Thank You, GeekGirlCon

For two weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post. What can I even say that would sum up the last two and a half years of my life. How to wrap it up eloquently and make what I write be read in the best light possible.

GeekGirlCon bruch

Us toasting the success of GeekGirlCon ’12

Last Monday was my final day as Director of Marketing for GeekGirlCon. I know this is probably a bit shocking, especially for those of you who know my passion for the organization and feminist activism.

Since August 2010, when GeekGirlCon had its first fateful meeting, I’ve poured my time, energy, and know how into helping make GeekGirlCon the amazing organization it is today and helping build the foundation for the greater future. I made many conscious decisions to put different parts of my life on hold or, in some cases, neglect them. I served most of my time with GeekGirlCon as both President and Director of Marketing, juggling the two roles, and then since November, only as Director of Marketing.

(If you haven’t met GeekGirlCon’s new Executive Director Amanda, you should, as she’s awesome and helping take GeekGirlCon to its next step.)

For anyone who’s gone the entrepreneurship route, whether starting a business on your own, as a group, or just helping out, it’s a ton of work. And GeekGirlCon was no different — just as needy and rewarding. Though GeekGirlCon solely is a labor of love as all positions on staff are 100% volunteer roles.

As our first convention in October 2011 rolled around, I had to convince my mother to come help out. She didn’t really understand what we were doing. All she knew was that I hadn’t come to see her in a long time, rarely had time to talk on the phone, and when we did connect, I kept talking about this GeekGirlCon thing obsessively. But when the doors opened on October 8th — where she helped at the registration desk — she “got it” as she told me later. My mom understood what we trying to do, how big it was, and most importantly, for our relationship, why I hadn’t come to visit. She even came back for GeekGirlCon ’12 with my stepfather in tow.

Of course, visiting my mom wasn’t the only thing I’ve purposefully put off. In the past two and a half years, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life, great and bad, and racked up a huge amount of personal debt (of the non-monetary, taking time for myself kind of debt). I’ve changed jobs, broke off a 5-year relationship, fallen in love with someone new, put personal projects on hold, and neglected my mild, yet chronic, health issues. I’ve been asked at my job to step up my contributions to the team and company, and most weeks found myself feeling guilty for never having time for my GeekGirlCon work and letting down my marketing team and the larger organization.

While I stepped down, GeekGirlCon’s mission of bringing women and allies together to celebrate our geekiness is still something I strongly believe in and will continue to support as a non-staff member. Expect to see me at events or in other places. I trust each and every one of GeekGirlCon’s current and future staff to do brilliant work to carry forth GeekGirlCon’s mission. And I cannot wait to see the great works that GeekGirlCon will be doing in the future.

I’m incredibly thankful for GeekGirlCon and proud of what GeekGirlCon’s doing to change the dialog and create safe spaces for women geeks and our allies. I’ve learned a ton along the way, and I’ve seen the wonderful things that we can accomplish together. I also got to accomplish many of my dreams, including running a business; making a meaningful, feminist impact on the world; and meeting a ton of amazing geeks who care about GeekGirlCon’s mission. Nothing makes me more happy than to hear a story about how GeekGirlCon has changed someone’s life or just made them really happy.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing next, in my new spare time, but I do know that I have no less than two vacations planned this year. Though I’m sure the future will be awesome for both me and GeekGirlCon.

About Erica

Erica McGillivray spends too much contemplating the socioeconomic importance of the bananaphone. Ring, ring, ring. Bananaphone. She loves bunnies, soap opera plots in comic books, and dreams of flying in the stars. Erica works for Moz in inbound marketing, which means sometimes, she'll talk about that.
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10 Responses to Thank You, GeekGirlCon

  1. I’m excited to see what the future holds and what awesome you create. :) Thank you for sharing your passion for geeky things, feminism, wordsmithing, etc. with me every day. <3

  2. Anthony Pensabene says:

    i think that’s super cool you infused your passion into something, and really, your passion is part of its legacy and message, and though you may not be as directly involved, your impression is felt. I started something when i was teaching for someone on maternity leave.. a chivalry club for male and female students.. when i left, some of the students pledged to keep the meetings going.. that made me feel really good for helping to put it in motion..

  3. Ken Jansen says:

    Wow, Erica, that is big news! I still hope to someday bring my daughter out to Geekgirlcon. I think she would love it.

  4. Kristine says:

    All the luck in the world and we’ll see you at the next GeekGirlCon event! Mos def at #GGC13 :)

  5. Susie Rantz says:

    You will most definitely be missed, Erica. We were so fortunate to have your leadership for two years. Thank you for getting this organization running, and for continuing to be an advocate for women, girls, and their allies. So much love to you! :)

  6. Erica says:

    @Jen – Thank you. <3s.

    @Anthony – Yes, I’m so happy that GeekGirlCon can and will continue to do amazing things in the future even as staff changes. :)

    @Ken – I’m sure she would. It’s a fabulous time.

    @Kristine – Thank you! Yes, I’ll definitely be at #GGC13. :)

    @Susie – Awww. You’re very welcome. Much love to you and all the great work you’ve put into GeekGirlCon too.

  7. Allison says:

    I am grateful to you for the work you’ve done creating GGC. Attending the conference last year made me very, very happy.

  8. Hannah Wright says:

    Hey Erica,

    I was just checking up on GeekGirlCon since it’s been years since I worked as Sponsorship Director for you lovely ladies, and since then i’ve moved states, started a business, gotten married and much more. I have to say that the convention inspired me to really stay motivated in many aspects of life, to approach things with a go-getter attitude. I hope to attend another convention very soon and wish you the best of luck with your new (and exciting) future!

    • Erica says:

      Hi Hannah,

      It’s great to hear from you! :) And that’s so awesome that you’ve been inspired by your time with GeekGirlCon to do amazing things in your life. Hope you continue to do well. I’ll definitely pass your message onto the other ladies.

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