Winners announced for the only annual event in Oklahoma celebrating women working to bridge the gender gap in STEM.
The Oklahoma Women in Technology (OKWIT) annual Gala is the only event in the state of Oklahoma that gathers supporters of Oklahoma’s STEM community to recognize and announce the many accomplishments of women working to make a difference for current and future women in technology.
OKWIT will announce their Trailblazer of the Year and other acclaimed awards at their annual Gala on Saturday, January 25th at Vast in downtown Oklahoma City. This year’s event will be presented by Devon Energy, ONE Gas, Davenport Group, Coretopia, Cox Business Solutions, Pure Storage, Grey Goose and Patron. 100% of proceeds generated from this event support the OKWIT scholarship fund and OKWIT programming held throughout the year in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Ticket sales have ended online, but can be purchased at the door for $125.
OKWIT is a locally originated nonprofit with a mission to increase the number of women entering into technical careers, encourage women to stay in careers while helping confront barriers and challenges they commonly face, and to help promote qualified women into leadership roles. They strive to network, educate and promote women interested in technology and solving technical problems across the state of Oklahoma. To learn more, visit OKWIT.org.
Congratulations to these current and future women in technology who lead others through their shining example in 2019 to bridge the gender gap in STEM in the state of Oklahoma.
Laura Farris, Gordon Cooper Technology Center
Breanna Smith, Mount St. Mary High School
Chelsea Savage, University of Central Oklahoma
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD WINNERS:
Jenn Banda, Software Product Manager, Paycom
Ashley Clayton, Success Coach, Whiteboard Technology
Davaadulam Davaakhuu, Database Developer, ENACOMM Inc.
Devin Elmenhorst, Data Center Compute Executive, Dell EMC
Carrie Engelbrecht, Technical Project Manager, Cox Communications
Rebecca Hartwig, Founder, Hartwig Staffing
Michelle Jarrett, Manager Business Systems, Enable Midstream
Jessica Lippert, Lead Business Analyst, Devon Energy
Davon Olds, Manager II, Computer & Solutions-Server, Dell EMC
Kate Williams, Founder, People First Content
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR:
Kim Thomas, Project Manager, Hospitality Consulting Services, Infor
ADVOCATE MEMBER OF THE YEAR:
Elizabeth Harris, Software Consultant & Developer, Asemio
CONTRIBUTING EXECUTIVE MEMBER OF THE YEAR:
Brandy Semore, Senior Director, IT Services & Engagement, Pinnacle Business Systems
PRESIDENT’S AWARD WINNER:
Jayme Bynum, IT Director, Infrastructure, Energy Transfer
TRAILBLAZER AWARD WINNER:
Bekah Mercer, Director of IT & Marketing, Palomar
This annual OKWIT award is given to a woman who is not only a member of OKWIT, but has proven herself by way of example, to be a trailblazer for women in the technology field. This recognition is vital to encouraging women to not only select a career in technology, but stay the course and reach management levels in IT departments.
In 2019, Bekah launched the CTRL + SHIFT Code School in Oklahoma City to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking begin new careers and escape their abusers. The six-month program at the CTRL + SHIFT Code School should be enough to change the lives of survivors. “I am a woman in tech and I’d love to see more women in tech in our community in Oklahoma City, and I think it’s a great opportunity to really change lives for survivors and their families,” said Bekah.
You can apply to the program or get more information about it here.
For more information on OKWIT, our scholarship and award winners, or our events coming up in 2020, please visit OKWIT.org.