The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) is pleased to announce the 50 women who have been selected as Women of Innovation® finalists for the 15th Annual Women of Innovation awards program. This program seeks to celebrate and create a growing network of women in the trenches of STEM. Finalists are the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who create tomorrow’s advancements through their efforts in Connecticut today.
The finalists will be recognized at the Women of Innovation awards gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on March 27 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. A winner in each of the eleven award categories will be announced live during the program, which will be emceed by Jocelyn Maminta, anchor and reporter at WTNH News 8. Additionally, one organization will be recognized for its outstanding contribution to STEM equitability and inclusion in Connecticut.
The 2019 Women of Innovation keynote speaker will be Annie Lamont, one of the nation’s leading women in healthcare and financial technology investing and current first lady of Connecticut. She is the co-founder and managing partner of Oak HC/FT, a venture capital firm that invests in early and growth stage tech-enabled companies shaping the future of healthcare information and financial services. She has more than 30 years of experience as a venture capitalist investing in transformative companies and entrepreneurs.
Lamont is well known as a leading healthcare and fintech investor, appearing on the Forbes Midas List, Institutional Investor’s FinTech Finance 40 list, and the Top 100 Venture Capitalist rankings published by CB Insights and The New York Times. She was the first recipient of the National Venture Capital Association’s award for Excellence in Healthcare Innovation.
She serves as a core participant of the Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary’s Innovation and Investment Summit (DSIIS), a collaboration between HHS and healthcare innovation and investment professionals to discuss the healthcare landscape, emerging opportunities, and the government’s role in facilitating accelerated innovation and investment. Earlier in Lamont’s career, she developed a number of successful biotechs including Cephalon, ViroPharma, and Esperion.
“The Women of Innovation event brings together leaders and innovators from across Connecticut–and I’m thrilled to be a part of it as the new President of CTC,” said Derek Slap, who took over that role in January. “At a time when women are still under-represented in the STEM fields, it’s so important to celebrate their contributions and highlight their successes.”
“I can honestly say that Women of Innovation changed my life,” added Severine Zygmont, President of Oxford Performance Materials and Board Chair of CTC. “I first learned about the Connecticut Technology Council when I was nominated for this award. I loved what I saw in CTC, and I became more involved. I met so many amazing people along the way and found opportunities to grow our business. So when I was selected to chair the board of directors, I felt like everything had come full circle.”
Women of Innovation finalists are nominated by their peers, coworkers, and mentors, and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. This year’s 50 finalists include researchers, educators, engineers, managers, students, and entrepreneurs who work in or study biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices, IT, and associated fields.
High school, undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated extraordinary and unique achievements in their technology disciplines are also among the finalists. Students are judged on inventiveness, STEM accomplishments, independent research, community service, and academic achievement.
The Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation program is presented by Medtronic. Lead sponsors for the event are Datto, Day Pitney, and United Technologies. Additional support is provided by Axinn, iDevices, Pfizer, and Pullman & Comely. Production sponsor is HB Communications, and media partner for the event is WTNH News 8.
Tickets, registration, and details are available here.
Below is a list of the 2019 Women of Innovation by category, with their affiliated organizations:
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Reem Alattas, Rumble Helmet LCC
Elena Cahill, Globele Energy and University of Bridgeport
Ann Flynn, IQ Telecom
Shana Schlossberg, Upward
Small Business Innovation and Leadership (100 or fewer employees) Finalists
Pamela Gupta, OutSecure Inc.
Karen Murdoch, Skyre, Inc
Mia Sumra, Scroll Network
Medium Business Innovation and Leadership (101-499 employees) Finalists
LeeAnn Maryeski, Sonalysts
Stacie Ropka, Ph.D., J.D., Axinn
Sharon Traficante, Connecticut Airport Authority
Large Business Innovation and Leadership (500+ employees) Finalists
Amy Antipas, Pfizer
Beatriz Blanco, Momentive Performance Materials
May Corn, United Technologies Research Center
Ruth Frank, Pitney Bowes Inc.
Parutta Leeyawanich, Pitney Bowes Inc.
Jamie Perry, COCC
Tara Rahemba, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Sally Gut Ruggeri, Pfizer
Sarita Sahoo, Infosys Limited
Kathleen Zandi, Pfizer
Research Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Jinbo Bi, University of Connecticut School of Engineering
Lakshmi Nair, UConn Health School of Medicine
Julia Oh, The Jackson Laboratory
Bing Yan, University of Connecticut
Community Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Sarita Arteaga, DMD, UConn Health School of Dental Medicine
Jean Forsyth, Cyient
Patrice Gans, Random Hacks of Kindness Junior, Inc.
Marie-Claire Peakman, Pfizer
Youth Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Julia Hoffman, The Loomis Chaffee School
Hiba Hussain, Greenwich High School
Raina Jain, Greenwich High School
Melina Joseph, Engineering and Science University Magnet School
Annika Morgan, Joel Barlow High School
Elyece Patterson, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Stephanie Johnson, The Country School
Karen Kaplan, Hamden Public Schools
Katherine Nuzzo, Joel Barlow High School
Post-Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Maria Chrysochoou, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut School of Engineering
Bama Govindaraja, Pitney Bowes Inc.
Laura Grabel, Wesleyan University
Collegian Innovation and Leadership Finalists
Valentina Baena, UConn Health
Yan Li, University of Connecticut ECE Department
Maryam Pardakhti, University of Connecticut School of Engineering
Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalists
Shoshannah Burnett, Sikorsky Aircraft – Lockheed Martin
Katherine Coyner, UConn Health
Christina Guzman-Toro, Pratt & Whitney
Kari Mull, Medtronic
Stephany Santos, University of Connecticut School of Engineering
Devra Sisitsky, McEIVR Inc. (501c3)/MakerspaceCT
Maranda Wong, Pratt & Whitney
About The Connecticut Technology Council
Celebrating its 25th year of operation in 2019, the Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology-oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building, and support for growing companies. The mission of the Connecticut Technology Council is to spark innovation, cultivate tech talent, foster business growth, advocate for industry-beneficial law and policy, expand the scope of industry networking and professional development, and celebrate industry achievements in the state. The CTC seeks to serve Connecticut’s technology ecosystem by providing leadership, support, mentoring, and advocacy to companies across every industry and at every stage of growth. For more information, visit ct.org