Crypto Connect, a professional network for people in the crypto industry, is launching in 12 cities across the United States, with plans to go international in the future.
The network was founded by Anderson Kill attorney Hailey Lennon, who said she has felt “personal frustration” with networking opportunities over the last year.
“There’s already incredible meetups in different locations, so our goal isn’t to take that over,” Lennon told CoinDesk in an interview. “Rather, it’s to serve as a standing resource and know about the meetups and events that are already happening in each city and be a centralized resource for people to access that information.”
The network will also host its own events and meetups, and it plans to hold a conference next year. Long term, the goal is to work with recruiters and host annual conferences across the world.
Lennon is well-connected in the crypto industry. As a former lawyer at crypto exchanges Coinbase and bitFlyer, she worked closely with U.S. regulators while also frequently speaking at crypto-related events.
Joining her is a board of 26 similarly accomplished industry professionals, including Lauren Day from Binance.US, the U.S. affiliate of crypto exchange Binance; Teana Baker-Taylor of the Chamber of Digital Commerce; Aubrey Strobel of shopping rewards app Lolli; YouTuber Naomi Brockwell and more.
“For me, it was individuals who had already shown themselves to be connection makers,” Lennon said. “There are so many amazing people in the space and being a resource to the industry really means being able to connect everyone to each other.”
Even though the network is led by women, it is not exclusive to women in the field.
“For me, men and women have been such amazing resources in my professional development that I feel that having an organization that excludes men would not be beneficial to the ecosystem,” Lennon said.
Crypto Connect will start to host events in October. Cities so far include Austin, Texas, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Tenn., New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
Here’s the full founding team, as supplied by the group:
- Hailey Lennon, Partner @ Anderson Kill
Chapter Leads, who also sit on the Board, include:
- Austin - Kaily Buemi, Executive Assistant @ Unchained Capital
- Chicago - Lexy Prodromos, Product Manager, Blockchain and Digital Currency @ Discover
- Dallas - Natalie Smolenski, Chair of the Board @ Texas Blockchain Council
- DC - Michelle Bond, CEO @ ADAM
- Denver - Saira Rahman, VP Finance @ HMBradley / Co-host, GJWHF
- Los Angeles - Wendy O, Founder & Host @ The O Show
- Miami - Jalak Jobanputra, Founder & Managing Partner @ Future Perfect Ventures
- Nashville - Evie Phillips, Co-Founder & CMO @ NFTglee
- New York - Aubrey Strobel, CMO @ Lolli
- San Diego - Valeria Bystrowicz, Attorney @ Perkins Coie
- San Francisco - Lauren Day, Compliance @ Binance.US
- Seattle - Arry Yu, Managing Director @ Yellow Umbrella Ventures & Chair @ WTIA Cascadia Blockchain Council
Other U.S. Board Members include:
- Charlene Fadirepo, Founder & CEO @ Guidefi
- Cleve Mesidor, Advisor @ The Blockchain Association
- Gina DeFelice, Director of Sales @ The Block
- Karyl Fowler, CEO and Co-Founder at Transmute
- Kelley Weaver, CEO @ Melrose PR
- Lea Thompson, Founder & Producer @ Girl Gone Crypto
- Leigh Cuen, Journalist & Co-founder @ Association for Cryptocurrency Journalists and Researchers
- Michelle O’Connor, VP Marketing @ Taxbit
- Naomi Brockwell, Creator @ NBTV.media
- Tonya M. Evans, Professor @ Penn State Dickinson Law School,
Crypto Connect also has International Board Members that will help support global expansion of the organization:
- Layah Heilpern, Author & Host @ The Layah Heilpern Show
- Teana Baker-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer @ Chamber of Digital Commerce
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