Microsoft GM to keynote Nov. 5 GRITS Conference

Microsoft GM to keynote Nov. 5 GRITS Conference

Nancy Holliday, general manager for U.S. Services sales at Microsoft Corp., will be the keynote speaker for the first Girls Raised In Tennessee Science Collaborative Project Conference on Saturday, Nov. 5, at MTSU.

The GRITS conference will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the James Union Building, program director Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross said. Participants will meet in the JUB lobby, and events will be conducted in the JUB Tennessee Room and Hazlewood Dining Room.

The conference is open to girl-serving organizations such as Girl Scouts and Girls Inc, educators, community and business leaders, parents and others from across Tennessee.

Nancy Holliday

Holliday has more than 29 years of in-depth management, technical and sales experience, Iriarte-Gross said. Holliday has worked as business developer, partner account manager, account-team unit manager, general manager for public-sector services sales and GM of North America national sales and strategy while at Microsoft. She now runs sales for U.S. Services, a $1.3 billion business.

Also during the conference, Tanya Foreman, education manager at Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., will discuss the need for diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Iriarte-Gross said.

Foreman manages the Putting Children First program, which is a business and education partnership between Eastman and eight area school systems in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

GRITS helps raise awareness in STEM fields and piques girls’ interests to pursue science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics as a career.

Online registration will continue until noon on Friday, Oct. 28. The $25 registration fee will include lunch. High school and college students can register free.

To register online for the conference, go to You also can register for a Nov. 4 mixer.

For more information, call 615-904-8253.

— Randy Weiler (