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  • Elevate and Unite: Allyship and Achievements

Elevate and Unite: Allyship and Achievements

  • 07/25/2024
  • 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Brooksource at Eight Eleven Group, 6215 College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220



Join Women & Hi Tech for our first multi-track event! Meet us at Brooksource to attend your choice of seminar, with networking after. We are experimenting with this event format, allowing attendees to learn based on their interests, then connect to share what they took away from each session. 

Special thanks to our sponsor, Brooksource, for hosting us at this event! This event is free to Women & Hi Tech members and $10 for non-members, with all proceeds to benefit our #INThisTogether scholarship at the 2024 Leading Light Awards.


  • 4:00pm-4:30pm - Arrival & Check-in
  • 4:30pm-5:30pm - Attend Track 1 or 2
  • 5:30pm-7:00pm - Optional Networking with Heavy Appetizers, Soft Drinks, Beer, and Wine. 

Short Description:

Track 1: OperationALL: Allyship in Action

In "OperationALL: Allyship in Action" we're diving deep into the pivotal role of allies in shaping a more inclusive STEM community. This annual event puts allyship front and center and we are looking forward to seeing you.

Get ready for some candid conversations as we unravel the hurdles holding back further diversity in STEM. From pinpointing the challenges to brainstorming practical solutions for making meaningful progress, we will be discussing how to actually move the needle forward. Join us and be a part of the conversation that's shaping the future of STEM!

Track 1 Panelists:

Shalaya Morissette:

Shalaya Morissette (she/her) is Chief of the Minority Business and Workforce Division at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), located within the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. She is a highly sought-after collaborator and co-conspirator in the clean technology space. Most recently she hails from the utility sector in safety and compliance. In 2022 she took on an additional role at Dearborn STEM Academy in Boston, Massachusetts as a teacher to 11th and 12th graders - delivering a curriculum for engineering with energy in mind. Previously she held various roles in higher education, including enrollment services project manager and in global transportation as the Director of Affiliate Relations. She is the former president of the Greater Boston chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. Serving as the first African American board member of the New England Women in Energy and Environment, she has been devoted to elevating and engaging women and people of color in the energy space. As a Georgia Gwinnett College Alumni Association board member and a committee member for Browning the Green Space, she has been engaged in the nonprofit and higher education space as a strong advocate for elevating minorities in the energy transition. Morissette’s passion for bringing young people into the clean energy industry has also been supported with her work with Girls Inc and WriteBoston. Shalaya received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia Gwinnett College and her Master of Education degree from Cambridge College.

John T. Krug, II:

John is the Executive Director and Site Quality Leader, Indianapolis Device Manufacturing for Eli Lilly and Company.  A physical chemist by training, John earned his B.S. from Indiana University, his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  An experienced organizational leader in Operations and Quality in Medical Devices and in vitro Diagnostics, John brings a pragmatic, science-driven and patient-focused leadership to Lilly.  He has played a key role in bringing numerous high impact diagnostic products to the market and has implemented multiple global transformations. Before joining Lilly, John spent 19 years as an inclusive and innovative leader with Roche.  John is a collaborative leader with a passion for building, developing, and empowering high-performing, diverse teams. He has proudly served as the executive sponsor for multiple employee resources groups focused on creating an equitable landscape of success for women and LGBTQ+ colleagues. Outside of work, John has two children (Jack and Nora) and a 70 pound lap dog (Bruce). He enjoys contemporary art, spending time with friends, traveling, and making pottery.

Jimmie McMillian

Jimmie McMillian proudly serves as Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Corporate Counsel for Penske Entertainment Corp. The company is comprised of INDYCAR, IMS Productions and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

As Chief Diversity Officer, Jimmie leads diversity and inclusion efforts across Penske Entertainment Corp. He’s also charged with implementing key pillars of Race for Equality & Change, an initiative to provide opportunities for underrepresented women and men in the motorsports industry and open wheel racing.

As Senior Corporate Counsel, Jimmie’s work comprises a variety of legal matters including managing litigation and legal risks, drafting new event and facility contracts, vendor and sponsorship agreements.

Jimmie is a graduate of Indiana University - Bloomington and the Robert McKinney Indiana University School of Law. Jimmie proudly serves as a board member for Marion County Public Defender’s Agency, the United Way of Central Indiana, the Indianapolis Urban League and the Miracle Ride. More than a simple hobby, Jimmie also serves as President of 317 Ryders Motorcycle Club. He has served as a leader in local, state and national bar associations and has served as the Chair of The Racing Attorneys Conference.

Jimmie has shown a tireless commitment to improve the lives of young people and motivate them to succeed despite life’s various obstacles through his outstanding leadership and mentorship of others. As a passionate motorcycle, sports car and racing enthusiast, Jimmie truly enjoys the ability to live his dream of working at the “World’s Greatest Racetrack.” Jimmie lives in Indianapolis with his wife Lisa, their four children and five grandchildren.

Ami Graves:

Ami is responsible for optimizing the company's human resource talent by establishing and growing a culture of high performance to support business growth. She leads all aspects of human resources including employee retention and recruitment, talent development, employee engagement, policy, benefits and compensation management, and heads our Unify Committee focused on inclusion and diversity.

Prior to joining Bell Techlogix, Ami held the position of Director of Human Resources for BioStorage Technologies, providing Human Resources leadership to the fast-growing bio-banking business. As a member of BioStorage’s extended leadership team, she led the transformation of the company’s human resources practice, supporting substantial growth in U.S. Germany, and China.  After the company’s acquisition by Brooks Life Sciences, Ami continued to serve as the Strategic Human Resources Business Partner for the Life Sciences Services and Informatics Division, supporting the organization through continued growth, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Ami serves as a Legacy Leader for Pass the Torch for Women, a non-profit dedicated to supporting women throughout their careers with mentoring, networking and leadership training, as well as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for The Global Orphan Foundation, a non-profit focused on orphan care in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ami holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Indiana University as well as a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Track 2: Executive Women's Forum: Winning with Women & Hi Tech

Over the years, Women & Hi Tech has awarded many scholarships and awards to female STEM students and female STEM thought leaders in our community. Come join us to hear from recipients of scholarships and awards as well as thought leaders about their time serving and leading for Women & Hi Tech. Learn how Women & Hi Tech helped them with their educational and career goals as well as grow their network of other phenomenal leaders. 

Track 2 Panelists:

Tosin Ajayi

Tosin Ajayi, an Ivy Tech community college Alumni majored in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, an Alumni of Western Governors University.

Dynamic, strategic, and disciplined Cyber security information assurance professional with proven success in managing multiple projects involving a global workforce and guiding teams towards improving the way they work in an agile environment. Solutions driven servant leader with exceptional analytical, organizational, and technical abilities. Possesses a strong understanding of business functionality and efficiency. 2020 Women and Hi Tech, Leading Light Award Winner. Former member of Global Information Security Operations at SMC, currently works at Eli Lilly and Company with the Service Transformation Hub.

CompTIA NET+ Certified, CompTIA SEC+ Certified, ISC2 SSCP Certified, Certified Scrum Master, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Member Women & Hi Tech

Dr. Carlotta Berry 

Carlotta A. Berry is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the 2021-2024 Dr. Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Berry is the first Black woman to earn tenure, full professor and endowed chairship at Rose-Hulman.

She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, master’s in electrical engineering from Wayne State University, and PhD from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests are in robotics education, interface design, human-robot interaction, and increasing historically marginalized and minoritized populations in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

She has a special passion for diversifying the engineering profession by encouraging more women, marginalized and minoritized populations to pursue STEM degrees. In her current role as visiting scientist at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, she is able to execute her mission and promote her vision for STEM. In 2020, she worked with colleagues around the world to start two nonprofit organizations, Black In Engineering and Black In Robotics. They have a mission to bring awareness to systemic racism and inequity in STEM, build community, advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and connect with allies and sponsors. Dr. Berry also founded her business, NoireSTEMinist educational consulting, in 2020. Through her organization she provides speaking engagements, workshops, consulting and also sells robots, children's books, romance novels, and other merchandise to promote diversity in STEM.

Gail Farnsley

Gail Farnsley is a retired IT executive, board member and advocate for women in tech. Her last corporate role was VP, Executive Partner at Gartner. In this role, she worked with CIOs and other executive clients as a trusted advisor to provide expertise and guidance to help them achieve their business objectives.

Prior to joining Gartner, Gail spent most of her career in Information Technology – starting as a programmer at Public Service Indiana, spending 10 years as an analyst and manager in Atlanta with Georgia-Pacific, then joining Cummins, where she worked in various IT roles, including an assignment in the U.K., where she led IT for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Her last role at Cummins was leading the global IT organization as VP of IT and CIO.

When she left Cummins Gail took a “reverse sabbatical” – working at Purdue and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). As a Visiting Professor in the College of Technology (now Purdue Polytechnic), Gail co-taught a Women in Technology course and developed a CIO Leadership course and a study abroad program to take students to India over spring break to learn about the Indian IT services industry.

At NCWIT, Gail launched the Affinity Group Alliance, working with affinity groups and networking organizations across the globe to share promising practices, establish an international communications network, and provide members access to cutting-edge research-based strategies for recruiting, retaining and advancing women.

In retirement, Gail plans to spend as much time as possible with her grandchildren, continuing her board work, and advising leaders when someone asks.

Linda Hicks 

Linda Hicks is a retired chemical industry executive who now spends her time with business and technical consulting and serving community non-profits whose mission is focused on filling the STEM pipeline with more women and supporting women in their STEM career journeys and professional development. Linda is a chemical engineer by training and has over 33 years of experience in the chemical industry as well as 5 years in the environmental engineering and consulting market.

Although Linda spent a couple years of her tenure doing commercial work as the Director of a specialty chemicals business, the majority of her career has been spent within technology deployment, construction and operations management. She has led global manufacturing and technology organizations including engineering, process safety, research and development, applications development, supply chain, operations, and global quality. Linda built the first pyridine and picolines manufacturing plant in China and has traveled the world establishing technology teams, processes, and manufacturing assets.

Linda earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.). Linda is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and served on the Executive Advisory Board of the U.S. Center for Chemical Process Safety for over 10 years. She has served on the board of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, and held the position of Interim President and CEO, Board Chair (3-years) and Development Chair. She is a Trustee of Marian University and chairs the advisory board for the new Witchger School of Engineering. She is the board chair of TechPoint Foundation for Youth and the Board Treasurer for Every Girl Can STEM™. Linda is married and has two accomplished daughters.

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