2021 RedChair Scholarship Recipients

This year we have awarded 6 scholarships to various women in the Pittsburgh community from companies such as Westinghouse, Thermo Fisher, and others. Our recipients for this year are as follows:

Alexandra DeFazio – Westinghouse Cyber Security Program Manager
Stacey Chapman – Software Developer Project Manager
Brenda Valenta – Westinghouse
Karen Harlen – CMU School of Computer Science Communications for the HCI
Sonya Barber – Thermo Fisher Scientific IT Project Manager

Scholarship Offerings

Retreat with Holly Joy McIlwain

Founder, Brave Women Project
DDI Certified Facilitator | Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths Coach & Trainer
Certified Professional Behavior Analyst | Certified Professional Driving Forces Analyst

For years, Holly Joy McIlwain has exercised Dispositional Leadership as she quietly helped those seeking inspiration, coaching, or advice. In 2000, she decided to own that role and become intentional about it. She started writing about her observations, telling the story of leadership through action.

Developing leaders who change lives is her passion and professional purpose. She lives this through the harmony and boundaries created in her daily life, and she teaches this to her clients, colleagues, and collaborators through speaking, writing, training, and coaching. She believes that organizations can choose to spark impact in the lives of those they touch by moments, or movements, and she energetically pursues opportunities for both.

One way that she currently supports leaders in this is through the high-impact, women-focused, not-for-profit she founded in 2020, Brave WomenProject. Brave Women Project exists to develop opportunities for women of diverse backgrounds to move into brave action through conscious choice and intentionality within our spheres of influence, promoting equity through developing in four core areas: relationships, professional, impact, and wellness. The ability to move into brave action comes from our community of women as we experience the power of unparalleled encouragement.

Holly is a two-time author. Her first book, For She Who Leads: Practical Wisdom from a Woman Who Serves, was published in 2020. She also is a contributing author in the anthology Twenty Won: 21 Female Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories of Business Resilience During a Global Crisis which is an Amazon bestseller and was published in April of 2021. Her chapter, “I’m Not Busy” focuses on how she started Brave Women Project, how brave it is to say “No”, and how everyone needs room to be “un-busy.”

Holly holds two leadership roles, one as the Talent Development Partner for Winner Partners, a retained executive search firm, and as Director for HumanResources and Talent Management for Robert Morris University, with a focus in promoting equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in the recruitment and retention of great talent.

Learn More about Holly »

CEO Mindset Executive Coaching

Received two CEO Mindset Executive Coaching sessions and one phone follow up.

During your CEO Mindset Executive Coaching sessions, you’ll take stock of your current career outcomes and develop a strategy to foster increased growth and success.

  • Gaining perspective and clarity about career goals and strategies
  • Handling unconscious bias in a manner that changes outcomes
  • Executive presence that impacts buy-in and decision-making
  • Behavior that inadvertently undermines advancement
  • Defining your leadership signature and leveraging your strengths

RedChair Scholarships

Women comprise half the world’s population but do not play an equal role in inventing the technology that will solve the difficult problems faced by our society today. RedChairPGH encourages Pittsburgh companies and the technical community to correct that imbalance and foster a stronger local technical talent pool. We envision a future where Pittsburgh is the standard-bearer in developing and retaining a diverse technical community. With funds from event sponsorship and generous donations, RedChairPGH has created a scholarship program. The RedChairPGH scholarship is intended for leadership development programs for a mid-career woman in tech.

See our Scholarships for women in tech »