Connecticut Technology Council Presents the Winners of the 10th Annual Women of Innovation Awards Event

E. Hartford, Connecticut, UNITED STATES

HARTFORD, Conn., March 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fifty-nine women from across Connecticut were honored for their innovation and leadership during the tenth annual Women of Innovation awards dinner held March 27 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The Connecticut Technology Council held the awards program to recognize women in the workforce who are innovators, role models and leaders in the fields of technology, science and engineering. Outstanding young women in high school and college were also recognized. Eight of the 59 women were recognized as winners in eight award categories.

Presenting sponsors this year were Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, Covidien, Day Pitney LLP, and United Technologies Corporation.

"The Council honors Connecticut's extraordinary and talented women that represent a cross section of Connecticut's most important technology companies and educational institutions in Connecticut," said Bruce Carlson, acting President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council.

The keynote speaker was Susanne Vautrinot, a highly decorated, award-winning retired Major General of the U.S. Air Force who had a successful career influencing the development and application of cyber security and space technology. Vautrinot's experience includes her ability to lead large-scale, diverse, global organizations that operate, extend, maintain, and defend global networks. Throughout her three-decade military career, Vautrinot held many key assignments, including cyber operations, plans and policy, strategic security, space operations, acquisitions, and staff positions. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Symantec Corporation, the Board of Directors for Uniformed Services Benefit Association, the Air Force Doctrine Advisory Group and was on the Advisory Board of Warrior Tours and Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Here are the winners that were chosen from the 59 honorees and are listed by category:

Academic Innovation and Leadership:

Elaine Pagliaro, Grants Coordinator, University of New Haven, Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science

Ms Pagliaro has worked for almost thirty years at the Connecticut Forensic Laboratory, analyzing evidence from most of Connecticut's major crimes and on nationally prominent cases. She is an adjunct faculty member at several universities, where she instructs students of forensic science, criminal justice and the law.

Collegian Innovation and Leadership:

Zengmin Xia, Doctoral Student, Materials Science & Engineering, University of Connecticut

Ms Xia is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UConn. Her research interests focus on biomaterials and tissue engineering. She has been working on fabrication of novel scaffolds for bone repair and methods to commercialize her research products.

Community Innovation and Leadership:

Nancy Cappello, Executive Director & Founder, Are You Dense, Inc.

Ms Capello is founder of Are You Dense, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to informing the public about dense breast tissue and its significance for the early detection of breast cancer. Her advocacy has fueled a global movement, resulting in 14 state laws, a federal bill, and advocacy efforts in Taiwan, Japan, Puerto Rico, Israel, Canada, Italy and elsewhere.

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership:

Ilana Odess, Founder & CEO, Woven Orthopedic Technologies, LLC

Ms Odess is a healthcare industry expert, having served as a senior executive for large multinational companies and start-ups (Chairwoman, founder, CEO, managing partner, and investment manager). Noteworthy achievements include founding three businesses acquired by multi-billion dollar medical device companies, and forming the first Johnson & Johnson operating division in Israel.

Large Business Innovation & Leadership:

Laura Smith, Director of Engineering-Combat and Weapon Systems, General Dynamics Electric Boat

Ms Smith leads over 600 engineers that focus on electronic systems, software and trainers supporting all classes of submarines. She chairs the General Dynamics Corporate Innovation Team.

Research Innovation and Leadership:

Robin Chazdon, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut

Ms Chazdon is the co-author/author of over 100 scholarly publications and sole author of a new book on tropical forest regeneration. She leads an interdisciplinary research network focused on understanding the social and ecological aspects of reforestation in the tropics.

Small Business Innovation and Leadership:

Manon Cox, President and CEO, Protein Sciences Corporation

Since 2010, Ms Cox has successfully guided her company through its recent growth and successes. She serves various Boards, including Pall Bio-Pharmaceuticals, iCubed, United Way, Meriden & Wallingford, and the Education Committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation.

Youth Innovation and Leadership:

Bridget Oei, High School Senior, East Catholic High School

Ms Oei is a senior and student body president. She is a 2014 Young Arts Winner, New England Champion and world medalist in Irish dancing. She was a 2nd place Intel ISEF Grand Award Winner; two-time Grand Award Winner at the I-SWEEEP Science Olympiad; and a 2012 inductee to the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors.

About the Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council ( is Connecticut's industry association for the technology sector. CTC's mission is to connect people, ideas and opportunities to the global technology and innovation community. CTC provides members with business assistance and specialized programs, in addition to promoting and supporting public policies that globally position Connecticut's "culture of innovation" that helps attract great ideas and entrepreneurs to develop new jobs and wealth for the state.

This information is embargoed until 9:00PM March 27, 2014. Photos and complete bios for each winner are available upon request.



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