Jan. 26, 2007
Nine Women Named Winners Of Innovation Awards
By Janice Posada
Courant Staff Writer
Nine women, whose expertise ranges from cancer research to software
development to robotics, were named winners of the 2007 Women of Innovation
The awards are given annually by the Connecticut Technology Council.
The event, now in its third year, is intended to honor the accomplishments
of women in academia, research, development and technology-oriented
businesses, said Matthew Nemerson, president and CEO of the technology
council, an industry group.
For this year's awards, 120 women were nominated in eight categories by
co-workers, colleagues, lawmakers and members of various organizations; 51
finalists were chosen.
Awards are given in eight categories. This year, there were nine winners
because of a tie in the research innovation and leadership category, said
Paige Rasid, the council's marketing and operations manager.
The winners are:
Winners are selected by the event's steering committee, which includes past
winners and representatives from the event's sponsors, which include Day
Pitney LLP, Pfizer Inc. and United Technologies Corp., Nemerson said.
- Leslie Abi-Karam, executive vice president and president, document
messaging technologies, of Pitney Bowes Inc. in Stamford for innovation and
leadership at a large business.
- Lucy Baney, president and CEO of Access Technologies Group in New Canaan,
for innovation and leadership in the community.
- Jennifer Good, president and CEO of Penwest Pharmaceuticals in Danbury,
for innovation and leadership at a small business.
- Kristyn Greco, a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, for
collegiate innovation and leadership.
- Julie Henion, a high school student at Watertown High School, for youth
innovation and leadership.
- Dr. Nita Maihle, professor, Yale University School of Medicine in New
Haven, for innovation and leadership in research (tie).
- Mei Wei, assistant professor, University of Connecticut School of
Pharmacy, for innovation and leadership in academics.
- Patty Williams, president and CEO of Telesis LLC in East Hartford, for
entrepreneurial innovation and leadership.
- Quing Zhu, associate professor, University of Connecticut in Farmington,
for innovation and leadership in research (tie).
The awards were originally conceived of as a way to "create a culture of
innovation in the state," said Nemerson - important for "attracting and
creating new businesses and keeping our young people here."
"We realize that women in leadership positions - in research, academics,
business and nonprofits - are important and influential. We want to bring
them together to get to know one another across different industries and
By calling for nominations every year, people across the state "find all of
these leaders for us," Nemerson said. "We're delighted that we can recognize
them, but the real goal is to create a network of leaders."
In addition, it's hoped that the event will draw attention to the number of
women involved in science and technology.
"Women are doing so much better in high school and college," Nemerson said.
"But they're disproportionately not going into the sciences. We're hoping
this network of women can directly and indirectly mentor these young women
and encourage them to go into sciences."
Last year, there were seven winners. However, this year, there was a tie in
the research category and the council decided to split the youth category
into two categories: high school students and college students.
Rebecca R. Rhoads, vice president and chief information officer of Raytheon
Co., gave the keynote address. The sold-out event was held Thursday night at
The Waterview in Monroe.
© 2007 by The Hartford Courant