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International Women's Day, 2019

03-08-19 Ben Callahan

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re sharing some amazing contributions by our team and making a small donation. Read on for the details.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re pausing to thank our team for their contributions. And we’re donating one basic clothing kit for each of the Sparkbox women to Hope’s Closet, a local thrift shop that ensures women and children fleeing violence in our community have access to warm, clean clothes at any hour of the day or night.

Clothing sets included items like socks, hangers, and a reusable bag.
In honor of our team's contributions, we've donated 18 sets of basic clothing supplies to Hope's Closet at our local YWCA.

Below, I’ve asked some of the Sparkbox women’s coworkers to offer a short description of their impact here and in our community. And I’ve collected some thoughts from an internal communication channel called “#awesomeness”—where we get to brag about each other’s accomplishments. Enjoy!

Colby Allen, Apprentice

“Colby has a tremendous desire to learn. This eagerness comes through in every interaction she has with people on the team, and it’s caused me to question the way I’ve always done things—encouraging me to seek out a better way.”

“Colby is quick to jump in and help around the office. She sets an example for what it means to be a team player.”


“Just want to say that I’ve seen both Jhilene and Colby putting in the time and doing the work of this apprenticeship. I’ve seen them both participate in after-hours networking events, and I’m pretty sure they’re both signed up to participate in the Baseball Hackday happening soon. Love seeing this kind of enthusiasm!”

Check out Colby’s website.

Kasey Bonifacio, Developer

“Kasey strives to bring the joy of coding to everyone through her pursuit of accessibility as well as her initiative to start the library ‘learning to code’ program.”

“Kasey is a solid developer, persistent and unintimidated by whatever challenges a project brings. I always enjoy working with her whenever I get the chance.”


“Kasey was the commanding leader of this project for sure. She was diligent in keeping us appropriately focused on accessibility but magically not dogmatic about it. She knew where to push us and also when something wasn’t worth the budget. It’s such a tough balancing act, and she did it flawlessly, always making me feel confident in her recommendations. And she just rocked as a team leader at setting a positive tone of collaboration and camaraderie that made for a super healthy, effective team.”

Read Kasey’s articles on The Foundry.

Katy Bowman, Developer

“Katy has brought tremendous value to our team not only as a developer but also with her passion for and understanding of statistics and data. This hidden skill was not something we knew about her when she started, but it has proven so helpful on several projects. She is incredibly thoughtful and empathetic, always inspiring me to approach all of my interactions with more empathy.”

“At the intersection of great code and human understanding, you’ll find Katy. She’s incredibly intelligent in her problem solving and methodical in how she understands and breaks down problems. Katy also challenges you to remember that we are writing code and receiving feature requests from genuine human beings who mean well and deserve our empathy every day.”


“I’m so very glad Katy is on this team. She’s secretly a data nerd, which means she’s the perfect fit for solving a lot of the technical issues we need to solve!”

Read Katy’s articles on The Foundry.

Nikki Bucher, Executive Assistant

“Nikki does the heavy lifting of bringing order to the chaos. From procedures to FAQ’s, she keeps the office running smoothly.”

“Rarely do you meet someone as selfless as Nikki. She’s someone who always puts others before herself. When I’m in the office, Nikki always makes time to say hey and ask me about my day. If that day isn’t going so well, I know she would drop everything to help turn it around.”


“Nikki does an amazing job of staying on top of everything, and she’s super communicative to keep people in the loop. I’m really thankful to work with someone so capable.”

Follow Nikki on Twitter.

Emily Gray, Content Director

“Emily has challenged me to be a better writer so many times, I can’t count them. The editing process can be painful. Emily gently but firmly encourages me to be better through my writing. I’m so grateful to have her genuinely constructive criticism each time I put pen to paper.”

“Emily does whatever it takes to help you and your team succeed. She identifies risks, intervenes early, negotiates, persuades, and produces results. Her intentions are consistently for the best of the team, our clients, and the longterm health of Sparkbox. She’s a force of nature, and she inspires me to be better.”


“Emily rocked managing this project. I think this was her first project using Jira, and she did a tremendous job using the tool to help guide priorities for the team. A lot of how we were able to work with such a short timeline was enabled by Emily’s great organization.”

Read Emily’s articles on The Foundry.

Anastasia Lanz, Developer

“When I think of Anastasia, I think of how incredibly thorough and detail-oriented she is. After taking time to understand the context and write the code, she’d never let something like page facets get out the door without ensuring that they would work in all browsers, screen sizes, and any other scenarios our users might encounter.”

“As a tech lead on the [client] website, Anastasia has accepted the challenge of learning the tech stack so quickly. She’s incredibly responsive to questions and never afraid to tackle a bug with confidence. She’s also a total blast to work alongside!”


“Anastasia has been killing it on this project. Just check out this Pull Request testing table she created...”

Read Anastasia’s articles on The Foundry.

Naomi Leak, Communication Specialist

“Naomi has joined Sparkbox recently but has brought a confidence to the team that I’m excited to see her put to use. Her mastery of the editing process and attention to detail have already benefited our team. We’re so lucky to have her!”

“Naomi’s email sent this morning was thoughtful and straight to the point, and I appreciated it greatly.”


“It’s Naomi’s second day, and she’s been reviewing a Foundry article I wrote already. (Talk about intimidating.) The comments are thoughtful, intelligent, and respectful, and I’m really excited to go through this process!”

Check out Naomi’s website.

Catherine Meade, Developer

“Catherine truly wants to see this industry be a better place for everyone to work. She is both a rock-solid developer who is never afraid to ask the difficult questions and an advocate for all of her coworkers and peers in the industry.”

“Catherine selflessly contributes her time and energy to make Sparkbox a better place. In everything she says and does, she models openness, empathy, and generosity, setting the standard for how we should all behave in our work interactions.”


“Shoutout to Catherine for giving us a super detailed and helpful review on our SCSS docs for the standard. She was clear, provided quality examples when she suggested a change, and also included lots of positive notes about things we did right. Thanks, Catherine!”

Read Catherine’s articles on The Foundry.

Austin Munhofen, Project Manager

“Every interaction with Austin leaves you feeling like the most important person in the room. This ability of hers creates trust among everyone on her projects, leading to higher quality work. She’s full of project management skill and an incredibly positive force for good.”

“Austin’s constructive feedback and constant encouragement gave me the confidence to successfully finish my first article for The Foundry. Guiding my writing with an empathetic hand, she helped me focus on the true takeaways of the article.”


“I’m continually impressed with Austin’s commitment, determination, perseverance… You work hard no matter the circumstances. Always committing your all and doing solid work. Thank you!”

Read Austin’s articles on The Foundry.

Lindsay Silver, Developer

“Lindsay Silver is one of the fastest learning developers I’ve ever worked with. She grasps new concepts quickly and applies them to similar problems intuitively. She’s also been fascinating to chat with about life outside of work, as her passions to help those around her have given her a wonderful perspective on life.”

“Lindsay is someone who smiles at a challenge and jumps in head first to find a solution. She’s incredibly tactical in her approach and never afraid to dive deep in order to understand context before finding a solution. Even better yet, she’s always willing to share the knowledge she gained from this process in an effort to benefit the entire team, not just herself.”


“Silver does such a great job of making time to help onboard and answer questions, and she is always quick to pair with someone when they run into an issue. She’s great at explaining things in detail and making sure you understand! I appreciate her willingness to always volunteer to help make sure someone new to a team or project has what they need and feels comfortable asking questions. Yayyyyy, Lindsay!”

Read Lindsay’s articles on The Foundry.

Dar Stockler, Office Manager

“While still relatively new to Sparkbox, Dar is proving to be invaluable. She just wants to help and lift others up. She is quickly becoming the oil that allows the office to run efficiently.”

“It’s easy to work with and support those who already go the extra mile for you. Dar throws everything she has into her work and always has everything under control.”


“Just want to take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness that is Dar. She stays on top of an amazing amount of things, including the food we have in the office fridges. Dar, you are incredible.”

Heather Taylor, Developer

“Heather brings years of design experience to her role as a developer. This background means she approaches the work we do from a long history of user-focused problem solving. This is a huge help to our team and our clients.”

“Heather is an incredibly talented, hard-working, and thoughtful developer. She is relentless in solving problems and then in sharing those solutions with the team.”


“I appreciate Heather for so many reasons I can’t even begin to name. I trust her to follow through with anything I ask and in an amazing, wonderful way. She’s incredibly talented as a coder and a designer, but her ability to be an empathetic, supportive, and kind person impresses me to no end.”

Read Heather’s articles on The Foundry.

Melissa Thompson, Developer

“Melissa has been a tremendous help and resource to the development community in Dayton. First assisting, then contributing, then leading meetups in our area.”

“Melissa has jumped into so many things on our team and has crushed every one of them. Everything from client projects, taking on large portions of updating, taking over the Gem City JS, to teaching other devs. I’m so impressed with her work with our local middle school in helping teach interested students to code!”


“I’d like to call attention to the fine contributions Melissa has been making on her first client engagement. She’s definitely a pro. Glad to have you on the team, Melissa!”

Follow Melissa on Codepen.

Jody Thornburg, Director of Humans

“Jody has been a sounding board for me through so much personal growth over the last few years. We don’t always agree, but I trust that she will truly listen as I try to grapple with internal challenges. Sparkbox is so lucky to have such a genuinely empathic Director of Humans. We’re all better because of her patience and care.”

“I’m very thankful for Jody’s work on the Sparkbox Career & Compensation Map. We’ve had a couple of discussions since its publication, and I have no doubt that it has helped several other Sparkboxers find or hone their career compass.”


“I want to give a quick shout-out to Jody! First off, she’s amazing as our Director of Humans. And second, I think Sparkbox is so blessed to have someone with her level of empathy, understanding, and overall positivity on its team, specifically in HR. Thanks, Jody!”

Read Jody’s articles on The Foundry.

Jhilene Walker, Apprentice

“Not only is Jhilene a self-starter (always looking for the next thing to learn), she is also not afraid to share what she’s learned. This ability to be simultaneously learning and sharing means that she is continually making herself and her peers better.”

“Jhilene is an open minded and curious learner. She is great at asking questions and questioning answers. She is always experimenting with new ideas, and she’s willing to challenge the status quo—something we all need more of!”


“Just want to say that I’ve seen both Jhilene and Colby putting in the time and doing the work of this apprenticeship. I’ve seen them both participate in after-hours networking events, and I’m pretty sure they’re both signed up to participate in the Baseball Hackday happening soon. Love seeing this kind of enthusiasm!”

Check out Jhilene’s website.

Lindsey Wild, Developer

“Lindsey is such a thoughtful and rigorous problem solver. She always goes the extra mile to consider every option, makes a comprehensive plan, and executes the solution with gusto. She also brings a wonderfully cheerful attitude to all her work.”

“Lindsey loves her work, and it shows in great work every day. Whether it’s markup and CSS or full stack Laravel applications, Lindsey has yet to find a development challenge she can’t solve. And she’s giving talks and writing articles that impact the industry!”


“I have to say, Wild is fully integrated into this project now, and she’s rocking it! Some stuff Lindsey did: “Drove” our 3.4.0 release yesterday/today, tackled a complex renaming issue with little to no help, and implemented a Sass testing library on some color functions. Great job, Lindsey!!!”

Read Lindsey’s articles on The Foundry.

Julie Young, Project Manager

“Julie pushes me to do better work. She manages projects with great skill and helps us through any project hurdle we might encounter along the way. Not only does she manage projects, but she also has a keen eye for user experience and champions analytics for the team.”

“Julie brings confidence to a team. Her experience and thoughtful problem solving are an immediate advantage to any team she joins. We are better because of her.”


“Julie works super hard on often unglamorous things so the rest of us can focus on the parts of the web we’re good at and enjoy. By taking great care to guide the team through planning, estimating, and forecasting, she saw trouble two weeks before our client. We had everything we needed to make good decisions and get things healthy again.”

Read Julie’s articles on The Foundry.

Thank You

To all of the women on our team, thank you for choosing to use your abilities with us at Sparkbox. We’re lucky to have you, and we’re all getting better because of your contributions.

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