WiTT News

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  • Tue, October 29, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    November 7th dinner will celebrate progress with area women in tech positions and leadership, over $200K awarded in scholarships

    For Immediate Release

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 29, 2019) - On November 7, 2019, Women in Technology of Tennessee (WiTT) will host its 20 Years of WiTT Benefit Dinner at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Nashville headquarters from 5-8 p.m.

    Co-hosted by two of WiTT’s original founders, Tracy Evers, regional sales manager at Check Point Software Technologies, and Theresa Zuckowsky, enterprise program manager at BMI, the evening will also feature retrospectives from other prominent IT professionals and leaders with the organization and from throughout the community.

    WiTT was founded in 1999 because several Nashville-area women working in technology roles each found themselves as “the only woman in the room” at board meetings, entire divisions or companies, and they sought more camaraderie and support. Less than 10 women comprised the individual meetings, but the group formalized around four pillars of focus, which remain unchanged since the group’s inception: education for its members, to establish a sense of community and support for the women in tech roles in the area, outreach to inform students at varying ages about the possibilities in tech, and scholarships to encourage more women to enter the field.

    “The pillars we established 20 years ago are still very relevant today,” said Zuckowsky. “Organizations are increasingly recognizing that they will not be as successful if they don’t get in front of the diversity and inclusion effort, which dovetails into the fiber of what WiTT was founded to address.”

    During Zuckowsky’s term as president during 2005-2008, STEM was becoming more popular, and she expanded WiTT’s focus to recognize more of the sciences. “We needed to extend into medical and other fields, because technical roles are found in a wide variety of industries, not unlike how Nashville is an emerging tech hub, but we have historically been more known for the entertainment and health care industries.”

    The tech workforce and availability of tech jobs in Middle Tennessee is reflective of the recent and burgeoning growth of the Nashville metro area, according to Dr. Amy Harris, Associate Professor of Information Systems & Analytics at Middle Tennessee State University and WiTT board member who authored the State of Middle Tennessee Tech 2019 workforce report. The report similarly focuses on a broader definition of “tech workforce,” to encompass not only traditional tech occupations, but also analytics occupations that lie at the intersection of tech, business and mathematics. 2001 to 2018 marked an 88% growth in technical jobs in the 15-county radius, from 26,275 technical jobs to 49,465, with the last five years accounting for 34% of that growth.

    According to another recent study, women only hold about 20% of tech roles in the U.S., despite making up more than half of the workforce. Girls become interested in STEM at around age 11 but lose interest by 15, with the study citing lack of female mentors and gender inequality in STEM jobs as the main contributing factors.

    “Our work is more important now than ever before,” said Penny Grogan, former WiTT president (2013-2014) and a business development manager for C Spire. “Each former president focused on building out certain aspects of WiTT’s mission. During my tenure, we focused on strengthening our exposure to the business community and expanding our scholarships to encourage more young women to enter the field as well as to help women transition into technology careers for leadership advancements and financial independence. With continual technology advances reaching every part of our lives, women hold a valuable perspective for the enrichment of those advances.”

    To-date, WiTT has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to 86 recipients, some of whom will be featured during the November 7 event festivities.

    During the tenure of past-president Barbara Webb (2010-2012), a telecommunications veteran, she focused heavily on recruitment and decided to enlist male membership as well.

    “I became aware of just how important it was to have their buy-in, because most of the leadership in the organizations we were working for were men,” Webb said. “We needed for them to know why it was important to send their female employees, and at the same time, we needed male leaders as advocates if we were going to drive institutional change in our community and throughout all of the various industries that employ tech workers.”

    “There is still much work to be done to advance women in tech in the Middle Tennessee area and beyond,” said current WiTT president and Director of Talent Acquisition for the iLOB Group with HCA Healthcare, Marla Lamont. “But we want to acknowledge and honor the work of everyone who has come before us, forming and growing this special organization to the level of success it now enjoys. The anniversary event will be an evening of celebration, with each speaker sharing meaningful stories about how their lives and careers have been impacted by WiTT.”

    Learn more about the 20 Years of WiTT Benefit Dinner event, or purchase tickets on their website.

    About WiTT

    Women in Technology of Tennessee (WiTT) is a volunteer organization and community which equips women to shape the future of technology. Founded in 1999 as a small group of female leaders in the Nashville area, the organization has grown to include hundreds of members who seek to promote women in technology in four key areas: through scholarships, education, community outreach and networking. Thanks to its corporate members and generous donations, WiTT has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to advance the next generation of women tech leaders.

    To learn more, visit WiTT’s website, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  • Fri, October 18, 2019 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    WiTT's 2020 Board of Directors

    Thank you to our members for voting in our 2020 Board election. We are pleased to announce our 2020 Board of Directors.

    All of these women are committed to WiTT's mission of providing technology leadership to women, providing options for women in technology to give back through community involvement, and encouraging young women to pursue careers in technology.

    We also want to extend a special thank you to our outgoing Board members, Beth Hoeg, Christine Smalley, Lurleen Sargent, Juliet Orgain, Julie Danielson, Kathryn Acord, Lane Harbin, and Deanna Steele for their hard work and dedication to WiTT!



    Meg Chamblee, President
    Director, Consulting Services at CGI



    Amy Harris, Vice President
    Associate Professor Department of Computer Information Systems at MTSU



    Marla Lamont, Immediate Past President
    Director, ILOB Talent Acquisition at HCA



    Joleen Wadlington, Treasurer
    Senior Matrix Operations Officer at Ramsey Solutions
    (New Board Member)



    Victoria Collins, Secretary
    Director of Key Talent and Development at HCA
    (New Board Member)



    Sunny Cartmell, Membership
    CEO and Founder of Catalyst Collective
    (New Board Member)



    Katie Prevost, Sponsorship
    Business Development Manager at CGI



    Emilie Francis, Outreach
    Territory Account Manager at Juniper Networks
    (New Board Member)



    Joumana Rahime, STEM Education
    Founder of my1stCode
    (Newly Created Board Position)



    Martha Delaney, Programs
    CEO of HealthcareQA
    (New Board Member)



    Elise Holmes, Scholarships
    Talent Manager at Insight
    (New Board Member)



    Tom Corridon, Member at Large
    Executive Director of IT Operations at Bridgestone Americas
    (New Board Member)



    Brian Moyer, ex officio Nashville Technology Council
    President and CEO of Nashville Technology Council

  • Fri, October 18, 2019 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    We are excited to share the stories of two Lipscomb Engineering students who are pursuing their future in the world of tech!



    Princess Ukazim Attends #GHC19

    Lipscomb Engineering student, Princess Ukazim, had the opportunity to attend the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando this month thanks to a partial sponsorship from WiTT. This event is the largest gathering of female technologists and offers an unforgettable educational and inspirational experience for women in tech of all ages. We were thrilled to provide the chance for Princess to attend!



    Hannah Mason, Lipscomb Engineering Student

    Hannah Mason, a senior EECE major, was invited to present her research on autonomous cars to the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference in Honolulu this past month.

    When WiTT heard about this once-in-a-lifetime professional development opportunity we offered to sponsor half of her trip. Way to go Hannah!


  • Thu, June 27, 2019 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Approximately one year ago, Bridgestone approached WiTT about creating a new mentor program for our members.

    As a new sponsor of WiTT, Bridgestone was looking for a way to not only make an impact on the community but also to improve diversity in their workforce and connect with local women in the IT field. We are so grateful to Bridgestone for the time and effort they put into organizing and leading this program.

    While most mentors were IT leaders, they were also able to provide mentors in other areas of the business based on the needs of our member applicants. Ultimately, Bridgestone selected 11 WiTT members to participate in this inaugural program, and the feedback from our members was overwhelmingly positive.

    Our members have built lasting relationships that will continue to be valuable throughout their careers. We are now working with Bridgestone on a plan for the next cohort and will announce those details as soon as they are available.


  • Thu, May 30, 2019 4:59 PM | Anonymous

    "The Cyber Dragons are deeply grateful WITT and NTC for their support of the all-girl robotics team, the Nashville Cyber Dragons. The Cyber Dragons are proudly competing this weekend at the World Vex Competition in Louisville. As of this moment, our team is ranked 66 in the world out of about 850 teams. Next year the World tournament is in Japan!

    Our team is comprised of students from several schools in Nashville (Hume Fogg, FRA and Valor) and is entirely self-funded. With your help, the team was able to buy the important robotics parts it needed to build and program and to help pay registration fees for competitions.

    Only because of WITT/NTC support, our team able to compete in the statewide finals and win one of just three spots at the World Robotics Competition. Next year, it will be held in Japan!

    The other two teams representing Tennessee, Franklin Road Academy and Brentwood Academy, are incredibly well-funded and very large and we are proud to both represent our state and share this international stage with such a high level of competition.

    Please know that we are so grateful to WITT/NTC not only for the opportunity that your gift created to compete in the VEX World Robotics Competition but also to light the spark of curiosity about programming and robotics for our team of girls.

    Thank you again for the difference you have made in these young women's understanding of STEM and for the unique opportunity to represent Tennessee at the World VEX Championship. We literally could not have done it without you."


  • Thu, May 30, 2019 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    Night of the Arts had a new flavor this year at Apollo Middle School. Students applied what they learned in their engineering, design, and programming club to create smart and interactive e-textiles. Students were encouraged to be creative, innovative, and tech savvy while learning and acquiring the skills that enable them to design and create artifacts inspired by the STEM kits provided to them by VGT. That is where innovative thinking and creativity are being cultivated and this is where we as WiTT continue to encourage and support our youth and girls.

    Alexandria Miranda, a 6th grader at Apollo stood very confidently and passionately to explain to us how hard and frustrating it was to complete her project using the conductive threads, making sure they won't intersect so they don't create shortage in her electric circuit and the many other problems she ran into; She stated that  going through the many trial and error was a challenge that she loved making her realize that this might be a type of a career she aspires to. She extended her appreciation to WiTT for providing such an opportunity making her grow a passion for STEM.

  • Thu, May 30, 2019 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 29, 2019Golden Spiral, an integrated marketing agency serving B2B technology clients, has donated $5,000 to Women in Technology of Tennessee (WiTT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating new possibilities for women to succeed in technology and science careers. The donation will be part of WiTT’s contribution to eight scholarships for students at Nashville Software School, a community-funded nonprofit that provides intensive training and project-based learning programs in software development.

    “At Golden Spiral we believe it’s important to support our local tech community, and we’re proud to partner with WiTT for this strategic investment in workforce development,” said John Farkas, CEO of Golden Spiral. “This scholarship fund will help students cover schooling costs and be more accessible for employment opportunities as they establish their tech careers. We look forward to continue providing this support through our involvement with WiTT in 2019.”

    Golden Spiral’s donation to WiTT is part of a $19,000 fund with contributions from WiTT and other NSS sponsors. This money will be given to seven Opportunity Tuition students—who received partial scholarships upon their program acceptance—as a credit toward their remaining tuition balances. Additionally, some funds will go toward laptop costs for the students. Scholarship recipients include:

    • Natasha Cox
    • Leah Hoefling
    • Mehret Kulala
    • Fevan Mulugeta
    • Ripal Patel
    • Jessica Rodgers
    • Emily Venturino
    • April Watson

    “We are thrilled to contribute to the NSS scholarship fund and are appreciative of Golden Spiral’s partnership in this effort,” said Marla Lamont at WiTT. “The scholarships align with our organization’s mission to not only promote women in technology, but to equip them for successful careers in their chosen fields. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these scholarship recipients.”

    About Women in Technology of Tennessee

    Women in Technology of Tennessee (WiTT) is a community committed to promoting women in technology through scholarships, education, community outreach, and networking. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.wittn.org

    About Golden Spiral

    Golden Spiral is a Nashville-based integrated marketing agency focused on meeting the unique needs of B2B companies in the technology arena. Established in 2011, the company serves a client base that spans the nation. Golden Spiral excels at translating complex tech-driven offerings into market-focused solutions that speak to buyers' real needs. For more information, please visit www.goldenspiralmarketing.com.

  • Thu, April 25, 2019 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    The 17th Annual TWISTER STEAM Conference was held on April 6th at Adventure Science Center where 38 professional women across STEAM backgrounds came together to present hands-on sessions to high school students to give these young ladies an experience of “a day in the life of” their particular career field.


    Over 60 students attended the day long event where they experienced 4 different sessions, interaction with the all the volunteers, meeting new friends, photo booth fun, taking home cool door prizes and great memories! Cheryl D. Mayes, MBA was the keynote speaker kicking it off on ‘Building Your Personal Brand’.

    Two high school seniors were awarded a scholarship based off their essay entrance where they addressed these questions, “As you look to enter college and then the full time workforce, what technologies will you focus on and what problems do you plan on solving through technology? And how? How will this scholarship help you achieve this goal?”

    The winners…

    • WiTT $5000 scholarship was awarded to Jessica Shields.
    • Asurion $2500 scholarship was awarded to Tatyana Natal.

    WiTT has partnered with Adventure Science Center for years to assist with the event in many ways beyond the scholarship by participating on the committee, helping with recruiting speakers as well as volunteers. This event is one of our most important and impactful Outreach initiatives.

  • Tue, January 15, 2019 9:04 PM | Anonymous

    We are lucky to receive handwritten notes from the students we work with, telling us about how that experience shaped them.

    Between the lines, we see those moments of awe, inspiration, and gratitude to a new exposure and a new experience. Taking students into a journey that goes beyond just using technology but rather creating with it and loving it.

    This year, we took part in the global movement “Hour of Code” at Head Middle Magnet School. We visited students in their classroom to engage them with hands-on activities, giving them the opportunity to learn how to code while encouraging them to start seeing coding as a new form of expression and a new context of learning.

    The session was fun and inspiring, so their sponsoring teacher followed up with the below thank you note:

    “I wanted to follow up with you today to express my sincere thanks for the great opportunity to engage my 8th grade students with technology and coding. They were still talking about your session today.

    When you entered our room on Friday, students had mixed thoughts. Only a few of them had exposure to coding in the past but found what they learned awesome!

    Sharing your experience with them and your career path was a great advantage. A few of the students wrote messages to you that I would like to share. The letters are handwritten from each student.

    Again, thanks for the energetic session that has sparked an interest like none other.”

    We are honored to serve the children in our community and, hopefully, sparking in them a love of tech.
  • Mon, November 05, 2018 6:42 PM | Anonymous

    WiTT's 2019 Board of Directors

    Thank you to our members for voting in our 2019 Board election. We are pleased to announce our 2019 Board of Directors. 

    All of these women are committed to WiTT's mission of providing technology leadership to women, providing options for women in technology to give back through community involvement, and encouraging young women to pursue careers in technology.

    We also want to extend a special thank you to our outgoing Board members, Rebekah Panepinto and Betsy Wright, for their hard work and dedication to WiTT!


    Marla Lamont, President


    Meg Chamblee, Vice President

    Beth Hoeg, Immediate Past President

    Christine Smalley, Treasurer

    Lurleen Sargent, Secretary

    WITTN_Membership

    Juliet Orgain, Membership

    Julie Danielson, Outreach

    Kathryn Acord, Programs

    Lane Harbin, Marketing

    Amy-Harris-photo2

    Amy Harris, Scholarships

    Katie Prevost, Sponsorship (New role)


    Joumana Rahime, Member at Large – Outreach


    Deanna Steele, Member at Large (New board member)

    Brian Moyer, ex officio Nashville Technology Council



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