ITWomen's "Hidden Figures" – 2017 Looking Back and Ahead

President’s Message

Claire Marrero, ITWomen President

Claire Marrero, ITWomen President

Since our inception in 2002, ITWomen has been on a mission to Advance Women across Technology. Today, we are even more committed to moving that diversity dial, one man, woman and child at a time 🙂   So as we look to amplify our impact in 2017, I am incredibly proud of the impact ITWomen’s BOD, volunteers, supporters and sponsors made possible in 2016, and wanted to share some highlights of our “Hidden Figures”, who give their time and resources to provide underserved girls in our community, access to opportunity.

With so many to thank,  I must start with the Role Models who inspired more than 2,000 girls across Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach & the Tampa Bay area to consider the boundless opportunities a career in Tech can provide.  Special thanks to Michelle Bazargan, Krista Theodore, Regina Batista, Fiolina Burnet, Rimma Polissky, and Alejandra Lorenzo who made memorable guest appearances at Student Mega Conferences, Tech Camps and Stem days!

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay ITWomen

Congratulations to our Tampa Bay area Community Leads, Therese Williams and Camile Taber who have been instrumental in expanding the reach of our Role Models Program by rallying volunteers, connecting with local firms and establishing partnerships with Youth Partners whose efforts even earned a Congressional Recognition !  Stay tuned for exciting announcements of continued expansion events in the Tampa Bay area coming soon.

Hosted Field Trips

World Fuel Services Role Models Field Trip

Next, our 2016 corporate partners World Fuel Services and FPL who welcomed students onto their campuses as field trip hosts. Their field trips showcased real women and solutions across the Tech spectrum. Taking the time to provide truly interactive experiences, including insights from many team members, including the CEO and CIO of this Fortune 5 company,  is something these young ladies are not likely to forget.

Over $500,000 in Scholarships and 91 Scholars To Date

Our Scholarship Selection Committee led by Brenda Husinka, who made the tough choices to narrow an incredible field of applicants to select seven truly talented and deserving young women to benefit from the 2016 Scholarship program, bringing the total number of ITWomen Scholars to 91 girls who have benefits from over $500,000 to date!  Then there are the ladies led by Margaret Brisbane, who welcome our scholars into the ITWomen family,  our Virtual Mentors who support these young ladies through their college journey, going above and beyond to form incredible, powerful bonds that can make the difference between working thru the “tough days”, to simply dropping out, or changing to an “easier degree”.  Special shout out to our Scholarship Ambassador, Catherine Skelly who whips the resumes of these young ladies into shape, and ensures they are prepared for interviews so they can take their place as interns at top firms across the country.

Incredible “Citrites” and over 12 Videos

Madisen Farley

Then there are the incredible “Citrites” cajoled by our 2015 Woman to Watch, Madisen Farley who capture the essence of all this impact thru the annual Scholarship Videos, spending their Saturday filming and producing incredible video montages, showcasing what these Scholarship’s really mean to these young women and their families, complete with professional make-up by artist, Nina Anderson, hosted by Raj Rawal, Christine Zambrano and Catherine Skelly.

Thank You Host Sponsors

Thank you to our Board members, Sharon Moura, JCI, and Barbara Russo, JM Family Enterprises who hosted Professional Development events to advance those women already in “Tech” delivering high quality programs such as “Design Thinking” by Irene Lam,  “The Art of Transformation – From Strategy to Execution” featuring insights from Sandra Porceng, Shelly Samuel & Michelle Bazargan as to how they have navigated their careers thru all facets of “Disruption”, and Office Depot’s “Digital Insights”delivered by Executives Kevin Moffit and Cheri Siedle who entertained a large crowd, made possible by Lynn Frcek.

Robotics Camps

Summer saw  FPL/Nextera Energy generously fund our 3rd FREE Summer Camp for Girls, igniting a passion for Robotics and Programming in 22 more high school and middle schoolers from Fort Lauderdale who simply would not have access to such an opportunity otherwise.  Thank you to Juliet Roulhac, Daymari Bellow, Christine Zambrano, and Catherine Skelly for making our Summer Robotics Campers feel special at the “Graduation Ceremony” which saw the girls showcase their Robotics creations to friends and family.  Shout out also to our exceptional Summer Camp Interns – Jordan Paulus & Noel Picinich who proved our future really is bright.

Huge thank you to The Women’s Fund of Miami Dade who believed in our “Robotics on the Go” program vision to award our partnership with Pace Center for Girls Miami, a grant to enable us to take Robotics to 60 more girls who wouldn’t have access to these possibilities, proving once again that access to opportunity is key in changing outcomes and enabling economic empowerment.

Thank You Sustaining Partners and Sponsors

Then there are the sustaining partners who stepped up to support not only our scholarships, but the expansion of our programs: Citrix, Salesforce and PwC, we thank you!  To our multi–year “dollars for scholars” sponsors who have helped us raise $560,000 for Scholarships to date, we thank Signature Consultants, TekPartners, Momentum, Ernst & Young, The Talent Source, Ultimate Software, VMWare, Symantec, Vitaver, and many others whose support we cannot do without.  And of course, the CIOs who come out year after year to make our annual “Celebrity CIO Poker Tournament” fundraiser event such a success.  We continue to be humbled by your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you all again, this coming November 16th, 2017.

We were also proud to collaborate with other not-for profits including Girls Scouts, Pace Center for Girls Miami in launching  “Robotics on The Go”, Pace Center for Girls Broward, Girls Inc of Pinellas County, Codella and Columbia University to make  “Tech” accessible for those in our underserved communities, and we look forward to increasing our reach even further through additional youth partnerships.

Welcome Executive Director 

Patricia Mundarain, ITWomen Executive Director

Patricia Mundarain

We also welcomed our Executive Director, Patricia Mundarain and were incredibly grateful for her speedy recovery from what was very serious car accident this past September.  Patricia surpassed all the doctors’ expectations and is ready to help take us to the next level in 2017 with both expanded community and professional programs.

Welcome Newest Advisory Board Members

I am also delighted to announce that 2017 sees the addition of some more incredible women to our Advisory Board  as we welcome Arlene DiMita of PwC, Sheila Ravindran of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and Madeleine Garcia of World Fuel Services.

So as for the immediate horizon…. I invite you to help us make an impact the following ways:

Apply for ITWomen 2017 Scholarships by February 17

 Help us Spread the Joy of Scholarships… Encourage Senior High School Girls who have an interest in “Tech” to apply for our Scholarships! Applications for Scholarships are OPEN now!! & close February 17, 2017

ITWomen Professional Development Series 2017 Kickoff – Thursday February 16

Join us at our first professional development event of 2017… February 16th at the PwC Experience Center featuring a Keynote from Pam Stenson, CEO of the CIO Executive Council, on the Journey to the Future-State CIO® , followed by a Fireside Chat with our 2016 Woman of Wonder, Marie Lee, CIO Interval Leisure Group; Tery Howard, Miami Dolphins CTO, Sr VP and Emily Ashworth, CTO ABB OPtical Group. Registration is open now.

— Claire Marrero
ITWomen President