women techConnecticut Technology Council Announces the 2017 Women of Innovation® Finalists and Awards Gala.

HARTFORD:  The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC)  announced the 50 Women of Innovation finalists for its 2017 Women of Innovation awards program.

The finalists  are scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, drafters, entrepreneurs, and technicians from Connecticut’s business, academic and technology community.  There are eight categories [see below] and the finalists will be recognized and a winner will be announced for each category at the Women of Innovation® Awards Gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on March 29 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The women tech leaders live and work in cities and towns from across the Nutmeg state, with representatives from Suffield to Greenwich, from Mystic, to Danbury.

WOI 2015 sponsorsA diverse group of twenty companies are represented by the women innovators as well, from Sikorsky in Stratford, to Sonalysts Studios in Waterford and Bioarray Genetics in Farmington.

More than fifteen different educational institutions have finalists as well, UCONN and Yale, but also University of Bridgeport, University of New Haven, Hamden High and The Gunnery in Sandy Hook among others.

Adda Birnir, Founder and CEO of Skillcrush, “a woman-centric online learning community that helps advance digital skills and creativity” Birnir has been featured on the BBC, Mashable, Fast Company, and Business Insider. Tickets, registration, and details are available online at

Bruce Carlson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council announcing this year’s finalists saying, “the Women of Innovation awards ceremony has honored outstanding women who have made significant professional, academic, and community achievements.”

According to the Council’s release,  “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. Students are judged on inventiveness, accomplishment in science and technology, independent research, and academic achievement. This year’s 50 finalists includes researchers, educators, engineers, managers, students and entrepreneurs who work or study biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices, IT, or associated fields.”

Women of Innovation® is presented in conjunction with the following companies: Day Pitney LLP, Medtronic Inc, and United Technologies Corporation. The program is supported by Pfizer Inc. and Pitney Bowes Inc., with contributions from Premier Limousine and Marcum LLP. 


Women In Innovation Finalists By Category



Jennifer McFadden, Yale University, Madison

Summer McGee, University of New Haven, West Haven

Janice Naegele, Wesleyan University, Middletown

Michelle Bellinger, Academy of Aerospace & Engineering, West Hartford

Nivea Torres, Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS), Middletown



Jun Chen, University of Connecticut, School of Engineering, Storrs

Deborah Dorcemus, University of Connecticut, Danbury

Erin Duffy, Yale University, West Haven

Wafa Elmannai, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport

Manisha Mishra, University of Connecticut, Storrs


Helen Charov, Connecticut Invention Convention, Moodus

Claudine Phaire, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford

Emily Swiatek, Pratt and Whitney, East Hartford


Jessica Angier, Hybrid Intelligence, Inc., Shelton                               

Jessica Bailey, Greenworks Lending, Darien

Wendy Davis, GestVision, Inc., Guilford

Marcia Fournier, Bioarray Genetics, Farmington

Ellen Matloff, My Gene Counsel, LLC, North Haven



Melissa Baran, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford

Vicki Conant, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford

Jennifer Graham, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford

Karen Iannella, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield

Jacqueline Jones, PhD., Medtronic, Branford

Bhagyashree Khunte, Pfizer, Inc., Groton

Jeanne Larsen, UTC Aerospace Systems, Windsor Locks

Ping Liu, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford

Devu Manikantan Shila, Ph.D, United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford

Jennifer McLaurin, UTC Aerospace Systems, Windsor Locks

Lindsay O'Donnell, Sikorsky Aircraft, A Lockheed Martin Company, Naugatuck

Kremena Simitchieva, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield



Susan Baserga, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven

Jinbo Bi, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Alison Gotkin, United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford

Nancy Petry, UConn Health, Farmington

Danyel Racenet, Medtronic, North Haven

Kelly Valentine, Medtronic, North Haven

Christine Wetzel, 3M, Meriden



Margaret Bailey, Sonalysts, Waterford

Jeanine Gouin, Milone & MacBroom, Inc., Cheshire

Chun Li, Diameter Health, Farmington

Mary Ellen Mateleska, Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Mystic

Feliciatas Thurmayr, MD, PhD., Quality Health Ideas, Inc., Suffield

Meghan West, CNC Software Inc /Mastercam, Tolland



Aakshi Agarwal, Hamden High School, Hamden

Margaret Cirino, Greenwich High School, Greenwich

Nickolina Doran, Greater Hartford Academy of Math & Science, Windsor

Madison D'Ostuni, Suffield High School, Suffield

Olivia Hallisey, Greenwich High School, Greenwich

Grace Anne Herrick, The Gunnery, Sandy Hook

Dana Joseph, Engineering & Science University Magnet School, West Haven

“The Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building and assistance for growing companies.” Their website is