Join Us for the 2014 WITI Hall of Fame Awards Dinner
The WITI Hall of Fame was established in 1996 by WITI to recognize, honor, and promote the outstanding contributions women make to the scientific and technological communities that improve and evolve our society. On Monday, June 2, 2014, WITI will honor key leaders in science and technology at the 19th Annual WITI Hall of Fame Awards Dinner. Click here to read the press release.
This Year's Honorees
Orna Berry, Ph.D.
Corporate Vice President, Growth and Innovation, EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA and the US, EMC Corporation
Orna Berry is a recognized entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the Israeli science, technology, and venture capital industries. She is known for her efforts to promote excellence, entrepreneurship, and innovation in Israeli society.
Dr. Berry has held a wide range of key positions with significant social and public impact throughout her career. She was a founding partner of Ornet Data Communications Ltd. She held the position of Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Israeli government, served as the Chairperson of the Israeli Venture Capital Funds Association (IVA), and was previously a Venture Partner at Gemini Israel Funds. Dr. Berry has also held a number of positions related to consulting and management of scientific research at Fibronics, IBM, Intel, and UNISYS. She also served as a Director at PrimeSense, which was recently acquired by Apple.
Currently Dr. Berry serves as the Corporate Vice President Growth and Innovation EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA (Israel, Ireland, Russia, and Egypt) and the US (Utah and South Carolina), Chairperson of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce (IACC), representative on IAESI's Board of Directors, and as chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Academic College Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Most recently, she was the recipient of the "Yakirat Ha'Negev" award from Ben Gurion University, which recognized her achievements and excellence in the technology industry, as well as her successful entrepreneurship ventures and profound involvement in establishing an EMC R&D branch in the Negev region.
Founder and Executive Director, Code for America
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a non-profit organization that helps residents and governments harness technology to solve community problems.
Ms. Pahlka is known for her March 2012 TED talk, "Coding a Better Government." She is the recipient of several awards, including MIT's Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute's Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute's Democracy Award. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, Ms. Pahlka ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O'Reilly Media.
A graduate of Yale University, Ms. Pahlka's early career was spent in the non-profit sector. She is currently on a year's leave from Code for America, serving as Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under CTO Todd Park.
Kim Polese is the Chairman of ClearStreet, a financial wellness company that helps people achieve longterm financial health. A longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur and innovator, Ms. Polese began her career at IntelliCorp Inc., helping Fortune 500 companies in the development of expert systems. She subsequently joined Sun Microsystems, and as its founding product manager, led the launch of Java in 1995. She then co-founded Marimba, Inc., which helped to usher in a new era of systems management software for the Internet age. Ms. Polese served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Marimba, leading the company to profitability and a successful public offering prior to its acquisition by BMC Corporation in 2004. She also served as CEO of software company SpikeSource, Inc., which pioneered automated software component management, to simplify and accelerate the use of open source software for business applications.
Ms. Polese serves on several boards, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TechNet, the Public Policy Institute of California, the University of California President's Board on Science and Innovation, and the Long Now Foundation. In 2011 she was named to President Obama's Innovation Advisory Board. Ms. Polese received a Bachelor's degree in Biophysics from UC Berkeley and an Honorary Doctorate in Business and Economics from California State University. An Aspen Institute Crown Fellow, Ms. Polese is the recipient of the numerous awards and recognition including Information Week's "Top Technology Executives," The National Center for Women and Information Technology Innovator Award and Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans".
Senior Vice President, Network & Product Planning, AT&T Services, Inc.
Kris Rinne is responsible for planning the evolution of the AT&T Global IP backbone, mobility core, radio access roadmap, wireless device requirements and certification, and the technical solutions for AT&T's products and services. She and her team also lead the network performance analysis for wireless access, as well as the implementation and expansion of the 4G LTE network. Previously, Ms. Rinne served as Cingular's chief technology officer with similar responsibilities.
Ms. Rinne and her team have been involved in many industry firsts, including the world's first wide scale launch of UMTS/HSPA in 2005, the initial iPhone launch, and the distributed architecture for 4G LTE in 2011.
She is the Chairperson of the Board of Governors for 4G Americas, on the board of the Next Generation Mobile Network organization (NGMN), and is the chairperson emeritus for Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).
Ms. Rinne was named in the "Top 10 Most Influential Women in Wireless" list by Fierce Wireless in 2013 and 2012. In 2012, she was listed in the Top 100 Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector. Most recently, the Wireless History Foundation named Ms. Rinne as a 2013 inductee into the prestigious Wireless Hall of Fame.
Lauren C. States
Vice President, Strategy and Transformation, IBM Software Group
Lauren C. States is Vice President, Strategy and Transformation for IBM's Software Group Sales Division, responsible for the overall sales strategy and go-to-market for IBM's $25B+ software business.
Ms. States has held numerous executive positions within the company: Prior to her current position, she was Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Corporate Strategy, leading the technical strategy for IBM's growth initiatives with a focus on cloud computing, software, and systems technologies.
She has also served as Vice President, Technical Sales for the IBM Software Group, overseeing IBM's technical sales execution for IBM's 5,000+ globally dispersed technical sales professionals.
As a senior executive on IBM's Integration and Values Leadership Team, she was a leader in the company-wide transformation - responsible for the reshaping of IBM's skills development for IBM's 38,000+ sales force. Ms. States began her IBM career in 1978 in New York City as a systems engineer.
Ms. States serves as Chair of the Board of Visitors, Northeastern University, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, and as a member of the Board of Trustees, International House, New York. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).
Ms. States has been recognized with the Federal 100 Award, as well as with the Pioneer Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Conference (BEYA). She holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.