Hi, I’m Krista!
I work as a technologist and “nerd” and am very involved in and passionate about all things technology, accessibility, learning and development, and solutions engineering. I am currently the Global Co-Lead of Verizon’s Disability and Neurodivergences focused ERG (employee resource group) and a senior engineer working on IoT. I also work with teams focused on accessibility governance issues and future technologies (like AI, 5G, and “Smart” infrastructures)- all of which allows me to combine my advocacy work for diversity, accessibility, and inclusion with my experience as a technology evangelist.
Outside of corporate life, I am a long time yoga practitioner/teacher, and a handstand, hand-balancing, and inversion enthusiast! I am a stroke survivor, classically trained musician, avid lover of the outdoors, and insatiable reader.
I was born in Colorado, but moved to Kansas and was raised in a small town in “the country” with cattle, gardens, woods, and lots and lots of sky. I started singing and composing songs on an old Kohler and Campbell piano as a child. People always said that when I sang, I was either “too loud,” or they said that I should become an opera singer. So, by golly, I went to school and then became a professional opera singer.
My small Kansas hometown was the base for several renowned, award-winning theater and music teachers (one of whom insisted that all theater students do ten Sun A’s before every acting class to calm the mind and body). With lots of encouragement from my family and these amazing teachers, I won a scholarship to major in music and theater at the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music.
After returning to Kansas City and completing my Masters Degree in Voice/Music, I sang with many opera and music theater companies, earning membership with Actors Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Unfortunately, in 2002, my step-brother was killed in a drunk driving accident. Looking for a way to cope with the grief, anxiety, depression, and stress, I found myself (see what I did there…) in a Mysore-style Ashtanga class in an old run-down loft in downtown Kansas City. Instantly hooked on the sense of calm and focus that came with an intense physical practice (and recognizing the surya namaskar A’s from those theater classes in high school), I’ve been practicing since. Dedicated not just to asana practice, I also desire to live by and study the concepts defined in the eight limbs of yoga. I’ve studied and practiced a variety of styles and traditions of yoga – including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Rocket, Yin, Hatha, and Bikram.
In 2014, I survived several strokes and an aneurysm as a result of an arterial dissection and genetic condition. Words cannot express the sense of gratitude I feel to be alive and how grateful I am to my family and friends who supported me through my recovery. While she I am still working on healing and adjusting to life post-stroke, every day is an improvement physically and mentally. Through this process, I’ve retained my belief that yoga can benefit and aid in helping people learn to love their bodies, learn self-forgiveness, and self-love. I also know that yoga can be helpful for people to work through healing the mind and soul. I am very much an advocate for low-cost, accessible yoga for all people (maybe someday even using mobile technology- my day job area of expertise). I strive to make yoga possible and accessible for people with disabilities, veterans, anyone dealing with economic hardship, those who are just wanting a peaceful way to move, and anyone who was ever told, “no, you can’t do that” because of an injury or condition.