The New Mexico Women in Tech Awards

Where Innovation Meets Inspiration 

March 2025

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The NM Women in Tech Awards celebrate the exceptional women in New Mexico’s tech industry who are advancing their fields. These distinguished women are honored for their innovative drive, professional excellence, mentorship of other women, and positive contributions to their communities.


The NM Women in Tech Awards consists of two categories:  

Women in Tech Honoree  

This award category recognizes the awe-inspiring women who are revolutionizing the tech industry and inspiring others to do the same. Honorees are trailblazers who have made a substantial impact in their field, demonstrated leadership, brought innovation to their profession, and encouraged other women to succeed in their careers in tech. These women have proven that success isn’t limited by gender, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll achieve next. 

Emerging Leader Award  

This award category celebrates dynamic women who are early in their careers in tech and exhibit exceptional ambition, passion, and talent. These awardees are emerging leaders who are poised to make significant contributions to their field and are already making a remarkable impact on their journey to success. 

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Meet the 2024 New Mexico Women in Tech Awardees

Emerging Leaders

Akilah Martinez is an award-winning creative technologist from the Navajo Nation. Akilah holds a BFA, with a focus in electronic art, from The University of New Mexico. Determination to technologically advance tribal nations enabled Akilah to travel between NYC and LA to learn from leading XR technologists.

Akilah’s nontraditional STEM background innovation has empowered Akilah to develop augmented reality applications that incorporate Indigenous languages while offering XR development mentorship to tribal leaders and educators.

Read more about Akilah’s impact.

Erin Scott Adams is a Software Engineer who has worked in digital innovation since 2014. Her experience ranges from content marketing to UX/UI design and software development. She currently works as a Frontend Engineer for Trek Bicycle.

As the Lead Organizer for Rubber Ducks NM, Erin is a tenacious advocate for accessibility & diversity in Tech. She also serves on several nonprofit boards and is working toward a master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction.

Read more about Erin’s impact

Women in Tech Honorees

Drawing on over thirty years of achievements as a startup entrepreneur and ecosystem leader in the Southwest, Susan has mentored 620 startup entrepreneurs and innovators; advised 89 emerging high-tech, bio-tech, and bio-pharma startups, and served a major role in 10 high-tech startups. Having worked in other states, Susan began her entrepreneurial career in New Mexico and is passionate about excellence, energizing others, and supporting tech start-ups in NM. Throughout her career, she has successfully recruited and mentored women in tech as both leaders and members of tech startup teams. In Susan’s words, “My pathway was unusual. I have always been the first woman in every position I have held and reached over to bring the next woman with me. I am a woman in technology.”

Read more about Susan!

Trace is an entrepreneur (CEO, EnviTrace) with a chemical engineering degree, running an R&D startup that develops cutting-edge AI/ML technology for environmental applications.

Trace is also an artist, volunteer mediator and professional/personal coach, perfume maker, and recognized leader.

Trace has over 20 years of public outreach expertise and technical and management experience. Trace describes herself as, ” a single mom and a passionate and dedicated lifelong learner trying to address and mitigate gender inequalities in our society.”

Read more about Trace’s impact!

In addition to her senior manager role for the Integrated Partnerships Organization, she also is Program Director of the Office of Research and Technology Applications. She oversees 150 staff supporting all Sandia mission portfolios. Monson serves on numerous national and state technology advisory boards in support of moving Sandia Labs’ inventions into the marketplace.

Read more about Mary!

Catherine Nicolaou is a telecommunications professional with experience in bridging the digital divide for rural, tribal, and urban communities in New Mexico. In her current role, she is the City of Albuquerque’s first-ever Broadband Program Manager.

Catherine leads City broadband initiatives to ensure all Albuquerque residents and businesses have equal access to high-quality affordable broadband services, devices, and digital literacy resources in a competitive marketplace where everyone can thrive now and into the future.

Catherine was a member of the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council working group, the City of Albuquerque’s Information Services Committee, a member of the New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards selection committee and currently sits on the board of the New Mexico Technology Council, the Hispano Philanthropic Society and co-chairs the state of New Mexico’s Digital Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility working group.

Read more about Catherine!

She is the author of two books, Engineering and Social Justice and Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems.  Riley earned a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in Engineering and Public Policy.

Read more about Donna!

Soledad, serving as the Regional Head of Public Policy at Getaround, a technology company, previously held the role of Senior Advisor to the Ambassador on Global Technology Policy at the U.S. Department of State. There, she focused on promoting equitable technology access, especially for women.

Her inclusion in “40 Under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy” highlights her impact on global tech policy.

With global experience and serving in a key role as White House Liaison Office Director, her expertise in technology policy, leadership, and international relations is well-established.

Read more about Soledad!

With a focus on cybersecurity, cloud architecture and DevOps, Lauren has worked her way up through various roles within the industry and created a reputation as the “go-to” technical resource with global IT teams like Costco, PetSmart, Disney, ESPN and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

As a Certified Ethical Hacker, a Certified Information Systems Auditor, 15+ certifications in industry-leading cloud and security vendors and currently a student at MIT working towards obtaining professional certifications in DevOps and DevSecOps, Lauren has dedicated her career to staying curious and consistently pushing  to learn the industry from every angle.

Read more about Lauren!

Mara is a principal R&D staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, where she has led multi-disciplinary teams to develop innovative technologies for the assessment and prediction of the state-of-health of engineered systems.

Specifically, she has over 15 years of experience in the creation of novel environmental sensors.

She is currently on an off-site assignment at the National Science Foundation as a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program director funding the nation’s newest cutting-edge technology start-ups.

Read more about Mara!

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