It is with a heavy heart and after much introspection, that the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing has decided to discontinue operations and close our doors. We plan to shut down the organization on November 1, 2019.
Roughly two decades ago, I first began attending AWC Puget Sound Chapter events at the Lake Union Café on Eastlake. Around 2006, the then current AWC Board decided to step down and had planned to shut down the organization. Amy Jessberger (our former president), Cathy Sullivan and a handful of others including myself stepped in to reconstitute a *new* board focused on continuing to provide a safe space for women in the IT industry to network and learn. Amy stepped down as President in 2009. I stepped into the role of President at that time and have been “at the helm” since. I’ve had the opportunity to meet, work with and get to know so many amazing people.
A lot can change in 20 years. The number of professional networking organizations available to women and girls in the industry today is vastly different than what it was 20 years ago – and I am confident that other organizations and leaders in the industry will continue provide networking and learning opportunities for women in tech while continuing to encourage women to enter the field.
Our past partnership with the WiT Regatta illuminates just how many women in tech and professional women’s organizations are now available to women and girls in tech today – providing girls and women very specific tech specialty networking options such as Women in Wireless, Women in Informatics, She’s Coding, Women in Cloud, Women in Digital and many, many others. Because of that, this feels like an excellent time for AWC to exit the professional networking stage.
Over the years, we have enjoyed the pleasure of partnering with the Association of Women in Science, the Association for Women in Communications (the “other” AWC), Society of Women Engineers, the Help Desk Institute and CSSP, Colors NW, GeekGirls, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, PMI, the Badassery Project, AIGA, Technology Access Foundation (TAF), Oikocredit, Dress for Success Seattle, MySource Talent.com, Resource Maximizer, Ghost CEO Coaching Program, www.SheTeam.com, BOLDTransitions, Iris Professional Services, Shirlaws Coaching, GeekGirlCon, Bluewater Productions, Stokes Lawrence, Morgan's Library, Covestic, Inc., Socrata, The Soulful Solopreneur, DAMA, The Feminine Face of Money, Puget Sound Business Journal, MK Hamilton & Associates, DevLocal, Phoenix Rising Coaching and Consulting, Boldly Social, Madison Browne Productions, Wholestory.org, Textio, Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, Smartsheet, LWT (Leading Women in Technology), Center for Research in Education and Simulation Technologies (CREST), Amazon, Tableau, Chef and Zillow (to list a few) on a wide array of topics.
AWC also wants to publicly acknowledge the Lake Union Café, Starbucks, the Columbia Tower Club, the Montlake Community Center, the Mercer Island Community Center, Wine World Warehouse, Serials Solutions/ProQuest, Urban Enoteca, ten mercer, DevLocal, Tableau, Fado Irish Pub, The Clubhouse, General UI, Fremont Abbey, Smartsheet, The Red Door, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Seattle Central Library, UpTop, Lane Powell, Startup Hall at Co-Motion, for being meeting location providers and sponsors over the many years.
I also want to especially thank Crystal Chor, Laury Kenton, Jeanne Seger, Ralph Smith and Cathy Sullivan for the many hours they have spent leading and supporting this organization over the years.
So farewell and thank you to everyone who has been involved with AWC in any capacity – as a speaker, attendee, board member, chapter member, location sponsor or partner organization. We thank you for your support and wish all of you all the very best in the years to come.
President, Association for Women in Computing – Puget Sound Chapter