A Year in Review: July 2015 to July 2016

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CFWIT turned one year old in July, 2016. We can’t turn back time to relive CFWIT’s first year in existence (unless you have a spare TARDIS we can borrow), but we can remember friends made, our excellent speakers, and events with the one year recap below!

Launch Party

JULY 29TH, 2015

If we weren’t already convinced that Wilmington had enough women interested or working in technology to warrant starting Cape Fear Women in Tech, the launch party erased all doubt. We had a wide variety of fabulous ladies and a few supportive gentlemen attend that initial event and, most importantly, continue to participate and make this organization what it is today. A big Thank You to our friends and partners at tekMountain and WILMA who have supported us from day one.

Networking Bingo


We got some feedback that networking would be a little more approachable and a lot more fun if games and activities are part of the plan. Networking Bingo gave everyone a chance to get to know each other in those early days (and win lovely prizes donated by area businesses). We also conducted a poll to gauge member interest in mentoring and volunteering.

Career Development Panel

SEPTEMBER 29, 2015

What could be better than a conversation with four talented, brilliant and passionate women who want you to succeed? We were fortunate to assemble this panel and hear real career advice from Laurie Patterson, Heather Thornton, Jessica Yenser and Mandy Curtin.

Event Details

Fireside Chat with Julie Thomas

OCTOBER 27, 2015

Julie shared her incredible story of perseverance, focus and grit that left us all inspired and ready to take on our own individual challenges. Ann Revell-Pechar led the conversation where Julie allowed us to peek behind the curtain and learn what it’s like to be the CEO of a tech company today (DocsInk).

Event Details

Cucalorus CONNECT: Ladies Code Workshop

NOVEMBER 10, 2015

The first annual Cucalorus Connect conference was such fun and the perfect opportunity to test out a programming workshop. We had a great group in attendance, and could not ask for a better instructor than Erin Terry from Tech Talent South. The adage goes, “Women who code together, stay together,” or at least that’s close. We’re looking forward to more of these types of events in the future and a deeper dive into specialized areas.

Event Details

Holiday Social

DECEMBER 1, 2015

Marshmallows, chocolate, wine and the company of CFWIT – a happy holiday indeed! We had a blast making s’mores and talking by the fire at A Tasting Room, our gracious host location. Ann Revell-Pechar surprised us with delicious catered snacks.

Event Details

Building Your Brand with Sandy Howe

JANUARY 26, 2016

Sandy’s discussion on building your personal brand drew one of the largest crowds in CFWIT history. She gave us practical advice and actionable steps to find out what we are known for and how to craft the messages we want the world to receive about us. This event was part one of the series for January and February on the topic of personal branding.

Event Details


Brand You Workshop

FEBRUARY 27, 2016

This fundraising workshop was part two of the two-part series we started in January on personal branding. It included practical advice and hands-on activities led by experts and professionals representing a variety of skill sets and talents. A big thank you to all the presenters and CFWIT members who attended.

Mike Hunter – LinkedIn tips and tricks

Rachal Garland – Storytelling and crafting your elevator pitch

Jenna Curry – Establishing and growing your professional credibility

Jonathan C. Ward – Photography and putting your best face forward

Katie McCormick – Creating authentic and memorable messaging

Emilyanne Atkinson – Wardrobe and finding a style that works for you

Event Details

Enterprise Data Security with Colin D’Cunha

MARCH 29, 2016

As an expert in data security, Colin brought years of experience and insight to this focused conversation. We appreciated his perspective on this highly relevant topic in today’s digital world.

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Understanding the Technology Job Market with Kimberly Griffiths

APRIL 7, 2016

We are grateful to our speaker Kim Griffiths of Adobe and our hosts at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for facilitating this conversation on building a career in technology. Building a career is a lifelong (or at least career-long) exercise, so there is always something to learn and motivate us to move forward.

Event Details


Garden Party

MAY 24, 2016

We could not have asked for a better location or day to hold a garden party. A special thank you to Susan Parker for helping us find just the right spot, and to all the ladies who donned their garden party attire and contributed to the fun and great conversation. We also conducted a survey to better understand if our group could benefit from implementing a mentoring program, so thank you to everyone who participated in the survey (we’re going to do it!).

Event Details

Self-Mentoring: The Love Child of Coaching and Mentoring! With guest Marsha Carr

JUNE 28, 2016

Marsha had us on the edge of our seats, out of our seats and in stitches over the course of her talk on Self-Mentoring and taking control of our personal and professional development. The Community Outreach Committee organized a professional clothing drive to benefit Interfaith Refugee Ministries and Hope Harbor. It was a huge success, and we were able to send more items than we imagined to deserving women in our community.

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CFWIT One Year Birthday Party!

JULY 26, 2016

We are grateful to celebrate a full year of growth and fun with this inspiring group of women. We look forward to many more birthday parties and, most importantly, to fulfilling our mission of advancing women in technology professions. Our focus remains to help women grow their networks, learn, and have an opportunity to give back and share their talents (especially when it comes to encouraging the next generation of women in tech). Cheers to us ladies!

Event Details

Outreach Update


For education, we are looking for ways to work with the school system to align volunteers with appropriate opportunities.  We have meet with the Career Technical Education departments for both New Hanover County Schools and Pender County schools thus far.  We are hoping to have a calendar of potential opportunities organized after the start of the new school year.

We have identified some key potential outreach opportunities with the area’s middle and high schools:

  • working with the technology instructors on course content
  • volunteering in the classroom/presenting
  • speaking engagements
  • working with the career development coordinators
  • high school project mentors
  • teacher externship opportunities

For Non-Profits, we have compiled a list of organizations and are collecting contact information to work towards matching up our members with volunteer opportunities to assist some of our area’s non-profits.

Our first outreach event – the professional women’s clothing drive was a huge success.  Our generous members donated a huge amount of items provided to two organizations: Interfaith Refugee Ministries and Hope Harbour Home.

Thanks for helping make the first year of CFWIT a success!

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