Why Attend

The mission for the Florida Polytechnic University Women in STEM Summit is to foster alignment, partnership and collaboration among existing scholars at Florida Polytechnic University and the leaders affiliated with the growing communities and advancing businesses of today and our future.

The Florida Polytechnic University Women in STEM Summit is an insightful, carefully crafted and forward thinking forum providing women in STEM industries the opportunity to be inspired, empowered and enlightened. Attendees will have the opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders, network with professionals who continue to transform opportunities for women in STEM and explore innovation that will be influencing our future.

Date: 3.14.17
Time: 9:30-1:00pm
Location: 4700 Research Way, Lakeland, FL 33805
Lunch: Included with registration
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Registration is SOLD OUT. Please fill out the form below to request more information for next years 2018 Women in STEM Summit. 




The Panel Session

The panel is a selection of trailblazers, pioneers, and inspirational speakers each providing insight into their own personal journey and perspective towards success in their STEM field. Learn how these individuals overcame personal and professional barriers, embraced change and contribute to the powerful role women play in STEM industries.

Keynote Speaker 

Karen Caitlin, Keynote Speaker for Women in STEM Summit

Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone: It’s Where The Magic Happens

We stretch ourselves, we learn, we innovate, and we accomplish things we didn’t think we could. Yet, it can be challenging to take those steps, especially for women in a male-dominated STEM field.

Our keynote speaker is Karen Catlin, a former tech industry executive who is now an advocate for women in tech. Karen will share her successful career journey and the lessons she learned along the way about stepping outside of her comfort zone. She’ll also talk about how she forced herself to conquer her fear of public speaking, stepping away from the comfort zone of the audience to embracing being on stage.

About Karen Catlin

Karen Catlin is an advocate for women in the tech industry, a leadership coach, a TEDx speaker, and co-author of “Present! A Techies Guide to Public Speaking.” A sought-after public speaker, Karen regularly gives talks at leading tech companies, conferences, and universities. Formerly, Karen was a vice president at Adobe Systems.

Karen is on the Board of Directors of The Women’s CLUB of Silicon Valley. Through Brown University Women’s Launch Pad, she mentors young women about to start their careers. She is also a member of the Diversity Advisory Board for the Brown University Computer Science Department, where she earned her degree in Computer Science back when there were a lot more women majoring in it.

In 2015, the California State Assembly honored her with the Wonder Women Tech Innovator Award for outstanding achievements in business and technology and for being a role model for women.

Speaking Panel

Elizabeth Kerns photoElizabeth Kerns – Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Lakeland Regional Health

Elizabeth Kerns is a Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Lakeland Regional Health, leading the Information Technology, Supply Chain Management, Health Information Management and Clinical Engineering teams. Her work focuses on using information and technology to advance safe, quality and cost-effective patient care, promote healing and wellness, enhance patient, visitor and team experience, and create an exceptional and operationally-efficient workplace. She holds a Master of Science in Information Systems from Hawaii Pacific University, a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and numerous industry certifications. She is also a Doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida.


Photos Rebecca Smith, president of the A. D. Morgan Construction Corp. Photo by Malcolm

Rebecca J. Smith – President and CEO of The A.D. Morgan Corporation

Rebecca Smith founded The A.D. Morgan Corporation, April 1, 1989, at the age of 29. Prior to starting her construction management firm, Rebecca worked in the building industry as a project manager for 5 years. Rebecca is a certified General Contractor and a graduate of the University of Florida earning a Bachelor’s in Architecture (1982) and a Master of Science in Building Construction (1984).

President and CEO of WoofGang Solutions, LLC

In 2014, Rebecca reflected on her years of experience in the building industry and recognized the need to improve facilities management systems. As a result, she innovated a software solution and started a second company, WoofGang Solutions, focused on the challenges facing facilities management. She is determined to give back to her industry by offering a means to manage their facilities with an efficient, effective and user- friendly solution. Her business plan is currently focused on the State of Florida with ambition to gain market share around the nation.


Major General Michael D. Jones, U.S. Army (Ret.)Major General Michael D. Jones, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Major General Michael Jones is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was commissioned as an Armor officer in the United States Army after graduating in 1977 from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Early in his career, Major General Jones served in a wide variety of command and staff positions in Armor units in the United States and Germany.   His major deployments include OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR to Bosnia in 1996, better known as IFOR, where he served as the Operations Officer for the 1st Armored Division and Multinational Division North, and two year-long tours in Iraq. He also served as the Director of Operations, and Chief of Staff at U.S. Central Command.

Major General Jones currently resides in Apollo Beach, Florida, and is an independent management consultant, as well as a Member of The SPECTRUM Group in Alexandria, Virginia.  At SPECTRUM, he co-leads their Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) practice, as well as leading consulting teams for BRAC-related, information technology, and energy clients.  He also provides consulting services to variety of other corporate clients, principally in the Federal and Defense market.

Thank you to our sponsors

Partnership Sponsors

florida hospital logo

In Loving Memory of Luisa Mijares, President of Bulk Express and Soil Tech

mosaic logoPortTampaBay_Stacked


Corporate Sponsor

The Beck Group | Curry Controls | FCC Environmental Services | Fletcher & Fischer, P.L. | Gilbane Inc., and Miller Construction | Jabil | Dr. & Mrs. James and Loretta Sanders Jr. | Mark and Patti Bostick | Nielsen

Leadership Sponsors

A.D. Morgan Corporation | Advance Disposal Services, Inc. | APG Engineering |  DPR Construction | Heacock Insurance | In Loving Memory of Jeffrey L. Wood | PIMCO | Saddle Creek Logistics Services | Southern Strategy GroupTerracon Consultants, Inc. | Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc. 

Students speak at the 2016 WIS

How to get Involved

Women have a profound impact in society. You can get involved in many ways:

  • By mentoring a student
  • By sponsoring, you will benefit knowing that students are being funded through scholarship and programs.
  • By attending, you will gain a better understand of Florida Poly’s initiative of engaging, retaining and investing women in STEM.
  • Can’t attend? Sponsor a Florida Poly student(s) to attend the Women in STEM Summit.


Event Schedule

  • 9:30-10:00   | Registration open all day, student project and welcome coffee
  • 10:00-10:05 |  Welcome address
  • 10:15-11:05   |  Panel discussions
  • 11:05-11:30   |  Networking/display student projects
  • 11:30-11:50   |  Lunch provided by Arthur’s Catering
  • 11:50-12:00  |  Introduction to keynote speaker
  • 12:00-12:45  |  Keynote speaker
  • 12:45-1:00    |  Call to action: closing remarks


Thought Leaders


16-1213-terri-aventTerri Avent
First Lady, Florida Polytechnic University



Cindy Cox




Dr. Christina Drake
Faculty, Women & STEM Leadership Program liaison,
Florida Polytechnic University

 16-1213-tina-fischerTina Fischer
Fletcher & Fischer, P.L.


16-1213-angelaAngela Holcomb
Gresham, Smith, and Partners

Cady Johnson Headshot, Women in STEM Summit Committee Member

Cady Johnson
PIMCO Investments




16-1213-susanSusan LeFrancois
Faculty, Florida Polytechnic University

16-1213-meghan Meghan McGuire

16-1213-lisaLisa Monnet
Eye C Solutions


Loretta-SandersLoretta Sanders
Florida Polytechnic University Foundation Chair


Donna Slyster
Saddle Creek Logistics


Mary Vollaro
Faculty, Florida Polytechnic University


16-1213-carolineCaroline Vostrejs
The Beck Group

16-1213-stacey-weeksStacey Heacock Weeks,
 Heacock Insurance

Ana Wood HeadshotAna Wood
Waste & Recycling Division



Last Year's Overview

The Florida Polytechnic University Foundation and the University’s Women in STEM Leadership Program host the annual Women in STEM Summit to help women build meaningful networks and recognize opportunities within high-tech fields. Last year’s event featured nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Pamela McCauley, Director of the Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Central Florida, who discussed key issues and challenges impacting women in STEM. All proceeds from the lunch support Florida Poly scholarships.

2016 Photo Gallery

Learn more about last years event.



Did you know that 52% of women in the U.S. STEM fields quit by the time they're in their 30's?