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Annie Lamont to Headline 15th Annual Women of Innovation

Fifty finalists will be honored at gala program on Wednesday, March 27


EAST HARTFORD, CT (February 28, 2019) – The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) is pleased to announce the 50 women who have been selected as Women of Innovation® finalists for the 15th Annual Women of Innovation awards program. This program seeks to celebrate and create a growing network of women in the trenches of STEM. Finalists are the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who create tomorrow’s advancements through their efforts in Connecticut today.

The finalists will be recognized at the Women of Innovation awards gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on March 27 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. A winner in each of the eleven award categories will be announced live during the program, which will be emceed by Jocelyn Maminta, anchor and reporter at WTNH News 8. Additionally, one organization will be recognized for its outstanding contribution to STEM equitability and inclusion in Connecticut.

The 2019 Women of Innovation keynote speaker will be Annie Lamont, one of the nation’s leading women in healthcare and financial technology investing and current first lady of Connecticut. She is the co-founder and managing partner of Oak HC/FT, a venture capital firm that invests in early and growth stage tech-enabled companies shaping the future of healthcare information and financial services. She has more than 30 years of experience as a venture capitalist investing in transformative companies and entrepreneurs.

Lamont is well known as a leading healthcare and fintech investor, appearing on the Forbes Midas List, Institutional Investor’s FinTech Finance 40 list, and the Top 100 Venture Capitalist rankings published by CB Insights and The New York Times. She was the first recipient of the National Venture Capital Association’s award for Excellence in Healthcare Innovation.

She serves as a core participant of the Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary’s Innovation and Investment Summit (DSIIS), a collaboration between HHS and healthcare innovation and investment professionals to discuss the healthcare landscape, emerging opportunities, and the government’s role in facilitating accelerated innovation and investment. Earlier in Lamont’s career, she developed a number of successful biotechs including Cephalon, ViroPharma, and Esperion.

“The Women of Innovation event brings together leaders and innovators from across Connecticut–and I’m thrilled to be a part of it as the new President of CTC,” said Derek Slap, who took over that role in January. “At a time when women are still under-represented in the STEM fields, it’s so important to celebrate their contributions and highlight their successes.”

“I can honestly say that Women of Innovation changed my life,” added Severine Zygmont, President of Oxford Performance Materials and Board Chair of CTC. “I first learned about the Connecticut Technology Council when I was nominated for this award. I loved what I saw in CTC, and I became more involved. I met so many amazing people along the way and found opportunities to grow our business. So when I was selected to chair the board of directors, I felt like everything had come full circle.”

Women of Innovation finalists are nominated by their peers, coworkers, and mentors, and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. This year’s 50 finalists include researchers, educators, engineers, managers, students, and entrepreneurs who work in or study biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices, IT, and associated fields.

High school, undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated extraordinary and unique achievements in their technology disciplines are also among the finalists. Students are judged on inventiveness, STEM accomplishments, independent research, community service, and academic achievement.

The Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation program is presented by Medtronic. Lead sponsors for the event are Datto, Day Pitney, and United Technologies. Additional support is provided by Axinn, iDevices, Pfizer, and Pullman & Comley. Production sponsor is HB Communications, and media partner for the event is WTNH News 8.

Tickets, registration, and details are available at

Below is a list of the 2019 Women of Innovation by category, with their affiliated organizations:

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Reem Alattas, Rumble Helmet LCC Elena Cahill, Globele Energy and University of Bridgeport Ann Flynn, IQ Telecom Shana Schlossberg, Upward

Small Business Innovation and Leadership (100 or fewer employees) Finalists

Pamela Gupta, OutSecure Inc. Karen Murdoch, Skyre, Inc Mia Sumra, Scroll Network

Medium Business Innovation and Leadership (101-499 employees) Finalists

LeeAnn Maryeski, Sonalysts Stacie Ropka, Ph.D., J.D., Axinn Sharon Traficante, Connecticut Airport Authority

Large Business Innovation and Leadership (500+ employees) Finalists

Amy Antipas, Pfizer Beatriz Blanco, Momentive Performance Materials May Corn, United Technologies Research Center Ruth Frank, Pitney Bowes Inc. Parutta Leeyawanich, Pitney Bowes Inc. Jamie Perry, COCC Tara Rahemba, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Sally Gut Ruggeri, Pfizer Sarita Sahoo, Infosys Limited Kathleen Zandi, Pfizer

Research Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Jinbo Bi, University of Connecticut School of Engineering Lakshmi Nair, UConn Health School of Medicine Julia Oh, The Jackson Laboratory Bing Yan, University of Connecticut

Community Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Sarita Arteaga, DMD, UConn Health School of Dental Medicine Jean Forsyth, Cyient Patrice Gans, Random Hacks of Kindness Junior, Inc. Marie-Claire Peakman, Pfizer

Youth Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Julia Hoffman, The Loomis Chaffee School Hiba Hussain, Greenwich High School Raina Jain, Greenwich High School Melina Joseph, Engineering and Science University Magnet School Annika Morgan, Joel Barlow High School Elyece Patterson, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy

Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Stephanie Johnson, The Country School Karen Kaplan, Hamden Public Schools Katherine Nuzzo, Joel Barlow High School

Post-Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Maria Chrysochoou, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut School of Engineering Bama Govindaraja, Pitney Bowes Inc. Laura Grabel, Wesleyan University

Collegian Innovation and Leadership Finalists

Valentina Baena, UConn Health Yan Li, University of Connecticut ECE Department Maryam Pardakhti, University of Connecticut School of Engineering

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalists

Shoshannah Burnett, Sikorsky Aircraft – Lockheed Martin Katherine Coyner, UConn Health Christina Guzman-Toro, Pratt & Whitney Kari Mull, Medtronic Stephany Santos, University of Connecticut School of Engineering Devra Sisitsky, McEIVR Inc. (501c3)/MakerspaceCT Alice Turner, URISE Ventures Maranda Wong, Pratt & Whitney

About The Connecticut Technology Council

Celebrating its 25th year of operation in 2019, the Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology-oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building, and support for growing companies. The mission of the Connecticut Technology Council is to spark innovation, cultivate tech talent, foster business growth, advocate for industry-beneficial law and policy, expand the scope of industry networking and professional development, and celebrate industry achievements in the state. The CTC seeks to serve Connecticut’s technology ecosystem by providing leadership, support, mentoring, and advocacy to companies across every industry and at every stage of growth. For more information, visit

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