Not sure where to start?
We build tech economies in underestimated cities. Leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise builds digital infrastructure in underestimated cities while creating a representative tech workforce.
We believe in the untapped potential of typically overlooked humans, so we teach them to code, pay them to get real-world experience, build vibrant spaces to house their growth, and rebuild lives and economies in underestimated cities through technology.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bitwise Industries, click the button below to access additional community resources and see what people are saying about our inclusive company.
Leverage our expertise to bridge the gaps and deterioration in the nation’s digital infrastructure by creating opportunities that shift economic growth models to be inclusive–dramatically improving lives in the communities Bitwise Industries serves. Let us show you the steps to stay focused on equitable outcomes that boosts economic activities in ways that benefit everyone.
Bitwise’s model leverages real estate, technology solutions, and workforce development to build an ecosystem that generates revenue, revitalizes neighborhoods, provides tech services, and powers all of it with the most diverse tech talent in the country. You can think of Bitwise as an economic engine.
Vice President of External Affairs
She / Her / Ella
As Vice President of External Affairs, Laura Maristany leads Bitwise Industries’ outreach and partnerships with government and community organizations to build tech economies in underestimated cities. She is a seasoned advocate and community builder with extensive Capitol Hill and policymaking experience. Before joining Bitwise, Laura served as Associate Director for Constructive Politics at Democracy Fund, where she created and carried out the foundation’s constructive politics strategy to explore what unites us while helping institutions that govern become more diverse, inclusive, and better able to serve all Americans.
Laura has led advocacy and coalition-building strategies as head of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) DC office, Executive Director of Legislative Affairs at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and her work in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a thought partner and leader, she has helped launch several startup organizations with a focus on strengthening capacity and infrastructure to promote inclusive systems across sectors. Laura also currently serves on Welcoming America’s board of Directors and is an advisory council member for Millennial Action Project’s Leadership Development Council and Representative Democracy. Laura is a GMF 2018 Memorial Fellow, and a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit bestowed by the Spanish Crown. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus and a master’s degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University.
Senior Manager for Federal External Affairs
She / Her / Hers
Erin Hustings is Senior Manager of Federal External Affairs for Bitwise Industries. She builds partnerships and strategies to strengthen the company’s voice as an advocate for digital equity and tech-led, people-centered economic advancement. Erin is an experienced legislative strategist who has worked to expand civil and human rights protections on behalf of national non-profits including the Anti-Defamation League, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Physicians for Human Rights, the ACLU, and the National Partnership for Women & Families. She helped draft and secure favorable votes on the Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, and other critical federal legislation, and conducted original research, authored analyses, and delivered briefings for Members of Congress, other elected officials, and the public on topics like the benefits of encouraging naturalization, the negative health effects of immigration enforcement, and the dangers of conducting government business in English only.
Since becoming a lawyer, Erin has been an active Election Protection Coalition hotline and poll monitoring volunteer, and pro bono counsel to immigrants seeking humanitarian protection. She is a co-founder of the DC Detention Visitation Network, a member of the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition’s Board of Directors, President of Women in Government Relations Toastmasters Club, and a member of the Maryland League of Women Voters’ Living Wage Committee.
Senior Manager for State External Affairs
Claudia Flores is the Senior Manager for External Affairs, State, at Bitwise Industries. She has spent nearly a decade working on policy issues, including immigration, and health. Most recently, she served as the Associate Director for Immigration Policy and Strategy at the Center for American Progress (CAP), crafting the organization’s strategy on immigration priorities and building partnerships at the federal, state, and local level. Before joining CAP, Claudia led the immigration policy portfolio for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she worked on advancing federal and state legislation to expand health care access for immigrant children and families.
Claudia holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Santa Clara University, and is an alumna of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, American University’s Women & Politics Institute We Lead Program, and New Leaders Council. In 2020, the Diversity in National Security Network and New America honored Claudia as one of 40 Latino and Latina experts in U.S. national security and foreign policy. She has twice been named to Washingtonian’s list of “Washington’s Most Influential People.” The list recognizes Washington D.C. experts and advocates who influence policy making in the public sector.
Staff Assistant, External Affairs
Paola de Orbeta is a Staff Assistant for the External Affairs team for Bitwise Industries. She serves as a support in the efforts of advancing equity and establishing tech economies in underestimated cities, through developing key relationships with government officials and coalitions with local organizations. Before joining Bitwise, Paola served as a Legal Assistant at the State Farm Litigation Counsel Office. At State Farm, she was the Fairfax CLC office representative for State Farm’s Hispanic Employee Resource Organization to help sustain and foster more inclusive work environments. Paola also gained experience as an intern at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. She also completed internships at the Capitol Hill Consulting Group and at the Office of Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently, Paola is a Board Member of the Up2Us Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides food to underserved communities in the DMV area. She has helped coordinate fundraisers to seek funding that allows the organization to continue to pursue its goals, and has also conducted research, and attended virtual Congressional hearings with bills and legislations supporting programs aimed at eliminating food insecurity in the United States.
Director of Strategic Communications
Gabriela Meléndez-Olivera is a Director of Strategic Communications for External Affairs at Bitwise Industries. Gabriela joins the Bitwise team after working for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she oversaw communications strategy, planning, messaging, media relations, and content development for the ACLU’s litigation and advocacy work. During her time at the ACLU, Gabriela also served as a member of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council.
Gabriela is a seasoned and strategic communicator with over a decade of experience using communications to bring about change. She also spearheaded communications efforts for clients at public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker, including successfully securing Puerto Rico’s debt relief, and worked at the Washington Post. Gabriela received her Master of Public Communication and Bachelor of Journalism degrees with a minor in International Studies from American University.
Click the blogs to gain insight on how we’re successfully creating digital equity in underestimated cities.