Coming Soon!

The Spirit of the Midwest Awards will be transitioning to a virtual event.  More details coming soon.


Enjoy an evening of celebration as the WICT Midwest Chapter will be honoring stand-out women in our profession with awards such as: Volunteer of the Year, Woman In Technology, Rising Leader, and the Spirit of the Midwest award.  This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the WICT Midwest Board of Directors and find out how to get more involved with the chapter.  Additionally you will feel inspired and energized by the charismatic leaders you will have the opportunity to engage with during one of our most anticipated annual events.


Chapter Volunteer of the Year

This award recognizes an individual who has shown exemplary volunteer support for WICT Midwest in 2020.  This leader should show dedication to volunteering/serving to help grow the Midwest Chapter and inspire others in the community.


  • Recipient will have been in the industry for at least three years.
  • Must exhibit the Touchstones of Leadership – Know Yourself, Communicate, Listen, Be a Catalyst, Be Fearless, and Inspire.


Woman in Technology

This award recognizes an industry woman serving in a technical position who has contributed significantly to her organization as well as the cable and telecommunications industry.  In addition to her technical expertise, she is a valued team member who is committed to supporting and motivating others.


  • Recipient will have been in the industry for at least five years.
  • Holds a management/leadership position within her organization.
  • Must exhibit the Touchstones of Leadership – Know Yourself, Communicate, Listen, Be a Catalyst, Be Fearless, and Inspire.


Rising Leader Award

This award recognizes an industry woman, considered a newcomer to the industry, who has demonstrated her own personal leadership style and has become accomplished in both her job and in her working knowledge of the cable and/or telecommunications industry.


  • Must exhibit the Touchstones of Leadership – Know Yourself, Communicate, Listen, Be a Catalyst, Be Fearless, and Inspire.

and meet one of the following:

  • Recipient will have been in the industry for less than five years.


  • Changed career paths/business fields within the past two years (e.g. from marketing to operations).


  • Received a promotion within the last year to the manager level.


Spirit of the Midwest

This award recognizes an industry woman who has made significant contributions to the cable and telecommunications industry throughout her career, serves as a mentor and role model for others, exhibits leadership qualities that have made a difference in her organization, is a risk taker and a groundbreaker, and inspires others.  This woman is highly regarded by her peers and teammates for career accomplishments and quality of work-life balance.


  • Recipient will have been in the industry for at least ten years.
  • Holds a management/leadership position within her organization.
  • Must exhibit the Touchstones of Leadership – Know Yourself, Communicate, Listen, Be a Catalyst, Be Fearless, and Inspire.


If you know some amazing women who should be considered for any of these awards, make your nominations now!

Spirit of the Midwest Celebration 2020

Spirit of the Midwest is our signature chapter event.  It’s an inspiring evening centered around honoring the nominees and announcing the 2020 recipients for our four hallmark chapter awards:  Woman in Technology, Rising Leader, Volunteer of the Year, and The Spirit of the Midwest Award.  Please join us for an engaging evening celebrating our chapter and members.

Previous Spirit of the Midwest Award Winners


2019 Volunteer of the Year – Lauren Ray, Technologist-Security & Compliance, Charter Communications

Lauren has gone above and beyond in the past year to support the communications team for the WICT Midwest Chapter.  Lauren is extremely organized, dependable and always willing to help wherever needed.  She has spent hundreds of hours helping to provide communications to membership about upcoming events.

Lauren is confident and fearless by challenging herself with new assignments like volunteering for the WICT board and taking on all of the planning and organization associated with that volunteer role.  Lauren listens with her heart and mind to truly analyze a problem or discussion and often provides insightful feedback to improve an experience.  Last year Lauren was heavily involved in the communication strategy for Tech it Out and Spirit of the Midwest awards and often provided suggestions to enhance the communication plan.  Lauren has inspired many others to volunteer and get involved in WICT based on her personal involvement.  -Kristina Gustafson, Director, Spectrum Enterprise Business Operations, Charter Communications


2019 Rising Leader – Tera Dubs, Supply Chain Manager, Midco

She is truly unique and brings her own spin on leadership to Midco. She is 100% herself and her unique style is what makes people drawn to her. She is a force within the department she is in which has helped to highlight her in other departments. When Tera walks into a room or speaks, people pay attention.  Tera Dubs is a vibrant and energetic presence in our office. She is always willing to tell it like it is and push for the right answer and the right way of doing things. She backs up her opinions with facts and uses data to drive positive change. -Amber Schwiesow, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, Midco

She has continued to encourage and support others as they reach out to her for assistance or guidance.  She continually proves to be a solid decision maker and is willing to take risks to make changes happen.  She is very self-confident, extends an open forum of communication to others and listens to others when they’re seeking to understand.    Her overall mannerisms and charisma is motivating to others. -Jeri Kuhlman, Inventory Control Manager, Midco


2019 Woman in Technology – Maryann Eastman, Sr. Mgr. Network Engineering, Charter Communications

Maryann has worked with all levels within the telecommunications industry, from hourly technicians to Executive Vice-Presidents, and has proven to be an invaluable asset.  She is always willing to share her knowledge and help fellow teammates and employees learn more about the industry and the role we all play in supporting our customers.  She is an inspiration to everyone she works with, and sets a high bar for all of us to strive to reach.

Maryann demonstrates each of the touchstones of leadership on a daily basis.

She takes the time to listen to her customers, management, and her team to ensure that she is on the right path and helping others stay focused and on track.  Maryann tackles any project with a fearless attitude, and is tenacious in her pursuit of accuracy and integrity of all her work products.  She inspires her team and her co-workers to push beyond their perceived capabilities and strive for even greater heights. -Karen Zumwalt, Sr. Mgr. Network Engineering, Charter Communications


2019 Spirit of the Midwest – Jenny Massey, Regional Vice President Market Engagement, Suddenlink

Jenny Massey lives out every WICT Touchstone of Leadership throughout her daily interactions with team members, leaders, and business partners.   Jenny’s contributions can been seen in all of those surrounding her.  She has been an inspiration for so many women (and men) to challenge themselves and others in order to be successful.

Jenny models fearlessness as the only female regional VP in the West division of our company. While the majority of our VPs come from Technical Operations, Jenny utilizes her sales and marketing experience to maintain a fierce focus on the customer experience.  Jenny inspires team members on all levels to be fearless and challenge the standard norms.  She can identify leadership qualities in employees and will dedicate her time to develop that employee in a leader.

Jenny has been a strong woman to look up to during a season of change for her peers and team members.  Her infectious positive spirit brings joy, compassion, and boldness to everyone she encounters. She has made significant and lasting impressions on the way we do business and on all coworkers who are lucky enough to cross her path. Because of her ability to challenge and inspire all of those around her, she is more than deserving of the Spirit of the Midwest Award. -Candace Kirkendoll, Community Engagement Specialist, Altice, USA

2018 Winners

Volunteer of the Year - Katie LoRusso; Rising Leader - Sydney Smith; Woman in Technology - Julie Bent Spirit of the Midwest - Lisa Neuwirth

2017 Winners

Rising Leader – Tara Anderson Woman in Technology – Marsha Gee Spirit of the Midwest – Kimberly Noetzel

2016 Winners

Rising Leader – Jada Marcotte Woman in Technology – Erin Hayes Spirit of the Midwest – Pamela Hermann

2015 Winners

Rising Leader – Lisa Shea Woman in Technology – Andrea Wegley Spirit of the Midwest – Melissa Morris

2014 Winners

Rising Leader – Sally West Woman in Technology – Ginni Hartley Spirit of the Midwest – Theresa Sunde

2013 Winners

Rising Leader – Katie Atkinson Woman in Technology – Julie Sparlin Spirit of the Midwest – Jean Edhlund

%d bloggers like this: