Girls of Promise® Coding Summit

   Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
  9:30am to 12:00pm

In Short

The #ARKidsCanCode: Girls of Promise® Coding Summit is open to 7th to 12th grade female students interested in coding. Open to novices and experienced coders. See and share the flyer.

Registration Closed

150 girls from 40 schools across Arkansas are registered to attend the coding summit!

Chaperones/schools: please contact us to let us know if any of your girls are unable to make it.


9:30 – 9:50:   Check-in, Getting Ready & Networking (See logistics.)

9:50 – 10:30: Welcomes & Announcements

Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Welcome – Katherine Prewitt
Emcee – Warwick Sabin
Governor’s Welcome – Asa Hutchinson Contest Winner Announcement – Cameron Wilson
AT&T Sponsorship of WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest Announcement – Jan Collier

10:30 – 10:50:  Instructions, Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks – Sarah Daigle
Hour of Code Instructions – Alia Borroho

10:50 – 11:50:   Hour of Code

Arkansas Women in Tech Mentors to assist with Hour of Code module:

Alia Borroho, Devfluent
Sarah Daigle, Currant Tech
Tara J. Dryer, Ed.D., University of Arkansas Global Campus
Joyce Grippi, Grippi Business Solutions
Amanda Potter Cole, AMP•SEE Ideas
Susan H. Smith, Business Communications, Inc.

11:50 – Noon:  Contest Details & Wrap-up

How to get started on submissions to the WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest sponsored by AT&T; Appreciations – Amanda Potter Cole

Learn About: Speakers, Champions, & Mentors
Alia Borroho, Devfluent

Alia Borroho

Founder of Devfluent
Coding Summit Event Co-chair
 Alia Borroho

Formerly a fashion industry insider, Alia Borroho has finally found her calling in tech. Alia is a Little Rock native, graduate of the Ironyard’s inaugural class, and recently founded Devfluent, a devshop offering app, website, and brand development. She has found deep purpose and meaning in her work as a front end developer and feels certain that she is now able to change this world, one line of code at a time.

Alia believes that we are living in revolutionary times. She is passionate about continuing her efforts in making tech more inclusive, as well as introducing younger generations to the thrill and excitement of computer science. She is a firm believer that technology careers provide opportunities to design, build, mold, and make anything that one loves – providing purposeful and fulfilling career opportunities.

Alia plans to continue to share her skills in tech in hopes of molding tomorrows leaders because she wants to do her part to cause a little ripple that may one day turn into a tsunami.

Jan Collier, Arkansas/Oklahoma AT&T Mobility

Jan Collier

Vice President & General Manager of Arkansas/Oklahoma AT&T Mobility

As Vice President and General Manager, Jan Collier oversees the sales and operations for more than 1,100 employees, 60 AT&T-owned and operated retail locations, and more than 430 national retail partners and authorized resellers across all of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Prior to this role, Collier served as Vice President for AT&T Global Human Resource Operations. Collier led the company’s efforts in college recruiting, HR mergers & acquisitions, international HR operations and international & contingent workforce solutions.

As an industry veteran, Collier’s 24 years of experience brings a successful, diverse background of experience. She joined the company in 1990 in the wireless sales and service business. Collier progressed in leadership roles within sales, business development, marketing, and operations. Continuing to expand and assume increased responsibility, she moved into the executive development team of AT&T University, where she designed, developed and delivered executive leadership development programs that span across the corporation.

In 2012, Collier was again promoted to Vice President – Human Resources and was responsible for providing strategic HR support in the areas of workforce planning, skills/talent management and HR solutions’ delivery for the Home Solutions, Global Business Solutions and Business Marketing organizations.

Collier holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She and her husband, Steve, have two grown children.

Sarah Daigle, Currant Tech

Sarah Daigle

CEO, CTO, and Founder of Currant Tech
Coding Summit Event Co-chair
 Sarah Daigle

Sarah Daigle’s twitter bio is concise and to-the-point: “Canadian- American. Educated woman. A mother of boys. Step-mom to teen girls. Someone who thinks code is sexy, and teaching is a high calling.” Since late 2014, she’s been growing a technology group as the Chief Technology Ambassador of Currant Technology Group @curranttech while unable to turn away from her desire to be continually “Geeking 4 Good”.

Sarah’s specialties include online & technical education; technical architecture for the small and/or non-profit business; social marketing strategies; and making friends everywhere she goes. She is a strong advocate for exposing women & children alike to coding for fun and career development.

Sarah is very active in Ozark STEM Foundation, which serves the NWA region by connecting and funding STEM activities for our residents from Pre-K to Bachelor degrees. Additionally, Sarah serves on the NWA Advisory council for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Sarah earned her B.A. degree at Bishop’s University (Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada) and her Masters in IT Education at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

Tara J. Dryer, Ed.D., University of Arkansas Global Campus

Tara J. Dryer, Ed.D.

Director of Training, Corporate Development and Academic Outreach at University of Arkansas Global Campus
 Tara Dryer

Tara Dryer holds a doctorate degree in higher education and oversees The University of Arkansas Global Campus Rogers facility. As a former high school business teacher and instructor for TRIO programs and current instructor in the College of Education, she has a passion for learning, workforce education and professional development. She is currently spearheading an IT Readiness Initiative which will allow individuals to obtain non-credit certificates in various sectors of IT including mobile app development, cloud, cyber security, website development, etc. Tara is continually giving back to the communities in which she works and lives and wishes to make a community impact in the area technology training.

Joyce Grippi, Grippi Business Solutions

Joyce Grippi

Founder, Grippi Business Solutions
 Joyce Grippi

Joyce Grippi has always been interested in tech stuff – everything from programming, web design, to how hardware is put together. Her career at Walmart culminated in their global communications and, recently, Joyce has founded Grippi Business Solutions. 

While Joyce earned an associate’s degree in computer information management from the Computer Technology Institute of Pittsburg, the majority of her tech knowledge has been self taught by exploring and not being afraid of new challenges. Her specialties are problem-solving, cross-functional collaboration, strategy development, written and verbal communication, leadership, and developing others.

To Joyce, learning the way coding works is a powerful tool to strengthen one’s problem solving skills, which are integral for a successful life. She believes that having passion and determination are key components of building the future one wants. She encourages everyone to find that thing that lights you up and then to not let anything stop you from pursuing that dream.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Governor Asa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson

Governor of Arkansas

Asa Hutchinson was sworn in as the 46th Governor of Arkansas in January, and immediately set in motion his plan to bring more jobs and economic growth to his native state.

Governor Hutchinson kept a major campaign promise by working to pass the biggest income tax rate cut in state history. His initiative to require computer-coding classes in every public high school makes Arkansas a national leader and signals to businesses everywhere that our students will be prepared for the 21st century economy.

In addition, the Governor’s emphasis on government efficiencies — including a hiring freeze instituted on his first day — have resulted in taxpayer savings and better focused state services.

As part of his strategy to market Arkansas and attract more jobs and businesses to the state, Governor Hutchinson already has met with CEOs of major industries across the globe from Silicon Valley to Germany and Cuba.

On the national stage, Governor Hutchinson has been a key leader in education, energy and security.

The Governor is chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board, chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, and vice chairman of the National Governors Association Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.

Before being elected governor, Asa Hutchinson served as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration and as the first Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Voters in Arkansas’s Third District also elected him to Congress three times.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas law school, Asa Hutchinson, at age 31, was appointed by President Reagan as the nation’s youngest U.S. attorney.

He and his wife Susan have been married 42 years. They have four children and five grandchildren.

Amanda Potter Cole, AMP•SEE Ideas
Amanda Potter Cole works towards a world where people have the desire to learn, grow, thrive, and help others do the same.

Amanda M. Potter Cole

Founder of AMP•SEE Ideas
Coding Summit Event Chair
Amanda Potter Cole

While always interested in technology, Amanda Potter Cole received an undergraduate degree in religious studies and spent the next eight years in the nonprofit sector. After several years of working as a freelancer and thinking she’d find a “real job” after the next project, Amanda realized she had founded a unique business.

To be as beneficial as possible to her strategic planning and grant management clients, Amanda uses the diplomacy and writing skills she honed while working on her bachelor’s degree, her natural artistic flare and big picture vision, and her self-taught web design, graphic design, social marketing, and photography skills. Many of these skills are also of interest to small businesses and nonprofits as a la carte services.

Amanda works towards a world where people have the desire to learn, grow, thrive, and help others do the same. When not working with clients, she may be found promoting livable urban design, speaking up for equality & education, wandering about with her camera, or experimenting with local foods.

Katherine Prewitt, MISO

Katherine Prewitt

Senior Director of Regional South Operations of Midcontinent Independent System Operator
Katherine Prewitt

Katherine Prewitt is Sr. Director of Regional South Operations for Midcontinent Independent System Operator. She has extensive experience in program management, operational support, and transmission expansion. Her leadership, team building and communication skills helped rebuild one of the eastern interconnect RTO’s long term planning processes which culminated in the approval of more than $1.25 billion of transmission expansion.

Katherine received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Texas, Austin. Her journey in the energy sector began in the field as a construction engineer. She now has more than 15 years of success creating and directing strategic initiatives in collaborative environments.

In her free time, Katherine participates on multiple boards each focused on advancing awareness and advancement opportunities in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with an emphasis on women.

Warwick Sabin, The Innovation Hub & Arkansas House of Representatives
Warwick Sabin

Warwick Sabin

Arkansas State Representative for District 33
Executive Director of Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

Warwick Sabin is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and he serves in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

As the State Representative for District 33, Warwick also holds the position of Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore for the 90th General Assembly. Both Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett as well as Talk Business Quarterly named Warwick among the top ten legislators of the 2013 legislative session, and the Arkansas Times called him the “Freshman of the session”. In 2014, he was among 24 national political leaders awarded the Rodel Fellowship by the Aspen Institute for his “outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse.”

Before assuming his position at the Innovation Hub, Warwick was publisher of the Oxford American magazine, and in 2009 he was named to the FOLIO:40, a list of the 40 most influential people in the national magazine industry. His additional professional experience includes serving as director of development for the Clinton Foundation, as well as working on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and at Foreign Affairs magazine. He is a Marshall Scholar and a Truman Scholar, and he holds an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Political Science from University of Arkansas, where he graduated as valedictorian and was president of the student body. He received the University of Arkansas Young Alumni Award in 2005 and was named to the Arkansas Business “40 Under 40” in 2003, and he has volunteered and served on the boards of directors for numerous community and nonprofit organizations and projects in Little Rock. 

Susan H. Smith, Business Communications, Inc.

Susan H. Smith

Account Executive at Business Communications, Inc.
Susan Smith

As a woman IT professional for more than 25 years, Susan has seen the industry change dramatically and has changed with it.  Analyzing an organization’s needs, creating appropriate, secure technology solutions, then helping them understand that solution is her passion. 

Susan’s projects have included schools, museums, large-scale events, law firms, non-profits, government financial transparency, and large corporations.  Key projects include helping lead the Arkansas Transparency Project; creation of databases using GIS to analyze archeological data; designing and implementing all technology for a local private school, including a connected library, grade book and even point of sale in the cafeteria; creating the first network to connect Arkansas libraries; and using technology to reduce costs for a business by 20% during an economic downturn while also securing the system and providing more functionality. 

Personally, Susan volunteers as a youth mentor for The Salvation Army and a local mental health organization.  Helping kids and young adults learn skills that will make them better students is important.  Then helping them understand how to use those skills in the workplace is vital. Technology and analytical skills are key to this generation’s success.

Cameron Wilson,

Cameron Wilson

COO & VP of Government Affairs at
Cameron Wilson

Cameron was previously Director of Public Policy for the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2010, he launched the Computing in the Core coalition to bring attention to K-12 CS education. At he manages operations (school district outreach, professional development workshops), as well as government affairs and policy work.

Hour of Code Contest Winner: Arkansas Announcement

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere, no experience needed, can organize an Hour of Code event using the one-hour tutorials designed for folks ranging from 4 to 104. One public school in every US state (and Washington D.C.) will win $10,000 worth of technology for organizing an Hour of Code event in 2015. The Arkansas winner will be announced at our event!

WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest Kick Off

We don’t want the coding to stop, so as part of the event’s wrap-up we will be kicking off a contest for Arkansas girls in 6th-12th grades. Girls are asked to develop an app, website, computer program – anything tech related – with a philanthropic twist. AT&T is sponsoring the contest and the grand prize winner will receive and Apple MacBook! Watch for more details.


This event is sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor and

Special Thanks

WFA’s staff, board of directors, and event committee are so appreciative of everyone who helped make this event possible. In addition to those listed above, we want to thank our amazing volunteers (Maria Jones, Jerri Derlikowski, Bailey Perkins, and Hyelynn You), and all the media coverage we can’t wait to share!