This special edition of Atlanta Technology Leaders focuses on The Women In Technology Foundation (WIT) and their upcoming signature event: The 20th Annual WIT Connect Presented by Dell. Featuring guest interviews with WIT Foundation’s Board President, Denise Reese and WIT Connect Co-Chairs, Jay Ferro and Lisa McVey.
WIT Connect presented by Dell brings together hundreds of Georgia’s leading technology executives and up-and-coming professionals for an entertaining evening of networking and competitive bidding at the Georgia Aquarium. Executives from Aaron’s, Cox Communications, NCR, Novelis, SunTrust, the Weather Company and many more have donated their time to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Proceeds from this unique executive auction benefit the WIT Foundation’s free career programs, Girls Get IT and WIT on Campus, aimed at encouraging middle, high school and college aged women to continue pursuing their interests in STEM education and careers. Since 2008, WIT Connect has raised more than $1.5 million to support WIT’s mission to serve as passionate advocates for advancing women in Georgia’s STEM industries.
Thursday, June 12th marks the 20th anniversary of WIT Connect led by Co-Chairs, Lisa McVey and Jay Ferro.
For more information on WIT Connect, visit www.mywit.org.
Denise Reese is Director, Business Development with Endava US LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Endava UK Limited, a leading IT Services and Consulting firm with operations in London, Germany The US and Central Eastern Europe. In her role, Denise leads all Business Development activities for Endava in the Atlanta market.
Denise has spent more than a decade in Sales and Strategic Alliances for several major IT Services and Software organizations and has held positions both in The United States and Europe. Her experience spans multiple disciplines including Identity and Access Management, IT Security and Regulatory Compliance Management.
Denise has built a brand rooted in developing trusted advisor relationships with her clients. This, coupled with a keen ability to build repeatable and sustainable revenue generating opportunities, has afforded Denise with the opportunity to achieve significant milestones for the firms she’s worked with. During her tenure with Wipro Technologies, a leading IT Services, Consulting and Business Process Outsourcing Organization headquartered in Bangalore, India, she secured Wipro’s 1st and largest Hospitality Client in the US and was a multi -million dollar contributor to the RCTG (Retail, CPG, Transportation and Government) Business Unit.
Denise holds an MBA in Strategic Management from The Henley Business School in The United Kingdom. Her dissertation research focused on the importance of businesses adapting a sound IT Security and Risk policy. During her MBA Program, she completed her International Business Experience in Hong Kong. This allowed her the opportunity to analyze and provide strategic direction to Asia-Pacific companies in multiple industries including Manufacturing, Retail, and Public Sector.
Denise is passionate about serving in the community and embodies the qualities of a true Servant Leader. She served as Board Chair of the University Community Academy Board of Directors from 2009-2012. She is currently President of The Women in Technology (WIT) Foundation Board, the philanthropic arm of Women In Technology, Inc. Additionally, she serves as Executive Advisor to WIT’s “WIT on Campus “ Program and is also responsible for developing Strategic Relationships for The WIT Foundation. Denise also had the honor of being a contributing author to WIT’s leadership book CLIMB: Leading Women in Technology Share Their Journey’s to Success. Denise also serves on the Board of Directors for Cool Girls, Inc. where she has held positions as both Board Development and Resource Development Chair. She was also Event Chair for Cool Girls’ signature fundraiser, Hot Pink Party 2013. She had the privilege of being a 2012 Girls, Inc. “Strong Smart and Bold” Award Nominee and was recently bestowed the honor of serving on the Judges Panel for Distinguished Young Women’s (formerly Junior Miss) 2013 National Finals. Denise was a Founding Board Member and Director of Development for the Greater Atlanta Professional Chapter of Women MBA’s International, formerly known as NAWMBA – National Association of Women MBA’s. Recently, Denise was inducted into the Financial Times/European Business School’s Women on Board Initiative, “Global Board Ready Women.” This groundbreaking program is a global database of 8000 high achieving women in business and supports greater gender diversity on publicly quoted company boards in Europe. Denise is also a member of the National MS Society of Georgia’s MS Leadership 2014 Class.
Jay Ferro, CIO for the American Cancer Society, is responsible for the people, strategy and operations of the global information technology of the organization. Ferro joined the Society’s executive staff in 2012, bringing a deep personal connection to the fight against cancer. In 2007, he founded the nonprofit group Priscilla’s Promise, in honor of his late wife, who died from cancer. Priscilla’s Promise raises funds for cervical cancer education and research; Ferro currently serves as the group’s executive director. Ferro was selected as Georgia CIO of the Year in 2011, and is currently serving as chair for the Georgia CIO Leadership Association. His commitment and dedication to community involvement is evidenced by the time and energy he contributes. In addition to his work with Priscilla’s Promise, in 2011, he was elected to the board of directors for TechBridge, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits use technology to improve their capability to serve the community.