Event Recap: NH High Tech Council’s Annual TechWomen Luncheon
We had a great time at Wednesday’s third annual TechWomen|TechGirls Awards Luncheon at the Bedford Village Inn! Jennifer Gray serves as a Committee member, and helped to organize the event. Samantha Kuncio, one of our Technical Recruiters, and Tori Leavitt, Operations and Account Support, were also in attendance.
The NH High Tech Council’s annual Tech Luncheon showcases the best in our state who have made the commitment to advance the careers of women in technology, as well as inspiring the future.
This year’s keynote speech was delivered by Jessica Gelman, the CEO of Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR). Jessica spoke about her experience as a female CEO in the world of sports, helping organizations become more data-driven and use analytic insights to grow the bottom line. Everyone was excited to hear Jessica’s insight on what it’s like to work in the sports industry, and how the analytics work done at KAGR has been applied towards the success of our own New England Patriots, among other teams and leagues. Jessica also shared her perspective on work-life balance, emphasizing the ways she prioritizes her family while remaining incredibly dedicated to her team and her company.
Each year, the Tech Luncheon showcases the accomplishments of three women making an impact in their field and serving as role models for women and girls in STEM. This year’s award winners were:
TechStudent of the Year: Meera Kurup
Meera Kurup is a junior at Bishop Guertin High School. Her interest in STEM began at a young age, leading her to join the Technology Student Association and hold several leadership roles. As a sophomore in high school, she was a recipient of the Aspirations in Computing (AiC) from the National Center for Women in Technology. She used her winnings, as well as funding from the University of New Hampshire, to start an initiative called CodeIT Girls to encourage and teach young girls how to code. Kurup used her passion for volunteerism to create an application called ALZPoetry, which enables family members to record poetry for their loved ones. The app is intended to elicit old memories. The app won her the 2018 Congressional App Challenge winner in her district.
Kurup also came in third place in the TiE Young Entrepreneurs national competition. Her company, CheckUps4All, provides subscription-based diabetes and blood pressure testing in developing countries. She also represents New Hampshire in the United States Youth Senate Program, which is hosted by the Hearst Foundation. Kurup also plans on majoring in computer science and minoring in business or political science in college.
TechProfessional of the Year: Edna Conway
Edna Conway currently serves as Cisco’s chief security offices, global value chain. In her role, she creates clear strategies to deliver secure operating models for the digital economy. Conway has built new organizations that deliver cybersecurity, compliance, risk management, sustainability and value chain transformation across Cisco’s third-party ecosystem. She has been recognized domestically and globally as the developer of architecture delivering value chain security, sustainability and resiliency. Conway has been featured in a range of publications including Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, CIO Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Conway has been recognized as a member of the Fortune Most Powerful Women community and has received a Fed 100 Award, Stevie “Maverick of the Year Award,” has been named a “Machine to Machine and IOT Trailblazer,” has received an SC Media Reboot Leadership Award and CSO of the Year Award. Conway’s experience also includes serving on numerous boards, as well as being a partner in an international private legal practice and serving as Assistant Attorney General for New Hampshire.
TechTeacher of the Year: Petra Bonfert-Taylor
Petra Bonfert-Taylor is a professor and instructional designer at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering. She received her PhD in Mathematics from Technical University of Berlin and went on to hold positions at the University of Michigan and Wesleyan University before filling her current position at Dartmouth. Bonfert-Taylor is widely published and has lectured for national and international audiences. Her work has been recognized by the National Science Foundation, and she has recently designed and created a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC), and is in the process of creating a seven-MOOC Professional Certificate on C-programming.
Congratulations to the 2018 award winners! We are already looking forward to next year’s event!