Our Stories

Learn how Charleston Women in Tech has enriched the professional experience of our members.

“Suzie Rybicki is VP of People & EIR Operations at PhishLabs, a local cyber security solutions provider. Joining the PhishLabs’ leadership team in February 2015, her role first focused on developing the Human Resource and Organization Development strategy from scratch. As the company grew, her interest in cybercrime provided an expanded role to reach their client’s employees by leading the service operations team for their Email Intelligence & Response (“EIR”) business solution.

Prior to moving down from Chicago to join PhishLabs, Suzie held HR Leadership roles at Rewards Network, a fintech company powering the largest card-linked dining rewards program and General Growth Properties, the second largest shopping mall owner, developer, and management company. Suzie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in HR & Organizational Leadership from DePaul University.

Throughout her career, she’s volunteered her time and expertise in leadership roles with organizations such as Chicago SHRM and Chicago Chamber of Commerce’s Workplace Excellence Board. Since 2015, she has served on the committee of Charleston Open Source (“COS”), which she has co-chaired for the past two years. COS is a passionate group of talent and tech leaders who bring together the tech community to share all that is amazing about living and working in Charleston.

Suzie Rybicki
VP os People & EIR Operations, PhishLabs
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“Jackie is the Director of Operations at Vertical Roots, an indoor hydroponic farm which utilizes our parent companies’ technology to control, integrate, automate, and monitors all aspects of the farming operation. Prior to joining Vertical Roots, Jackie held various positions across the country at Ossur Orthopaedic, Amgen, Nestle and Bevolution Group.
Jackie is a proven manufacturing industry professional. She has more than 15 years of experience in leadership, technical operations, manufacturing, and continuous improvement. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northwestern Ohio and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Wright State University. She is excited to begin a new journey as a Board Member of Charleston Women in Tech where her experience meets her passion for inspiring and empowering young women considering a career in STEM.”

Jackie Jones
Director of Operations at Vertical Roots
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“The CHSWIT community events and meetups empowered me to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded women technologists from all areas in expertise and leadership levels in the Charleston area. Each CHSWIT event expresses the power of representation for women and minorities, which offers us the courage to candidly communicate our adversities, and provide a collaboration of knowledge-sharing amid STEM practitioners in all areas of the field. With each CHSWIT meetup, I’m reminded that I am not alone or unique to my concerns in promoting women and minorities through the ranks of technology. Since my membership with the CHSWIT community, I had the opportunity to share my defining moments as a woman in technology as a Computer Scientist via an Ignite Talk at their 5th Anniversary Mingle at Blackbaud HQ in December 2019. Further, as the 2020 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM awardee for Community Service in Government, I’m able to leverage my experiences from the CHSWIT to impactfully encourage women and minorities in tech at the national level.”

Stephanie Kelly Jordan
Computer Scientist
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“CHSWIT became my place to meet new people in Charleston, connections, other designers, friends, even forever friends. It was great seeing what else was going on in the area. Just showing up was my goal and I loved Carolyn’s (the original founder of CHSWIT) idea of just try and meet 1 new person, that was a great attainable goal –– then it kept becoming many more than one. The meetups became more and more useful, fun and inspiring. It felt good to engage with all different ages and be able to help people succeed in whatever challenges they were experiencing. The CHSWIT Mentee/Mentor program really kicked me in gear and I was able to find something that I truly enjoyed and seemed to be good at, I have participated every year and love it.”

Jenifer Padilla
Product Designer
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“Jessica is the Chief of Staff and Controller of in/PACT, a technology company that is on a mission to grow the world’s heart by connecting customers of financial institutions and loyalty providers with their favorite charitable causes.

With over ten years of accounting experience, Jessica has facilitated growth in a wide variety of companies. Her attention to detail has provided fiscal improvements in every company she has worked for. Her experience, post graduate school, started at Crowe Horwath LLP as an auditor, where her clients ranged from construction firms to insurance subsidiaries. Prior to in/PACT she was part of the accounting team at SPARC, which was acquired by Booz Allen Hamilton in 2015. She gained tremendous knowledge from day-to-day accounting to assisting in the acquisition.

Jessica received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and a Masters in Accountancy from Belmont University in Nashville.

Traveling is one of her passions and whenever she can, she brings her dog, Merlot, with her. When she is not traveling, her weekends are spent exploring Charleston and volunteering Junior League of Charleston.

Jessica Hudson
Chief of Staff and Controller at in/PACT
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“Rachel Downing is a Director of Customer Success Management where she leads the implementation of new Benefit Catalog Sellers for the customer success organization. Downing has been with Benefitfocus for over 11 years where she has led cross-functional teams including engineering, QA automation, platform control, release management, customer support, the benefit service center and most recently professional services implementation teams. Prior to Benefitfocus, she spent 25 years with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company in several IT positions ultimately as Director of Information Services.”

Rachel Downing
Director of Customer Success Management, BenefitFocus
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“Accomplished and experienced organizational leader with a long and proven track record of success in the adoption of technology into operations, empowerment of staff, and enhancement of programing with an emphasis on increasing and improving efficiency to create a more inclusive environment. Talented data analyst and strategist with the ability to develop processes and procedures through collaboration that modernize functions and help to deliver organizational target impact. Gifted relationship builder, able to create and grow relationships to benefit communities and advance organizational goals.”

Kim Rich
Executive Director of Advancement Services, Office of Development
and Alumni Affairs, Medical University of South Carolina
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