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Take a bow: Several tech women recognized at annual awards

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Local women professionals and students were recognized recently for their contributions to the midstate tech industry.

The 2018 Women in Technology Awards, presented by the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, were held earlier this month in Harrisburg.

Each year, the Women in Technology Network celebrates women in the midstate for their work and dedication in the technology industry. The awards are given to recipients who have contributed to their community and impacted the industry in a positive way.

The technology council educates and promotes the advancement and development of technology. Its network supports career and business opportunity development for women in all sectors of technology and across commercial, government and educational sectors.

Here’s a rundown of the award recipients at the June 11 ceremony:

Inclusive Competitiveness in Technology Award

Cheryl Tichonevicz, advisory client executive, CAI (Computer Aid Inc.)

Through CAI’s Autism2Work, Tichonevicz is helping individuals on the autism spectrum to find meaningful careers with Pennsylvania tech companies.

Education Impact Award

Nicole Ernst, associate professor, Harrisburg Area Community College

Ernst brings years of firsthand geospatial technology and cartography experience to her classes at HACC.

Entrepreneurial/Small Business Impact Award

Lori Daniels, owner, Momentum Inc.

Daniels is the principal consultant and co-owner of the management consulting firm.

Health Care Impact Award

Leesa Allen, executive deputy secretary, state Department of Human Services

Allen has spent her career using technology to improve the health care of Pennsylvanians, particularly the poor and underserved.

Public Sector/Government Impact Award

Kim Poretta, IT manager, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Poretta oversees IT services and support for nearly 80 percent of the workforce of PennDOT, DCED, and PEMA.

Next Gen Award

Mary Elizabeth McCulloch, founder and CEO, Project Vive in State College

McCulloch created a product called the Voz Box, an affordable, wearable device that restores the ability to speak for people with cerebral palsy and ALS. Cisco recently awarded McCulloch $100,000 to pursue further development of the Voz Box.

Moxie Award

Bili Mattes, executive director, STEM-Up Network, Harrisburg University

Mattes is the executive director of the STEM-Up Network, a social enterprise she established to recruit, retain, and advance women in STEM fields.

The following students were also awarded scholarships for the STEM field: Olivia Voler of Dickinson College; Devon Malloy at Lebanon Valley College and Sophia ‘Amara’ Anigbo at Dickinson College.

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