Nine honored with Women in Technology awards

Women in Technology honored nine women and women-led companies in technology for their dedication to various community groups and volunteer projects at a ceremony and fund-raiser Oct. 27 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner hotel in McLean, Va.

The annual Heroines in Technology gala featured a ceremony, cocktail reception and dinner along with silent and live auctions to benefit the March of Dimes. WIT has held the annually in conjunction with the March of Dimes since 2001.

The 2006 lifetime achievement award went to April Young, senior vice president and manager of the mid-Atlantic south region technology and life sciences division of Comerica Bank. She was honored for her work with the group Five Talents International, which teaches basic business principles to poor women in several African cities. She also has provided financial support through her church to five children in Africa, and is paying for the college education of a young woman in Kamapala, Uganda.

Melany Smith, president of Mel's Computer Help, won the individual heroine in technology award for providing computer training, access and service to underserved citizens in her community. For the past 17 years, Smith has volunteered as the team leader for the Holiday Project of the National Capital Area, a volunteer group that serves people in Washington, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

EFX Media and DefyWire Inc. won the corporate heroine in technology awards. Jennifer Cortner, president of EFX Media, and Jill Stelfox, chief executive officer of DefyWire, accepted the awards.

The other honorees were:
  • Joy Hughes, vice president of IT and CIO at George Mason University
  • Karen Penn, vice president and director of corporate diversity at Science Applications International Corp.
  • Kim Schakleford, president of Ambit Group
  • Cindy Troutman, president of CGH Technologies Inc.
  • Patricia Weaver, senior vice president of corporate administration at Alion Science & Technology Corp.

All of the women are active in community service and participate in programs sponsored by non-profit, civic and fraternal organizations or religious groups.

The event raised about $141,000, according to WIT. Since its inception, the Heroines in Technology event has netted roughly $650,000, including the money raised this year.

Women in Technology is a national networking and professional support group for women who work in technology fields.

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