2019 CompTIA AWIT Spotlight Award Winners Take Passion for Leadership, Learning and Mentoring to New Levels

Downers Grove, Ill., July 17, 2019 – Four women who use their unique talents to serve as leaders, mentors and visionaries in their respective communities have been selected as the 2019 Spotlight Award winners by the Advancing Women in Technology Community of CompTIA, the leading technology industry association.

The 2019 Spotlight Award Winners are Destiny Adams, a 2019 graduate of North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, Ga.; Rokeya Jones, senior director, product management, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.; Sarah Massengill, U.S. Air Force; and Sarah Merritt, U.S. Air Force, San Antonio, Texas.

“The individual accomplishments of these four women are truly breathtaking,” said Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president for industry relations at CompTIA. “More inspiring is their commitment and dedication to extending helping hands to others. They epitomize what it means to be leaders, mentors and role models. We are extremely pleased to recognize them as our 2019 Spotlight Award winners.”

Destiny Adams is the 2019 recipient of the CompTIA / ChannelPro Cecilia Galvin Scholarship Award. The scholarship is named in memory of Cecilia Galvin, executive editor at ChannelPro Network and a passionate champion of women in tech who passed away in 2017.

Adams, who will attend Georgia State University this fall, is a leader and role model for other young people who aspire to careers in the tech industry. She has mentored and trained more than 1,000 girls locally and internationally in computer programming. Among her many other accomplishments, she is the STEM youth coordinator for the APEX Museum in Atlanta; has served as the global youth ambassador for STEM Atlanta; established the first all-girls robotics team in Fairburn, Ga,; and founded Destiny Adams International, an organization committed to raising awareness of opportunities in computer science and programming.

Rokeya Jones is the winner of the 2019 Technical Pacesetter Award, presented to an individual with superior technical skills who’s known in her organization and industry for exceptional customer or community service.

Jones mentors hundreds of girls and women on opportunities in tech, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. She has organized and led numerous forums on STEM topics; or working women in tech; and on the importance and value of teamwork in generating ideas and solving problems.

Sarah Massengill was selected as the winner of the 2019 Mentorship Guide Award, which honors someone who lifts up and promotes other women into leadership positions in tech through personal mentoring and one-to-one network building.

Massengill has more than seven years of experience in the technology field and currently leads a team of 46 U.S. Air Force personnel. During her military career she has been honored as Woman of the Year for her duty station and has completed the Air Force’s leadership development program. During that time she has also achieved two CompTIA certifications to validate her tech skills and earned a degree in information systems technology. Massengill is also an active volunteer in her community, supporting several local charities and community groups.

Sarah Merritt received the 2019 Industry Leadership Award, presented to an individual who is leading the technology community through her innovative ideas and participation and engagement in both industry and local community.

Merritt is an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a cyber warfare instructor responsible for the training and development of more than 1,200 cyber warfare, intelligence analysts and cyber defense personnel each year. She has received numerous awards and commendations for her military service and was recently recognized by Western Governors University as a trailblazer in information technology with a passion to encourage women to explore STEM fields. Merritt also earned the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, recognizing the 3,000-plus hours she devotes each year to non-profit groups in her community.

“Beyond our four award winners we received nominations on behalf of dozens of women who are doing amazing things in our industry, each of whom are worthy of our admiration, support and thanks,” Hammervik said.

Industry Leadership Award nominees – Barbara Paluszkiewcz, CDN Technologies; Christine Sanni, Intelisys; Cindy Phillips, CMIT Solutions; Crystal McFerran The 20; Danielle Zebell, 3Eye Technologies; Erin Shaw Crowley, Barracuda MSP; Evey Thallmayer, Belkin; Faye Pressly, Vanti; Isabella de Michelis, Ernieapp Ltd.; Janet Schijns, JS Group; Katerina Berndt,  Compliancy Group; Kim Palmer, On The Ball College; Lisa Brunet, DLZP; Lori Tisinai, Computer Concepts USA; Lorraine Bassett, Amazon; Maria I. Booker, Booker DiMaio, LLC; Michelle Accardi, Star2Star Communications; and Wendy Stewart, DataBank.

Mentorship Guide Award nominees – Indrawattie Hirai, A+ Computer Training Center; Jacqueline Bass, AT&T; Jessica Schroder, TBI, Inc.; Laura Oberle, Star2Star Communications; Lindsay Faria, Barracuda MSP; Lori Tisinai, Computer Concepts USA; Robin Miller, Vault America; Susanne Tedrick, IBM; Tamina Carvell, bChannels; Tiffany Bloomer, Aventis Systems, Inc.; and Tina Gravel, Cyxtera Technologies Inc.

Technical Pacesetter Award nominees – Amy Rich, Oakland Schools; Cindy Phillips, CMIT Solutions, LLC; Colleen Salmon, D&H; Hope Roth, Riordan Brothers Integration; Joanna Stasiołek, Meade’s PC Repair Shop, Inc.; Linh Le, Digeteks LLC; Randell Custer, Mobile Technologies Inc.; and Sheila Jordan, Star2Star Communications.

CompTIA ChannelPro Cecilia Galvin Scholarship Award nominees – Ariana Goldstein, Laurel Dodson, Lauren Haggerty, Renata Finamore and Sarah Patrick.

The 2019 CompTIA AWIT Spotlight Award winners will be honored during the CompTIA Advancing Women in Technology Community meeting at ChannelCon on Monday, August 5. ChannelCon is the technology industry’s premier annual conference for education, networking and partnering. For more information visit ChannelCon 2019.

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