Women in Technology Announces Finalists for 20th Annual Leadership Awards

Professional Women in the Washington, D.C. Technology Community Recognized for their Extraordinary Vision, Talent and Mentorship

Falls Church, VA – January 25, 2019Women in Technology (WIT), the premier organization contributing to the success of professional women in the Washington, D.C.-area technology community today announced the finalists for the 20th Annual Leadership Awards. This annual awards program identifies, recognizes and celebrates female professionals who are leaders in the technology field and bring a unique vision and talent to the industry.

The finalists for the 20th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards are:


  • Diana Burley – The George Washington University
  • Shelly Heller - The George Washington University
  • Jill Klein - American University
  • Saniya LeBlanc - The George Washington University
  • Dianne O'Grady-Cunniff - University System of Maryland

Corporate Large-Market Sector

  • LaVerne Council - Grant Thornton LLP
  • Lisa Mascolo - IBM Global Business Services
  • Natalie Nottage - AECOM
  • Toni Townes-Whitley - Microsoft
  • Juliana Vida - Gartner

Corporate Mid-Market Sector

  • Bobbie Browning - Qualtrics
  • Lisa Chan - TransPerfect
  • Padma Chitrapu - Neustar, Inc.
  • Veronica Cuello - eGlobalTech
  • Heather Morgan - REI Systems, Inc.

Corporate Small-Market Sector

  • Molly Kelly - Zuri Group
  • Donna Kilbourn - Unanet
  • Katie Lewin - Cloud Security Alliance
  • Willow Marr - M2 Strategy, Inc.
  • Hildi Pineda - AbleVets LLC


  • Julie Chua - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Jennifer Gustetic - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Vicky Niblett – U.S. General Services Administration
  • Rachel Richter -  U.S. Food & Drug Administration
  • Chèrie Smith - U.S. Army, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems

Rising Star

  • Allison Farris - Microsoft
  • Amanda Kastl - Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Sara Laurentz – Neustar, Inc.
  • Ivania Martinez - SWIFT
  • Elizabeth Saloka - Booz Allen Hamilton

Small Business/Entrepreneur

  • Crystal Icenhour - Aperiomics
  • Janel Merritt – DigiDoc, Inc. dba Public Sector Solutions Groups
  • Patricia Obermaier - Resigility, LLC
  • Robin Stevens Payes - Edge of Yesterday, LLC
  • Amee Shah - Artemis Consulting, Inc.

STEM Leadership

  • Cecilia Hahn - Coder Kids, Inc.
  • Meg Layton - Symantec Corporation
  • Cara Lesser - KID Museum
  • Maria Rodriguez - Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Catherine (Cathe) Wyse - Leidos

Unsung Hero

  • Christine Blake - W2 Communications
  • Anne Marie DiNardo - REI Systems, Inc.
  • Mahwish Hamlani - Accenture
  • Dewanne Phillips - The Aerospace Corporation
  • Kathleen Townes - IBM

Women in Defense

  • Linda Jantzen - Institute for Defense Analyses
  • Gabriella Smyth - U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command
  • Darlene Straub - Defense Information Systems Agency
  • Christine Youngquist - U.S. Army, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Project Manager General Fund Enterprise Business System

“We are proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our WIT Leadership Awards program, which has recognized the achievements and contributions of more than 1,000 women in our technology community,” said Margo Dunn, president of WIT. “This year’s Gala coincides with WIT’s 25th anniversary of empowering women to be architects of change in the technology industry. The record number of outstanding nominations is a testament to the progress made, but it’s also an exciting indicator of what to expect from an event that honors women succeeding in their careers while also mentoring the next generation of leaders.”

WIT will announce the winners at the Leadership Awards Gala on Thursday May 9, 2019 at the Sheraton Tysons Corner. For information about sponsorship packages and to purchase tables of individual tickets, please visit https://www.womenintechnology.org/leadership-awards  and follow us on Twitter: @WITWomen, #WITLA19.

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. For more information, please visit: womenintechnology.org or connect with us via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter(@WITWomen).