Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 2.35.25 PMSilicon Valley-based non-profit Girls in Tech announced that it will hold its annual Catalyst Conference in downtown Phoenix for the first time Sunday, April 26 through Tuesday, April 28 at the Hotel Palomar and the Arizona Technology Council has come aboard as a Partner Sponsor and has a special discount code (up to 50 attendees get 50 percent off the conference0 price!) for AZTC members.

Girls in Tech is a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of influential women in technology and entrepreneurship. The organization offers initiatives and curriculums for women and girls including mentorship programs, business pitch competitions, online education and more. Founder and CEO Adriana Gascoigne met with Stanton, as well as downtown and economic development experts, in January to discuss the conference opportunity. “There’s excitement and energy buzzing in downtown Phoenix, and Catalyst attendees are going to feel that” said Gascoigne.  “Amazing things can happen when one woman helps another – and together we’re going pave the path for future industry leaders.”

The Catalyst Conference will offer participants a chance to hear from more than 60 notable female speakers – including presidents, CEOs, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and leaders in the tech industry and STEM fields. Attendees will also have access to a broad selection of workshops, panels and hands-on resources to help advance women in technology careers. Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix-based software company WebPT, will speak at the conference about her experience leading one of the fastest-growing software companies in the nation. “This conference is critical – not only to Phoenix’s burgeoning tech scene, but also to the growing number of women pursing careers in technology,” Jannenga said.  “Innovation at its finest can only occur when all great minds are involved.  Thus, it behooves everyone to attend this conference and support Girls in Tech.”

Information about the Catalyst Conference, including registration details can be found online at

WHAT: Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

WHEN: Sunday, April 26 through Tuesday April 28

WHERE: Hotel Palomar Phoenix, CityScape 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Arizona 85004

WHO: Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Edi­tor Of Re/Code; Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO, Girls in Tech; Kate Brodock, President, Girls in Tech; Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and COO, WebPT; City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

More than 40 guest speakers (full list: and more than 300 participants expected to attend.

Thinking about attending? Make sure to use promo code gitccaztc2015 to get 50 percent off your conference registration.

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New Way Academy Part of Social Venture Partners Arizona’s Fast Pitch Competition

AZTC member New Way Academy‘s Abbey Ross is among eight nonprofit leaders who will pitch their passion to an audience of over 400 at the Social Venture Partners Arizona Fast Pitch competition on the evening of Wednesday, March 4 at the Tempe Center of the Arts. These nonprofits and their organizations are competing for a chance to win over $50,000 in prize money to go to their very impactful programs and services.  This event is being presented by Captivation Sponsors Arizona Community Foundation, Mac 6 and the Kiita Foundation. Additional support from Collaboration Sponsors APS, ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, Copper Point Mutual, Go Daddy, High Frequency Entertainment, Osborn Maledon, and SRP make this event possible.

The Eight Finalists Are:
Angels on Patrol - Jacqui MacConnell
Be a Leader Foundation - Gary Trujillo
Neighbors Who Care - Eric Ehst
New Way Academy - Abbey Ross
One Step Beyond, Inc. – Madison Rogers
Phoenix Community Toolbank - Jana Smith
Playworks Arizona - Valencia Winfrey
SOUNDS Academy - Kirk Johnson

For more information on the event and to learn about the ventures pitching, please visit

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Young Latinas get Glimpse of Options

The Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC) and Intel employee are working together to invite middle and high school Latinas to community college campuses to learn more about possible education and career paths in STEM, and listen to other Latinas who have succeeded at these careers.

Members of Intel’s Latina Outreach Working Group noticed that Hispanic pre–college girls were not fully aware of the opportunities available beyond traditional roles. It is through the MCC’s annual Hermanas events they see a way to spread the word.

Hermanas is one of nearly 60 events that MCC campuses are hosting for this year’s statewide SciTech Festival, Arizona’s largest celebration of science and technology. For a list of MCC events open to the public, visit

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New Director of STEM Network

Science Foundation Arizona has named public policy expert Ken Quartermain to be director of its Arizona STEM Network, a collaboration among businesses, educators, government and philanthropy with the common agenda to graduate more Arizona students prepared for the global STEM economy.

For the past six years, Quartermain was government affairs lobbyist for Public Policy Partners, which represents the Arizona Technology Council and its member companies. In his work with the Council, he was responsible for creating and expanding tax policy, capital formation and economic development initiatives.

In addition, Quartermain has represented a number of Arizona school districts, which prompted his passion to put technology and STEM curriculum into every K-12 classroom in the state.

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Study Aid Targets Nursing Students

Picmonic for Nursing beta has been launched as research-proven study aid that uses pictorial mnemonics to help students excel in their nursing studies and improve performance on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX exam). Picmonic is headquartered in Tempe.

Based on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s Exam Statistics & Publications, almost 90,000 (30 percent) of all nursing student exam takers did not pass the NCLEX® exam in 2014 —an increase of 3 percent from 2013.

Research shows that by transforming traditional text-based information into vivid, interactive Picmonics, students can increase their long-term memory retention by more than 300 percent and improve exam performance by 50 percent. More than 28,000 nursing students have already been using the Picmonic for Nursing beta with success.

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IP is Expertise of New Associate

Timothy Fontes has joined the national law firm Polsinelli in its Phoenix office as an associate. He draws upon his combined background of business and technology to provide a broad spectrum of guidance in the areas of trademark, copyright, patent and other forms of intellectual property law.

Fontes will help the firm’s intellectual property clients on technical issues related to medical devices, semiconductors, analog and digital circuits, audiology devices, software, networking and Internet technology, media technology, and other computer electrical and mechanical devices. He earlier was admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Microsoft Vet Joins GoDaddy

Lauren Antonoff, an 18-year veteran leader at Microsoft, has been named senior vice president of digital identity for GoDaddy of Scottsdale. In this new role, Antonoff will lead the effort to focus on enabling small businesses to create and manage all aspects of their digital identity.

At Microsoft, Antonoff had leadership positions across SharePoint, Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and Outlook Express for Mac. She also founded the company’s Step-Up program to increase the number of women in senior management roles by helping participants become stronger candidates.

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CPA named COO for Law Firm

John T. Skewes, a certified public accountant in Arizona and California, has joined Phoenix-based Jennings, Strouss & Salmon as its new chief operating officer. Skewes has been a member of numerous business and civic organizations in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Previously, he served as director of pricing and office manager for the Phoenix office of Clark Hill, a Detroit-based law firm. Skewes’ experience includes economic development of the practice groups and coordination of alternative fee arrangements for clients of multiple practice groups.

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