The very first Women’s Day observance was here in the United States, on February 28, 1909, in New York. March 8th was suggested as the date for the holiday after women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia, and it became a national holiday there too. In 1975, March 8th was officially adopted as International Women’s Day by the United Nations. In 2018, we celebrate the accomplishments of inspiring women making a difference all over the world.
Here at GraVoc, our employees create amazing solutions for our customers and make differences in their local communities. For this International Women’s Day, we would like to introduce you to the women of the GraVoc team. Each of our practices has employees making waves and being great role models as women in STEM fields. We also asked a few of these women if they had any advice for girls working towards careers in STEM fields and their words were empowering!
Software Solutions was the practice that started it all here at GraVoc. We have some amazing women that are creating crucial solutions for our customers. Dana Chirieac and Jennifer Caulfield are two of our Senior Software Engineers. Jennifer is responsible for front-end and back-end development of business solutions. Dana is responsible for programming, implementation, and customizations of business solutions, databases, and reporting functionality for our customers. Jennifer Crown and Monica Smith are our Software engineers. At GraVoc, she works with other members of the Software Solutions team to create and maintain business solutions for our customers. All of these talented women hold many certifications and have some serious skill in coding. Sue De Jongh is one of our Solutions Architects. She is responsible for business process analysis, reporting, and implementation for Dynamics AX and CRM customers. We asked Jennifer Caulfield what advice she could give to young women who enjoy STEM subjects and are considering a career in the field. She had some really great things to say:
“I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of software and web development and I like the constant learning that comes with working in an industry that is constantly evolving. At the high school level, most math and science problems have a right answer and I always enjoyed getting there. I would tell girls that if you enjoy STEM now, it just gets more interesting. If you find the classes challenging, try to approach them without anxiety or expectations–the harder the puzzle, the more satisfaction in getting to and understanding the solution.”Jennifer Caulfield
Our Director of Project Management Services, Liz DeGenova, was recently promoted to her position and has been with the company since 1995. Liz has played important roles in the company for project management, programming, and development. She is a real company all-star and had the following to say to women who are interested in the STEM field:
“The technology field is wide open for women where one can use and develop their creative, technical, and business skills. The opportunities are endless as technology is used in so many varied aspects of business and life. Don’t be afraid to try something new or start at entry level until you find your passion or what suits you best. Have confidence in yourself, aim high, work hard, and the opportunities will come your way.”Liz DeGenova
Information Technology was the second practice to develop. Tracy DeRosa is a Senior IT Consultant and is responsible for network management and managed services. Her day to day includes wireless implementation, visualization, cloud services, network hardware installation and configuration, and most importantly backup, replication, and disaster recovery.
Information Security is one of our largest growing practices and Jenna Panopoulos is one of the newest Security Consultants on the team. She brings a unique perspective to the organization as an attorney. Jenna deals with risk management and compliance consulting, IT assurance testing, and IT audit services. Jenna encouraged girls to work with confidence:
“One important thing would be to always have confidence in your abilities. It is easy to lose confidence in such a competitive environment but never doubt your own intelligence. Just remember that your interests may morph into something completely different down the road, but anything you learn now will only help you move forward in your career. No one can take your education away from you so keep learning!”Jenna Panopoulos
Creative Technology works with a diverse group of clients and projects, ranging from web and app development to video production and drone operations. Kristine is our resident Marketing Specialist and is known around the office as an SEO guru. She started out as an intern to create media content and websites, and her career has advanced from there. Eleni Maistrellis is a Web Developer on the team, and like Kristine, she also started as an intern at GraVoc. She creates websites and mobile applications and provides WordPress maintenance for many of our clients. Jade Brewer came to the team from a fine-art still photography background and has advanced her skills as a Media Producer for the company. She has worked hard to become a skilled video editor and to get her Part 107 certification as the GraVoc drone pilot. Coming from an unusual background, she never thought her work would involve drones. When asked what she would tell women interested in her work, she said:
“Don’t ever let someone else dictate what you should do for a career. Try lots of different things, and follow the path (or paths) that calls to you. If you can’t find a role model to look up to in that field, become one.”Jade Brewer
Ashley Hayward is the newest employee to join the Creative Tech team. She came to GraVoc to be a Media Producer working both in web development and video production. Before joining the team, she was the Director of Communications and TV Department for the City of Everett. Ashley gave us insight into what she has learned through her career, and the challenges she faced starting out.
“I have learned over the years in my professional career that through the most challenging times, you will continue to grow.”Ashley Hayward
GraVoc’s team wouldn’t be complete without Cathy Gravel and Jillian Rizzo. Cathy runs our Human Resources program and makes sure that all of our employees have the best benefits possible to support themselves and their families. Jillian Rizzo is our Administrative Assistant and keeps the organization running smoothly every day. She helps generate and follow up on leads and makes sure our customers are being well taken care of.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, remind yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. No dream is ever too big to accomplish. And remember to always love what you do and be grateful for every obstacle, every challenge, and every opportunity.
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