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Women In Innovation

Science Museum of Virginia, Dewey Gottwald Center

Richmond, Virginia | Postponed

Virginia has declared a state of emergency with the spread of COVID-19, the Women in Innovation 2020 Conference has been postponed to help protect the health of all.

The Women in Innovation Planning Team is thankful for your support of such an impactful event and we will reschedule at a later date. Email with any further questions you may have.

Read more >> Governor's Press Release.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This event has been postponed. Please check back for more information. Thank you.


Women in Innovation is a conference to celebrate female leaders of today, inspire future women innovators and remember the groundbreaking women that paved the way. The conference is a day to elevate and grow as a group of women, to spark conversations and to leave ready to make a difference through teaching, training and mentorship.


Attend, and you'll discover the journeys of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Event speakers and panelists are guiding their communities with impactful leadership, uplifting their peers and investing in change.

The conference offers significant networking. You'll talk with other women who have bridged the gender gap, have defined their purpose and who have made a commitment to impact their communities.

For more information please visit WIN 2020 FAQs.

Featured Guests

Empower Me

Camille Schrier,

Miss America 2020

A biochemist and STEM advocate, pursuing her Doctor of Pharmacy

Morning Keynote

The Unbeatable You

Adrienne Bankert,

National Correspondent 

ABC News and Good Morning America National News anchor and author

Afternoon Keynote

Sometimes it is Rocket Science!

Dr. Christine Mann Darden,

NASA (Hidden Figures)

Dr. Darden has authored more than 57 technical papers and articles

Through the Lens of Innovation

Female Innovator Award Recipient

Dr. Gladys West,


The renowned American mathematician "Hidden Figures"

2020 Honorary Award Recipient



7:45 am
Rise and Energize Breakfast

Registration opens at 7:45 am. Join us for breakfast and get energized for the day!

8:30 am


Keyanna Conner, Ph.D., Secretary of Administration

Dr. Keyanna Conner currently serves as Secretary of Administration for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In her role, she oversees the Compensation Board, the Department of Elections, the Department of General Services, the Department of Human Resource Management, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and the Office of the Chief Data Officer. 

Previously, she served as State Director for U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, his head political and community adviser in the state. She managed the senator's five state offices, advised on legislative issues and oversaw the constituency services operation. Dr. Conner received her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Hampton University, and her doctoral degree in organic chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Governor's Remarks


Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor.

Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.

9:00 am
Morning Keynote: Empower Me


Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020

Camille is harnessing the Miss America platform to promote her social impact initiative, Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics. Camille is a certified Naloxone trainer in the city of Richmond. Most recently, Camille was awarded the Engineering Champion Award by the Phi Sigma Rho National Sorority for her work in promoting women in engineering and technical fields.

9:30 am
Through the Lens of Innovation

Sometimes it is Rocket Science!

A panel discussion with:


Christine Mann Darden, Ph.D. - NASA (Hidden Figures)

After nearly 40 years of service, Dr. Darden retired from NASA's Langley Research Center in March 2007 as a member of Senior Executive Service. During her NASA career, Darden authored more than 57 technical papers and articles, primarily in the areas of sonic boom prediction, sonic boom minimization, and supersonic wing design. She is recognized as an international expert in these areas.

In 2016, Darden’s story was included in the New York Times Best Seller, “Hidden Figures,” by Margot Lee Shetterly. In 2019, Congress passed legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to Darden and the women mathematicians and engineers who contributed to the success of NASA during the Space Race.


Dawn Schaible, Director of Engineering - NASA Langley Research Center

Ms. Dawn Schaible is the Director of the Engineering Directorate at the NASA’s Langley Research Center, where she leads a 450+ person workforce in providing the systems concepts, advanced technology, and flight and operational system development. As the NASA Deputy Chief Engineer in July 2014 she helped to lead the Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) in providing policy direction, oversight, and assessment for the NASA engineering and program management communities.


Donna Lawson, Legislative Affairs Officer - NASA Langley Research Center

Ms. Donna Lawson is the Legislative Affairs Officer for NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Since 2003, she’s been responsible for developing and implementing strategies to communicate the value of programs at Langley and the agency to federal, state and local government officials. Lawson reports directly to the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Lawson also provides direct support to the Langley Center Director and serves on the leadership team for the Center’s Office of Strategic Analysis, Communications and Business Development.

10:05 am
Networking break

Strike a pose!

10:20 am
Return on Investment for Diversity Led Innovation

2020 Janice Underwood

Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer - Commonwealth of Virginia

Dr. Janice Underwood, who strongly believes in servant leadership and culturally relevant reform, was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first cabinet-level Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). This position is also the first of its kind in the nation. As the Commonwealth’s CDO, she is committed to addressing racial, ethnic, disability, gender-based, and other cultural inequities in formal and informal policies and practices in Virginia state government. As a result, Dr. Underwood is working tirelessly to build a statewide strategic plan for diversity and inclusive excellence across over 100 state agencies and with other public and private sectors. Her goal is to make Virginia an exemplar for the nation, regarding diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence.

10:40 am
Success Has No Age

Listen to a fresh perspective on the journey of "becoming a woman" from the voices of a younger generation. Be inspired by their drive, charisma and tenacity to become the best they can be!

Aasia S.

Nuria K.

Taylor R.

Jeanehli H.

11:10 am
Honorary "Powerhouse" Female Innovator Award Recipient


Dr. Gladys West

2020 Honorary "Powerhouse" Female Innovator Award Recipient

Dr. Gladys West is the "Hidden Figures" American mathematician renowned for her contributions to the mathematical modeling of the shape of the Earth, and her work on the development of the satellite geodesy models that were eventually incorporated into the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Dr. West is humbled and honored by the recognition she is receiving, which includes several interview requests from around the world, a radio segment, recognition from her sorority, requests for speeches at several schools, induction into the Air Force Hall of Fame, named as one of the top 100 Women by the British Broadcasting Corporation, named a Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women recipient and a Senate Resolution honoring her accomplishments.

11:20 am
Eat, Learn and Grow Lunch

Watch inspirational videos while enjoying a buffet style lunch catered by MOSAIC (vegetarian option available).

12:20 pm
The Maggies Award Ceremony and Keyanna Conner STEM Scholarship

Presented by Keyanna Conner Ph.D, Secretary of Administration and Nelson Moe, Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth

And the award goes to...join us in congratulating this year's recipients in the following categories:

  • Private Sector Award
  • Public Sector Award
  • Pioneer 

For more information please visit The Maggies.


In partnership with the KLM Scholarship Foundation (KLMSF), a Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University student will be awarded the Keyanna Conner, Ph.D., STEM book scholarship.

12:40 pm
Financial Independence is Empowerment


Delilah Moreno, Account Executive - Decision Analytics, Experian Information Solutions Inc.

Delilah Moreno is an Account Executive serving State and Local Agencies and Departments with solutions from credit services, skip tracing, identity authentication and much more. She is a certified Credit Education Ambassador and the Executive Sponsor of the Military, Veterans and Patriots Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Experian. Delilah Moreno joined Experian in 2015. She has over 15 years of industry experience, including Fraud Operations, Policy, Compliance and Project Management. She understands the industry and applies that knowledge to quickly understand core business issues, to identify gaps in current solutions, and to demonstrate how Experian’s solutions will help achieve business goals. Prior to joining Experian, she was a Sr. Policy Advisor for Dell Financial Services in the Fraud and Identity Department. She served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 8 years as a Staff Sergeant.

1:05 pm
Your True Potential Panel Discussion

Got questions? Ask a mentor!


Amber Wilson, Ph.D., Manager of Aviation Technology - Virginia Department of Aviation

Dr. Amber L. Wilson is the Manager of Aviation Technology for the Virginia Department of Aviation. In that capacity, Dr. Wilson works closely with agency leaders to guide the Commonwealth's growth and oversight of unmanned aerial systems and the UAS industry. She serves on the Unmanned Systems Advisory Board for the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at the Center for Innovation, manages the Governor's Aerospace Advisory Council and SB307 DOAV UAS Work Group and supports legislative liaison efforts for the Virginia General Assembly.


Kim Majerus-Skonie, U.S. Education, State & Local Government and Vertical Sales - Amazon Web Services (AWS), Worldwide Public Sector

Kim Majerus-Skonie leads the Amazon Web Services (AWS) U.S. education and state & local government organization. Her sales organization includes GovTech ISV’s, solution and vertical strategy leaders who focus on Health and Human Services,Justice and Public Safety, Transportation and the Internet of Things for state and local government customers.

1:40 pm
The Road Less Traveled


Jennifer Aument, President - Transurban

As a leader in the transportation industry, Jennifer has advised state governments across the country on issues related to transport policy, innovative finance and public-private partnerships, and currently serves on advisory boards for the Eno Center for Transportation, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the Highway Users Alliance, George Mason University and the University of Maryland. She has been named among the Washington Business Journal’s top 25 "Women Who Mean Business", as an "Outstanding Woman in the Building Industry" and Commercial Real Estate Women's "Woman of Impact."

1:55 pm
Networking Break

Strike a pose!

2:10 pm
No Fear Panel Discussion

Got questions? Ask a mentor!

Fran Pierce, Chairman and CEO - DSA, Inc.

In 2018, Fran was recognized in the Women Presidents’ Organization ranking of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies. Fran was a 2017 honoree in Philadelphia Business Journal's Most Admired CEO ranking. In 2014, Fran received the Iris Newman Award from the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, as recognition of a woman who exhibits a trailblazing spirit in her respective field and who provides strong leadership and support in the entrepreneurial community. Fran was also awarded New Jersey Tech Council’s 2014 CEO of the Year – Private Company Award which recognizes a CEO who demonstrated vision and leadership over several years and has shown an ability to lead and inspire the organization to a new level of growth.

SmartCEO Magazine honored Fran with a Brava! Women in Business Achievement Award, recognizing her as one of Greater Philadelphia’s most influential female leaders in 2010. Philadelphia SmartCEO100 selected Fran as a leader in the 2012 Best-Run Companies program. She was a winner in the Philadelphia SmartCEO 2013 Circle of Excellence and a 2018 CEOReport Mid-Atlantic Women’s Leadership awardee. DSA was a SmartCEO GovStar finalist in 2017, a GovStar Star Performer.


Wendy Marquez, President - Wize Solutions

J. Wendy Marquez is Founder and President of Wize Solutions, an IT company which focuses on creating sustainable high-tech jobs in rural areas of Virginia through partnerships with local community colleges and national remote-based employers. Prior to forming Wize Solutions in 2017, Wendy served for over a decade as President of Onyx Media Group, a film production company which won several prestigious awards under her leadership.

From 1998 -2008, she served as Vice President and General Manager of ZGS Broadcast Holdings, which operated Spanish-language television and radio stations throughout the United States. In 2013, Wendy Marquez was awarded the Bridge Builder Award by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in recognition for her work in the Latino community.


2:40 pm
The Energy Within


Wendy T. Wellener, Vice President – Shared Services

Wellener earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and operations research at Virginia Tech. She is a past board member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters and previously participated on a workforce advisory council for the Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools.  She is currently a member of the board of directors of Women Presidents’ Educational Organization whose primary mission is furthering the success of women-owned businesses.  She serves as the executive sponsor of Dominion Energy’s flagship Women’s Resource Group, We3, the largest of the companies 8 resource groups, which focuses on engaging, educating, energizing women across the company.


3:00 pm
Afternoon Keynote: The Unbeatable You


Adrienne Bankert, National Correspondent - ABC News - Good Morning America - World News Tonight

An Emmy award winning journalist with broadcast experience as a television news anchor, interviewer & host, Adrienne Bankert is currently a national news correspondent with ABC News and the Good Morning America Weekend POP news anchor. She can be seen on all of ABC News’ platforms including Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and Nightline. Her passion for impacting and helping others realize their dreams led her to founding an NGO, Loving Individuals Giving Help Together (LIGHT).


3:45 pm
Verizon Networking Session

Exclusive Social Networking!

2020 Title Sponsor

Maggie Hallbach, Vice President | SLED Markets - Verizon

With more than 20 years with Verizon, Maggie has held a variety of roles where she has responsibility for delivering customer experience enhancements and increasing shareholder value. She also headed Verizon’s Lean Six Sigma efforts to drive ongoing business transformation and process improvement across Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Maggie earned a Master of Business Administration in marketing and finance from the University of Maryland’s Robert H Smith School of Business and holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Brown University.

Shayy Winn, Finalist - American Idol
Special performance

Shayy Winn has an acute love and compelling passion for music.  Born in Chesterfield VA in 2000.  As a child often falling asleep to music, and now as a young adult, she is perfecting her sound calling to resurrect sentiment in song.  She thrives on making audiences feel what she is singing   Before American Idol, Shayy was performing and impressing audiences with her eloquent voice.

Exclusive "Virginia is for Innovation Lovers" Campaign Launch



4:45 pm

Closing remarks

Who Should Attend

You should attend the Women in Innovation conference if you desire to drive change in your world and your role in it. The event is designed to mentor through share of the successes and challenges of women in academia, government, small business and private industries. Register today!

Governor Northam Announces Women in Innovation Conference March 17 in Richmond >

'Hidden Figures' to speak at Virginia's Women in Innovation gala >


The Maggies

Maggie Walker

Maggie Lena Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment and educational opportunities for women and Jim Crow-era African Americans. As a bank president, newspaper editor and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress.
Photo/Content Courtesy of National Park Service, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.

Ms. Walker's legacy of leadership continues today. Her entrepreneurial spirit is embodied in the new Women In Innovation event. Today, Maggie Walker is the founding example of the Women in Innovation awards program named in her honor, The Maggies. 

Award categories: Private Sector, Public Sector & Female Innovator.

2020 Sponsors


Dominion Energy

Amazon Web Services




AIS Network




Full Steam Ahead

MOSAIC Catering + Events

Registration powered by:

Virginia Interactive

Get Involved

Conference Sponsorship

Submit to be considered for WIN 2020 sponsorship opportunities.

Conference Speaker

Inspire others. Submit to be considered as a Speaker.

Award Nominations

Nominate an impactful woman to receive a Maggie award. 

Sign up for VITA Innovation Program news and updates.

The first Women in Innovation event is now her-story.

WIN 2019
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