The 2015 WoM2M winners were announced on Tuesday, February 24 during the third annual dinner, held at the Birmingham Marriott in Alabama, wrapping up the two-day Connected World Conference.

The winners of the 2015 Women of M2M are as follows:


 WoM2M 2015

Vice President of Automotive Strategy
Aeris Communications

After facing gender-based workplace discrimination in the past, Michelle Avary has learned not to let other people stop her from making a positive impact on business. Avary is responsible for managing Aeris’ strategy, product planning, and business development and helps set the company’s vision for automotive. Avary also founded Women in Automotive Technology, a networking opportunity for women in her field. On finding “champions” over “mentors,” Avary says: “You do not need someone to advise you per se, you need someone who believes in you and gives you a chance, defends you, gives you advice, and supports you in all your positions and companies.”

Cofounder, President, and CEO
Edge Velocity

Paula Beauregard helps guide the development and adoption of wireless mesh technology in vertical markets that depend on mission-critical communications, such as first responders, transportation, government, homeland security, and others. Beauregard cofounded Edge Velocity in 2004 and has worked ever since to foster technical and application development at the company, while driving its market penetration and sales growth. She has been key in creating partnerships with customers such as the FDNY (Fire Dept. of New York City), among others, and helps create a next-gen IP wireless communications system that extends into previously unreachable communications environments, in addition to expanding customer applications and improving usage conditions.

Executive Director

One piece of advice that has stuck with Andrea Bennett, who started out as a software engineer in K-12 schools, is: “You are just not that important.” Rather than being discouraging, the advice encourages risk taking; fear shouldn’t rule our decisions. Bennett’s role as executive director at CETPA (California Educational Technology Professionals Assn.), a not-for-profit organization supporting IT professionals working in K-20 environments, has given her the opportunity to make a positive impact in part by developing the CTO Mentor Program—a prestigious professional-development program that targets CTOs working in K-12 schools.

Bennett has taken CETPA from a once-a-year conference to a full membership organization considered to be a recognized authority in the state. When she was hired in 2007 as executive director, hers was the first and only employee position at the organization, which had been run by volunteers for 47 years.

As the “face of CETPA,” Bennett is playing a critical role in raising up successful technology leaders who will lead the integration of education and the IoT.

General Manager of Lighting Solutions
Synapse Wireless

After starting with Synapse Wireless in 2013, Kathryn Caspar has been charged with establishing the company’s lighting business as a premier wireless lighting control provider. Caspar started off her career as a manufacturing engineer and is now thrilled to be part of the growing IoT space. She credits her mother as being the strong female role model who inspired her to face adversity with class, grace, and a dose of Southern charm. Caspar says success is knowing when to drive (lead) and when to be a passenger (listen): “You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room to be heard and understanding that balance is crucial.”


Safra Catz says at Oracle, a silver medal is “first loser.” In September 2014, Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, stepped down as CEO, thereby catapulting Catz and Mark Hurd to the top position as co-CEOs. Catz previously held titles at Oracle such as president and CFO, among others, since she joined the company in 1999. Throughout her tenure, Catz has been instrumental in leading the company’s acquisition strategy, which has included big moves such as the PeopleSoft acquisition in 2005. After her promotion to CEO, Catz made clear her determination to grow Oracle’s position in applications. A native of Israel, Catz has been ranked as one of the most powerful women in business and a top-paid female executive.

CEO and Founder
SunFriend Corp.

By founding SunFriend Corp., Karin Edgett is leveraging the ubiquity of devices to raise awareness about the dangers of sun exposure. While Edgett didn’t in her wildest dreams imagine herself leading a tech startup, she admits business and innovation are part of her DNA. Coming from a family of business people and natural problem solvers—from agriculture to engineers and architects—Edgett believes innovation comes as second nature to humans. Even more importantly, it is the lifeblood of progress. “With IoT, we can connect to other innovators anywhere (and) explore ideas at will, almost as fast as we can think,” Edgett says. “There are almost no barriers anymore.”


As CEO of Parkmobile, a mobile-payments provider for parking, Cherie Fuzzell helps shape the intelligent-transportation space and define her company’s role in it. She has helped transform Parkmobile and the parking process in general by helping people leverage the IoT to find and pay for parking. She may describe herself as an “accidental CEO,” but Fuzzell’s ability to balance a career and raise five children is nothing but intentional. Fuzzell is an avid learner and a dedicated problem solver; she wants to have fun while making a difference and she’s easily bored, which makes her a perfect fit for the fast-changing world of IoT.

Executive Vice President of Business Development

It began with a keen interest in how things work and a willingness to “look under the hood.” After beginning her tech career in the cable industry, Melani Griffith is now in a leadership role at Penthera, a software technology company that helps programmers and video distributors deliver a better mobile video experience. Griffith is in charge of identifying and exploiting new and additional revenue streams, developing products and feature enhancements with Penthera’s engineering team, and establishing and executing the company strategy, priorities, and roadmap.

Griffith says there is nothing more important or exciting than the pervasiveness of M2M/IoT. She believes her ability to be collaborative, direct, and energetic, along with a willingness to lead by example, have helped her succeed in her career thus far. “I’m the quintessential self-starter,” she says, “which is a characteristic I think is required today in business.”

Director of Product Development
AT&T IoT Solutions Organization

One of Monica Hallam’s calling cards is her ability to help auto OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) think outside the box. As director of product development in AT&T’s IoT Solutions Organization, Hallam educates, clarifies, drives alignment, and adds value to auto OEMs, device manufacturers, and internal technology teams. Hallam is additionally in charge of the definition, design, and development of user experience flows, buy-flows, provisioning, billing, and backend accounting systems to support IoT devices and products—particularly, the connected car. Hallam supports other women in her field through her participation with organizations such as WOA (Women of AT&T) and WITI (Women in Technology Intl.).

Founding Managing Partner
Pejman Mar Ventures

With more than a decade of experience as a founder and an entrepreneur, and with three startups under her belt in the mobile, e-commerce, enterprise software, and semiconductor industries, Mar Hershenson is an influential player in the emerging-technology space. She holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University and served as an adjunct professor there from 2003 to 2010. Hershenson is founding manager partner for Pejman Mar Ventures, a venture-funding organization that invests in and partners with innovative entrepreneurs and their tech companies. Her company is based on the idea that investors don’t create the future, entrepreneurs do—and sometimes they need a bit of help along the way.

Cambridge Temperature Concepts

Prior to joining Cambridge Temperature Concepts as CEO in 2013, Claire Hooper had experience founding technology companies and serving as an executive for corporations such as PerkinElmer and Cambridge Imaging. Hooper’s role as CEO includes scaling up the company’s operations and commercializing DuoFertility, a small wearable sensor that leverages wireless sensing technology to help couples conceive, while also creating a platform that can be used to deliver other types of remote health monitoring. Hooper, who holds a PhD in biochemistry, says the solution takes the stress out of trying to have a baby by giving couples access to “clinical levels of monitoring from the comfort of their own home.”

Vice President of Product Development
Synchronoss Technologies

An original team member who joined Synchronoss as a New Jersey-based startup 14 years ago, Sheri Horwitz now oversees product management and R&D (research and development) for Synchronoss’ white-labeled mobile content transfer and personal cloud products. Her contributions have made it possible for connected devices to store content securely in the cloud and for consumers to securely and seamlessly transfer personal content to new devices and networks.

Horwitz has additionally spearheaded an internal “Lean In” circle, in which she encourages the advancement of female colleagues, supports them in managing work and family commitments, and provides mentorship to women across multiple departments and roles.

Vice President of M2M Solutions and Services

Laetitia Jay describes herself as a facilitator, a builder, and a “Gemalto kid.” She began her career at Gemplus in 1996 and has continued with the company through the Axalto merger in 2006 that formed Gemalto and then on through today.

Jay began as an embedded software engineer in R&D and has since moved through various roles leading to her current position in which she defines M2M/IoT strategy by positioning, building, designing, and deploying the company’s offerings in different vertical markets and across the different stakeholders of the value chain. Jay also contributes to a smart energy task force that helps build a trusted infrastructure for M2M and IoT.


Formerly senior vice president of IT, communication, and collaboration at Cisco, where she contributed to Cisco’s emerging technologies deployments and mobility services, Sheila Jordan now serves as Symantec’s chief information officer. Since assuming the role in early 2014, Jordan has been driving Symantec’s IT strategy and global operations. Jordan approaches complex business problems with the knowledge that technology can deliver value and key business intelligence. A self-described “change agent,” Jordan frequently speaks on topics such as collaboration, mobility, BYOD (bring your own device), and women’s leadership. Her goal is to leverage technology to drive productivity and efficiency in a business environment.

AT&T Government Solutions

Under Kay Kapoor’s leadership, AT&T’s Government Solutions group delivers customized mobility, cloud, cybersecurity, voice and data solutions, and managed services to U.S. Federal Government agencies to help them achieve their missions more efficiently and effectively. Kapoor emigrated from India to the U.S. as a young adult. She saw that technology offered abundant career opportunities, but more than that, she saw technology’s potential to help make the world a better place. Early on, Kapoor wanted to influence change, but wasn’t empowered to do so, which motivated her to pursue leadership roles. A vocal advocate for charity and mentoring, Kapoor believes the best leadership strategy is to persuade, not push.

Global Future of Mobility Manager
Ford Motor Co.

As Global Future of Mobility Manager at Ford, Erica Klampfl leads the automaker’s global mobility initiatives, including global mobility experiments that will test new ideas and address growing transportation challenges. By spearheading these efforts, Klampfl is helping to define Ford’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies to make mobility affordable economically, environmentally, and socially. Klampfl’s team is critical in shaping the company’s future decisions around delivering accessible and affordable personal mobility for people around the world.

Klampfl has spent the majority of her career in analytics, big data, and connectivity. She joined Ford in 2000 as a technical expert before moving into a leadership position in Ford’s research and advanced engineering group, and then onto her current role. Klampfl holds a PhD in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University in Houston, Texas, along with 10 patents.

Being a woman shouldn’t define a person or what she is capable of doing and accomplishing in life, according to Klampfl. “Getting women involved in executive positions in M2M, IoT, technology, and science will take women who are passionate about technology … to encourage and mentor other women in our field and at the university level,” she says. “It will take time and work, but it is definitely worth it to encourage the next generation of women.”


After spending the early years of her career working at corporations like Microsoft, Suzanna Kovoor leveraged her experience leading multi-million dollar projects to found Zohmic. The impetus for the company, which makes sensors for the connected home, was based on problems Kovoor and her friends faced in their own homes. In just more than a year, Kovoor has brought her IoT idea to life. Her current focus is selling Zohmic’s first hardware product, expanding its platform, and developing a second product. Kovoor lives by a lean startup mentality—“fail fast, fail cheap, and innovate rapidly.” Her ultimate goal is to leverage M2M to reduce homeowners’ total cost of ownership and deliver peace of mind.

Vice President of Program Management
Mesh Systems

Lisa Landig is proud of the ways her company is leveraging M2M and IoT to make a positive societal impact, from improving human health and safety to reducing fossil energy consumption, eliminating waste, and promoting the use of renewable energy. Landig is also proud of her own role as Mesh Systems’ vice president of program management, in which she oversees execution of customer programs from initial engagement to development and through deployment. Landig’s background in contract manufacturing created a natural transition to software and the M2M/IoT field about eight years ago. Since then, Landig’s strong work ethic and clear career goals have supported her rise to leadership.

Vice President of Product Management

Despite a history in telemetry, telematics, usage-based insurance, industrial automation, smart grid, and connected home, Kirsten Lester has landed in the connected health space with Viverae, a fast-growing provider of health-management solutions. Here, Lester is putting to work her 14 years of product management experience, along with seven years in enterprise software integration, to recognize opportunities for business development, how to apply technologies and subsequently, how data can drive efficiencies, cost savings, and improved revenues.

Lester says women who can use IoT and M2M to solve real problems profitably will find themselves in more executive positions.


Jenny Kennedy Linton’s role as president of OSIsoft is to respond to customer demand by leading the company in developing new technologies that can be implemented quickly and broadly across every facet of the client’s enterprise.

On a day-to-day basis, this means overseeing operations and the management team, while maintaining the company’s strategic focus on building its international growth. She says her focus is to support the broader adoption and global growth of OSIsoft by building on an installed base in more than 110 countries.

Linton’s educational background in civil and environmental engineering, along with her professional background in finance, executive administration, management, and operations, has set her up to take charge of OSIsoft’s effort to grow market leadership in streaming data and events infrastructure by helping energy and manufacturing customers realize the power of their information.

Linton has been with the company full time since 2001.

Professor of Architecture
Carnegie Mellon University

Sustainability champion and accomplished educator Vivian Loftness is passionate about creating more intelligent, ecologically conscientious spaces. Loftness is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University with expertise in both technology and architecture. Leveraging more than 30 years of experience working in environmental and sustainable architecture, advanced building systems, and performance-optimized design for workplaces, Loftness serves on panels, gives Congressional testimonies, and has won awards for her research and advocacy.

She has also built an app as part of Carnegie Mellon’s Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace project. Through the project, Loftness and her team are giving office employees more control of automated building systems via their mobile devices. By examining ways to put data in the hands of consumers and businesses, the Intelligent Workplace project is just one example of how Loftness is helping to create a smarter, more connected world.

Angaza Design

One of “America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs” as recognized by Businessweek, Lesley Marincola founded and currently heads up Angaza Design, which aims to improve the quality of life in developing nations by making clean and affordable electricity more accessible. As CEO, Marincola, a product designer and mechanical engineer from Stanford University, has been instrumental in developing Angaza’s complete pay-as-you-go solution for manufacturers and distributors of clean energy products in the off-grid world. Marincola, who has also worked at Amazon with the Amazon Kindle design team, hopes to leverage a human-centered design approach to technology to solve the world’s most widespread problems.

President of Sales and Customer Success

A culture of innovation and dedication to customer success is what attracted Maria Martinez to Salesforce, along with the opportunity she saw to influence the future of the technology industry. Martinez leads teams that are responsible for on boarding, product usage, best practices, training, customer support, professional services, partner certification, and developing long-term relationships with Salesforce customers.

Martinez previously held roles at Motorola, AT&T, and most recently, Microsoft, adding up to more than 30 years of leadership experience in business and technology. During her six years at Microsoft, Martinez managed the company’s global services business, along with professional services and customer support for Microsoft products. She was integral in leading the business to “outperform revenue targets” and in increasing Microsoft’s customer satisfaction rating. Early in her career, Martinez also worked for Bell Laboratories, where she developed and patented disk storage systems.

Cross Vehicle Marketing Manager
Ford Motor Co.

Long before Michelle Moody joined Ford in 1989, she was going to dirt track races with her grandfather. What began as a hobby and a love of cars turned into a career. Through Moody’s various positions at Ford in planning, market research, and brand marketing, she has played an instrumental role in bringing new technologies like Ford’s SYNC 3 and AppLink to market.

Today, she focuses on bringing in-vehicle technologies to life for Ford’s customers in a time when customers’ expectations are rapidly changing. As connected vehicle marketing manager, Moody’s responsibilities include managing the mobile owner experience. This means she constantly thinks about how to build a frictionless experience for vehicle owners, ensuring they stay safely connected as they move from place to place.

Moody’s first supervisor at Ford once said a career is a marathon, not a sprint—a piece of advice that has served Moody well during the past 26 years. She is proud of her contribution to the growth of emerging technology by humanizing it and keeping it grounded in a way that includes everyone—from tech gurus to those who are less tech savvy. She hopes to continue to leverage connected-car technologies to solve for key painpoints for Ford customers.

CTO–Evangelist for New Frontiers
Cisco Systems

Monique Morrow says her motto is all about risk taking. “I move myself constantly to step out of my comfort zone,” she says. “Leading technology initiatives is natural for me.” Morrow’s path began in 1982 when she worked as a network engineer for AMD. Since 2000, she has served at Cisco, eventually becoming the first CTO–Evangelist for New Frontiers. Throughout her tenure, Morrow co-led a cross-organizational team focused on M2M that later became the core of Cisco’s Internet of Everything strategy.

Morrow has published patents and industry standards, and today leads the development of strategic technology and business architectures for Cisco customers and partners. Her current focus areas include M2M security, eHealth, next-gen software architecture, and machine-learning algorithms. One of her proudest career moments is betting on MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) as a technology service enabler and being proved right.

Morrow was one of the leaders in the development of this critical business opportunity for Cisco Systems in its Service Provider Next-Generation Network segment.

Morrow surrounds herself with people who have the courage to go left when everyone else is going right, regardless of their backgrounds and genders. She loves that in an Internet of Everything society, everyone has the opportunity to invent.

IT Manager
Delta Engineers

Through her career, Colleen Mulrooney has seen the impact technology can make. In one case, she describes how a client recovered from a flood that cost the company its physical office space by shifting to a mobile workforce nearly overnight.

Mulrooney additionally believes technology can be key to establishing the all-important work-life balance for professionals in leadership roles. Beyond leading IT initiatives at her company, peers laud Mulrooney as a generous and intelligent contributor to the IT Director’s Forum of the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies). Her cheerful approach to technology challenges has earned her the reputation of being both “refreshing” and “helpful.”

Cofounder and CEO
Love and Robots

Emer O’Daly is leveraging technology to empower people to become designers and innovators. As cofounder and CEO of Love and Robots, she aims to flip mass manufacturing on its head. Rather than aim for economies of scale, the company works with creative individuals who have a vision to design and manufacture products on a small scale using a set of cloud-based design tools and 3D printing. “The 20th century was all about mass manufacturing with economies of scale, but with 3D printing the opposite is true,” she says.

O’Daly trained as an architect at University College Dublin and then at Yale University. She believes there’s creativity in everyone and feels passionate about discovering new intersections between design, technology, and business. O’Daly has been the driving force in taking her company from startup in 2012 to its present state. What’s more, Love and Robots’ platform for the digital age could revolutionize the way we think about manufacturing.

Senior Vice President and Chief Network Officer
Verizon Wireless

At Verizon Wireless, Nicola Palmer is responsible for planning, engineering, building, and operating the company’s voice and data networks, including its 4G LTE network. With a background in industrial engineering and business, Palmer initially launched her career at Bell Atlantic and has since held leadership positions in engineering, operations, and project and service management supporting advanced data and IP products.

In previous roles at Verizon, Palmer contributed to FiOS data and TV services by leading the engineering and operations of the company’s FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) network. Palmer supports several programs and organizations for young people and is an advocate for women in business and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.


While not necessarily a “sexy” application of IoT technology, smart HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems are important in creating a more sustainable and connected world. For this reason, the industry should be proud of pioneers like Jan Peterson, who is taking on the status quo in California commercial air-conditioning systems. Peterson and her husband envisioned an inexpensive system of building sensors and IoT systems in the United States to monitor existing HVAC systems.

As founder of XCSpec and the driver of its EconomizerPro solution, which adds fault detection, diagnostic, and monitoring to existing HVAC rooftop Economizer units, Peterson puts the IoT to work to tune up “sick” buildings and achieve maximum energy efficiency.

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Riverbed Technology

As a C-level IT executive, Ginna Raahauge champions individuals with demographics that typically face barriers in business. Raahauge is on the board of directors of MentorNet, a nonprofit focused on developing tomorrow’s STEM workforce, she is a member of two angel investment firms, and she co-hosts a forum that brings C-level women executives together to “share, learn, and work together on common challenges.” At Riverbed Technology, Raahauge helps define and deliver strategies that create value for Riverbed customers, partners, and shareholders. She has more than 20 years of technology and business leadership experience at companies such as Cisco and PalmSource.

Vice President and General Manager
Intel, Network Platforms Group

For more than a dozen years, Sandra Rivera headed up business and market development in various embedded and communications business units at Intel. During this phase of her tenure, Rivera oversaw product marketing, segment marketing, and channel and ecosystem marketing. Since then, she has been a leader in market development for the Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group and, most recently, for Intel’s Network Platforms Group. Rivera is additionally a board member for OPNFV (Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization), an open-source collaborative project hosted by the Linux Foundation. In her pre-Intel days, Rivera worked for Catalyst Telecom and cofounded The CTI Authority, a computer telephony distributor.

President and CEO
Quantum Intech

When it comes to heart health and technology, one woman stands out thanks to her role as a media spokesperson and speaker, author, innovative executive, and entrepreneur: Deborah Rozman. Rozman came to the health-tech industry with a master’s degree in child psychology and a doctorate in the psychology of consciousness. She has made a living as an entrepreneur, a psychologist, a business executive, and a founder of a private children’s school in Northern California.

After working at a biotech firm in an executive role during a period of rapid growth, Rozman helped found a nonprofit called HeartMath in 1991, which oversaw cutting-edge heart research. Today, she is president and co-CEO of Quantum Intech, the parent company of HeartMath LLC. Rozman remains critical in developing technologies that give people the data they need to better understand their heart and, ultimately, live healthier lives.

Associate Director of Strategic Relations
UCSF Center for Digital Health Innovation

Dr. Aenor Sawyer plays a leadership role in digital health innovation as the associate director of strategic relations for the UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) Center for Digital Health Innovation and the associate director of the Digital Health track in the center’s Catalyst accelerator. Among many other roles and accomplishments, Sawyer is also clinical advisor for Rock Health, a nonprofit healthcare IT incubator, and cofounder of the Trinity System, a Web-based collaboration technology solution for multidisciplinary management of complex patients.

Sawyer’s clinical background includes 10 years in physical therapy prior to earning her M.D. from the UC Davis (University of California, Davis) and completing her residency in orthopedic surgery at Stanford University. Sawyer has contributed to improving healthcare through device innovation and digital health technology in part by participating in IT committees and consortiums for pediatric devices, telemedicine and telehealth, and mobile technology. She has experience directing and implementing a customized EMR (electronic medical records) system in Northern California, has contributed to remote sensing and communication solutions, and co-developed a wearable body sensor network called WEAR HUB. She is currently co-developing a safe early-mobility device for in-patients.

Code Savvy

“Follow the fire in your belly. Don’t wait until you are 100% ready to take on a new challenge—the guys don’t.” Rebecca Schatz taught herself to program as a teenager in the early 1970s, which prepared her for professional roles in software and network engineering during the early part of her career. She then presided over the invention, creation, and growth of The Works, a hands-on museum of engineering for kids, which she cultivated for more than 25 years. In 2012, Schatz started Code Savvy, which provides coding education for a new IoT-connected generation. Code Savvy proactively targets young women and other under-represented populations in an effort to diversify the socio-economic makeup of tomorrow’s tech field.

Head of Region Germany and Head of Global Automotive Sales
Telenor Connexion

A self-described “super geek” with a background in mathematics and IT, Andrea Sroczynski has more than 15 years of experience in telematics services and telecommunication. Sroczynski got started in her career by volunteering to be part of her then-employer’s new telematics department. She says other young professionals should do the same: “If you love something—just go for it. And dare to always take on more responsibility.” At Telenor, Sroczynski heads up strategic business development and has been instrumental in growing her company’s influence, particularly in German-speaking markets. Sroczynski hopes her legacy is not as a successful woman business developer, but as a successful business developer who happens to also be a woman.

Cofounder and Head of Product

The main visionary behind Bellabeat’s products and overall branding strategy, Urška Sršen is cofounder and head of product at the innovative Silicon Valley company that aims to bring quantified-self technologies to women. In fact, Bellabeat’s mission is to seamlessly integrate technology to everyday life. Sršen attended the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and has been vocal about how her fine arts degree has made her a better innovator and tech executive.

She founded Bellabeat after working on a professional home-monitoring system for pregnant women. Her goal is to create products that help women lead healthier lives by giving them the data they need to keep track of their health, nutrition, and sleep quality during pregnancies and then extending on to all life phases. She hopes her story will inspire even more young people in the Balkan region of Europe to pursue the exciting world of tech.

Managing Director
Rock Health

Startups are a critical reason the IoT industry is expanding as quickly as it is today. In connected healthcare, Halle Tecco has made her mark with Rock Health, an incubator for health IT companies. Tecco is a founder, a chairwoman, and the managing director for the San Francisco-based organization, which provides funding and full-service support to startups at the intersection of technology and healthcare. A serial entrepreneur, Tecco also founded Yoga Bear, a nonprofit that provides health and wellness opportunities to cancer patients and survivors across the nation, and is an angel investor via Techammer. Tecco says she’s passionate about technology, social entrepreneurship, and healthy living.

Founder and CEO
Solaris Technologies

In 2010, Evelyn Torres founded Solaris Technologies, a telecommunications company and provider of the ToughTower product platforms, fiber optics, transceivers, multi-vendor new and refurbished equipment, and repair services to customers throughout the Americas. Torres’ background in the telecom industry, which includes working at Nokia as head of Latin America infrastructure, prepared her to take a problem solver’s approach with Solaris by creating a custom solution for clients looking for mobile tower and telecom solutions.

Torres is involved with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and STEMfire, a Texas-based organization dedicated to helping women and girls pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Evelyn recently had the opportunity to speak with a group of girls who were particularly interested in the telecom and technology fields. During the presentation, she demonstrated how to build cellular-on-wheels towers.

Senior Vice President
IBM Global Business Systems

One of Bridget Van Kralingen’s standout contributions to the industry is her sponsorship of IBM’s microfinance initiative, which has created a cloud-based microfinance technology platform for Latin America along with an open-source microfinance core banking application. Van Kralingen first joined IBM in 2004 as global managing partner of the financial services sector, serving in several subsequent roles including general manager of IBM North America.

In her current role as senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, Van Kralingen is responsible for the strategy, execution, and business results of IBM’s consulting, systems integration, and application management services. She is also on the board of Catalyst, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting women in business.

Executive Vice President and President of Product and New Business Innovation
Verizon Wireless

According to Verizon Wireless executive Marni Walden, having a diverse employee base is absolutely key to success. She says while progress is being made toward gender equality, the technology industry still has work to do, including mentoring and sponsoring female leaders at all levels of an organization. As executive vice president at Verizon, Walden helps develop innovative products across the company’s wireless, wireline, IP and cloud networks, and platforms segments. By heading the Product and New Business Innovation organization, she also helps direct, develop, and nurture emerging businesses at Verizon such as telematics. Walden sees particular opportunities in telematics for diagnostics and over-the-air software, as well as smart road traffic solutions.

Senior Vice President of Product Management Engineering

As Susan Wojcicki says in her December 2014 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, she was Google’s first employee to go on maternity leave. She joined the startup company, which began in her garage, while pregnant, but this and several other pregnancies throughout the years hasn’t hindered her ascent at one of the top companies in the world. As part of Google, Wojcicki’s mission is to organize the world’s information in a way that helps people understand and access it. Her first role was in marketing, but she eventually became Google’s senior vice president of advertising and commerce, overseeing the design and engineering of AdWords, AdSense, and Google Analytics. Today, Wojcicki is CEO of Google-owned YouTube, a video platform for user-generated content that was acquired in 2006.


Prior to cofounding CloudFlare in 2009, Michelle Zatlyn had experience working at large multinational companies such as Google and Toshiba, as well as launching two successful startup companies. Shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School with her MBA, where she was also awarded the Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship, Zatlyn packed up her bags and moved to San Francisco along with cofounders Lee Holloway and Matthew Prince to start CloudFlare, a provider of Web performance and security services.

As head of user experience, Zatlyn oversees company-wide operations and ensures the company creates products people love. She’s most proud of her role in taking CloudFlare from an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin to a company that is building a faster, safer, and better Internet for its millions of users. While Zatlyn says we as a society still have a lot of work to do in terms of creating equal gender opportunities in the tech world, she is optimistic for the future. To other entrepreneurs in the tech space, she says: “Big opportunities, like starting your own business, don’t come that often. If the opportunity is right you should always go for it. Make sure you are able to commit the time and resources necessary for the idea to reach its full potential, and make sure it’s something you’re passionate about.”

Previous Winners: 2014