Announcing Our San Diego Comic-Con Educational Panel: How to Feed Your Soul Through a Career in Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Gaming, Tech, and Comics

Jul 20, 2022

With San Diego Comic-Con right around the corner, I am once again thrilled to moderate an educational panel featuring a fantastic group of eclectic artists representing the comic, television, film, cartoon, and gaming worlds.

A big thank you to Clydene Nee and the entire Educational Team at Comic-Con! For decades they have been a force to be reckoned with for their passion for curating diversity, inclusion, and belonging to the San Diego Comic-Con education program.

If you are attending San Diego Comic-Con, please let me know. I’d love to see you there and have you attend our talk on:

Sunday, July 24th, 1:30-2:30 pm, Room 2 - link to session in schedule

How to Feed Your Soul Through a Career in Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Gaming, Tech, and Comics

The great pause, reset and resignation have changed our lives and industries, leaving many of us asking where are we now and where can we go with our careers? Many are asking, how do I start or re-start a career in the gaming, VR, MR, tech, or comic industries? Panelists with a variety of backgrounds will share their stories of working on comics, films, games, mixed reality, virtual reality, technology, and accessibility - highlighting their career paths and how they started and have traversed the past few years. The group will give their thoughts on the current commentary of our industry's state of the union. They will also talk about their breakthroughs, reflections, and how everyone can continue to help each other ignite more conversations about these topics for all who create in our industry. The panel will be moderated by Heather Newman, Lead, Community Success, Microsoft with panelists:  iAsia Brown, Senior Program Manager, Data+AI and “tech Picasso”, April Speight, Spatial Computing Lead at Microsoft, Chloe Condon, Senior Developer Advocate, KC Mancebo, Owner, Clamourhouse, David Tobocman, composer, musician, and songwriterare all award-winning authors, creators, technologists who will bring their inspiring stories to this panel.

Panelist Bios

iAsia Brown, also known as “The Tech Picasso”, is an eccentrically prodigious humanist, she is a globally recognized Storyteller, commissioned artist, and host of upcoming "The Butterfly Revolutions " Podcast all while enjoying her day job as a Data & AI Specialist at Microsoft.  Always investing in human capital, “People First,” she has the unique ability to advance people by helping them to understand their value and apply it to their lives. Having grown up in the concrete jungle of Queens, New York, and traveling the world selflessly serving both in the United States Air Force and Marine Corps, she developed an intellectual acuity that allows her to relate, assess, adapt and conquer anything she applies herself to. She is an “ARTIST” of many mediums. Self-proclaimed, “Coolest Nerd You’ll Ever Meet”.  Her approachability, ambition, accountability, and integrity have allowed her to advance in the Tech World full throttle. iAsia speaks at conferences worldwide about her experiences with PTSD, Anxiety, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion all while on roller-skates, she loves to bring people along and devotes a lot of her time helping veterans and transitioning service members career switch into tech. iAsia is already a global influencer having tapped into her multipotentiality and it can only be assumed that anything she touches will be taken to the next level, with all that she knows she is nothing without family, her wife & child, and of course her sister circle group chat. | Twitter @TechPicasso | Instagram @tech_picasso

Chloe Condon is a Bay Area-based Cloud Advocate for Microsoft. Previously, she worked at where she created the award-winning Sentry Scouts program (a camp-themed meet-up ft. patches, s’mores, giant squirrel costumes, and hot chocolate), and was featured in the Grace Hopper Conference 2018 gallery featuring 15 influential women in STEM by Her projects and work with Azure have ranged from fake boyfriend alerts to Mario Kart 'astrology', and have been featured in VICE, The New York Times, as well as SmashMouth's Twitter account. Chloe holds a BA in Drama from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of Hackbright Academy. She prides herself on being a non-traditional background engineer and is likely one of the only engineers who has played an ogre, crayon, and the back end of a cow on a professional stage. She hopes to bring more artists into tech, and more engineers into the arts. Chloe is currently on a personal break from her career, she’s writing a book! And she is the co-host of the Salute Your Skorts Podcast, a show about 90s entertainment & nostalgia. LinkedIn | Twitter @ChloeCondon | Instagram @gitforked

KC Mancebo has worked in the entertainment industry in a wide range of disciplines. She has been an entertainment licensing agent for consumer products, a publisher, an artist manager. a festival producer, and venue consultant. Most recently, KC has been producing a Food Network show for musicians and food television personalities, The Potash Twins, whom she also manages.

KC started her career in business importing, designing, and manufacturing in the fashion industry. Her understanding of consumer product development served her well as an entertainment licensing agent when she was called upon to design and develop a wide range of tour and retail merchandise for Christina Aguilera, The Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and N’Sync, as well as product lines for Warner Brothers, Sony, Universal, and DIC, and independent films and shows including Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, and H.R. Pufnstuf. LinkedIn | Twitter @clamorhouseInstagram @clamorhouse

April Speight is a developer, speaker, and educator who believes that creating for XR should be accessible for all. She leads the Spatial Computing technology team at Microsoft within Cloud Advocacy. In addition, she is also an advisor for the CyberXR Coalition - an organization formed to address the global necessity of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cybersecurity and XR domain. Her experience in technical training and developing curriculum spans 10 years in the non-profit sector and now includes the onboarding of developing for XR.
Her focus on fundamentals, safety, design principles, and inclusivity serves as the foundation of her approach to educating others. She believes that learning shouldn't start with building an app or experience, rather, understanding the what, why and impact is the steppingstone to fostering a new generation of developers who are both mindful and strategic throughout the creation process. She is also the author of Bite-Size Python: An Introduction to Python Programming as well as Visual Studio Code for Python Programmers.  LinkedIn | Twitter @vogueandcode | Instagram @vogueandcode

David Tobocman is a multi-talented musician and music professional with over three decades of experience in New York and Los Angeles. A composer for TV and independent film, the Emmy-nominated songwriter of “The Forgiveness Song,” written for the Nickelodeon animated series, Robot and Monster, a recording artist for kids with five albums under his belt, a record producer and recording engineer, a multi-instrumentalist, a working cocktail pianist, and the author of Listen Loud: The Rock Albums That Changed the World, as well as the Music Editor and a columnist for Esthetic Lens magazine. LinkedInTwitter @tobocman | Instagram @dtobocman



Heather Newman

Heather currently serves as Principal PM Manager and Lead for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform Community Success Engineering Team at Microsoft. She leads a team of community program managers whose charter is engagement, evangelism, and growth by building strategy, programs, and connections for our community members with Microsoft. Heather is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. Over the past twenty years, Heather has led marketing for Global Cloud Providers, run a software business, and founded a marketing/brand/wellness consultancy, Creative Maven,  She has produced thousands of events, campaigns, and experiences in the high-tech and entertainment industries. Heather is also the host of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast, which features interviews with extraordinary everyday experts who light a spark in our world. She lives in Marina del Rey, California, and has extensively traveled the world both for pleasure and by speaking about Power Platform, Office 365, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Workplace Culture, Community and Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. Heather is a published playwright and graduate of the University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA. Linked In | Twitter @heddanewman | Instagram @heddanewman

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