Jindal School Alumna Earns Women in Technology Award

Lisa Danzer

Lisa Danzer

For years, Jindal School alumna Lisa Danzer has been empowering women in technology. Now her efforts are being celebrated with a 2017 Women in Technology Award from the Dallas Business Journal.

To be presented Oct. 3, the fourth-annual awards spotlight North Texas business leaders who are blazing a trail in technology and innovation. Danzer is being honored for her work with the DFW Alliance of Technology and Women, a nonprofit that strives to increase the number of women in the technology field and in executive positions. A board member since 2003, she served as ATW president from 2002 to 2013. She now is president emeritus and this past year has been focused on operations for growth strategy and digital transformation.

“This award means working with the ATW cause for over 15 years is all worthwhile,” says Danzer, who earned two degrees from JSOM, a BS in business administration in 1988 and an MS in management and administrative sciences in 1992. “It was great for me to see the organization grow from something that could only attract 20 people from the community to now, where we had an event the other night that was almost 300 people – and lots of men.”

Danzer began in the insurance field. A UT Dallas classmate enticed her into technology.

Mary Ellen Winborn, who earned a BS in business administration from the Jindal School in 1988, was manager of regional administrations at Motorola when she recruited Danzer.

“I thought she had all the qualities you look for in an employee. She was intelligent. She was resourceful. She was working to complete her education,” recalls Winborn, who retired in 2001 after 25 years with Motorola. “She’s done very well, and I knew she would excel no matter what she went into.”

Winborn “told me that technology would probably be higher-paying than insurance,” Danzer remembers. “She gave me a $3,000 salary increase to come over. I was all excited about the pay raise.”

Danzer began in an administrative role. “My first technical job was to teach employees at American Airlines to use email and a word-processing program,” she says. “It’s funny when you think about it.”

Her enthusiasm for learning technology soon led to an assistant systems engineer position at Motorola before she launched into sales and technical roles with Sun Microsystems for 12 years. “That’s when Java was becoming a thing and the internet was becoming a thing, so I got to help companies bring the internet to reality,” Danzer says.

From there, Danzer served as a solution executive at Hewlett-Packard Co. and later a global practice leader for engineering systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “When I was at HP, cloud computing was coming of age so I helped bring that technology to businesses for business value for where we’re at today,” she says.

She recently returned to campus to attend the Le Freak concert with her niece. “She just moved into town, and I thought it would be fun to start planting the seeds for her to get her graduate degree at UT Dallas. I said: ‘I want you to see the school I went to. Now it’s grown up.’ ”

In total, four of the 25 DBJ Women in Technology honorees have UT Dallas ties, including Shradha Aiyer, MS 2013, director of mobile technologies at Axxess; Dr. Jennifer Seifert, BS 1998, director of research and development at TissueGen; and Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, the Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Professor of computer science and executive director of the UT Dallas Cyber Security Research and Education Institute.