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Michele Wong

"As a student in San Juan schools, I received a wonderful introduction to the possibilities available to me in the fields of math and science. Now, as a corporate executive and community leader, I am working to give every child in the Sacramento area the opportunity to experience the wonders of science at the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center and the future Powerhouse Science Center. Careers in science-related fields make up 20 of the 27 fastest-growing employment segments forecast for the next 10 years: we need to help today’s kids be science-literate, science–aware, and ready to fill those jobs." – Michele Wong

Biography

Michele (Williams) Wong is a life-long resident of Fair Oaks. She attended Harry Dewey Elementary, Will Rogers Middle School, and graduated from Del Campo High School.

After graduating from UC Davis with a major in Mathematics and Computer Science, Michele settled in Fair Oaks with her husband, Tony. Michele and Tony have three children, Matthew, Melissa, and Mark. Just before her 1982 graduation from UCD, Michele took a job as a computer programmer with a small software company. She rose steadily through the ranks, becoming president of the company in 1990, and CEO in 1996.

Under her leadership, Synergex has grown into an internationally recognized software manufacturer with a wide range of products installed in all 50 states and more than 80 nations. Michele was named one of the “Best & Brightest” by Sacramento Magazine, and in 2000, was honored to receive the Woman of the Year Award as the Sacramento Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s top fundraiser. She was named Sacramento’s 2006 Business Woman of the Year by the Sacramento Metro Chamber and one of the “Women Who Mean Business” by Sacramento Magazine in 2007.

Most recently, she was honored by Jr. Achievement of Sacramento in the 2008 Sacramento Business Hall of Fame. Michele is very active in philanthropic and charity endeavors. Not only has she been very active with her children’s schools, but she currently holds several board positions including the National Board of Directors for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; past chair of the Board of Directors of the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center; and past Chair, Board of Directors of KVIE Public Television.

Michele’s pet project is the Powerhouse Science Center – the future home of the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center. As the volunteer Interim Executive Director, Michele oversees the current operations while spearheading the capitol campaign for the Powerhouse Science Center. It seems that Michele has always had a soft spot for science and math education.

Michele remembers that her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Sonya Porter, taught an entire unit on marine biology, culminating in a memorable field trip to Van Damme State Park in Mendocino. This experience left a lasting impression on Michele of how much fun and how interesting good science education could be. In high school, Michele’s favorite classes were in mathematics.

Michele traces the development of her leadership skills to her student government experiences at Del Campo, and her first entrepreneurial experience to the organizing of a district-wide open dance. Michele has passed along her love of science to her children: her oldest son Matthew has a degree in biomedical engineering from Columbia University and is currently working in cancer research; her daughter Melissa has a civil engineering degree from Loyola Marymount. And Michele herself owes much of her dedication to education to her favorite teacher of all, her mother Peggy Williams, who taught in San Juan elementary schools for 36 years.