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Networking for Good: IT Leaders Share Support for STEM

Technology Ball supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education initiatives by donating net proceeds to its nonprofit beneficiary, MentorNet. [ PHOTO GALLERY ]

Technology Ball, a Dallas Innovates Partner OrganizationMany of Dallas-Fort Worth’s leading CIOs, CTOs, and VPs of IT recently gathered for a Technology Ball kickoff breakfast hosted by Digital Conduit. The Technology Ball will officially begin their 2017 Season with networking-for-good on June 20, but the Kickoff Breakfast provided an early opportunity for networking in support of a STEM education cause.

Notable IT executives were in attendance, including representation from companies such as AT&T, Commercial Metals Company, CROSSMARK, Essilor, Flowserve, Lehigh Hanson, Mary Kay, Omni Hotels & Resorts, On the Border, Overhead Door Corporation, Sabre, and others. The Park City Club overlooking the Dallas skyline served as the backdrop for the event. 

HIGH TECH IN TEXAS 

Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast Speakers Carmen Vitucci, SVP of Sales and Customer Engagement with Qentelli; Holly Reed, Managing Director of External Affairs with Texas Central; and Karen Krygowski Bruno President & Founder of Technology Ball

Breakfast event sponsor Qentelli shared their support for the STEM cause before guest speaker Holly Reed took the microphone. Reed, Texas Central’s Managing Director of External Affairs, gave a presentation on the Texas Bullet Train project. The Texas Bullet Train will be the first high-speed train in the country, connecting Houston to North Texas in less than 90 minutes. It will drive economic growth as it is being built, and when operational, it will create a new high-tech industry in Texas, according to Reed.

STEM CRISIS IMPACT

Technology Ball supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education initiatives by donating net proceeds to its nonprofit beneficiary, MentorNet.

MentorNet encourages students in higher education, by delivering a nationwide social network for one-to-one mentoring with STEM professionals. Each year, millions of STEM jobs go vacant because of a lack of skilled workers. It is predicted that by 2018, approximately 2.4 million STEM jobs will remain unfulfilled. Of the college students who select a STEM degree, only 38% of them persist in their degree, and after graduation, only 62% of them pursue a STEM career. This results in an issue that must be addressed to continue technological advances and sustained economic growth.

MentorNet’s mission aligns with Technology Ball’s philanthropic focus on advancing STEM education and addressing the STEM workforce shortage, and the organization is proud to have facilitated the mentorship of more than two thousand STEM students since its partnership with MentorNet began in 2014.

ONGOING NETWORKING FOR GOOD

The Technology Ball 2017 series of events will continue with the first of three receptions on June 20, and will culminate with a black-tie gala in the fall, highlighting the bright minds impacted through MentorNet’s STEM Education initiatives. Throughout the season, the Technology Ball will gather IT executives and others under the umbrella of raising awareness and dollars in support of this urgent cause.

Many opportunities exist in the technology community to network in a business setting: Technology Ball aims to provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to engage with this community in a social setting – while “giving back” through a common, philanthropic cause.

GALLERY

Robert Hunt, Owner of the Dallas Chapter of Renaissance Executive Forums and Ron Bruno, VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate welcome Rick Martinez CEO of r2 Technologies, Inc. at the check-in table

Guests networking at the Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast

Technology Ball Executive Host, Larry Freed, CIO of Overhead Door Corporation

Technology Ball Executive Host, Walter Meyer, IT Director, CMC International at Commercial Metals Company

Technology Ball Executive Hosts, Janis O’Bryan, Former President of Society for Information Management (SIM) and Earl Barnes, Head of Global Infrastructure at Flowserve

Technology Ball Executive Hosts, Brad Lamar, VP of Information Services at Concentra; Robert Saker, Chief Data Officer at CROSSMARK; and Mark Austin, VP of Big Data at AT&T

Technology Ball Executive Hosts, Elliott Franklin, VP of Infrastructure and Security at Omni Hotels & Resorts and Greg Ericson CIO at Essilor

Technology Ball Executive Host, John Ragsdale, CIO of Senior Care Centers

Technology Ball Executive Host, Jeff Dinard, CIO of On the Border

Amy Grace, Product Manager at Sabre

Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast Speakers Carmen Vitucci, SVP of Sales and Customer Engagement with Qentelli; Holly Reed, Managing Director of External Affairs with Texas Central; and Karen Krygowski Bruno President & Founder of Technology Ball

Karen Krygowski Bruno President & Founder of Technology Ball welcomes attendees

Carmen Vitucci, SVP of Sales and Customer Engagement with Qentelli welcomes attendees

Kickoff Breakfast Guest Speaker Holly Reed, Managing Director of External Affairs with Texas Central, shares an informative and technology-focused update on the Texas Bullet Train Project with the Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast Attendees.

Technology Ball Executive Host Group Photo – companies represented by C-Level or other Senior Technology Decision-Maker Executives at the Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast include Commercial Metals Company, Flowserve, Mary Kay, CROSSMARK, Omni Hotels & Resorts, First United Bank, Goodman Networks, On the Border, Lehigh Hanson, AT&T, DAVACO, Essilor, PLH Group, Inc., Overhead Door Corporation, DataScan, Senior Care Centers, Concentra, Sabre, Society for Information Management, and Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

Guests networking at the Technology Ball Kickoff Breakfast

 

Karen Krygowski Bruno is President and Founder of Digital Conduit and the Technology Ball, and orchestrates the vision for Technology Ball galas and events. Prior to launching Digital Conduit, Bruno (...)

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