Lead For Good

Code for Good West Michigan and GRWebDev Powered by LaFleur Present:

Lead For Good: Tech Careers Off the Beaten Path

Monday July 22nd 2024
6pm – 8pm EST
In Person @ Vervint Grand Rapids
801 Broadway Avenue NW
Suite #101
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

If you think working in the tech industry is just writing code, designing apps, or wrangling AI prompts, you are wrong! Careers in tech can be found in unexpected places, with job responsibilities you may have never considered.

Join Code for Good and GR Web Development for our next Lead for Good panel discussion with some of West Michigan’s local tech industry (super)heroes. They’ll share their stories of where they began and how they ended up in leadership roles (by choice or luck), and how uncommon skills and experience can make a big difference.


This will be a hybrid event; join us in person or online via Microsoft Teams. RSVP on Meetup as a virtual attendee; in-person attendees must register on Eventbrite.


Parking is available in the large lot at Broadway and 9th Street. Follow the Vervint sign into the courtyard at the SW corner of the plaza and enter via the main entrance at the end of the courtyard.


Rachell Calhoun

Rachell Calhoun

Staff Software Engineer @ Stryker

Beau Carnes

Beau Carnes

Developer and Teacher @ FreeCodeCamp.org

Angel Cruz

Angel Cruz

Startup Founder | Business Development Expert | Nonprofit Advocate | Principal Consultant @ Aztech

Kate Mora-Woods

Kate Mora Woods

Scrum Master @ Meijer


Raul Alvarez

Raul Alvarez

Director of Alumni Relations, West Michigan, Michigan State University | Chief Communicator, Storyteller & Synergist (Founder) @ GTSD Group

Meet Our Panelists

Rachell Calhoun is committed to creating practical, user-friendly software tools and promoting inclusivity within communities. She is a co-founder of Djangonaut Space, an international peer mentorship community for open-source contributors, and a trustee for the Django Girls Foundation, a global non-profit that has introduced 24,000 women to tech. Additionally, she organizes DjangoCon US and has previously organized Django Girls and PyLadies events around Grand Rapids.

Beau Carnes is a video content manager at FreeCodeCamp, a community of people from all around the world who are learning to code together. Beau manages the FreeCodeCamp YouTube channel, which has 9.58M subscribers and 1.6K videos, making it the most subscribed software channel on YouTube. Through his work as a teacher and software developer, Beau has helped many people learn to code and start a tech career.

Angel Cruz is an entrepreneur with an unwavering vision for a better planet. A founder of the nonprofit Code on Wheels, he is dedicated to providing free coding education to people of all ages and backgrounds. He believes that coding is a vital skill that should be accessible to everyone. He is also a partner and principal consultant at Aztech, a consulting, digital transformation, and development firm that creates technologies that foster equity.

Kate Mora Woods is a dynamic group leader, communicator, and project manager, known for her attention to detail and excellent client relationship skills. Her eclectic background includes benefits management in a SaaS environment, video production, script writing, newsletters, email and SMS marketing.

Meet Our Moderator

Raul Alvarez has been playing in the communications, marketing, and PR sandbox for 25+ years, working in a wide variety of industries including financial, higher education, eye and dental care, environmental, and more. In 2012 he founded the GTSD (Getting The Stuff Done) Group, where he uses his diverse practical experience in public relations and communications to serve clients with vision casting, innovative strategic thinking, and telling their story.


Lead for Good is sponsored by West Michigan Tech Talent. West Michigan Tech Talent connects local employers, educators, community organizations, and workforce experts who are invested in creating a strong tech workforce. By sharing best practices, leveraging resources, and collaborating on innovative solutions, WMTT is actively addressing the tech talent gap and makes upskilling affordable and accessible. Learn more at westmichigantechtalent.com.

Lead for Good is also sponsored by Start Garden. Empowering West Michigan’s startup ecosystem through financial, intellectual & social capital, Start Garden provides a neighborhood for startups to grow. No matter where you are on your journey – whether you’re an entrepreneur, a startup, or simply a dreamer with a great idea – the Start Garden ecosystem provides a strong community of support to help you get your idea off the ground or move your business to the next level. Learn more at startgarden.com.

Our venue sponsor this evening is Vervint. Vervint is a technology consulting firm for global companies on a mission to improve lives and deliver outcomes. They design and build digital products and experiences, architect and optimize infrastructure for a sound digital backbone, and help organizations navigate the digital age by empowering what matters most: people. At the intersection of human creativity and technology, Vervint delivers useful tech, sustainable value, and digital disruption for good. Learn more at vervint.com.

GRWebDev’s title sponsor is LaFleur Marketing. LaFleur is your forward-thinking digital marketing partner, creating innovative, data-driven marketing strategies and assets for law firms, healthcare organizations, and growing businesses. Learn more about their services on the web at lafleur.marketing.


  • 6:00pm – 6:30pm … Refreshments and Networking
  • 6:30pm … Opening Announcements + Panel Discussion
  • 7:30pm … Q&A + Closing Announcements
  • 8:00pm … Event Ends
GroupCreated with Sketch.

Lead for Good:
Leading Through Change

While “code” is in our name, our reach extends far beyond coding: we support our community through tech and design, strategy, and human-centered solutions of all stripes, and we feel that excellent leadership is a fundamental building block in doing good work well.

Each Lead for Good panel discussion explores a different facet of leadership, and these sessions give both rising and experienced leaders opportunities to share insight, practice, and new perspectives on what it means to lead in our community.

Past Events

Local Business as a Catalyst for Positive Change​

June 26, 2023

Local businesses are more than just providers of goods and services. They are also catalysts for positive change in their communities. They create jobs, offer training, support causes, and foster connections. They are not just staffed by people – they are powered by people.

But how do you run a successful local business that also gives back to the community? How do you balance profit and purpose? How do you build trust and loyalty with your customers and neighbors?


Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter

Delivery Practice Lead @ Atomic Object

Hannah Lewis

Hannah Lewis

Outreach Specialist, Economic and Workforce Development @ Kent District Library

Joshua Gray

Joshua Gray

Co-Founder and Director of Strategy @ Room 35

Alice Jasper

Program Director @ Good for Michigan


Arick Davis

Co-Founder and CEO @ Last Mile Cafe

Building Better Solutions Through Diversity

June 27, 2022

Diversity in the workplace is not about meeting quotas or creating attractive marketing. Building technological solutions – especially those used by the general public – requires a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Inevitably, products built by diverse teams are more robust, serve a wider audience, and have a better user experience than those created by a homogenized group. It’s just simply better business.


Kiran Patel


Senior Content Marketing Strategist OST

Andrea Wallace



Geraldo Gonzalez


Co-Founder Aztech LLC

Annie Kibler


Oak Tree Operations


Kevin White


Partner + UX Strategist
EKKO Studio