The Washington Times - March 22, 2010, 09:57AM

One of my favorite groups is Women in Technology, an association devoted to advancing the cause of women in the tech field. They’ve just released the names of the finalists for their annual Leadership Awards:



Women in Technology (WIT), the premiere organization empowering women to be architects of change in the technology industry, today announced the finalists for the 11th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards. WIT will recognize 39 finalists across 10 categories, including four new award categories. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on May 20, 2010 at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner.

The finalists for the 11th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards are:

Corporate Commercial Large Business

  • Deborah James, Senior Vice President and Business Unit General Manager, SAIC
  • Jennifer Kitchen, Senior Vice President of Research, CoStar Group
  • Colleen Oresky, Director of Innovative Technology Office, SAIC
  • Christine Schaefer, Vice President, Marketing, DLT Solutions

Corporate Commercial Small Business

  • Maura Colleton Corbett, Partner, Qorvis Communications, LLC
  • Laurie Freeman, COO, Lore Systems
  • Maria Everhart Gaboury, Vice President, Healthcare Solutions, DefenseWeb Technologies, Inc.
  • Gazelle Hashemian, President, Paragon Technology Group, Inc. 

Corporate Public Sector Large Business

  • Deborah Dowling, Vice President and Division Manager, Homeland Security Solutions, SAIC
  • Melinda (Mindy) Gallo Eckman, Senior Manager, Capture, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Diane B. Gongaware, Director of Operations, Civilian Agencies, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Wendy Martin, Director, Business Development, Harris Corporation

Corporate Public Sector Small Business

  • Lisa Kazor, President & CEO, Savantage Solutions
  • Carolyn Merek, CEO & President, eMentum, Inc.
  • Ola Sage, President & CEO, e-Management
  • Mary Ann Wagner, President & CEO, XIO Strategies


  • Paula Armentrout, Co-Founder & Vice President, Parabon Computation, Inc.
  • Lynn Ann Casey, CEO, Arc Aspicio
  • Jennifer L. Coolidge, President and Founder, Nexus Systems, Inc.
  • Dede Haskins, CEO and President, NewVision Health, Inc.


  • Lisa M. Davis, Assistant Director/CIO, Department of Justice, United States Marshals Service
  • Jo Ann Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer, Library of Congress
  • Paulette Robinson, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Teaching, Learning & Technology, iCollege, National Defense University
  • Isabel FitzGerald, Chief Information Officer, State of Maryland, Department of Human Resources

Health IT

  • Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Microsoft Federal, Microsoft Corporation
  • Dr. Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, Director, Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Susan Penfield, Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Global Impact

  • Susan C. Aldridge, Ph.D., President, University of Maryland University College
  • Lana Bian, Director, Marketing Communications, China Telecom Americas
  • Siobhan Green, CEO & Lead Technology Strategist and Information Architect, Sonjara
  • Dr. Julie Rosen, Assistant Vice President & Senior Scientist, SAIC

Unsung Hero

  • Jennifer Freed, Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) Service Delivery Integrated Product Team Manager, NMCI Program Office, Department of the Navy
  • Kathleen Furlong, Director, Business Development Operations, Avaya Government Solutions
  • Sandra Nickerson, Senior Principal, SRA International
  • Karla Prudom, Field Service Engineer, Afghanistan Country Lead, SAIC

Rising Star

  • Michelle Czirjak, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Katherine Tobin, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Sara VanAllman, Project Manager, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Jhaymee Wilson, Project Manager, CACI International

The annual awards program honors leading female professionals working in the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area who have exemplified unique vision and talent in the technology industry during the previous year.

“The scope of talent and achievements evident in this year’s crop of nominations far surpassed our expectations,” said Toni Towns-Whitley, president of WIT. “The decision-making process was incredibly difficult, as the stories of leadership and personal triumph of the nominees were inspiring and laudable and I would like to congratulate them all on their outstanding achievements.”

For more information on purchasing tickets to the event, please visit or contact Julie Murphy at (703) 584-5634 or Find us on Facebook at Follow WIT on Twitter at and the Leadership Awards at #WITAwards.

I’m impressed not only by the range of nominees, but also by the stories that must back up those nominated. I’m especially interested in the “Unsung Heroes” stories, and perhaps those attending the May 20 event will get to hear some. I’ll keep you posted if I get to learn any of these tales.