by Women in Technology

February 21, 2012

On December 14th, over 75 female executives from the non- profit sector and technology industry gathered at the intimate, elegant Wine Room of the St Regis Hotel in Buckhead to celebrate, collaborate and support each other for 2011.

This invitation-only networking event was the creation of a three year partnership started by Cathy Meehan, SE Marketing Leader and Marva Bailer, BUE NA Industry Solutions Communication Sector.

The event featured a partnership with Girl Scouts and an inspirational speech on women’s leadership by the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Marilyn Midyette. This chapter supports over 42,000 girls and 16,000 volunteers – making it the largest girl-serving organization in the state of Georgia.

Both IBM and Girl Scouts are celebrating their centennials in 2012, sharing common core values of courage, confidence and character.

The program was sponsored by our valued WW business partner Ascendent Technology, with their Director of Marketing Liz Albert, who had just flown in from Zurich for the event; and her two local sales people – John and Michael. The program began with Marva Bailer as the emcee, who thanked Cathy Meehan, SE Marketing Leader and Jennifer Williams, GM Marketing Leader for their support during the year.

Also attending the event were key nonprofit leaders who support our mission, including: Sandy Hoffman, President of Women in Technology, GA CIO Council Lifetime Achievement Winner, and Techbridge Chairman of the Board; Stephanie Hill, Executive Director of Women In Technology; Jannet Walker, Women in Technology Foundation incoming Board President, Vicki Hamilton, Women in Technology Foundation Board Director and Event Chair for the Girls Scouts’ Changing the World Awards Luncheon; and Virginia Bradley, CEO, Global EXEC Women and recipient of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s 2011 Alumnae Achievement Award.

The Executive Sponsor from IBM, Sherry Lautenbach, SE VP of General Business, gave remarks on her and IBM’s continued support of women advancing into leadership, doing business together, and networking with other IT industry leaders.

Marilyn Midyette, as the CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, and a retired Bell South Executive, had an incredibly enlightening and synergistic value perspective to offer on women’s leadership.

Her remarks highlighted statistics about the need for more balanced power (between men AND women) in our nation’s businesses if the US wants to compete as a world leader. Currently, there are at least two million high skilled, high wage jobs currently unfilled because today’s students aren’t receiving the science, technology, engineering and math education needed to obtain the jobs that define the global 21st century marketplace. At Girl Scouts, they are working to defy these statistics by making science and technology come alive for girls with hands on experiments and access to inspiring role models, like those who gathered for the evening.

As a take away for the attendees, Ascendent was able to purchase the highly-coveted and ever so popular Girl Scout Cookies for each attendee–even though they do not go on sale to the public until the spring! What a great way for us to show our support of Girl Scouts as they work to develop the next generation of business leaders.

In attendance were over 75 customers, mentee, Brittnay Hood of the Georgia State College Honors Program and many of IBM’s partners. They dined on Shrimp and Grits, Tuna Tartare, Mediterranean Platter the bourbon and cream, chocolate truffle, and red velvet cupcake lollipops for dessert. Key IBM executive supporters included Karstin Bodel, NA VP General Business Marketing, Renne Bostic, NA VP Rational Technical Services, Karen Turner, BUE SE Technical Sales, S. Tjuan Dogan, Manager Community Affairs, and Pam Woehrle, NA VP Industry Solutions.

An inspiring, enlightening and delightful evening was had by all as we joined together to celebrate women’s leadership and the legacy of two great American Institutions: IBM and Girl Scouts.