Cherie Fuzzell, Co-Chair for WIT Connect

WIT Connect is a unique fundraiser that auctions “time” with executives from top Georgia corporations, drawing hundreds of leaders in the technology community together to raise money in support of WIT programming aimed at developing women technology leaders, and WIT Foundation philanthropy initiatives like Girls Get IT and grants to STEM-focused nonprofits.

WHAT: 21st Annual WIT Connect

WHEN: Thursday, June 11, 2015 @ 6PM

WHERE: Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 

WIT Connect: Cherie Fuzzell’s Journey to CEO of Parkmobile

Cherie Fuzzell is the CEO of Parkmobile, the leading provider of on-demand and prepaid mobile payments for on- and off-street parking. Their services are used in more than 600 locations in the U.S. by millions of registered users. Cherie is also the 2014 winner of WIT’s Women of the Year for small and emerging businesses. She has over 17 years of executive experience in the payments and healthcare industries, as well as seven years of mergers & acquisitions experience with the international law firm, Jones Day. Cherie was most recently President and CEO of FirstView and has held senior positions with USBancorp, NOVA Information Systems, Inc. (now Elavon), and Magellan Health Services.

WIT Connect: Thought Leadership Series on Empowering Women in the Workplace 

Cherie Fuzzell began her career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer and holds a degree in accounting. She likes numbers and always believed she would impact the business world in an administrative capacity. While at Nova, the CEO asked her to take on additional challenges, many outside of a traditional administrative role.

Cherie viewed this as a plus rather than a minus. Being naturally curious, she seized this opportunity for learning and growth, as she likes trying new things and taking chances.  Cherie views herself as a recovering lawyer and accidental entrepreneur. Tina Dyer, Parkmobile’s Director of Marketing, also stumbled into her technology career. Formerly in the real estate business, when the real estate industry plummeted in the Atlanta region, Tina set out in search of a new “field” that could be “sustainable and innovative.”  During her job networking phase, she discovered her inner “geek,” a ‘skill’ her prior career had never tapped into. The rest is history.  

At Parkmobile, the Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Marketing, and Assistant Controller are all women. Cherie believes you have to be intentional about creating diversity in the workplace. As CEO, Cherie believes it is important to consider a wide array of candidates, both men and women, then recruit for a diverse workforce including diversity of gender, ethnicity, age, etc. 

50/50 by 2020

Companies’ large and small benefit from ensuring a strong,corporate culture that allows both men and women in technology to thrive at every level within the company. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be one million new STEM (science, technology, and math) jobs in the U.S. by 2020. And STEM jobs are significant to the metro Atlanta region.  Of America’s largest metro areas, Atlanta ranks as the #3 city for STEM employment growth.  The State of Georgia is expected to see 20% growth in STEM-related jobs by 2020. According to the US Department of Commerce, women fill close to half of all jobs in the US, but they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs.  What if more Georgia women chose STEM careers?

WIT has a strategic goal of 50/50 by 2020; that is, WIT’s vision would be that 50% of new STEM jobs in the metro Atlanta region, between now and 2020, go to women. As part of WIT Connect, and to help companies understand how women are thriving in the technology space, WIT is embarking on a thought leadership series to describe how and why partner companies such as Dell, Manheim, Parkmobile, World Pay, and others, see value in creating a corporate culture that supports and promotes women in STEM, and why WIT works so hard to expand these opportunities.

 Philanthropy

Proceeds from WIT Connect support WIT Foundation initiatives like Girls Get IT, WIT on Campus, and grants to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused nonprofits and local schools. Since 2007, WIT Connect has raised more than $2 million to support WIT’s mission to serve as passionate advocates for advancing women in Georgia’s technology community. Funds raised enable WIT to provide networking, thought leadership, and professional development opportunities to Georgia’s leading women in STEM.

To sponsor WIT Connect or get event updates, please contact Pat Hurston, phurston@mywit.org; (T) 470-823-3228.

About Women in Technology:  Women in Technology, an Atlanta-based organization, passionately supports women at every stage of their STEM careers — from the classroom to the boardroom. WIT has set a goal of making Georgia the state with the highest percentage of women in the STEM workforce by the year 2020. WIT enables women to build strong networks, develop leadership skills and advance their careers. WIT is the largest, most active female-centered STEM organization in the metro Atlanta region.

For additional information and to register: click REGISTER.