Leviosa is staffed by a group of passionate Harry Potter fans with years of professional and convention experience between them. Our team comprises of an HR manager, a marketing specialist, a graphic designer, two lawyers, two accountants, a rocket scientist and more. We’re fans first, but professionals at our core.
We have con experience under our belts, too. Our staff has held various staff and volunteer positions on numerous Harry Potter and fandom conventions, including Ascendio, Azkatraz, Infinitus, MISTI Con, Leaky Con and Dragon Con. Some titles our staff has held: Formal Programming Co-Chair, Informal Programming Co-Chair, Security Chair, Quidditch Coordinator, Editorial & Publication Chair, Common Room Chair, among others.
We are fandomers, many of whom have been in Harry Potter fandom for more than a decade. We are professional adults who are up for the challenge of running a convention, and we promise to be transparent and customer-oriented all along the way. Who are we?
Get to know us…
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
Based in Tempe, AZ, Sarai has been with the Harry Potter fandom since 2004 and been attending and volunteering at conventions since 2009. After attending LeakyCon 2009 and Aeternitas 2011 as a Muggle, Sarai made the jump to helping conventions happen. She was the Common Room Chair for Infinitus 2011, Head Prefect at Ascendio 2012 and the Fanfiction Chair for MISTI Con 2013. Sarai was voted the volunteer MVP for Ascendio and can’t wait to bring her tenacity and dedication to planning Leviosa.
When not making convention magic happen, Sarai is an HR manager for a staffing firm, where wrangling people is her passion–much like in con planning! Always a voracious reader, Sarai is a huge YA reader. On the fandom side, she has been shipping SS/HG for as long as she can remember, and is active in the Marvel Universe fandom, as well.
YA Literature & Writing Programming
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw (secretly Slytherclaw)
Based in Los Angeles, Alexa has been in Harry Potter fandom since 2003, and working on conventions since 2009. Alexa was responsible for the program book for Azkatraz 2009 and Ascendio 2012, in addition to co-chairing Formal Programming for Azkatraz and running the YA Literature Track at Ascendio. Alexa has presented at several HP cons, including Ascendio, Azkatraz and Sectus, in addition to attending The Witching Hour, Terminus, Portus and Infinitus. She has been a member of Dragon Con’s YA Literature Track staff since 2012, and is a proud mod for the Reddit community YAWriters. Alexa has worked in TV marketing since 2010, and prior to that managed volunteers for an educational non-profit. When she’s not con-organizing, Alexa mentors teen girls in writing with the amazing Los Angeles-based organization WriteGirl, in addition to watching far too much television and writing YA fiction of the sci-fi/fantasy variety.Email Alexa
Hotel & Site Logistics
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw (or, a Ravenpuff)
Betz is a bonsai enthusiast and self-taught plant hound, in addition to being a Harry Potter SS/HG fanfic writer. Betz discovered fanfic after reading Harry Potter in 2001, and thus began her longtime love of the series and fandom. In 2006, Betz attended her first Harry Potter conference, Lumos, and taught Herbology at the Night Class sessions. Betz also attended Sectus 2007, Azkatraz 2009, Aeternitas 2011, where she gave an Herbology lecture, and Misti-Con 2013 where she lectured on how to grow a Harry Potter Garden and on J.K. Rowling’s use of Victorian flower symbolism in Potions. Pre-Harry Potter, Betz grew up in the family business doing wholesale food manufacturing for Trader Joe’s and studio catering in Hollywood, feeding TV show crews and large events such as the American Music Awards, the Grammys, and Easter Seals Telethon (seven of them!). After leaving Hollywood, Betz worked in high tech public relations in the San Francisco Bay area, and since 2008 has been focused on raising her two kids, whom she is slowly indoctrinating into the fun of fandom.
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw. Of course.
A current PhD candidate, Jodie has been involved in the HP fandom since 2003, though her first conference was Prophecy 2007. Jodie loves being on the organizational side of cons, and was Assistant to Programming Chair for Prophecy 2007, Head of Informal Programming Planning Committee for Portus 2008, Informal Programming Co-Chair for Azkatraz 2009 and Informal Programming Chair for Infinitus 2010. In her real life, Jodie researches alternative spirituality, and is currently completing her dissertation on contemporary Paganism in the U.S. and Britain. Recently, she contributed a chapter to a book on religion and popular culture, which she also teaches, using HP and other fandoms as educational examples. A rabid reader, Jodie enjoys everything from fantasy like Game of Thrones to YA bestsellers like The Hunger Games; she also continues to read the Harry Potter series at least once a year. An anglophile at heart, Jodie also spends way too much time with Doctor Who and Sherlock. In her spare time, she writes, knits, and plays table games. Jodie’s favorite HP book is Prisoner of Azkaban, and her favorite character is the incomparable Luna Lovegood.Email Jodie
Hogwarts House: Slytherin all the way, baby
Femme has been a fan writer of one stripe or another since she could pick up a pencil. Before stumbling upon online fandom in the early ’90s as an X-Phile, she spent her childhood writing Anne of Green Gables and Gilligan’s Island fanfic—juvenilia which is probably better left forgotten, although she will ship Anne/Gilbert forever. After falling in love with the wizarding world in 2002, she found herself immersed in the slash side of Harry Potter fandom and has been happily playing here ever since. A Slytherin to the core, she particularly loves examining the psychological, moral and ethical implications of growing up within Slytherin House and counts Draco, Pansy, Blaise and Millicent among her favorite fictional characters to spin stories about. (According to AO3, she’s written nearly 1.5 million words of HP fanfic, and she still has more stories to tell.) Femme has presented at numerous Harry Potter conferences on topics as varied as religion in the HP universe, the morality of Snape, and the future of HP slash. She was also the Chair of Fandom Programming for Ascendio 2012 and one of the co-hosts of the con’s Slash Suite. When she’s not under a fannish pseudonym, she writes queer and YA fiction.Email Femme
Slash Programming & Meet-Up Coordinator
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor the Brave (and Sometimes Stupid…)
Noe has been organizing HP meetups on and offline since Azkatraz in 2009. She was the meetup coordinator for Ascendio in 2012. She loves helping people interested in numerous aspects of creativity and fan culture find like-minded people to talk to.Email Noe
Hogwarts House: Slytherin 4eva! *waves Team Green banners*
Although Cheryl had to be coerced to read Harry Potter in the early days, the insidious tentacles of fandom slowly drew her in, until she was happily debating the morality of Albus Dumbledore and wondering at the magical origin of werewolves with a group of like-minded Potterites she found online. The joy of dissecting the books and characters led her to the glorious world of fanfiction. She moved in and never left, writing more than two million words of fic since 2006. Her newfound love for fandom took her to the Northwest Sci-fi and Fantasy Convention (Norwescon) where she joined the staff of the Special Events Department. She held the Special Events Director position for two years and is currently working as the Assistant Program Director. Her “real life” and fandom have merged and she couldn’t be happier about it.Email Cheryl
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
Nancy is part of the project management committee and assists the Head of Operations for MISTI-Con 2015. She previously volunteered for MISTI-Con 2013, helping with programming, general office tasks and set-up/break-down of the con. Nancy goes by the name sidnandragin on LiveJournal and is an avid reader of HP fanfiction, especially Harry/Ginny and Draco/Ginny fic. When she’s not reading HP or working on fan cons, Nancy works as an Executive Administrative Assistant.Email Nancy
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
Shawn had been skirting around the edges of HP fandom for years starting with fanfiction before moving into written HP RPGs in 2007. She had attended and enjoyed anime cons for years before tumbling into the HP world and discovering that Witches and Wizards had cons, too, and that they were just as much fun. She enjoys cosplaying and making costumes for herself and friends. She has extensive experience in nonprofit accounting having worked as a nonprofit and governmental auditor and staff accountant since 2005.Email Shawn
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff! FTW!
Stephanie is a graphic and web designer extraordinaire from Washington D.C. She is a die hard Hufflepuff (don’t mess with the badger), who loves to design fandom shirts in her spare time under the name flyingpantaloons. Outside of running her business WowLookArt alongside her husband, she helps manage a fandom event listing site Fangazm. She joined the Harry Potter fandom just in time for the release of The Deathly Hallows, and has contributed her design talents to cons such as Ascendio 2012, and Misti-Con 2013.Email Stephanie
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw head, Hufflepuff hugs!
Despite being an avid fantasy reader, at first Marize stayed away from the Harry Potter books because she thought “Oh, they’re too popular to actually be good”. Boy, was she wrong. Nowadays, she keeps spare copies of the Sorcerer’s Stone on hand to spread the magic to any deprived souls (and there are some!) who still haven’t read the books. In college at UC Berkeley, she was the president of a DeCal organization called BookWorlds, and took and taught classes on Harry Potter. Her guilty pleasure/stress relief is reading fanfiction (especially stories involving time travel, no matter how cliché). She’s an entertainment lawyer for a boutique firm in Beverly Hills, an enthusiastic participant in Reddit Gift Exchanges, an unabashed TV addict, and has a weakness for puns, seafood, freckles, and cool fonts.Email Marize
Hogwarts House: Slytherin with a dash of Ravenclaw
Alexandra first stumbled into the HP fandom while looking for news about Order the Phoenix. First the creative theories (which she loves, and she believes that Luna was Jo’s nod to us), then the fanfictions, and much later on, the cons. She has been a registration volunteer at Infinitus 2010, LeakyCon 2011, Ascendio 2012 and MistiCon2013. She is excited to bring her skill, experience and enthusiasm to Leviosa. Alexandra spends her downtime reading HP and Tudor fanfics, watching Frozen and Once Upon a Time, and thinking about Snape.Email Alexandra
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
Jenn Racek is a devout Harry Potter fan and avid shutterbug. She fell into the book series after the first movie was released, wrote fanfic, made friends, attended Potter conferences, started making Potter crafts and eventually started her own Harry Potter meetup group when one wasn’t available locally. These days HPDFW, the Dallas-Fort Worth Harry Potter group, is the 3rd largest HP meetup in the U.S. and still going strong. Mrs. Racek lives in Dallas with her husband, two kids, a pet hedgehog and her Canon camera – which is most definitely part of the family.Email Jenn
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
Kristen lives just outside of Sacramento, CA, and has been part of the Harry Potter fandom since the summer of 2000, when she was trapped in the mountains with nothing except the first 4 books to keep her from going mad. That’s also when she started writing fanfic. Yes, it was H/D, and yes, it was just as terrible as you imagine it to be. Kristen has been going to–and volunteering at–conventions since Lumos 2006, and chaired Meet & Greet at Azkatraz and Ascendio. While she’s not presented at any fan cons, she has spoken about Harry Potter at an actual anthropology conference with actual anthropologists in attendance, as one of the youngest presenters–and one of the only two community college students to do so. Recently, Kristen graduated with four degrees (she admits it sounds better when she doesn’t point out they’re Associate degrees), and now she works in the ESL department at the same school from which she graduated, feeling less and less confident in her own English skills every day. Besides reading whatever happens to be handy, she knits and makes chainmail jewelry, and enjoys practicing her ASL in public, just to see how people react. Plus, she finally has a Netflix account, so she’s pretty psyched about that. She’s never actually watched Sherlock before.Email Krissy
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
An aspiring YA author and the daughter of a former Internet marketer, Lily understands the importance of a proper media presence. She has several years experience in building and maintaining WordPress as a website engine, as well as experience across multiple popular social networks both as personal platforms and business tools. In addition to social contributions and small graphic design, she hosts Leviosa’s YouTube channel.
Lily has been a Potter fan since kindergarten, when an elderly shopkeeper gifted her an HP ornament to quell some soft hysterics. Harry Potter was the largest chapter book she’d ever completed and the beginning of a life long love affair with reading, writing, magic, creativity, and fandom. She believes that anyone can find their own happily ever after. A huge advocate of better reading programs and youth outreach, she has volunteered/mentored with at risk youth groups in the past.Email Lily
Rachael (aka akemi42)
Vid Show Coordinator
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor
Rachael is a podcaster, vidder, and lawyer. She founded Snapecast in 2006 (http://snapecast.com) and her team Vatican Cameos (http://vaticancams.tumblr.com/) was named the winner of GISHWHES in 2013. She has helped organize a number of fan-run cons including Lubricus (http://www.bf4f.org). Her favorite things about the Harry Potter fandom include the awesome fans, Severus Snape, and the slash. In addition to pontificating about Sherlock on the Three Patch podcast (http://www.three-patch.com) Rachael vids cosplay, and does other fannish stuff related to Sherlock, Avengers, Supernatural, Watchmen, and of course, Harry Potter.Email Rachael
Head Game Keeper
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
Hailing all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada, peeves has been with the Harry Potter Fandom since the book release of Goblet of Fire in 2000. Unaware of Harry Potter only conventions until Lumos appeared in Las Vegas in 2006, peeves fell in love with HP Cons. Since then, the poltergeist has happily wreaked havoc at Prophecy 2007, Portus 2008, Wrock the Boat 2008, Azkatraz 2009, Infinitus 2010, Ascendio 2012, MISTI Con 2013, Camp 9 ¾ 2013 and Leaky Con Portland 2013. peeves has scrapbooked each and every convention, enabling a time reversal spell to revisit the mayhem. Even a few witches and wizards have had the opportunity to share peeves love of scrapbooking with workshops at several cons.
When not in peeves mode, her Muggle persona is actively involved in the German community doing folk dancing and celebrating German festivities. She has managed to convert one of her two sons into a HP fan, hence Peeves 2.0. The other son is still pending, but has started on book one!Email peeves
Stina Brainard, Special Guests Coordinator