2019 Women in Aerospace Speakers
Amanda Simpson, Vice President for Research & Technology - Airbus Americas
Amanda Simpson was named the Vice President for Research and Technology at Airbus Americas in June 2018, responsible for coordinating external research activities for Airbus in the United States.
Ms. Simpson joined Airbus following government assignments in the United States Department of Defense. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, responsible for developing the strategy for the utilization of energy for military operational forces worldwide, and was the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to energy in our military. Prior to accepting that responsibility, she was the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, an organization developing large-scale renewable energy projects to bring energy security to Army installations leveraging private sector financing. Previously she was the Special Assistant to the Army Acquisition Executive. In that role she was a principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) on all matters relating to Army acquisition, procurement, research & development and logistics. In 2010, Ms. Simpson was appointed by President Barack Obama to the position of senior technical adviser to the U.S. Department of Commerce where she advised on policy and export control issues necessary to protect the security of the United States, making her the first openly transgender female presidential appointee in U.S. history.
Prior to her government appointments, Ms. Simpson was the Deputy Director for Force Protection in the Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems Product Line at Raytheon Company Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She held several program management positions on technology development activities for missile systems sensors and development programs. Previous to her tenure in program management, Ms. Simpson was the manager of captive flight test operations for Raytheon Company and Hughes Aircraft Company, which included the duties of mission director and project pilot on numerous developmental test programs. Her team received the DARPA Award for Significant Technical Achievement in 1999.
Ms. Simpson has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including the 2004 Tucson YWCA Woman on the Move, 2005 Arizona Human Rights Fund Individual Award, the 2015 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders Women of Distinction Award, and was named an Outstanding Alumnus of Harvey Mudd College in 2018. She is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Department of Defense Pride Civilian Leadership Award. She is a nationally renowned speaker and has presented at corporations, government agencies, civic organizations, conferences and colleges around the country on gender and diversity.
Ms. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Harvey Mudd College, a Master of Science in Engineering from California State University, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics where she served on the Systems Engineering Technical Committee.
Ms. Simpson holds both an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Certified Flight Instructor license, and has logged nearly 3,000 hours of flying in more than 60 different types of aircraft including float planes, flying boats, unmanned drones and multi-engine jets.
Michelle Bryant, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Programs -- Collins Aerospace
Michelle Bryant is vice president and general manager, Boeing Programs, at Collins Aerospace. In this role, Michelle manages the customer relationship, product manufacturing and repair services for all landing gear, wheels, and brakes being delivered to Boeing.
Prior to this role, Michelle led the Aftermarket Integration Planning Team for United Technologies Corporation’s $30B acquisition of Rockwell Collins. This acquisition merged Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerosapce Systems to form Collins Aerospace, the premier aerospace systems supplier across the globe. Before the acquisition, Michelle served as senior director, Aftermarket Sales Operations where she was responsible for leading the aftermarket sales support structure, which includes sales, tools, process management, analytics, pricing and strategy.
Prior to joing UTC, Michelle gained significant experience in the aerospace industry, including seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she led aerospace client engagements across operations, engineering, supply chain, and strategy. She began her career as a product development engineer at Boeing.
Michelle holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State University, and a JD in law from University of Virginia. She resides in Troy, Ohio with her husband and two children.
Judy Bridgeman, Executive Director, Electric Power Systems Engineering - Collins Aerospace
Judy brings over 20 years of experience to her current position at Collins Aerospace. She began her career in electrical engineering and held positions of increasing responsibility within the automotive industry. She joined Collins Aerospace – then UTC Aerospace Systems – in 2014. Judy also has an interest in medicine and all things innovative. When awarded a fellowship from a previous employer, she pursued her passion and received a degree in biomedical engineering while also completing her master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Throughout her career, Judy has received numerous awards including the Black Engineer of the Year and the prestigious Chairman’s Award. She has been featured in Black Enterprise magazine on several occasions for her leading-edge technical achievements. Having had the opportunity to travel and live in locations across the globe, Judy has a great passion for community and culture and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.
In her day-to-day work, Judy enjoys developing, mentoring and guiding her team and is committed to being a positive leader as a way of honoring those who helped her throughout her journey.
Judy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute), a master’s degree in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a MBA from Michigan State.
Sarah Talbot, Mechanical Engineer - Korry Electronics
Sarah Talbot graduated from Gonzaga University in 2014 and is now a Mechanical Engineer at Korry Electronics in Everett, WA. She works on the Sustaining team troubleshooting a wide range of design and manufacturing problems and works with a large, cross-functional group to keep the floor up and running. In addition to her engineering-related duties, she has advocated for and participated in various process improvements, coordinates events for summer interns and created a Korry Hiking Club where she plans hikes for herself and her coworkers every weekend from April through September.
Lori Nevin, Senior Program Manager, Triumph Integrated Systems
Lori Nevin is a Senior Program Manager at Triumph Integrated Systems and today gets to manage development programs for parts going into space! Lori has been in the aerospace industry for 13 years. Lori is a certified Project Management Professional and uses those skills along with being a creative writer and mentor every day. Lori comes with formal training in project management from the tech industry, with a wide range of experiences having owned businesses and as a volunteer for 15 years serving in a youth development program. Lori is driven by a passion for furthering the development of others and creating community where ever she goes. Lori is working on her own development matriculating at a University and continuing creative and editorial writing, some of which has been published on television, in regional news publications, and on travelogues.
Kathy Burek, Market Analyst, magniX
Kathy has been in the aviation industry for a decade in Marketing, Strategy & Research. She is currently Sr Marketing & Strategy Analyst with magniX, an electric propulsion company, where she is focused on understanding & defining the opportunities for electric aviation. Prior to magniX, she was with Boeing for 9 years including a marketing role in Boeing’s Training organization where she led development of Boeing’s 20-year forecast of pilot & aircraft technician demand. Her last role at Boeing was focused on supply chain strategy. Before getting hooked on aviation, Kathy worked in market research in various industries including cement & advertising. Kathy has a Marketing degree from DePaul University and a Master’s in International Business from Seattle University.
Dr. Janice Greene, President & CEO, WBEC-Pacific
Dr. Janice Greene retired after a successful career with The Boeing Company. For 20 years she led supplier diversity strategy, economic development, and business intelligence. During her tenure at Boeing, Dr. Greene had responsibility for maintaining strategic alliances with domestic and international agencies, global business intelligence, utilizing procurement systems and external providers to support supply chain strategies. In addition to expertise in supply chain, she has over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. In August 2017 Dr. Greene became President/CEO of WBEC-Pacific, creating an exciting opportunity to pursue her passion for economic development for women-owned businesses. Dr. Greene has served on several executive boards, including WEConnect International, a global organization focused on creating opportunities for women-owned businesses. She continues to collaborate with several business development organizations that
support diverse companies. Dr. Greene has a BS and MS in Management and a Ph.D. in Strategy, Project and Program Management.
Erin McCallum, President, FIRST Washington
Erin McCallum has spent 25 years successfully raising more than $162 million for a number of high-profile community organizations in this region and is a proven leader in both non-profit and political fund raising communities. Erin is an active volunteer with several nonprofit and community organizations including serving on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Western Washington and troop leader and member of Snoqualmie Valley Rotary. The mentors, coaches, and volunteers are the people who inspire her every day as they work to ignite and excite Washington youth to find their passion for STEM.
Allison Kinnear, Founder & CEO, A Voice of Her Own
For over 22 years, Allison has worked with women as they navigate their vulnerabilities as mothers, employees and leaders. Her career is grounded in understanding leadership, team dynamics, courage, and resiliency.
Allison has a passion for supporting emerging women leaders who struggle with their confidence and are on the verge of burning out. She helps them find effective ways to step into their power, build a toolkit to navigate difficult situations at work and create a life that keeps their energy tanks full.
Allison honed her skills as a manager during her seven-year tenure at Google in the People Ops department. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and is an instructor at Seattle Life Coach Training. She spends her time speaking to groups, working one-on-one with clients and being a mom to her two young children. To learn more, visit her at www.voiceofherown.com.
Diana Manning, Systems Engineering Advisor, Base2 Solutions
Diana is a systems engineer and technical program manager with a broad array of experiences in airplane development programs, complex aircraft engine/ propulsion systems integration, and team leadership. Diana’s experiences cover all phases of the propulsion life cycle; from concept feasibility analysis, definition/development to powerplant integration, engine/laboratory and flight test, build and fleet support.
Diana is a results-oriented, self-motivated, effective Engineering leader with over 30 years’ professional experience in aero-engineering integration, propulsion and aircraft systems. She has shown to be a dynamic leader with exceptional organizational, planning and coordination skills demonstrated in key areas within the commercial aircraft business.
Her expertise in technical design and integration, project management, certification, feature sales forecasting, and manufacturing improvement allow her to be a strategic leader of integrated and diverse teams able to deliver on time and within budget to exceed customer requirements.
Today, Diana utilizes her many years of aircraft experience as a systems engineer and advisor for Base2 Solutions. Within this role, Diana is able to leverage her systems experience both in aerospace and expand that knowledge for use in other industry applications.
Julie Kelley, Director of Business Development, AIM Aerospace
Julie Kelley is Director of Business Development at AIM Aerospace in Renton, WA since January of 2018. Previously she held roles in business development and account management at Saint Gobain, Cyient and Plascore, all focused on the aerospace industry and specifically in composites. She also spent 10 years in automotive as a process engineer, design engineer and engineering manager; each time being promoted as the first female to hold those roles. She has an MBA from Grand Valley State University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, where she also played four years of division II college basketball.
Marcie Simpson, President & COO, Nycote Laboratories Corporation
As President and COO of Nycote® Laboratories Corporation, Marcie Simpson’s reputation and exceptional business practices has driven the company to record business growth while maintaining only the highest manufacturing standards. Trusted by industry titans like Boeing, Airbus and Embraer to increase asset lifespan, enhance safety and reduce maintenance costs, Nycote’s advanced surface protection technology delivers the world’s only corrosion-resistant coatings with the flexibility of nylon and the strength of clear epoxy.
Over the last two decades, Simpson has built strong partnerships with OEMs, MROs, and suppliers across the globe. She has solidified exclusive distribution agreements that cover the United Kingdom, the European Union, as well as the massive emerging market of South Asia where the nation’s commercial passenger traffic is projected to surge to $278M annually by 2025.
As one of only a handful of top women executives in aerospace and aviation, Simpson is committed to pursuing broader partnerships that support the continued education and empowerment of the industrial chemical sector. In 2018, she was selected as the first woman President of Aerochemicals, a dynamic alliance of international industrial chemical specialists for the aerospace industry. Representing a wide range of mission-critical chemical products, services and technical support, Aerochemicals provides a worldwide customer service network with over nine manufacturing locations, 40 sales offices, seven laboratories and a staff of 250.
Nycote® Laboratories Corporation is the only global advanced surface coating manufacturer that can deliver unrivaled anticorrosion protection technology for mission-critical systems to the aerospace, automotive, and railway industries, among others. Through a multi-block copolymerization process, Nycote produces clear, chrome-free, lightweight liquid coatings with the flexibility of nylon and the strength of epoxy creating unprecedented protection capable of withstanding severe weather conditions and harsh environments. Located in Los Angeles since 1959, Nycote® Laboratories Corporation is proudly owned by a United States Veteran (VOSB), as well as a highly accomplished woman (WOSB). Nycote’s advanced coating technology is manufactured to order, suitable for both OEM and MRO application, and is EU/ IATA/ REACH Compliant. Nycote® Laboratories Corporation is an ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D Certified Company.
Pennie Burnham, VP Sales & Market Research, Nycote Laboratories Corporation
As the Vice President, Sales and Market Research for Nycote® Laboratories Corporation, Pennie Burnham is responsible for driving the company’s market share, enhancing the sales execution process, as well as strengthening client relationships while increasing collaboration. Located in Los Angeles since 1959, Nycote is the global leader in advanced surface coating technology, and is proudly owned by a United States Veteran (VOSB), as well as a highly accomplished women (WOSB).
Nancy White, CEO, Custom Interface
For 32 years Nancy White has been overseeing the manufacturing of electronic assemblies. Her first 10 years were spent as VP of operations. In 1997, she founded Custom Interface and focused on manufacturing wiring harnesses and electro/mechanical assemblies for the aerospace industry. CII received AS 9100 certification in 2013. The company is also UL recognized because it builds similar products for high end audio and test equipment. Custom Interface employs 93 people at its 45,000 sq. ft. facility in Bingen, WA. It is certified as a Woman Owned Small Business in a HUB Zone.
Nancy's hobbies include backpacking, cross country skiing, gardening and dance.
Rachna Mathur, Founder, STEMology Club
Rachna is an artist, an engineer, a tinkerer and a teacher devoted to the mission to inspire youth to “Find their Inner STEMologist”! Rachna started her career as a software engineer & architect at Intel designing validation tools & patented algorithms for package engineers. She eventually brought her creativity and technical prowess to Intel’s embedded product marketing team. After 10+ years at Intel, she quit to move to London, travel the world and raise two gifted STEMologists of her own. After returning back to the US, she shifted paths, combining her love of Kathak (classical Indian dance), tech background and marketing to help small education and performing arts companies redesign, streamline and grow their operations. In 2018 she launched her own education company, “STEMology Club”. Rachna’s hope is to grow the company to offer the usual and unusual STEM inspired courses such as “Global Climate Change”, “Elon Musk, Iron Man, & Tesla” for youth, especially girls, while at the same time empowering women from all walks of life to be able to teach such classes.
Teena Christel, CEO & President, MySource Consulting
Teena Christel, with her entrepreneurial spirit and love of business, is always looking at the big picture -- Asking big questions and interested in how to best help people and thereby businesses.
Through her varied professional roles, from marketing to HR to Training and Staffing (not to mention her personal interests in travel and as an artist) she has always been acutely aware of the changing tides of business. She has interviewed thousands of people and worked with hundreds of businesses throughout her career. She is currently witnessing an incredible shift in what people, and therefor company’s, view as important.
After 25 years in the Staffing Industry, 13 years ago starting MySource Consulting, it has become clear that the art of “attracting and retaining the best talent” has risen to a whole new challenge. People are empowering themselves more. They want to be in a positive, collaborative environment – not competitive. If they don’t find it where they work, they are personally creating an ‘inner calm’. Everyone wants to be recognized and ‘lifted’ to a role that incorporates their greatest strengths, gifts and passions – or to at least be appreciated for their results. The bottom line is, people inherently care about people and want to be in a collaborative environment.
Most importantly, everyone, and not just women – although women tend to recognize this first, need to maintain an equilibrium between four key areas – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. For that reason, Teena has expanded her business expertise to support individuals, groups and entire companies in building an atmosphere of heart-first leadership and culture. As a HeartMath Certified Trainer, Teena hopes to change the world we live in, bit-by-bit, just by adding a little more heart to everything we do.
Allison Budvarson, COO & Co-Owner, Out of the Box Manufacturing
Allison Budvarson – Out of the Box Manufacturing Allison Budvarson is COO and Co-Owner of Out of the Box Manufacturing, a contract manufacturer of electronic assemblies. Allison has held positions in Customer Service, Operations, Human Resources and Executive Administration within the manufacturing industry giving her a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities that community faces. Allison is passionate about supporting the local manufacturing community and does so by sitting on advisory boards for both Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Washington Business, The Center for Advanced Manufacturing of Puget Sound and the Puget Sound Chapter of the Surface Mount Technology Association. In 2017 she received the Industry Leadership award from The Center for Advanced Manufacturing of Puget Sound and in 2016 she and her husband were named Executives of the year in the small firm category by the Seattle Business Magazine.
April O’Donahue, Aerospace Sr. New Programs Manager, GM Nameplate
In my 22 years at GM Nameplate, I have held several positions, including supervisor of the Aerospace Inspection Department. After 9 years in Quality Assurance, I decided to make a change and take ownership of my career, even if it meant taking an initial step back. This led to my current role as Aerospace Senior New Programs Manager, a role that allows me to take full advantage of my mechanical engineering education.
As a leader at GM Nameplate, it is important for me to be open and receptive to my team and to foster an environment of collaboration and growth. I use this quote by Benjamin Franklin as a daily reminder of how to encourage and support my team: “Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I learn, Involve me and I remember”.
Thuy Van Campbell, President, Associated Machine Fabrication Inc.
Thuy-Van is the President of Associated Machine and Fabrication Inc located in Auburn, WA, and a Director of Long Van Group, the largest distributor
of Japanese-technology aluminum in Vietnam. She has more than 15 years’ experience in international trade and manufacturing; and is well-versed in cross- cultural business practices. She is also keenly adept at collaborating with business partners globally.
Anna Reyes-Potts, General Manager and Business Development Manager - TMF
Anna Reyes-Potts is the General Manager at TMF, a machine shop that supports mainly aerospace and defense programs. Prior to TMF, she was VP of Operations for a larger company, a manufacturer of medical devices, where she led a team of 125 people, mostly production and product development. In 2016, she joined TMF, where she has a team of 15. While it is a downscale in organization size, it is increase in responsibility and the amount of personal effort and knowledge required. Anna is an engineer by education, an operations manager by job description, and a business developer by temperament.
Shauna Prince, CEO - Prince Coaching and Consulting
Shauna Prince has over 30 years of corporate and nonprofit marketing and personal and leadership development experience in the US and Australia. Her vision is to partner with her clients to create lives they love through ontological (being-based mindset) coaching, consulting and transformational facilitation. Together, she and her clients swiftly clarify vision, life purpose and a compelling path forward. Her clients consistently experience unexpected transformations in who they are being and create extraordinary results.
Mandy Forgac, Field Service Engineer - Collins Aerospace
Mandy grew up in a small town near Youngstown, Ohio. As a child, she and her sister spent many evenings in the garage holding the flashlight while their dad worked on anything and everything imaginable. The girls eventually graduated to more difficult tasks, learning many valuable lessons and gaining mechanical aptitude. After obtaining her BA at Youngstown State University, Mandy’s dad encouraged her to visit Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics where she immediately fell in love with Aviation Maintenance and obtained her Airframe and Powerplant Certificate.
Armed with the proverbial “license to learn”, Mandy enjoyed several years working as a Technician before moving into positions of increasing responsibility at Fractional and Part 91/135 Operations as well as an MRO. Over the past 15+ years, her roles have included Director of Quality, Director of Maintenance, Director of Service and Support, Modification Center Director and Production Supervisor, all of which contributed to a wide breadth of knowledge in aircraft systems and business operations. She currently works at the Boeing Production facility in North Charleston, SC as an onsite Field Service Engineer supporting all Collins Aerospace products installed on the 787 Dreamliner.
In addition to her BA, Mandy holds an Inspection Authorization, an MBA from WVU, and has been accepted at Johns Hopkins University where she plans to obtain her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. In her spare time she and her husband volunteer at the South Carolina Aquarium as Conservation Assistants. She also serves on the Program Advisory Committee for Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, and has recently started a non-profit organization in memory of her father with the mission of assisting future female students interested in becoming A&P Mechanics. She is passionate about aviation, her family, the environment, and helping all young children have the same opportunities she was so fortunate to have.