A biotech patent attorney with a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience, Carol Tran has not surprisingly been labeled a geek throughout her life. However, she’s also a Director of the San Francisco Opera Bravo Board with a passion for fashion. Tran has no doubt broken down the walls of her nerdy classification and incorporated elements of glamour and sophistication into every aspect of her world. To put it simply, she has learned how to synthesize her inner geek with her exterior chic, an art she is helping to spread through the burgeoning community she created – Chic Meets Geek.
Critical of her generation’s necessity for a fast-paced environment, Tran wanted to create an event that would help people hit the breaks, slow down, and really get to know one another beyond the surface. She encouraged her swankier pals to socialize and connect with the squarer young professionals from Silicon Valley, or as Tran called it, “the most intelligent city in the world.” Believing that everybody is innately both chic and geek, with usually one side more dominant than the other, Tran is pushing for cross-collaborations of the two types, which she is confident is more likely to lead to successful world change than would homogenous pairings.
On June 3rd, Tran will host her third Chic Meets Geek event; helping to connect her “geek” Silicon Valley business associates with her “chic” glamorous friends, while also raising money for the Glide Foundation. A San Francisco-based non-profit started by the Glide Memorial United Methodist church, the organization provides free meals, health, medical and housing services for those affected by poverty. Chic Meets Geek will auction off diamonds, clothing designed by Jay Nicholas Sario of “Project Runway,” and tech gadgets with 100% of the proceeds going to Glide. Moreover, her out-of-the-box thinking has lead to a line-up of speakers from the homeless community who will discuss their struggles on the street.
“People say they want to help the world, but why can’t you save your own community?”
Tran asks, a question that has helped fuel her ambitious event. In addition to focusing on a local cause, Tran also emphasizes her desire to connect people. Tran hopes that by being put out of their comfort zones, attendees are more likely to be inspired. Discomfort, she believes, can often be beneficial, leading to thought-provoking learning and opening up the minds of both her chic and geek participants.
While some tech nerds might feel awkward in a pair of heels, Tran loves glamming it up and believes all women should embrace their feminine qualities and use them to feel empowered. To Tran, being chic is “being able to express who I am and being comfortable in my gender, but not leveraging it to a point where I downplay my intelligence.” In a male-driven world, she acknowledges that women have always been both praised and criticized for their physical appearances, and that in this day and age women should hold their heads up high (with the help of a pair of stilettos) and break down misogynistic barriers.
With five hours of food, cocktails, and entertainment, Chic Meets Geek will be hosted at the Automattic Lounge at Pier 38 in San Francisco and tickets can be purchased on the website, www.chicmeetsgeek.com. With over four hundred attendees at past events, Tran hopes that there will be just as much support at this upcoming fundraiser, with everyone feeling sharp, inside and out.