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16th Global Edition of Women in Leadership Economic Forum

This is a press release from The Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum

16th Global Edition from 19-20 November to Focus on Gender Parity, Women's Empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion Dubai-UAE: 22 October, 2014 - naseba, a French business facilitation company with on-the-ground presence in major cities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced Cherie Blair, QC, CBE, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, will headline the 16th global edition of the Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum as keynote speakers.

Focusing on womenomics, Cherie Blair will discuss the global importance of women's economic empowerment and offer solutions to the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in today's dynamic business landscape. Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, for her part, will address the need to redesign economies to ensure greater inclusiveness of women in societies.

To run in Dubai from 19-20 November at the Meydan Hotel under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy, the 16th edition of the forum will convene thought leaders from around the world to discuss issues on women's empowerment. The event will primarily focus on diversity and inclusion strategies, women shaping the future of investments, the role of women in corporate governance, challenges faced by women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as the media's role in positioning women in business, politics and leadership. Edie Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors, will be moderating the panel discussion, How Women in STEM Fields Can Thrive.

Sophie Le Ray, Chief Executive Officer of naseba and Founder of the WIL Series, said: "We are delighted to have Cherie Blair and Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor headlining the 16th edition of the Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum. As global agents of change, the two thought leaders have dedicated their lives to promoting gender equality through community initiatives and advocacy."

Ahead of the forum, Cherie Blair said: "It is vital that we support women's economic empowerment if we want to see development and growth. My Foundation's mission is just this - to provide women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies with confidence, capability and capital so they can grow their businesses, create employment opportunities, and have a stronger voice in their societies. I look forward to sharing some of my experiences at the WIL Economic Forum in Dubai."

Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Hon Prime Minister of Malaysia, said: "The future world is certain to bring in unexpected challenges. However, it will also offer greater opportunity for the progress of humankind. More than ever before, women must use their influence, creativity and innovation to inspire changes in shaping the future of our world."

The WIL Forum's series of initiatives has been actively promoting economic empowerment of women as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace since its launch in 2009. The event is organized under the patronage of UAE Ministry of Economy and supported by the United Nations Global Compact, Women in Global Business and the GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI). Representing GCC BDI at the forum is the institute's Chairman Mutlaq Al Morished, who also serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Sabic Capital. On their participation at the forum he noted "this forum is an excellent platform to raise awareness amongst seasoned business leaders on how to elevate governance standards and our Women on Boards initiative. There is a strong fit with the forum's vision to promote women's economic empowerment and diversity and inclusion in the workplace."

Event sponsors for the 16th edition include multinational business organizations Pfizer, Roche, Coca-Cola, London Business School, FedEx, Turkish Airlines, AIG and APCO Worldwide.

About Women in Leadership Economic Forum:
Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy, the 16th Global edition of the Women in Leadership Economic Forum (November 19-20, 2014 at Meydan Hotel, Dubai) is focused on making change happen and convenes 300 global influential business and thought leaders to discuss key issues - opportunities and challenges - encountered by women in leadership today. The annual event is organized by naseba, a French business facilitation company with on-the-ground presence in major cities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. naseba provides business solutions to executives, investors, leaders and thinkers and collaborates with key figures in media, industry and academia. Since its inception in 2002, naseba has organized over 500 events and hosted more than 65,000 executive delegates globally. About the speakers
Wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, leading lawyer and committed campaigner for women's equality, Cherie Blair, QC, CBE, is the Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She became a Queen's Counsel in 1995 and is a part-time sitting judge, accredited mediator and international arbitrator. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor is the President of the Welfare Association of Minister's Wives (BAKTI) and Patron for various associations including Children in Hope Foundation, Malaysia Aids Council, National Heart Institute Foundation, Thalassemia Association, National Athletes' Welfare Association, and Foundation for the Development of Underprivileged Children. She is also passionate about advancing women's representation in society through focusing on issues such as empowerment of women, gender equality and uplifting the economic status of women.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Cook
, APCO Worldwide

Direct: +971 4 369 2929 
Mobile: +971 55 597 5744
 Fax: +9714 388 8001 


Vision ME, New iPad Classroom Workflow Management App, Now Available

The following is a press release from Netop.
Yesterday, Netop announced that the Vision ME iPad classroom workflow app, designed to make teaching in iPad classrooms easier and more effective, is now available in the App Store.
"Teachers are hungry for a simple, engaging way to teach in paperless classrooms,” said Kurt Bager, CEO of Netop. “Our commitment is to create solutions that help teachers use technology in ways that maximize instructional time. We’re confident that Vision ME will allow educators to more effectively and easily integrate iPads into teaching and learning.” 
Vision ME combines teaching tools with mobile device management (MDM) capabilities to provide a classroom workflow app that engages students and improves learning outcomes in iPad classrooms. It allows teachers to present lessons directly on classroom iPads, showcase student work, blank student screens, block Internet access with the click of a button, administer web-based tests and quizzes, and more.
“Teachers who participated in Vision ME beta testing told us that they believe the product has the potential to  change the way educators think about teaching in iPad classrooms,” said Ronny Tovgaard, Netop’s senior vice president of education. “They love the collaborative features, such as the screen sharing and chat functions. They also like the MDM-supported functions, such as the ability to block and focus student internet activity. Above all, teachers want the ability to actively engage students while maintaining a certain level of control in a classroom of devices—Vision Me gives them that.” 
About Netop
Netop develops market leading software solutions that connect people with computers and smart devices, using remote access, screen-sharing and video chat technologies. Millions of users count on Netop to make 100 million swift, secure and seamless connections every day. 
Netop software connects more than 6 million teachers and students, helping schools transform education and improve learning outcomes with tools that make teaching with technology easier and more effective.  
Headquartered in Denmark, Netop has offices in the United States, China, Romania and Switzerland, and customers in 105 countries. The company is privately held. Read more at



100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Ann Cairns of MasterCard

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Ann Cairns, president, international markets at MasterCard.

Ann Cairns, MasterCard

Ann Cairns
President, International Markets
MasterCard Worldwide

Ann Cairns is president, International Markets for MasterCard Worldwide, responsible for the management of all markets and customer-related activities in more than 210 countries and territories outside of North America. As a member of the company’s Executive Committee and based in London, England, Ms. Cairns leverages the company’s seamless global structure and presence to the benefit of all stakeholders. Prior to joining MasterCard in August 2011, Ms. Cairns was a managing director and head of the Financial Industry Services group for Europe with Alvarez & Marsal in London. From 2008 to 2011, Cairns led the European team managing the estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings International through the Chapter 11 process.

Previously, Ms. Cairns was Chief Executive Officer, Transaction Banking at ABN-AMRO in London. Prior to joining ABN-AMRO, Ms. Cairns spent 15 years in senior operational positions at Citigroup, including Chief Operating Officer, e-Business, where she led U.S., European and Japanese operations. Ms. Cairns also served as Trustee of Charity Bank in the UK. At the start of her career, Ms. Cairns spent time as an award-winning research engineer, culminating as the head of Offshore Engineer-Planning for British Gas. Ms. Cairns received a B.Sc. in Pure Mathematics at Sheffield University and an M.Sc in Statistics from Newcastle University, U.K.

About MasterCard

MasterCard is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

Ann on Diversity and STEM

Why do you believe STEM Education/workforce development is critical to our nation's future?

Today, we’re living in a world that is increasingly digital. These digital lives and related devices – smartphones, laptops and wearables, not to mention the payments business – exist because of advancements in technology. Money, in some form, has existed since the beginning of time. We’re already seeing the use of money in the form of cash and check decline and the use of electronic payments increase. Keep in mind, we’re at the beginning of this journey as more than 80 percent of the world’s retail transactions are still done in cash and check. But, this transformation is creating new industries that didn’t exist a decade ago. Our future relies on the continued education of tomorrow’s leaders and engineers. Without a passionate support of STEM principles, our way of life and competitive advantage may be threatened.

How does MasterCard encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects?

Earlier this year, we launched Girls4Tech, a hands-on, inquiry-based program that connects the foundations of our business to STEM principles. Through the one-day curriculum, we hope to use our employees as role models and mentors to shows students that it takes all kinds of interests and skills to pursue a career in STEM. The curriculum is based on global science and math standards and was created in conjunction with our top engineers and technologists. We look forward to building on the momentum of this pilot to inspire young women to pursue their education and future careers.

What Employee Resource Groups does your company have in place?

Eight Business Resource Groups – with over 4,000 members – have been established with chapters across the globe, comprised entirely of volunteers who are drawn together in common interests that are typically not in their job descriptions. These BRGs represent the diverse nature of our employees, including gender, race, sexual orientation and experience. Diversity of culture, experience and thought all drive innovative thinking. And, it’s a priority that has been woven into the fabric of our operations, with our CEO personally chairing our executive diversity council.

How do you translate your work into innovation?

In the near term, the future of money is about innovations like chip cards, digital wallets or biometrics like a fingerprint or retina scan that increase security and reduce fraud. In the longer term, we will work to move toward a new landscape where technology will help overcome the challenge of exclusion around the world, in both developed and developing countries. Look at South Africa where millions are getting their social benefits through debit cards with biometric technology built into them. Before this program, Hilda, a 77-year-old woman, was anonymous and subject to harassment by her own relatives who would forcibly take her cash. Now, she has an identity inside of South Africa, greater control of her money and more security.

The UN World Food Programme is using MasterCard technology to provide more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan with prepaid cards. These are reloaded every month and are designed to help those in need buy the food they need from local stores. It’s this future that exists because advancements in technology have and will continue to lead to unprecedented potential for economic growth and productivity.

2014 CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition Draws More Than 2,100 Teams, Breaks All Time Registration Record

This is a press release from The Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 20, 2014 (PRNewswire) | The Air Force Association announced today that CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, closed out their registration period with more than 2,150 teams hailing from all 50 states, Canada and DoD Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific.  CyberPatriot is beginning its seventh competition season with a 40 percent increase in total registrations from last year, reaching thousands of students in the United States and beyond.
Last year's team registrations totaled 1,566 with 69 of those teams competing in the middle school division.  This competition season marks the fourth consecutive year for reaching participants in all 50 states. The Open Division, consisting of teams not affiliated with any of the military branches, experienced particularly strong growth this competition season. 
"Our registration numbers prove that CyberPatriot is growing immensely, all the while making a lasting STEM impact on our participants," said Brigadier General Bernard Skoch (USAF Ret.), CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "The middle school division is only in its second year, yet nearly 200 teams have registered.  We are very pleased and couldn't be more excited about the upcoming competition season."
CyberPatriot greatly expanded its reach in recent years with the unveiling of a middle school division in the competition in 2013, a successful summer pilot of AFA CyberCamps in 2014, and an anticipated launch of the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative later this year. CyberPatriot also extended its competition this year to the United Kingdom, under the name CyberCenturion.  In partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK and Northrop Grumman, the UK's competition is now underway.
"The success of CyberPatriot is phenomenal," said Diane Miller, Northrop Grumman program director, CyberPatriot.  "The 40 percent growth in just one year is proof that we're exciting youth about education and career opportunities in STEM and more specifically, cyber defense.  The Northrop Grumman Foundation is proud to partner with the Air Force Association in making this tremendous positive impact on a very diverse population of youth as they prepare to become our future cyber workforce."
Created by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot seeks to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. With Round 1 set for Oct. 24-26, 2014, teams across the country and in other parts of the world will compete in a series of online rounds to determine finalists for an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in the nation's capital in March 2015.
CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship STEM program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. Students in the program also gain valuable knowledge from the expertise of CyberPatriot's many supporters, including the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor. Other program sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, USA Today,  the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors URS, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College.
For more information about CyberPatriot, please visit Information is also available from the CyberPatriot staff at
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:
  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
  • ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
  • SUPPORT the Total Air Force family and promote aerospace education.
AFA has 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing more than 95,000. Visit AFA at  
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Lorinda Burgess of Medtronic

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Lorinda Burgess, vice president, finance and customer care US region at Medtronic.

Lorinda Burgess, Medtronic

Lorinda Burgess
Vice President of Finance and Customer Care US Region
Medtronic, Inc.

Lorinda Burgess is Vice President of Finance and Customer Care for Medtronic’s US Region.  She is a Certified Public Accountant and has been with Medtronic since 1998.  Ms. Burgess is responsible for the overall vision, strategic development and direction of the Customer Care organization that has over 400 customer service employees and 70 Accounts Payable/finance employees who serve a diverse customer base including hospital administrators, physicians and patients.  The organization includes Customer Service and Support, the Contact Center, the Call Center and Customer Finance. Burgess was formerly Vice President of Finance for Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) Sales and Marketing Business Unit.

Burgess earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Business Administration from The Ohio State University.  She is a member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  Ms. Burgess serves on the board of directors of Hamline University and currently mentors more than 20 financial and operational professionals within Medtronic.  

About Medtronic, Inc.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) is the world’s largest independent medical technology company.  At the core of all we do is our Mission: to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life.  The company is in more than 140 countries and employs 49,000 people, including 5,800 scientists and engineers, pursuing research and innovation that has led to more than 28,000 patents.We believe the key to innovation is collaboration.  Last year more than 9 million people worldwide relied on our therapies, which treat many conditions including cardiac and vascular diseases, diabetes, and neurological and spinal conditions. If you are interested in sharing your medical technology product and service inventions or concepts with us, or want to learn about The Medtronic External Research Program, visit

Lorinda on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM education/workforce development critical to the future of our nation?

The National Science Foundation has alerted us that 80% of jobs in the next decade will require STEM skills.  The United States Department of Commerce estimates that by 2018, the US will have 1.2 million unfilled jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields because the workforce will not possess the necessary skills or interest to fill them.  Part of this need is due to the aging workforce of baby boomers nearing retirement.  If we fail to act on STEM education, we will not have the talent to provide the products and services needed for the 21st century workforce.

For the US to remain the global innovation leader, we simply must make the most of all of the potential STEM talent this country has to offer.  Underrepresented minorities must be included in the STEM educated talent pool. STEM is also critical to the success of our domestic workforce, local economies and issues of governance on our own soil. In fact, 7 of the 10 projected fastest-growing occupations over the next ten years are in STEM fields. STEM occupations are expected to grow twice as fast (17%) in the next ten years.

How do we encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects, particularly women and underrepresented minorities?

At Medtronic we encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects through mentoring programs and internships. We provide INROADS students with paid internships.  The INROADS organization places talented underserved youth in business and industry.  Medtronic has two programs for highly talented MBA students: the MBA Associate Program and the Leadership Development Rotation Program. Our Summer Associate Program offers technical internships to top undergraduate and graduate engineering students.

We must reach students as early as kindergarten to keep them in the STEM pipeline because by high school many have dropped out of this track.  We know from the successful STEM work of the National Society of Black Engineers’ Summer Engineering for Kids (SEEK) program - as well as the work of Dr. Freeman Hrabowski at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) - that it is possible to engage the interests of women and underrepresented minority students at a young age and to keep these and other students on-track through college, graduate and even post-graduate school. SEEK’s “free, three week program is a STEM pipeline designed to expose African American children to STEM fields as early as the third grade through the twelfth grade.”  Now operating in 12 cities, SEEK is the largest STEM program for African American children and mentors in the nation. During these summer programs, students are introduced to foundational math, science and engineering concepts through fun, hands-on activities, such as building and launching a rocket or creating a fragrance.  They work in teams and are coached by trained mentors – responsible college and graduate students they can look up to and admire.

Parents must also be part of the agenda to encourage students to stay engaged in STEM education.  Through effective partnering with schools and community agencies we can increase STEM awareness amongst the parents.  We can help them explore and understand the possibilities and hope that exist for their children’s future with strong science, technology, engineering and math skills.

What traits do corporate leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM education today?

Corporate leaders must have an awareness and understanding of the strategic role STEM education plays in the success of our nation and our companies.  With this top of mind, corporate leaders must establish and maintain partnerships with universities and technical colleges.  This collaboration can provide needed insight into the future skills needed in the workplace.  Corporate leaders can also collaborate with private, public and non-profit sectors to support STEM education.  Internally, leaders can collaborate with ERG groups to mentor and support those who have the aptitude for STEM.

Leaders must be mentors and coaches who have a commitment to corporate citizenship.  At Medtronic, our Mission in Motion program supports this with a global network of employee volunteers.  We established the Medtronic Global Mentoring Program and Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) to increase employee development opportunities.

2014 PLTW Summit Brings Together Nation’s Top STEM Education Advocates, Leaders, and Learners

This is a press release from PLTW

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 20, 2014) | Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, has announced the complete lineup of keynote speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters for the 2014 PLTW Summit, Nov. 2-5, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The 2014 PLTW Summit will bring together nearly 1,500 educators and leaders in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors who work together every day to help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The national event will serve as a catalyst for collaboration and strategies that can help solve the education and workforce development challenges facing our nation.
In addition to previously announced speakers Dr. William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education; Jeff Charbonneau, the 2013 National Teacher of the Year; and Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, keynote speakers for the 2014 PLTW Summit will include:
  • Dr. Cheryl Schrader, chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology – Dr. Schrader is the 21st leader in Missouri S&T’s 144-year history and one of the few female engineers to ascend to the top leadership position of a college or university in the United States. She is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from the White House. USA Today recently ranked Missouri S&T third among the best engineering colleges in the United States.
  • Eunice Heath, global director for sustainability, business engagement, and education at The Dow Chemical Company – Heath leads Dow Chemical Company’s involvement in developing sustainable products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. She is a member of Dow’s Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Council and a passionate mentor for women in STEM fields. Heath’s first-hand experiences clearly demonstrate the need for a talented next generation workforce trained in STEM fields.
  • Julian Rimoli, Goizueta Junior Faculty Professor and assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology – Problem solving and problem-based learning are cornerstones of Rimoli’s educational philosophy and his research in the field of computational solid mechanics. His work has been highlighted by the American Society for Engineering Education. A native of Argentina, Rimoli came to the U.S. for graduate school at the California Institute of Technology where he earned his Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in aeronautics. He has also served as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram will deliver the closing remarks on the final day of the event.
The PLTW Summit will also feature student presentations from students at five PLTW schools, including the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin, Texas); San Jose High School (San Jose, California); Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma); Greenfield-Central High School (Greenfield, Indiana); and Gulliver Preparatory School (Coral Gables, Florida). The schools and their students exemplify PLTW’s approach to student learning, teaching, and community engagement. They excel in connecting their classrooms to the real world and making learning relevant for their students. Students from these schools will share their projects and stories to inspire PLTW Summit attendees with ideas they can take back to their own communities and students.
The 2014 PLTW Summit is hosted in partnership with Chevron.
PLTW extends a special thanks to Hewlett-Packard Company/Intel Corporation. Hewlett-Packard Co. is the official Technology Partner of the PLTW Summit.
PLTW also thanks Autodesk, National Instruments, Intelitek, Vernier, and Zahourek Systems for their support and sponsorship of the PLTW Summit.
For more information or to register for the 2014 PLTW Summit, visit the official PLTW Summit webpage.
About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit

Magic Software & Solmark Team Up to Create Global Leader in Education Technology

The following is a press release from PR Newswire.


Magic Software, a 24-year, award-winning K12 EdTech company that provides technology and digital learning solutions to clients globally, announced a strategic investment and operating partnership with Solmark, an entrepreneur's equity fund formed by the earlier global executive leadership team of the IT consulting firm, Headstrong.

Vimalendu Verma, Founder & CEO of Magic, said "K12 education in large parts of the world is obsolete and broken and digital and mobile are driving its disruption. The partnership with Solmark gives Magic the ability to significantly increase its commitment to Innovation and Product Development. Magic Box, our cloud-based platform will see increased investments as will the development of new products, tools and components to help us deliver highly differentiated products and solutions to our customers. It will also enable the company to dramatically enhance its presence in North America and Europe. The seasoned global executive team of Solmark will assume operating roles to accelerate business growth, both organically and inorganically."
Sandeep Sahai, General Partner & CEO of Solmark, said "The education market will be completely transformed in the years ahead - it promises to be an exciting journey for those who lead the change. In Magic, we have a partner with a deep understanding of the EdTech space and we are incredibly excited about their learning platform. Together, Magic and Solmark have the potential to create a global EdTech leader to address emerging opportunities. Acky Kamdar, a co-founder of Solmark, will partner with Vimalendu to achieve this leadership position over the next 5 years."

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Adriane Brown of Intellectual Ventures

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Adriane Brown, president and chief operating officer at Intellectual Ventures.

Adriane Brown, IV

Adriane Brown
President and Chief Operating Officer
Intellectual Ventures

Adriane Brown is President and COO for Intellectual Ventures (IV), the leader in the business of invention. With a portfolio of nearly 40,000 high tech patents, her leadership and business acumen serve as the cornerstone for building a strong, global performance for IV. Before joining IV, Adriane served as President and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems. Ms. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from Old Dominion University, a Master’s Degree in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a Sloan Fellow, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health from Old Dominion University. Adriane serves on the board of directors of Harman International Industries, Inc., the Pacific Science Center and Jobs for America’s Graduates.  She lives in the Puget Sound area with her husband and daughter. 

About Intellectual Ventures

Intellectual Ventures® (IV) is firmly grounded in the belief that ideas are valuable. We invent on our own, we partner with others to invent, and we buy existing inventions. Since our founding in 2000, IV has become the leader in the business of invention. IV believes in invention not only as an economic opportunity, but also as a unique characteristic of humanity that gives us the power to improve the world. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are the building blocks of modern invention, and IV supports STEM organizations in their mission to lay this foundation for aspiring inventors. As a company who values STEM education, we help ideas grow by supporting organizations and mentoring youth who will spark tomorrow’s greatest innovations. Learn more at Project Eureka!,

Adriane on Diversity and STEM

Are you a mentor and what is your view of mentorship?

Mentorship has the power to help a person recognize their full potential. I strive to be a mentor in many capacities: to the people working with me at Intellectual Ventures, others in the business of invention, my community in Washington state, and beyond. I’ve experienced how crucial mentorship is not only for our youth and to individuals in the workforce, but also to the success of businesses across the country and to our nation’s ability to innovate.

Early in my career, I had the opportunity to build a mentee relationship with Astrid Brown, a department head in manufacturing at Corning. Brown’s position was not a typical role for a woman, and she helped open my eyes to my own potential as a leader. She saw something powerful in me that I had not yet recognized.  Now I am a mentor and have the opportunity to encourage women and girls to become leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math. Young girls have the potential to create the next revolutionary invention. As mentors, we have the responsibility to encourage girls to open their eyes to their own power to achieve great things.

What STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud of?

One STEM organization that I’m particularly proud to support is the Pacific Science Center (PSC) who does fantastic work encouraging youth to pursue careers in STEM. I serve on the PSC board and have the opportunity to support initiatives within the Seattle area that prioritize STEM education. IV also sponsors PSC’s Science Café series — programming that educates adults within the Seattle/Bellevue area on the work of local scientists. Additionally, IV supports the PSC Discovery Corps — a youth development program that inspires a lifelong interest in STEM.

How is your company infusing diversity with STEM initiatives?  Is this a part of your comprehensive strategy?

At IV we believe that diversity is key to innovation. I believe that collaboration of great, diverse minds is how we will solve our world’s toughest challenges and create the next round of breakthrough technologies. We are in the business of great ideas and we are attracted to people with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and a burning desire to disrupt the status quo.

I grew up in Richmond, Va., and attended an all-black school in first and second grade. In 1954, the Supreme Court abolished segregation in schools, and in 1966 Virginia acknowledged that decision. My parents insisted that I switch schools and sent me to an all-white school in third grade. Five children including me integrated the school. It was a challenging year, but the next year, as other students enrolled, they came to me with questions. I became sixth-grade class president in a majority white school, and at the time I didn’t appreciate what an accomplishment that was. The impact of being 8 years old and stepping into a difficult position molded me. It showed me that discomfort breeds growth, and I’ve followed that tenet ever since.

At Intellectual Ventures we know that inspired ideas are born from a diversity of thought, and we’ll continue to push the limits in science, technology, engineering, and math. We’re excited to see which young trailblazers will join us.

Introducing Innovative Science Writing Competition: The 2015 DuPont Challenge Elementary Division

This is a press release from DuPont

Brand New STEM-Based Competition Brings  Science to Life in K-5 Classrooms
WILMINGTON, Del., 2014 | Children can become scientists at any age. All it takes is curiosity about the world around them. That’s why The DuPont Challenge, now in its 29th year, is excited to announce the addition of The DuPont Challenge Elementary Division, a science writing competition for students in grades K-5. This will take place alongside the existing Junior and Senior Division science essay competition for middle school and high school students.
The DuPont Challenge Elementary Division asks teachers to help their students explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) topics in a classroom-based challenge that gives students the chance to participate in a creative, inquiry-based exploration. The challenges are based on the Next Generation Science Standards appropriate for each grade level and ask students to research, observe, analyze, interpret and communicate creatively—important skills for any classroom subject. Together, the students will show their imagination and originality by writing a science story about what they discovered.
“Today I’m proud of what we do for students and how we help teachers teach through inquiry-based curriculum,” said Ellen Kullman, DuPont Chair of the Board and CEO. “We need to help students see how versatile STEM is. We need them to believe and care that STEM education is important. The path to STEM education starts early, and that is why we’re introducing an elementary division of The DuPont Challenge.”
Teachers and their students in grades K-5 across the United States, Canada and U.S. Territories may submit their science stories from November 1, 2014, to March 1, 2015. There will be six grand prize winners (one for each grade) and 30 honorable mentions (five for each grade). The DuPont Challenge Elementary Division offers more than $50,000 in prizes and awards for the winning students, teachers and schools. Awards include a Science Is Fun Day assembly for the winning classroom, as well as educational materials and science resources from Britannica Digital Learning, Science Weekly and Carolina Biological Supply. The winning teacher in each grade also receives an expenses-paid trip to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) national conference in 2016.
The DuPont Challenge Elementary Division provides suggested challenge topics for each grade, but also gives teachers the option to choose topics that better match their classroom curricula. The DuPont Challenge Elementary Division is a new and exciting way to give students hands-on, critical-thinking experience involving STEM. 
For more information about the new Elementary Division, including official rules, entry form and details on awards, please visit You can also learn more about the Junior and Senior Divisions at
The 2015 DuPont Challenge Elementary Division is sponsored by DuPont in collaboration with A+ Media, Britannica Digital Learning, Carolina Biological Supply, NASA, Science Weekly and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit



STEMconnector to Host 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM TownHall (10/22, 2-3PM ET)

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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM TownHall
Wednesday, October 22 | 2-3PM EDT
STEMconnector® will host an online TownHall on Wednesday, October 22nd from 2:00-3:00PM ET, featuring keynote presentations from honorees in the 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM publication. Participants will speak about their vision for a more competitive nation, their own journey, and their advice on how to get more women and minorities into STEM education and careers.

Released on September 23rd100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM follows up on the success of 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (2013) and 100 Women Leaders in STEM (2012). As with previous books, we continue to reflect on the growing importance of women and diversity in this edition. Our hope is to empower not only the influencers of students making a career decision, but also corporations looking to cultivate leaders. To download the publication, click here. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders.

STEMconnector® is grateful to the sponsors that made this publication possible: UST GlobalSodexoSilicon Valley Education FoundationApollo Education GroupCiscoNorthwestern MutualTata Consultancy Services and Walmart

A list of confirmed speakers and their bios follows:


Kimberly Foster Price
Vice President, 3Mgives
Kimberly Foster Price leads the development and implementation of 3M's global strategic philanthropy and community engagement, including oversight of the 3M Foundation. Price earned her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law, her Master's degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and her Bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College.
Ray Dempsey
Vice President & Head of External Affairs; President, BP Foundation
BP America
Ray Dempsey, Jr. has held a variety of management and operational roles in engineering, environmental, strategy, finance, and external affairs in the US and abroad since joining the company in 1990. Dempsey holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University.
Theresa Hennesy
Senior Vice President and Group Technical Advisor for Engineering and Platform Services (EPS)
Comcast Cable
Theresa Hennesy is responsible for leading the EPS organization in its continuing mission of improving the customer experience, sustaining rapid growth economically, driving innovation everywhere, and maximizing efficiencies. In addition, Theresa leads Comcast's Sourcing Management & Governance (SM&G) function, leveraging best practices and defined policies, and ensuring predictability and delivery from sourcing vendors. Theresa lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband. She is originally from the Washington Metro Area and studied at George Mason University. 
Larry Quinlan
Global Chief Information Officer
Larry Quinlan is a principal at Deloitte-one of the world's largest professional services organizations. He serves as the Global Chief Information Officer and chairs the Global CIO Council. As CIO, Larry has responsibility for all facets of technology including strategy, applications, infrastructure, support, and execution. In this role, he also leads the worldwide technology organization. Larry has been with Deloitte since 1988 and has served in a variety of leadership roles, including Global CIO for Deloitte Consulting LLP and National Managing Principal for Process Excellence. Larry holds an MBA from Baruch College, City University of New York and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies.
Dexter Cole
Vice President of Programming, Science Channel
Discovery Communications
In his current role for the Science Channel, Dexter oversees the programming strategy for the network and is responsible for identifying new programming genres to grow the network's audience. Dexter returned to Discovery in 2010 after a two-year term as Vice President of Research for TV One, where he was responsible for leading the network in the areas of programming and consumer research. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, in Journalism and an MBA.
Sanjay Verma
Divisional Vice President, Global Serivces
Sanjay Verma's responsibilities include worldwide operations, strategic planning and global initiatives. Before moving to PTC, he was the Founder and Managing Director of ITC Infotech India Ltd., a software services and solutions provider with offices in India, USA, and UK. He is a contributor to Celebrity Series of Boston in the roles of a Board Member and a member of the Executive Committee. Sanjay is a Charter Member of TiE Boston.  In this role, he mentors early stage technology ventures to achieve their potential.
Dawne Hickton
Vice Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer
RTI International Metals
Dawne S. Hickton has more than 25 years of diversified metals experience, including more than fifteen years in the titanium industry spanning several business cycles. Since becoming Chief Executive in 2007, Ms. Hickton has led a strategic transformation of RTI to become a leading vertically integrated global supplier of advanced titanium and specialty metals products and services for the commercial aerospace, defense, energy and medical device markets. She is also the Chair and a Director of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association.
Michael Norris
Chief Operating Officer, North America
Market President, Corporate Services Market
Michael Norris has an extensive background in driving sales growth and increasing market share and currently oversees Sodexo's B&I portfolio that has annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion and serves more than 1,800 client locations nationwide. Honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1973, Mr. Norris attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI and earned a Masters in Business Administration in 1995 from the University of East London, London, UK.  
Sajan Pillai
Chief Executive Officer
UST Global
Sajan Pillai is UST Global's Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. As CEO, Sajan is responsible for the company's growth and acquisitions. He leads the company's global business operations through its state-of-the-art centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Mexico. With an extensive background in the offshore IT industry, having served as co-founder of Softek Systems in India as well as an engineer in one of India’s top three consulting services companies, Sajan remains poised to lead UST Global into the future of IT. Sajan also architected and managed several large software systems for MCI Telecommunications in the United States and subsequently held senior management positions in Tanning Systems, a US-based software solutions company. Sajan graduated with a degree in computer science and engineering from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India.
Miguel Quiroga
Executive Director of Customer Experience, Video/Broadband Division 
Miguel Quiroga is responsible for establishing and leading the business integration strategy and execution of cross channel customer engagement efforts for both contact center and digital channels including TV, online, mobile, social, and voice. Miguel was previously Director of Employee Experience and Customer Business Intelligence. Miguel holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Dallas.



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