Monday, April 21, 2008

Mass High Tech Women to Watch

“Why aren’t engineers studying the physics of high heels?!”

This was just one of many insightful comments during the acceptance speeches for the 2008 Mass High Tech Women to Watch Awards, spoken by Amanda Parks, founder and director of design engineering for Bodega Algae.

Wendy Frey Caswell, president and CEO of Zink Imaging quoted Calvin Coolidge, who wrote: "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race."

The Mass High Tech Women to Watch awards honor 10 New England-based women as future leaders and innovators each year. They come from fields such as biotech, telecom, software, hardware, electronics, advanced energy, nanotech, medical devices, IT, networks and communications, and robotics.

The nomination criteria include: at least five years of managerial or technical experience in technology or science-related businesses, or in academic research leading to commercialization of tech-based products and/or services, engineering or science degree, demonstrated leadership abilities, and the ability to think creatively and develop new opportunities with regard to business or the commercialization of technology.

I was delighted to attend the event this year, to support an honoree from one of our client companies: Deborah Louis, senior vice president, On-Demand Operations for Authoria Inc. Deborah began her speech with a joke, stating that when she told her son that she would be making a speech that night he replied, “Don’t sound like Hillary Clinton.”

I was told the event would be inspiring and it lived up to my expectations. The women honored had wonderfully diverse experiences in their careers but one point was continually brought up during their speeches: the importance of mentors. The women thanked their mentors, both male and female, for taking the time to advise them in their career paths.

Congratulations to all of the 2008 Mass High Tech Women to Watch:

* Afsana Akhter, director of business development, Medullan Inc.

* Wendy Frey Caswell, president and CEO, Zink Imaging Inc.

* Sylvie Grégoire, president, Human Genetic Therapies, Shire Pharmaceuticals

* Sadiye Guler, founder, president and CEO, intuVision Inc.

* Heather Healy, senior director, strategic planning, Office of CTO, EMC Corp.

* Deborah Louis, senior vice president, on-demand operations, Authoria Inc.

* Beth Marcus, founder and CEO, Zeemote Inc.

* Christine Miska, systems engineering functional manager, BAE Systems

* Amanda Parkes, co-founder and director of design engineering, Bodega Algae LLC

* Ellen Piccioli, senior engineering manager, Intel Corp.

And about those high heels? Check out Taryn Rose, orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer. Dr. Rose will be speaking at this year’s Simmons Leadership Conference, which we happen to be promoting.

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