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Tucson Women in the Workforce Quarterly Event: Pivots and Promotions – A Panel Discussion

Presented by Edmund Optics and Pima Community College


No matter if you are moving from college to the workplace, being promoted from within, transitioning to a new career, or moving from work to retirement, this topic will give you valuable information to make that move a success. 

This event will be held at The Carriage House, 125 S Arizona Ave, Tucson AZ 85701. Come see Janos Wilder’s fabulous new cooking school and event space! SEATING IS LIMITED. Do not miss out, register early! Your registration fee ($35 for AZTC Members, $45 for non-members) includes the hour long presentation by our experienced panel, Janos’ heavy appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bar and Tucson’s best networking from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

GOLD SPONSORS: Edmund Optics and Pima Community College

3:00 – 3:30  Registration

3:30 – 4:30  Panel Discussion

4:30 – 5:30 Reception and Networking

Please allow time to park and join us. Click here to see a Downtown Tucson Parking Map. The Carriage House is located one block south of the corner of Broadway Blvd and S 6th Ave. 

Our Panelists

LPenny Head shot

Laura Penny was born in Tucson, AZ and grew up in the Air Force, attending 9 schools by the time she graduated from high school.

She returned to Tucson in 1979, and subsequently worked in the mental health and criminal justice systems. In 1995 she joined the staff of the Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction, ultimately serving as the Deputy Chief of Policy and Communications. In 2004, she was named Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, a position she held for more than 10 years. During her tenure the Foundation’s assets increased ten-fold, and grant awards trebled.

In 2015 Laura joined the staff of Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall as the Director of Victim Services, overseeing 34 staff and 100+ volunteers who provide 24/7/365 crisis response to victims of violent crime in Pima County.

Laura was named a “Woman on the Move” in 2001, a “Woman of Influence” in 2006 and is a former member and  President of Women at the Top.

She earned a B.A. from the University of Florida and an M.Ed. from the University of Missouri. She and her husband, Steve Gottlieb, have been married more than 30 years.

201601760_Koevary_Jen_SARVER RESEARCH-5

Jen Watson Koevary, PhD is currently Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Avery Therapeutics, Inc. and Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. Avery Therapeutics is developing tissue engineered technologies to improve treatment strategies and quality of life worldwide. Avery’s first product is a cell based treatment for heart failure in the pre-clinical stage. In her role as COO/CFO, Dr. Koevary leads commercialization strategy and operations. In her role as Research Assistant Professor at the U of A, Dr. Koevary works on development of imaging techniques to improve methods for early detection of cancer and studying the safety and efficacy of therapeutics for multiple indications. Dr. Koevary worked for three years in the Tech Launch Arizona office at the University of Arizona where she was responsible for campus educational programs, asset development programs and business development assistance to University startups. Dr. Koevary has prior research and consulting experience in medical imaging, materials engineering and design and analysis for medical devices and software. Dr. Koevary has prior experience working with a startup that was developing a medical device for margin assessment in cancer and as a co-founder and General Manager of a startup in the IT space with a product for family communication and content management. Dr. Koevary earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a BS in Health Sciences and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering with a minor focus in medical imaging at the University of Arizona. She also holds a minor and certificate in Entrepreneurship from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.

Gina Catalano Head ShotGina Catalano is the founder of Venture Solutions, a consulting and coaching company focused on the success of small companies and their leaders. With over 20 years of experience leading and working with businesses, she has worked as a director of consulting for manufacturing companies in addition to stints as a General Manager and Vice President in several entrepreneurial companies.

 She has also authored two Amazon bestsellers, Tandem Leadership: How Your #2 Can Make You #1 and Changing Lanes: The Owner’s Guide to a Successful Exit. In Tandem Leadership she outlines an innovative strategy for entrepreneurs to work with the #2 or “second in command” leader in their company to achieve the success in all areas of their lives. Her most recent book, Changing Lanes offers a blueprint for company owners to strategically prepare themselves and their business for the last phase of business ownership.

She is also a certified Advisor for the Value Builder System™ based on John Warrillow’s book Built to Sell and a Martha Beck trained Life Coach. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Master of Public Administration from the California State University, East Bay.

Our Moderator


Katie Schwertz is a passionate optical engineer with over 6 years of industry experience in applied optical and optomechanical design. In that time, Katie has operated as an optical designer, mechanical designer, drafter, and project manager. Through this work she gained experience in a large variety of market sectors including life sciences, medical imaging, defense & aerospace, infrared, R&D, and automated imaging. Katie received a BS in Optics from the University of Rochester and an MS in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona. She is also a co-author of the SPIE Field Guide to Optomechanical Design and Analysis.

Katie is an Optical Research Engineer at Edmund Optics, a multi-national optics and photonics engineering and manufacturing company with a branch location here in Tucson. She is also active in a variety of advocacy efforts for Women in Technology, including the SPIE Women in Optics Task Force and the AZTC Women in the Workforce Committee.  



Passed Hor d’ouevres

Achiote Chicken Taquitos
cabbage / radish slaw, achiote vinaigrette

Street Vendor’s Corn Tostaditas
lime ailoli, queso fresco, cilantro

Braised Beef Cheek Tostadas
cabbage / radish slaw, chiltepin salsa

 Mesquite Biscuits with Honey Chamomile Goat Cheese
candied oranges

Ricotta Tartine with Preserved Lemons
 levain, fig marmalade

Iced Tea, Wine and Beer (cash bar) 

Become an event Sponsor! Sponsorships Are Available Now!

Gold Sponsor:  $500

  • Opportunity to welcome guests from Podium (5 Minute Presentation with slides)
  • A LEVEL Company name / logo on AZTC Calendar Event and promotional eblasts and Social Media Posts (including hyperlink)
  • A LEVEL Company Logo on Event Collateral (mini-program handout, full color signage and looping video)
  • Four Guest Luncheon Registrations
  • Sponsor a seat for a UA Senior in a STEM field to attend the event!

Silver Sponsor: $250

  • Company Acknowledgement from Event MC
  • B LEVEL Company name / logo on AZTC Calendar Event and promotional eblasts and Social Media Posts (including hyperlink)
  • B LEVEL Company Logo on Event Collateral (mini-program handout, full color signage and looping video)
  • Two Guest Luncheon Registrations
  • Sponsor a seat for a UA Senior in a STEM field to attend the event!

To reserve your sponsorship, please send an email to Alison Boelts at, or dial 520-465-7645

Southern Arizona Women in The Workforce Committee Supporters:


The Carriage House
125 S Arizona Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701


Thursday August 3, 2017


3:00PM - 5:30PM


  • AZTC Member $35 Non-AZTC Member $45


Event Sponsors

  • GOLD Sponsor: Edmund Optics
  • Pima Community College Workforce Development and Continuing Education

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