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Connecticut Technology Council Announces Winners of the Sixth Annual Women of Innovation Awards Prog

Women of Innovation Honored at Gala on January 20, 2010

Fifty-nine innovative, outstanding women from across Connecticut were honored January 20th during the sixth annual Women of Innovation awards dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The awards program, sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council, recognizes women in the workforce who are innovators, role models and leaders in the technology, science and engineering fields. Students at both the high school and college level are also recognized. Nearly 600 guests attended this year’s event.

“Many of Connecticut’s most extraordinary and talented women working in technology are here tonight,” said Matthew Nemerson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council. “As each year, this awards gala allows us to put the spotlight on these exceptional innovators and leaders, while also introducing them to a professional network of peers who are equally accomplished.”

In lieu of a keynoter this year, the event featured an after dinner panel discussion moderated by radio and TV personality Diane Smith. The panel, which included Susan Froshauer, the CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Tracy Romano, a researcher at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, and United Technologies Corporation’s corporate pilot Robin Bray, proved to be one of the highlights of the evening with a lively discussion of women’s issues. The panelists touched on such topics as how to increase the number of women in leadership roles and the unique qualities women bring to the workplace that make them a smart hire.

The 2010 Women of Innovation winners are, by category:

Academic Innovation and Leadership

Dr. Marja Hurley, Professor of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center

Dr. Hurley is nationally recognized as an educational leader in the development of innovative programs that have resulted in the matriculation of hundreds of underrepresented students to health professions schools throughout the U.S.

Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Claire Weiss, Doctoral Student, Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut

Ms. Weiss is doctoral student and researcher at the University of Connecticut’s Institute of Materials Science whose varied work could impact the performance of numerous devices used in military, healthcare, energy and commercial applications.

Community Innovation and Leadership

Seema Winsor, Principal Engineer, Pitney Bowes Inc.

Ms. Winsor is the Co-founder of Stamford Robotics and has introduced many of FIRST’s programs to a multitude of young people.

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

Heidi Douglas, Founder, Nuventus LLC

Ms. Douglas, an entrepreneur and innovator who co-founded the tech start-up MysticMD, is now the managing partner of Nuventus LLC, a consulting firm serving small to mid-size high tech and life sciences companies.

Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Christine Marsh, Vice President, Business Analysis, Boehringer Ingelheim  Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ms. Marsh is a member of the senior management team at Boehringer Ingelheim that identifies and defines the goals and objectives that support the growth and top business priorities of the company.

Research Innovation and Leadership

Baikun Li, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut

Dr. Li leads the Bio-energy Production-Wastewater Treatment Group at the University of Connecticut which seeks efficient ways to generate clean energy through wastewater treatment.

Small Business Innovation and Leadership

Julie Pellegrini, Vice President, Graph Logic, Inc

As a senior manager, Ms Pellegrini oversees all business development, client development, product development and sales for her software company


Linda Stahl, Director, Strategic Products, COCC

Ms Stahl has developed, promoted, and supported innovative technologies that have reduced paper and power consumption at community banks and credit unions throughout the Northeastern US.

Youth Innovation and Leadership

Neeharika Krothapalli, Student, Farmington High School

Ms Krothapalli is an exceptional student who has done some extraordinary scientific research including work on extracting and purifying biodiesel from the plant Jatropa curcas.

More information about the CTC Women of Innovation program can be found at:

About the Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council ( is the state’s industry association for the technology sector. CTC’s mission is to “connect people, ideas and opportunities to the global technology and innovation community.” CTC provides members with business assistance and specialized programs, in addition to promoting and supporting public policies that position Connecticut to have a globally recognized “culture of innovation” that helps attract great ideas and entrepreneurs to in turn develop new jobs and wealth for the state.

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