Monday Jan 14, 2008

Women@Sun and SL

I'm on the Women@Sun leadership team. 

We're working up an idea that would involve doing a private screening of a special multimedia event in Second Life for our Sun employees.

Details are still being worked out, but I'm hopeful.

If you haven't yet checked out Sun's presence in Second Life it's worth a look.

(log in; search on Sun Microsystems)

I'll keep you posted...



Tuesday Jan 08, 2008

Watching Women's History Unfold in NH this Week

I live in NH and am very excited about today's 1st in the Nation Presidential Primary that is taking place here today(I've already been blogging a little on this via the Sun Communicators' Group Blog)

It's only Tuesday and it's already been an exciting week.

In Nashua,NH  the first woman mayor for the city was inaugurated on Sunday morning during the 104th Inauguration of Nashua City Government - there were also some women being inaugurated for the Board of Aldermen (which was an all male board in 2007).

Ironically, as these women in city government were being sworn in to office, thousands of people were outside of the same venue, waiting in line to see one of the top Democratic candidates (a woman!) who is running for President of the United States.  (The City Inauguration took place at 10 am and the Presidential Campaign Rally was at 12noon)

Don't forget that women did not have the right to even vote in the United States until the Nineteenth Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920.   

It's amazing to know that there are women who are alive today - our mothers and grandmothers who at one time, were not allowed to vote - it was against the law.  And today, these same women get to see a woman's name on the ballot as one of the many PEOPLE who are running for President in 2008. 

No matter which candidate you may support, or vote for, we are living and participating in history.
That is something to stop and think about today.

Friday Dec 21, 2007

The Spirit of Giving is All Around Us!

I love to hear how people come together to give back to their communities.   One of the reasons that I enjoy working at Sun is that I have the opportunity to work with people from across the company to lead and participate in programs that allow Sun employees to make an impact locally.  That's important to me because I live in NH not in CA where Sun is headquartered.

Over the past few weeks, I've seen a lot of media coverage of companies doing unique things in the spirit of the Holiday Season. 

One of those stories covered by the media is in my own backyard -- a company called eCopy added a question to their employee survey this past fall re: options for their employee holiday party.  The company's employees overwhelmingly opted to put the money for their party (which in the past included fancy foods and beverages, as well as prizes like iPod and airline tix) into an effort to benefit the local community.  As a result, eCopy made a $25k donation to the local newspaper's Santa Fund program.

Another backyard story that you won't read about in the paper, but can learn about from Sun's employees across the Boston area is about our recent Gift Drives for two local organizations:  The Lowell Wish Project in MA and the Nashua Children's Home in NH.  Our local Women's Network in the Boston area planned and managed both drives.

We all know that Sun has some of the smartest people in the industry.....but we also have some of the most generous people too!

Between both drives, we provided the two local organizations with approximately $10K in clothing and gifts this year.   Even with the odds not in our favor to deliver on time due to major snowstorms in the NE last week, employees came from out of the woodwork to get to Burlington and Nashua to drop off their presents, sort, pack and then deliver to the agencies that we had committed to supporting.   It was really amazing to see people go out of their way to help so that all deliveries could arrive on time!

As we were wrapping up the project in Nashua this past Monday, we had a last minute need for an electronics item for one of the last gifts to be delivered.....this was realized as a car load of gifts was on its way out the door for delivery.   Luckily, just outside of our local office in NH is a Sears Home Essentials store.   I ran in with the gift tag just before noon and went straight  to the electronics dept to find this last minute gift.  

The item that was on sale was no longer in stock.

 So I asked to talk to a manager.

I explained what our local employees had been doing for our big Holiday drive(s).  He immediately offered a comparable item at a very generous discount to help us out.  (no hemming and hawing or having to go get endless approvals, etc)

I was really surprised, but also pleased with his gesture - so much so that I called Sears customer service this week to thank them and this employee for their help to ensure a happy ending for all of our gift recipients!  It does 'take a village' - even if it's for just one simple gift item. 

So look around  and keep your eyes open and I'm sure you'll see generosity all around you during the holiday season (If you don't necessarily see it - you can definitely feel it!) 

Many thanks from one Sun employee to all of my fellow Sun employees in the Boston area, as well as those around the world, for making such a notable impact in our communities - not just at the holiday season, but throughout the year!

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

Sun Women in Boston Dine with Jack and Suzy Welch

OK....we really didn't 'dine' with Jack and Suzy, but we were all together during the keynote luncheon program where the Welches co-presented during an interview session.  They were both on the stage, which was an interesting approach at a women's conference.

This took place at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on December 11, 2007. 

Karen Tegan Padir (One on Boston's Women to Watch and an exec at Sun) sponsored two tables for over 20 Sun Women in the Boston area to attend this event. 

Here's a picture of most of us (who by the way represent just about every business group across Sun):

Last year there were about a dozen of us who attended - I hope that someday we have a presence there like Raytheon had yesterday - they sent all 500 of their Massachusetts based women or State Street, one of the sponsors, that had 700 women attend!

With so much info to share, it's going to take more than one blog entry to share what I learned let me start with our lunch with Jack and Suzy -- here are the things, that aren't the standard things you hear at conferences like this, that I jotted down as far as business advice:

Jack said, "Networking is nice....but it's all about over-delivering." He went on to explain that to get ahead you need to learn the 'game.'  And that is all about "making your boss look smart." (I don't think my boss reads this blog, so I'm not worried about him catching on to this advice I picked up and already am putting into action!) 

When asked about work/life balance, he said that he doesn't "believe in work life balance."  You could have heard a pin drop!  He continued to explain, that  "it's all about work/life CHOICES."  He added, "You don't get to be chairman of GE by being dad of the year." 

This was interesting to me - here he was talking about this at a WOMEN'S CONFERENCE.   He did quip that even when he was "21 that [he] didn't have this many women listening to [him]."    

Interestingly, I wondered to myself how the audience would respond to his insights -- and guess what?  Many of the people I talked to found his comments to be insightful and accurate. 

What do you think?

Monday Dec 10, 2007

12/3 Winter Open House - Colorado


Thursday, December 13
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. MT Town Hall

2:30 p.m. MT Open House Begins!
Broomfield Campus Dining Hall

Enjoy an opportunity to slow down and catch up with your colleagues from both the Broomfield and Louisville campuses. Join us for the 2007 Winter Town Hall and Open House on Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. MT, in the Broomfield Campus Dining Hall.

Take a well deserved break to enjoy some holiday treats, chat with your friends and colleagues, and meet the Colorado Leadership Council team members. Don Grantham, EVP of Sales and Services, and Bill MacGowan, SVP of Human Resources, will be joining us for the festivities following the Town Hall.

Holiday Giving Activities & Events

We are still collecting canned goods for the Community Food Share through December 7, 2007. Please donate canned goods by filling the bins in your building lobby. Alternatively, you can donate directly to the Community Food Share by clicking on this link:

This year, we are supporting the Make-A-Wish foundation by selling raffle tickets to help make a wish come true for a local child in need. Purchase your raffle tickets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT  during the December 6, 2007 holiday vendor fair on Main Street (Broomfield Campus). Alternatively, you can purchase your raffle tickets directly from Monica Coughlin at Monica.Coughlin@Sun.COM (BRM Campus) or Kristin Keller at Kristin.Keller@Sun.COM (LVL campus). Prizes will be drawn during the Winter Open House. Make-A-Wish Raffle Prizes are a $500 Flatiron Crossing Mall Gift Card or a signed CU football (used in the 2007 CU vs. Nebraska game, signed by the team). Raffle tickets are $1.00 each (or 6 for $5.00) and all proceeds go directly to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

We are hosting our second Annual Sun Canstruction® Contest in December. Judging will occur on December 13, 2007 between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. Winners will be announced at the Town Hall that begins at 1:30pm. New for this year is the People's Choice Award. We will take people's choice award votes on December 11 and 12, 2007. Please visit the voting table located next to the Canstruction structures. Contact Staci McKee (  or Nicole Eisele ( to sign up a team. Prizes will be awarded for the winning structure and the People's Choice.

Monday Dec 03, 2007

The Season of Giving Continues.....

Last week, Mary recognized the work that we're doing at Sun's NH office for the Nashua Children's Home.  (I just love the NCH project and get excited every year seeing Sun employees make an extra effort to provide local kids with happy holiday memories!)

This week, I'd like to give a 'shout out' for the additional project that Sun Women in the Boston area are leading right now.....a HUGE drive to support the Lowell Wish Project.    Within just a few days, 99 "wish tags" were accounted for by Sun employees in the Boston area -- and I know many of them are out shopping tonite.

This project is being led by Michele Walker and Tricia Teixeira (both are people I've known for many years at Sun and I'm glad that this project helped us to get reacquainted.)  This is the first drive that Michele and Tricia have led for the entire Burlington campus and their energy and enthusiasm has been inspiring to our local employees.

I wondered how they would manage so many 'wishes' knowing that our local community is very distributed.   With their IT and Web backgrounds, they convinced some of our engineering employees to donate some volunteer time to create an internal wiki - kind of a virtual holiday tree - for employees to access 'tags' from anywhere.   Very cool and I'm sure the start of a best practice that will be replicated across Sun.

Thank you to Tricia and Michele for the work you've done....I'll look forward to joining you and all of the other volunteers whom you recruited to take care of the final packaging and delivery at our Burlington campus later next week! 

Friday Nov 02, 2007

I Wonder if Scott Adams read Women Don't Ask

A couple of years back, I read Babcock & Laschever's Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, a fantastic book that really has changed the way I look at my life and how I handle every day decisions. (an excellent companion book for Women Don't Ask is Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice). I wish this was mandatory reading for every manager, director & VP - basically for anyone who deals with hiring, pay rises & recognition of team member accomplishments.  Any woman just starting her career or looking to make a move should read Women Don't Ask before they enter the interview and negotiation phases.  This book is amazing - showing you, with well researched data, why you (male or female) should never be afraid to actually ask for what you want.  Since reading this book, I've gotten discounts on dance shoes, dance tights, a wine fridge, repairs to my leather jacket, and had countless opportunities at Sun that I otherwise would not have.  Back to the subject, this recent Dilbert comic about why Dilbert got two computer monitors while his female colleague did not, makes me think that Scott Adams has maybe just read this book...

As a bonus, the book is very easy to read. :-)

This is my first post to this group blog, and I nearly posted this to my own... but it seemed more "on-topic" here. 

Valerie Fenwick

Friday Oct 26, 2007

Last Year - Lunch w/Maya Angelou, This Year - Lunch w/Suzy & Jack Welch

The Sun Women in the Boston area are marking our calendars to attend the MA Conference for Women on December 11, 2007 at the Boston Convention Center. 

We had such a  positive experience in 2006 - It included a lunch time session with Dr. Maya Angelou and  the opportunity to take a day to focus on our own career development. 

We also networked with  women from not only local tech companies, but from other industries as well - state and local government, financial services companies, educational institutions, etc.  Most impressive was the amount of young women there - not just representing local colleges and university - but also young women from local highschools who were sponsored by local businesses to attend the event.

Here's a look at the line up - the speakers and topics - And here are the 2007 Keynote Speakers:

Anna Quindlen René Syler Jack Welch Suzy Welch

If you plan to attend this event and would like to meet some of the women from Sun who will be there - drop a note via the comments section in this blog or just look for us on December 11 at the convention center in Boson - we'll all have Sun Microsystems on our nametags!

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

Seizing the Opportunity to Judge the Stevie Awards for Women in Business

For the past few years, I've been invited via email to be a preliminary judge in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business...aka: the Oscars for Business.

I typically skip over such emails - but this year, decided to accept the invitation and apply to be a judge.  Within a few minutes, I was sent all the info I needed to start judging entries.

What fun!!!  I've been having a blast reading and ranking the nominations -- and learning first hand about all the great things that women are doing in the business world. Thus far, all of the entries I've read are well written and truthfully, all are fascinating (and I think that's all I can say!)  The preliminary judging ends this week, and finalists will be announced on October 15th.

The awards program recognizes women in business in dozens of categories -- for both individuals and companies.   Keep your eye out on the Stevies' website for info on the final award recipients to be announced in November.  This is a program to become familiar with and consider submitting nominations 2008.

And if you ever are invited to participate to be a judge for a program like this - seize the opportunity!   You'll find that the minimal effort that judging takes, pays you back with tons of inspiration and learnings about the great things that women around the world are doing everyday!

Monday Oct 01, 2007

Learn about Women@Sun and Upcoming Events

Women@Sun Kickoff Meeting

DATE: Tuesday, October 9
TIME: 11:30am MT
\*Call-in details and presentation to follow

Join us to learn more about Women@Sun as an Employee Resource Group, our priorities for FY08, and our active local chapters.

Join the Women@Sun community. Email to be connected to the Sun women's network in your area. Please indicate your location so we can match you up with the closest chapter.

A Conversation About Leadership: Women Who Light the Dark

DATE: Monday, October 15
TIME: 10am MT
Sun Broomfield Campus--Building 3, Lightning and Scout Conference Rooms
(If you are not able to attend in person, stay tuned for further dial in details on the WebEx.)

A WebEx presentation featuring Paola Gianturco, renowned photojournalist and author of the photographic essay book Women Who Light the Dark.

All Sun employees are invited. You'll learn about remarkable women from around the world who have improved the lives of women and girls in their communities through extraordinary leadership and innovative strategies. You'll be inspired by the courage and creativity of these effective women leaders who are kindling hope and possibility for families, communities, countries, and our world.

Wednesday Sep 26, 2007

Leadership Seminar for Asian Americans--Nov. 8

A Leadership Seminar for Asian Americans -- Sun Campus in Broomfield, CO

"21st Century Leader" delivered by J.D. Hokoyama, President & CEO of LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc., A networking reception will follow with the speaker, leaders from Asian organizations and Asian employee groups of local corporations (Sun, Raytheon, Coors, Kaiser Permanente, AZN, etc).

WHEN: Thursday, November 8
Seminar: 3:00-5:00pm (check-in at 2:30pm)
Reception: 5:30-7:30pm

WHERE: Sun Microsystems Broomfield Campus (Building 1, Conf. Rooms #1 and #2)

COST: Free; RSVP required (email

About NAAAP:
The NAAAP Colorado is a 501(c)(3) (pending) organization ( and is a member of 501(c)(3) NAAAP National ( that has been in existence for over two decades, and is recognized by many corporations in North America. NAAAP Colorado was founded by several corporate Asian American employee resource groups in Colorado, with the goal of on-going collaboration to create “The Center of Leadership Learning for Asian American Professionals in Colorado.”

NAAAP Colorado seeks to establish a networking platform for Asian American professionals to develop and exercise leadership skills and other professional attributes, to advance their careers, and to foster business entrepreneurship.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

Oct. 5 - Help Collect Computers in Denver

Need 10-15 volunteers to pick up donated computers in Denver, CO. Please contact Carla.Morales@Sun.Com to volunteer.

Friday, October 5, 8am
1160 E. 18th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218
(old hospital main ISD building)

For many years, Carla Morales, a local Sun employee, has been rebuilding computer systems and donating them to nonprofit educational facilities, senior citizens, day care centers, low income families, low income college students and churches throughout the state of Colorado. She has been able to do this through the various organization/business partners she has built relationships with. Through these partnerships she receives computer and parts donations.

She has a great opportunity to help her mission and needs your help. Children's Hospital is moving in the next couple of weeks and has purchased a number of new computers and has offered to Carla's program 900 computers along with keyboards & mice, no monitors.

Carla has to go to each floor of the old hospital and collect the computers. She will need a team of 10-15 volunteers to help her accomplish this task. Carla would hate to have to give up any of the computers. Just think 900 families will benefit from this great donation.
The scheduled date for pickup is Friday, October 5th starting at 8am. Pickup will be at the old hospital main ISD building 1160 E. 18th Avenue Denver, CO 80218.

Contact Carla.Morales@Sun.Com to sign up to volunteer. If a department is interested in a team-building event, this would be perfect. If you can’t make it, do you know others who can: college students, high school students, etc?

Saturday Sep 15, 2007

Flexible & Eco Friendly Work (or Why I Love My Job...)

MaryMary blogged about this last week, but I thought it was significant enough to post about on this blog too. It is my first post here and I want to thank the community for making me feel welcome.

Mary points out a great story MSNBC's Eve Tahmincioglu entitles, 'The Quiet Revolution: telecommuting". The story is about people working from home - the challenges and the benefits. It puts the work experience that many Sun employees have in a broader context. A quote from the article states, "At Sun, Over 56% of employees work without an assigned office, which means they either work from home or use flexible office space."

If you are interested in this, the article is worth your time.


Monday Sep 10, 2007

Last Night's 60 Minutes Story .... I Feel Better Knowing that Others Need Services Like GeekSquad!

Last night, 60 Minutes updated a segment about the growth of "Geek Squad".

The main focus of the story was about the need for services like Geek Squad due to challenges that many of us find with installing new consumer technology products. 

The story included an interview with an Engineering expert with a degree from MIT who confirmed that this is indeed a real issue. (He can't even figure out some of these instruction manuals!)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about my similar frustration re: the complexity of consumer technology via a blog entry about my experience to install my new HDTV.

The 60 Minutes story made me feel so much better!!

(I just have one question -- how come during the video clips showing the geeks at Geek Squad, we didn't see any Girl Geeks?)

Friday Aug 10, 2007

Another Sun Woman in the News this Week

We have another Sun woman in the news this week. 

It's Susan Landau, one of our Distinguished Engineers (and a published author).

Susan's article is in the Aug 9 edition of the Washington Post: A Gateway for Hackers - The Security Threat in the New Wire Tapping Law.

In the article, Susan writes about the security risks surrounding the recent ruling in favor of the National Security Agency, which decided the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) no longer needs a warrant to wiretap if one party is believed to be outside the United States.

Check out the full article online.


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