2016 Women & Technology Conference
Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center
Davis, West Virginia
Women & Technology Conference WrapUp
The 2016 Women & Technology Conference was held Oct. 6-7 in Canaan Valley and attracted nearly 120 women from a variety of backgrounds, including higher education, private industry, nonprofits and associations, and the public sector. From inspiring keynote remarks to a fun lightning pitch showdown, participants joined in educational breakout sessions, a night-time stargazing event, productive networking and more.
Arria Hines, CEO & Co-Founder of Allegheny Science & Technology, kicked off the event with her own powerful story of entrepreneurship that resulted in her leadership of one of the fastest growing tech firms in the nation. Dr. Jan Cuny shared fascinating information about what the National Science Foundation is doing to increase the number of women in STEM fields. And Dr. Stefanie Tompkins with DARPA thrilled attendees with examples of DARPA’s groundbreaking research to bridge the bio-electronic divide and allow the mind to move robotic limbs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3a5u6djGnE
But it wasn’t just the dazzling keynote speakers—participants got involved, too. The Lightning Pitch Showdown featured six excellent presenters who shared concise explanations of their programs. Winner Tracy Miller of the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex in Bridgeport took home first place for her pitch for the state’s aerospace industry. Deedre Hayes of the WVU Industrial Extension/Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Karissa Poszywak of the WV Department of Education tied as runners-up.
The conference aims to address the under-representation of women in STEM fields and encourage women involved in technology education and research, private enterprises, the public sector, investing and entrepreneurship.
“This year we focused on how women and technology can help grow West Virginia’s economy through innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration,” Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect said. “As a state, we face serious challenges, but there are opportunities for growth and development, as well. We’re going to explore how women are contributing to economic growth and diversification, and how we can do more,” Barth said.
To keep the momentum going, a WV Women & Technology Facebook page has been created. Visit, like, share photos from the conference and tag!
TechConnect extends a sincere thank you to our generous conference sponsors, including:
- Allegheny Science & Technology
- BrickStreet Insurance
- Division of Science and Research at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
- Marshall University
- NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium
- Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
- West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts
- West Virginia Executive Magazine
- West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust
- West Virginia University