Brig. Gen. Tamhra Hutchins-Frye, director of joint staff at Arkansas Air National Guard, will be a keynote speaker for NWA TechFest on May 18 at the Fayetteville Town Center.
Hutchins-Frye last year became the first female general for the Arkansas Air National Guard. She is also a co-chair of the planning committee for Girls of Promise, an Arkansas program that aims to encourage young women to pursue advanced careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields through conferences and hands-on learning activities.
Girls of Promise, founded in 1999 is a program of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
One of the stated missions of NWA TechFest is to “promote gender diversity in STEM,” according to its website.
In its fifth year, TechFest is a conference that brings together the tech community and aims to develop educational programs and business opportunities around STEM, according to its website.
This year, TechFest has committed proceeds from its annual event to go toward a computer lab refresh at the Boys and Girls Club in Fayetteville and support for its teen outreach program in the form of new books and magazines to the facility’s Teen Center.
TechFest plans to buy new computers, keyboards and mouses and also clean up existing equipment, according to a TechFest press release.
“The entire NWA TechFest team is extremely excited to work with the Boys and Girls Club,” TechFest advisory board member Sarah Daigle said in the release. “We’ve always known that the club is a great resource for sporting activities, and we wanted to amplify the access and awareness of the learning opportunities, too. After taking a tour of the facilities and speaking with the staff about the children they serve, everyone was ready to get to work on this joint project.”