Pride month with its first Out in Tech event, Wednesday, June 20th. The evening features a panel of LGBTQ+ identifying industry professionals answering questions, discussing their experiences and offering insights about being out in tech, opportunities in the industry and more.

“We want to help connect queer youth — college students and young professionals — with the burgeoning tech and startup community in Bend,” says Tim Riefke, BendTECH’s executive director. “We want to demonstrate that there’s a career path here, and that you don’t have to leave to find great jobs.”

The panel will feature:

  • Julie Harrelson, Cascade Angels Fund Manager
  • Jamie Nesbitt, PhD, Genetech/Alector Intellectual Property
  • Eric North, First Interstate Bank HR Business Partner
  • Tim Riefke, CFA, BendTECH Executive Director /Cascadian Group Consultant
  • Bet Hannon, COO Bet Hannon Marketing

Rane Stempson, founder and CEO of the Ranemaker Institute, will moderate the discussion. The panelists will talk about their experiences being out in tech in Bend, challenges they’ve faced and opportunities available. For instance, there are 500 open tech jobs in Central Oregon right now.

“We want to talk about inclusivity in the workplace, and let up-and-coming professionals know that there’s a place for everyone in Bend,” Tim says. The evening will finish with a get-to-know-you networking activity, as well as a some awards and prizes.

Based on Wednesday’s turnout and interest, Tim says he also wants to explore the potential of creating a Bend chapter of Out in Tech, a national nonprofit that aims to unite the LGBT+ tech community.

If you’re interested in going, please register! The event is free, but a headcount is always appreciated.

Out in Tech @ BendTECH
Wednesday, June 20th
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
1001 SW Emkay in Bend

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley