Press release

Women in Technology Announces 20th Annual Leadership Award Winners

Sponsored by Businesswire

in Technology
(WIT), the premier organization contributing to the
success of professional women in the Washington, D.C. area technology
community, announced winners of the 20th Annual Leadership
Awards at a Gala held Thursday, May 9, 2019. The evening honors highly
successful women who have made mentoring the next generation of leaders
in technology a significant component of their own success.

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Winners of the 20th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards with Margo Dunn, WIT President (Pho ...

Winners of the 20th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards with Margo Dunn, WIT President (Photo: Business Wire)

The annual WIT Leadership Awards showcases the outstanding
accomplishments and contributions of female leaders in academic,
entrepreneurial, government and corporate roles across the Washington,
D.C. technology community. The 20th Anniversary Gala featured
a panel of previous award winners discussing learning moments, regrets,
motivations, inspirations and advice for tomorrow’s leaders.

“This year’s Leadership Awards Gala was a double celebration: 25 years
of Women in Technology and 20 years of our Leadership Awards program,”
said Margo Dunn, WIT President. “We have honored more than 1,000 stellar
female leaders in technology over the past 20 years, and each year we
are honored in turn to be guided and inspired by their stories.”

This year’s winners are as follows:

  • Academia – Jill Klein, American University
  • Corporate Large-Market Sector – Toni Townes-Whitley, Microsoft
  • Corporate Mid-Market Sector – Padma Chitrapu, Neustar, Inc.
  • Corporate Small-Market Sector – Hildi Pineda, AbleVets LLC
  • Government – Chèrie Smith, U.S. Army Program Executive Office
    Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS)
  • Rising Star – Allison Farris, Microsoft
  • Small Business/Entrepreneur – Janel Merritt, DigiDoc Inc. dba Public
    Sector Solutions Groups
  • STEM Leadership – Meg Layton, Symantec Corporation
  • Unsung Hero – Mahwish Hamlani, Accenture
  • Women in Defense – Darlene Straub, Defense Information Systems Agency

The Leadership Foundry, a signature program of WIT created to prepare
women for corporate board service, also presented its annual Corporate
Leadership Award to United Therapeutics Corporation. The Corporate
Leadership Award recognizes local public companies that are making a
difference in gender diversity on their Board of Directors and in the
C-Suite. This year, the award is given to United Therapeutics
Corporation for their outstanding promotion of women into prominent

  • Women hold 4 seats on the Board of Directors out of 11 total seats
    making gender diversity on the board 36%;
  • A woman holds one of four corporate executive officer positions as
    CEO; she is also Chair of the Board.

WIT also presented the WIT Champion Award to Leslie Bauer, WIT
Treasurer, and a CPA & Cyber Risk Executive. The WIT Champion Award
honors a current member of WIT who has shown exemplary dedication to the
WIT organization and its mission. In addition to stepping up to serve an
additional term as WIT Treasurer when needed, Leslie Bauer is also an
active member of The Leadership Foundry Planning Committee, securing key
speakers for the program in the past several years.

This year’s WIT President’s Award was given to Marian McKee, Senior
Director, Global Operational Services at BioReliance and 2015-2019 Chair
of the STEM for Her Board of Directors, for the exceptional work she has
done to foster a strong partnership between WIT and STEM for Her, the
501(c)(3) non-profit foundation founded by WIT to promote education to
create awareness, excitement and opportunities among girls and young
women to pursue successful STEM-related careers.

About Women in Technology

Women in Technology (WIT) is a not-for-profit organization with the
mission of advancing women in technology — from the classroom to the
boardroom. With more than 1,000 members in the Washington, D.C. area,
WIT fulfills its vision
by providing leadership development,
technology education, networking, and mentoring opportunities for women
at all levels of their careers and for girls interested in STEM.
more information, please visit:
or connect with us via
or Twitter (@WITWomen).