The joint meeting of the RTP Association of IT Professionals (AITP) and the local network of Women in Technology International (WITI) has become an annual event. At the meeting on Thursday, March 9, we will have a panel discussion to examine the role of women in technology in general; why they enter the field and what keeps them there, as well as women in Information Technology in particular.
North Carolina area female leaders, executives and STEM professionals will discuss how to facilitate women getting into technology and IT careers and progression to leadership roles.
Featured Speaker(s)Annette Foster
Annette Foster is a 40+ year IT professional who has managed IT departments and projects in businesses, managed Professional Services in several software companies, and worked as an outside consultant for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies in a variety of industries. She is the founder of L. A. Foster & Associates, a consulting company focusing on aligning technology projects with the business needs to insure the delivery of business value. She has a MS in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA in Finance from UNC-Greensboro. She is a longtime member of the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and the Triangle Technology Executive Council (TTEC).
Victoria Thio has been interested in science and math since elementary school. Her love for science and math continued to grow and took off to another level after taking computer programming courses. Victoria joined IBM as a computer programmer and has been there for over 33 years. She is currently a software development manager in the Watson Financial Services Sector.
One of Victoria's passions is enabling and inspiring others, especially women, to pursue and be successful in STEM careers. She is an IBM RTP Women in Technology co-lead, an IBM NCSU Pathfinder Mentoring Core Team member, and a Women and Math Mentoring Program Planning Committee member. Victoria organizes engineering workshops for students to provide hands on and interactive experiences with STEM related activities. She also participates in events that provide technical and career growth opportunities for our future leaders and engineers.
Sandra K. Johnson Ph.D.
Sandra K. Johnson is the CEO, SKJ Visioneering, LLC, an IT consulting firm. Some of her previous roles include CTO, IBM Central, East and West Africa, Business Development Executive and Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Middle East and Africa, and CTO, IBM Global Small and Medium Business.
She has conducted research in several computer performance related areas, has received numerous technical and professional awards, and is a Master Inventor with over 40 issued and pending patents. She has expert certifications in Cloud+ and Security+ from CompTIA. Dr. Johnson earned B.S. (summa cum laude), M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering, from Southern University, Stanford University, and Rice University, respectively, becoming one of the first African-American women to earn a Ph.D. in this field.
Belinda Weinbrecht has worked at SAS institute for 35 years, growing with the company as it expanded. Belinda is an experienced technology professional managing Research and Development for Marketing Operations at SAS. Belinda has led diverse teams of professionals throughout her career with a focus on identifying, analyzing and improving existing business processes to meet new goals and objectives in the business. These processes span planning and budgeting to executing and analysis, all with the goal of increasing profits and performance while reducing costs and accelerating schedules.
As an R & D Director for Marketing Operations, she provides leadership for those involved in the development, design, and optimization of technical information system platforms specifically designed for Marketing. She is responsible for the strategic and global aspects of all functional areas within her department and maintains the operational and personnel budget.
Teena began her technical career as an international consultant, and joined BellSouth Long Distance in 1999 to spearhead a joint venture between BellSouth and Qwest. In 2013, she was appointed by officers of AT&T as vice president responsible for setting up a Big Data organization from the ground up to include - business operations, culture, facilities, records management, disaster recovery, college hiring, hiring program, program and project management.
In 2015, Teena moved to Fidelity Investments as SVP QA/Release Management and Automation groups. In 2016 she accepted a new role, SVP Enterprise-wide Technology for Product 2.0, Application Modernization, Cloud Strategy and Data.
In 2015, Teena won the IT Executive of the Year award at Innotech, Diversity Champion Award at AT&T and the Women of Color Community Service of Excellence award. She is a noted industry speaker on Big Data, Cloud, Cyber Security, Leadership, Diversity and STEM. She volunteers over 500 hours each year to STEM and diversity initatives. Teena packs her own sunshine 86,400 seconds a day!
Senior-level human resources professional with superior strengths in leadership, talent management, workforce development, and strategic program design and implementation, recognized for the design of complex and cutting-edge business solutions, as well as the deployment of multi-national performance enhancement programs.