Meet SWE's FY19 President, Penny Wirsing
FY20 BOD installation group picture
The FY20 board of directors formal installation took place in early August. Sharing a moment on that occasion were, back row, from left: Libby Taylor, director; Kelsey Harper, collegiate director; Andrea Clewley, director; Karen Horting, CAE, executive director and CEO; Dayna Johnson, P.E., director; Natalie Vanderspiegel, director of diversity and inclusion; and Alexis McKittrick, Ph.D., speaker of the senate. Front row, from left: Sandra Pettit, Ph.D., P.E., F.SWE, secretary; Cindy Hoover, F.SWE, president; Heather Doty, president-elect; and Karen Roth, treasurer. Not present for the photo: Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., director.

Cindy Hoover, F.SWE // President // Spirit AeroSystems

Cindy Hoover, F.SWE, was named chief engineer of operations for Spirit AeroSystems in February 2018. In this role, she provides engineering and technical support services to all operations across Spirit’s locations in the U.S. and abroad.

Previously, Hoover held vice president positions for the Boeing Twin-Aisle programs, the 777X program, and the 737 MAX program, where she oversaw the development, execution, and integration of the products into existing operations and delivery to the customer. She also served as program director for the 767 tanker program, where she developed and implemented program management best practices to successfully execute program milestones. Before that, she held the role of director of fuselage engineering for the 777, 767, and 747 programs and was director for lean operations within the fuselage business segment.

Hoover came to Spirit in 2007 from LSI Corp., where she was director of customer operations, responsible for the overall customer experience within operations, and site manager for the Wichita, Kansas, facility. She has more than 28 years of industry experience in engineering, project and program management, Six Sigma, and a variety of operations management roles.

A graduate of Wichita State University, Hoover received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She earned her MBA from Friends University and her Six Sigma black belt certification from Six Sigma Academy.

An active member of the Wichita community, Hoover is vice chair of the board of trustees for the Wichita Area Technical College and serves on the national advisory committee for Wichita State University. She has previously served on the boards for United Way of the Plains, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Wichita Area Outlook Team, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Wichita State College of Engineering. Hoover has served SWE for more than 30 years and has held many leadership positions, most recently as a member of the board of trustees for the Society, and was named the 2017 recipient of SWE’s Work Life Integration Award. In 2018, she was recognized with the SWE Fellow Grade Award.

Hoover and her husband, Bryan, live in Wichita and have three adult sons.

Heather Doty // President-elect // Ball Aerospace

Heather Doty is a project engineer at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. She works in the manufacturing and test operations organization on new business ventures, people integration, career development, staffing, and hiring. She serves on the leadership team for the Women’s Ball Resource Group. In her previous role as engineering integration manager, Doty supported strategic initiatives and coordination across the organization. Prior to that, she spent more than 15 years in structural engineering at the company, performing finite element analysis and supporting environmental testing for a variety of space hardware programs, from the optical system on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to focal plane arrays for weather and earth-imaging payloads.

A senior life member of SWE, Doty joined the Society as a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She served as FY18 Society treasurer and FY16 director of regions. She brings a long history of SWE experience at multiple levels of the organization, having served in nearly every officer position at the section and region levels. She has been recognized with the Region i “Inspirational” Distinguished Service Award, and as an Outstanding SWE Counselor and SWE Distinguished New Engineer.

A Colorado native with a thirst for knowledge, Doty holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering, a B.A. in music, and an MBA, all from the University of Colorado Boulder. She enjoys traveling, playing flute and Zimbabwean-style marimba, creating culinary and brewing experiments in the kitchen, and playing board games with her family.

Sandra Pettit, Ph.D., P.E., F.SWE // Secretary // University of South Florida

Sandra Pettit, Ph.D., P.E., F.SWE, is the associate chair for undergraduate studies in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida (USF). The school is designated as a Preeminent State Research University, with more than 50,000 students.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. Pettit worked in industry for more than 15 years. Her diverse experience covers plant operations, engineering design, and construction with companies including Procter & Gamble, Jacobs Engineering, and TECO Energy. Her professional accomplishments have resulted in numerous accolades, including the 2001 SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award and named the 2006 Florida Urban Engineer of the Year. In 2018, she was recognized by the USF College of Engineering with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

A SWE member since 1991, Dr. Pettit has served in numerous leadership roles at all levels of the Society. She was the founding president of the Tampa Bay Area Section, a senator, governance task force member, and a WE Local host. Currently, she serves as faculty advisor for the USF student section.

Dr. Pettit received her Ph.D. (2014), master’s degree (2010), and bachelor’s degree (1994) in chemical engineering from USF. While pursuing her doctoral research, she was a Signature Research Fellow in the Heterogeneous Catalysis and Materials Chemistry Group. In addition to her technical achievements,
Dr. Pettit has been recognized for pedagogical skills and community service. She received the USF Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and the USF Golden Bull Award, one of USF’s highest honors bestowed upon individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership and service to the university and surrounding community.

Karen Roth // Treasurer // AFRL Information Directorate

Karen Roth is the chief engineer of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, New York. She transitioned from Sikorsky Aircraft, where she was the system security lead for the new Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter. Her responsibilities included execution of cybersecurity requirements and program protection elements.

Roth holds degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University in software and systems engineering, and is pursuing an MBA from Indiana University. Additionally, she is a regional Young Technologist of the Year, a USAF Civilian Achievement Medal recipient, and was recognized as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2013.

She joined SWE in 2001 as a collegiate member and has been an active leader ever since. She has served as a collegiate and professional leadership coach, members-at-large president, lieutenant governor, Society audit chair, senator, a member of the strategic planning committee, deputy speaker of the senate, and, most recently, as the FY18 director of professional excellence. Her passion is coaching and creating networks within the organization.

Outside of SWE, Roth actively participates in her local community on the regional engineering council board and her local Rotary board. Through these organizations, she has advocated for STEM activities via MATHCOUNTS, Project SITES, and the Books for the World program.

Andrea Clewley // Director // Tempur Sealy International

Andrea Clewley is a regulatory lab manager for Tempur Sealy International, responsible for four test labs in two locations, including the only internally operated, accredited burn lab in the mattress industry. Her team is responsible for the testing and qualification of new products and product improvements across the Stearns & Foster®, Sealy®, and Tempur-Pedic® product lines.

Clewley joined Tempur Sealy in 2016 as a senior new product development engineer after a family relocation. She served as technical lead for new product development projects for a year before taking on the role of regulatory lab manager. She is also a founding member of Tempur Sealy’s emerging leaders group in North Carolina.

Prior to joining Tempur Sealy, Clewley worked for the Kimberly-Clark Corp. for 15 years in a wide range of roles with increasing responsibility, developing new materials for core personal care products and new products for the business-to-business organization. In her time with Kimberly-Clark, she was granted two U.S. patents and had multiple additional patent applications.

Clewley holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a SWE life member and has served in a variety of leadership roles, from section president to region governor. Outside of SWE and work, Clewley enjoys spending time with her family, including two children; running; and exploring her new hometown.

Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E. // Director // Burns & McDonnell

Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., is the municipal water department engineering manager for Burns & McDonnell in Kansas City, Missouri. She has a B.S. in chemical engineering with an environmental emphasis from The University of Kansas. She is a licensed professional engineer in five states and is a certified design-build professional.

Over the past two decades, Greenfelder has been involved in the design and management of both small and large water/wastewater treatment processing projects for a variety of municipal, public, industrial, federal, and design-build clients. Throughout her career in the water industry, she has demonstrated that she loves what she does, and she continues to display exceptional dedication to the empowerment and betterment of others, particularly young women. She continues to push herself and others to new heights through thoughtful teaching and guidance.

A SWE life member, Greenfelder has dedicated her skills and talents to myriad leadership positions at every level of the Society. Her portfolio of contributions to the advancement of women is as important to her as her technical, professional, and community accomplishments. As such, she is an active leader in numerous organizations, including the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers and the Water Environment Federation.

Greenfelder lives in the Kansas City metropolitan area with her husband and son. She enjoys reading management books, sewing, and long-distance running in sparkly gear.

Dayna Johnson, P.E. // Director // GE Renewable Energy

Dayna Johnson, P.E., is the market intelligence leader for North America for Grid Solutions at GE Renewable Energy. She joined GE in 2012 as a commercial manager, leading large teams through the bidding process to develop proposals for high-voltage electrical substations. Prior to joining GE, she worked as a civil engineer, designing water and wastewater projects for rapidly growing communities in the Chicago suburbs.

She holds a B.S. in civil engineering and a Master of Engineering Management from Valparaiso University, and she is a licensed professional engineer and LEED accredited professional.

Johnson has been an active member of SWE since joining as a collegiate member in 2000. She has served as Chicago regional section president and section representative and as Region H lieutenant governor and treasurer. She was previously the awards and recognition committee chair and WE11 local host committee co-chair. Most recently, she has been engaged as a governance task force member and senator. She received the SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award in 2011.

Outside of SWE, Johnson is involved in her church and Toastmasters. She resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, their two young sons, and their dog. When she isn’t working with SWE, she enjoys traveling to warm locations with beaches far from Chicago, hiking, and home improvement projects.

Libby Taylor // Director

Libby Taylor has 15 years of manufacturing and process engineering experience. She began her career with DuPont as a process engineer at the Edge Moor pigment plant before shifting into a first line supervisor role supporting two areas of the plant on a 12-hour rotating shift. She transitioned into a full-time internal organizational development consultant for DuPont, traveling to more than 15 manufacturing facilities and supporting their journeys with the DuPont production system.

After her career with DuPont, she sought out opportunities with Dogfish Head Brewery as a production brewer and Axalta Coating Systems as a lean engineer. Most recently, she was operations and continuous improvement manager at Eastern Oil Company, responsible for overseeing all daily plant operations, ensuring plant and team members maximize safety, productivity, and quality, in addition to managing the company’s continuous improvement program.

She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering along with a B.A. in German. She has a master brewer certification from the World Brewing Academy at Siebel Institute in Chicago and Doemens Akademie in Munich.

A SWE life member, she has been active in the Society since joining as an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in the suburbs of Detroit with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, you can find her running on trails, eating chocolate croissants with her daughters, home brewing, and traveling to visit friends around the world.

Natalie Vanderspiegel // Director of Diversity and Inclusion // Solar Turbines Incorporated

Natalie Vanderspiegel is a value stream manager for turbine overhaul at Solar Turbines Incorporated, a subsidiary of Caterpillar. She graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology with B.S. and M.S. degrees in ceramic engineering and an M.S. in engineering management. Upon graduation, Vanderspiegel performed materials-based research for engine components at Caterpillar and received four patents.

After a transfer to Solar, Vanderspiegel focused on process capability initiatives for the robust manufacturing of fuel injectors. Her project initiatives led to increased quality, improved delivery, and decreased cost while seeing improvement on engagement in the workforce. Currently, Vanderspiegel leads a team to assemble and test overhauled gas turbines.

Since 2009, Vanderspiegel has held at least one leadership role in SWE annually, including deputy speaker of the senate, section president, chair of the program development grant committee, senator, and strategic planning committee member. In recent years, she engaged in SWE’s strategic planning process, including the development of the new plan.

Vanderspiegel is an advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) community and their allies. As a member of this community, Vanderspiegel knows how LGBTQ+ issues can negatively affect engagement and performance.

She has been recognized by 40 Leaders Under Forty for Central Illinois, as a Distinguished Young Alumni from MS&T, and as a STEP Ahead honoree from the Manufacturing Institute. Vanderspiegel was named an Emerging Leader from the Sonora Region of SWE and recognized at the Society level as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer.

Vanderspiegel spends her free time exploring her new home city with her wife, Cat, and their dog, Lincoln.

Kelsey Harper // Collegiate Director // University of Minnesota

Kelsey Harper graduated from the University of Minnesota (UMN) in 2018 with a degree in mechanical engineering. She is a manufacturing engineer in the Leadership Development Program at Ecolab.

In her time at UMN, she served as a SWE section outreach director, vice president, and president. Harper worked with a team of 50 directors and committee members to plan more than 200 events, serving more than 300 SWE members and 700-plus UMN students in FY18. Under her leadership, SWE UMN saw a 33 percent increase in membership and a 300 percent increase in corporate sponsorship. She worked to make language more inclusive and partnered with other organizations on campus to ensure all felt welcome at SWE events. Harper mentored many SWE UMN members and created a leadership retreat to strengthen the section’s leadership pipeline.

Harper served as Region H collegiate representative and collegiate senator, communicating Society strategic goals to more than 50 collegiate section presidents through monthly calls and conference meetings. She also connected collegiate sections to SWE resources and fielded questions during the transition away from regions. She was on the committee strategic planning subteam in the senate. Harper has also participated in SWE Capitol Hill Day.

Outside of SWE, Harper enjoys spending time with her puppy, Valentina; volunteering as a STEM teacher at a local elementary school; and eating ice cream. If you meet her, ask her what podcast she listened to last, or why waffles are definitely better than pancakes.

Alexis McKittrick, PH.D. // Speaker of the Senate // IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute

Alexis McKittrick, Ph.D., works as a research staff member for the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) in Washington, D.C. In this role, she conducts research and analysis supporting a variety of tasks for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and various federal agencies. Dr. McKittrick brings a range of environmental and energy expertise to STPI, including experience in corporate research and development (R&D), technical analysis, policy analysis, and government regulations.

Prior to joining STPI, Dr. McKittrick worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Division, where she focused on greenhouse gas analysis and policy for the oil and gas, chemicals, and semiconductor sectors. She also gained early-career experience working for Praxair Inc., as both an R&D technical lead and an R&D program development manager covering industrial sectors that included oil refining, chemicals, and steel manufacturing.

A SWE member since 2001, Dr. McKittrick has held a number of leadership roles within the Society. She has been chair of both the strategic planning committee and the government relations and public policy committee and is a past governor of the Mid-Atlantic region.

She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters. Outside of her work with SWE and STPI, Dr. McKittrick enjoys being a Girl Scout troop leader.

Hope Toole Schwalls // Deputy Speaker of the Senate // Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Hope Toole Schwalls is an aeronautical engineer staff member at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, Texas.

Schwalls has been an active member of SWE for more than two decades — first as a collegiate member at Bucknell University while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and then as a professional member in the Lehigh Valley and Fort Worth sections.

Schwalls has served SWE in a variety of roles at the local, regional, and Society levels, including senator, region governor, section president, and section representative on the Council of Representatives. Schwalls has also served as a nominating committee member at each of those three levels of SWE. She became a life member of the Society in 2009.

Karen Horting, CAE // Executive Director and CEO // Society of Women Engineers

Karen Horting, CAE, is the executive director and CEO for the Society of Women Engineers, a position she has held since Dec. 31, 2013. With more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and fund development, Horting was most recently the SWE deputy executive director. In this capacity, she was responsible for all fund-development activities for the organization, including corporate membership and SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council, as well as more traditional philanthropy such as foundation and government grants, individual gifts, and bequests. She also oversaw a number of the Society’s programs and services, including professional development, K-12 outreach, the annual conference, and SWE’s international expansion.

Horting came to SWE in March 2004 from the New York Academy of Sciences, where she served as director of strategic planning, managing the academy’s development activities and long-range organizational planning.

Prior to her role with NYAS, Horting worked for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, managing both marketing and fund development on a global level for Science’s Next Wave, a groundbreaking career-development website for graduate students and postdocs in science, math, and technology. Horting’s experience also includes more than 10 years in the paint and coatings industry in a variety of technical service and marketing functions.

In 2008, Horting earned her certified association executive credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives. Less than 5 percent of all association professionals have achieved this mark of excellence.

Horting holds a B.S. in biology from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

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