Women in Technology honors IT leaders

Mentoring was the dominate theme Thursday night as industry group Women in Technology recognized five leaders in the IT community.

Each woman was asked to speak about a "superwoman" who had inspired them.

Charlotte Pelliccia, president of Pelliccia Communications, spoke of her mother, who died when she was 16 but left her with lessons that have helped guide her career. Pelliccia won the WIT Champion award for her work with the organization.

The Rising Star award went to Leah Hooten-Clark, a senior electronics engineer with Northrop Grumman Corp. She urged the audience to look for co-workers, both men and women, who can serve as mentors.

Barbara Anderson, vice president of state and local government for EDS Corp., thanked her daughter among others for helping her examine why she does her job and for helping her keep work and life in perspective. Anderson won the Corporate award.

Keeping a good balance between work and personal life also was an important lesson mentors have taught Karyn Hayes-Ryan, deputy director, acquisition engineering and program manager, engineering enterprise at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The Entrepreneur award went to Debra Ruh, president and CEO of TecAccess LLC. She talked about her daughter, who suffers from Down's syndrome and was the inspiration for starting Ruh's business. TecAccess tests technology for accessibility by people with disabilities.

The awards ceremony was held in McLean, Va. WIT tries to foster networking and professional growth for women in the technology industry.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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