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!

Monday Oct 22, 2007

I Invent the Future

October 22, 2007 - Twenty-four members of the engineering staff represented Sun at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC).

 

GHC is presented by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Sun was a Platinum Sponsor for the event, continuing the company's support for women in computing. Sun sponsored GHC in 2002, 2004 and 2006 (GHC used to be held every other year.)

Sun's GHC attendees represent the broad and diverse opportunities Sun affords to women in computing and technology, ranging from researchers at Sun Labs and engineers in Microelectronics, Software and IT, to managers and directors in Sales and Human Resources.

Sun's attendees were involved heavily at the event. Ten participated on panels and BOFs including:

  • "Advancing Your Career, Advancing Your Life" (panel submitted by Robin Wilensky, Architect in Sun Global Sales & Service Thursday, Session 1
  • "The Road to Executive Leadership" (includes a Sun panelist Kathy Jenks, Director in Sun Software)
    Thursday, Session 2
  • "Managing your career 2-5 years out of school" (includes a Sun panelist Sukyoung Ryu, Member of the Technical Staff in Sun Labs)
    Thursday, Session 3
  • "Girl Geeks in High School - Technical Experiences of Future Inventors" (panel submitted by Katy Dickinson, Director in Sun's CTO group, and daughter Jessica Dickinson Goodman, soon-to-be Freshman at Carnegie Mellon University)
    Thursday, Session 4
  • "Real Teamwork in the Virtual World" (includes a Sun panelist Leslie Lambert Vice President, IT Service)
    Thursday, Session 4
  • "Mentoring Makes MAGIC for Middle and High School Girls" (BOF submitted by Ira Pramanick, Sun Senior Staff Engineer in Software)
    Thursday, Session 6
  • "Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future: Advancing Latinas in Computing" (panel submitted by Gilda Garreton, Staff Engineer in Sun Labs; the panel also includes Ivonne Valdes, Sun Director in Global Services)
    Friday, Session 3
  • "Technical to Management: Expect the Unexpected - A Synopsis of Two Women's First Year Experiences" (includes Susan Miller, Director)
    Friday, Session 4
  • "Innovation Inside Corporations" (includes a Sun panelist Yvonne Wilson, Sun Principal IT Architect)
    Friday, Session 5
  • "Latinas in Computing" (BOF submitted by Gilda Garreton, Staff Engineer in Sun Labs)
    Friday, Session 6
  • "Outstanding Women in Computer Security" (includes a Sun panelist Kathy Jenks, Director in Sun Software)

Gilda Garreton, Sun Labs; Valerie Fenwick, Software; and Katy Dickinson, CTO, were Official Bloggers. Gilda blogged in Spanish.

Gilda focused on the track for Latinas in Computing: Latinas in GHC07, which produced a panel titled "Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future: Advancing Latinas in Computing," with six distinguished Latinas from industry and academia; follow-up BOF session and lunch event.

The attendees staffed a recruiting table, participated in Sponsor Night and gave away a Sun SPOT as part of the Sponsor's Raffle.

GHC 2007 was the seventh in a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.

Presenters represented industrial, academic and government communities. Leading researchers presented current work, while special sessions focused on the role of women in computer science, information technology, research and engineering.

Past GHC events have resulted in collaborative proposals, networking, mentoring, and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing.

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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