Our Story

Lift Up MKE

Lift Up MKE was founded by three women with expansive experience in the technology workforce.  Though we are diverse women, we share a common objective, supported by a vast amount of knowledge and experience in different roles and at different levels of leadership and technology.  We each hold deep technical and leadership skills that we want to continue to share and cultivate within the community.   

We have a passion for Milwaukee, diversity and technology.  These three passions are providing us the drive and support we need to help lift others up within the Milwaukee tech ecosystem.   We are making Milwaukee a diverse tech hub by providing diverse and safe tech events and training within the community.  Join us for our meetups, hackathons, and  training programs.

Our Team

Jennifer Ketz, MBA


Senior Leader and Technologist who partners with executives to solve their problems through technology as an enabler.  After spending nearly two decades working in technology, Jenny has the experience, drive, heart, and passion to bring more talent and diversity to the technology workplace.

Jenny has changed the landscape for women at a MKE Fortune 100 company by partnering to implement the first paid parental leave for the company.  In addition to her parental advocacy, Jenny is a co-founder of a corporate women in technology, WIT, organization where they are changing the way women are recruited and retained in technology.  Jenny is also a strong community volunteer, advocating on behalf of technology and STEM initiatives.

Jenny holds a BS in Information Technology with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and MBA from Alverno College.   

As a lifelong learner, she is certified in SPC4, PMP, LOMA Level 1, and a recent graduate of RLF (Regional Leadership Forum) and member of SIM. 

Cynthia Smith


Technology Leader who has paved the way for multiple transformative technology efforts including establishing Amazon Web Service (AWS) capabilities, introducing Corporate Open Source Contributions and Continuous Delivery. 

Cindy's ability to make complex ideas easy to understand has helped many people embrace new technology. She wants to help bring more people into the world of technology with diverse perspectives and meet the growing demand for technology leaders. 

Cindy holds a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University, a BS in Computer Science from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and is an AWS Certified Developer - Associate.

Cindy has presented her technical work at Grace Hopper, GitHub - Chicago, IBM Impact,  and That Conference.

Patricia Cabral-Mercado, MBA


Technology Leader with over 20 years of industry experience in design, development, program management, product management, transformation, and leadership.  A culture catalyst who believes in developing leaders and building strong teams through coaching, mentoring, and empowerment.   Patricia is a strategic leader skilled in partnering with business leaders to develop usable products that align and achieve the business objectives.

Patricia  believes in the importance of having diverse perspectives at the leadership levels and in the significant gains for companies that embrace diverse perspectives.  Our biggest asset is the people and culture we create.

Patricia holds a BA in Information Technology from Marquette University and MBA from Marquette University.  

Patricia is certified in SPC4, and recent graduate of RLF (Regional Leadership Forum) and member of SIM.

Patricia has presented at the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and Prospanica.