What are WE Local’s Leaders Planning for 2021?

The annual WE Local Advisory Board (LAB) strategic meeting brings out news highlights and directions for FY21 but also welcomes/welcomes back 13 Members.

It’s hard to believe four years ago, the region conference task force launched into what is now an ever-growing volunteer development program that puts on seven hyper-local conferences held around the world. This program is known as WE Local. Its success is in large part due to the diverse community with a variety of backgrounds who serve on the WE Local Advisory Board (LAB) in a variety of roles. 

The LAB ensures the voice of the SWE member/non-member is heard and represented by leveraging continuous feedback in order to enhance a repeatable and maintainable program with current and future engineers and technologists in mind. 

Learn more about what the WE Local Advisory Board is planning for 2021 from our very own Marketing Subcommittee Member, Dian Nguyen.

To meet the 2021 WE Local Advisory Board, scroll further down!

WE Local Advisory Board

WE Local Advisory Board kicked off FY21 with an annual, all-day virtual strategy meeting on Friday, July 31.  

Attendees included returning and new LAB members along with headquarters staff who brainstormed ideas to continuously improve the WE Local program. Many great ideas have come (and will come) from these discussions.  

While member engagement and partnership continues to be the focus, adaptability has become more critical in the time of the pandemic. The question we look to continue to address is, “How will WE Local be made accessible, safe and engaging to all attendees whether it is an in-person or virtual conference?” 

We also discussed the tactical and strategic directions for the LAB this year and into the future. 

Strategic leadership training was held during the meeting and it was very helpful for us to define the mission, vision and direction for the WE Local Advisory Board that aligns with that of the Society.

Another area of focus was around diversity and inclusion (D&I) training. We were asked to participate in an “I am …, but I am not …” D&I moment that addresses the common stereotypes that members have experienced. This activity resulted in open, honest and personal conversations.  We learned so much about each other.  We also practiced and learned how to respect and support each other after the activity.  

Lastly, the LAB also expressed their expectation of serving on the board. While some would like to strengthen particular skill sets others were looking to get involved in the development and planning of conferences. But the common thread amongst us is that we want to contribute to the WE Local program’s success and sustainability and that we are ready to start FY21 with a clear idea and goal.

We will provide a strategic meeting update by early next year, so don’t forget to check out AllTogether then and in the coming months as the WE Local Marketing Subcommittee continues to write more blog posts with FY21 in mind. 

With that, I would now like to introduce you to the FY21 WE Local Advisory Board (LAB):

  • Dr. Jenn Winikus | She/Her/Hers | LAB Chair and Program Subcommittee Lead
    Western New York Section
    SWE Member: 6 years
    Fun Fact: I am a bit obsessed with Digital Logic, and I have 2 tattoos on my arm from this subject: a two-to-one multiplexer and a combinational logic pattern inside the wings on a butterfly.
  • Kiera Kaufman | She/Her/Hers | LAB Chair-Elect and Program Subcommittee Member
    Baltimore/Washington Section
    SWE Member: 6 years
    Fun Fact: I used to be a fitness instructor, teaching kickboxing and strength training classes.
  • Jonna Gerken | She/Her/Hers | Program Subcommittee Member
    Hartford Section
    SWE Member: 27 years
    Fun Fact: I play on a women’s ice hockey team made up of (almost) all moms!
  • Adriana Porter | She/Her/Hers | Awards Subcommittee Lead
    Kansas City Section
    SWE Member: 12 years
    Fun Fact: My go-to comfort binge shows are either Parks & Rec or Grey’s Anatomy. [Leslie Knope is my spirit animal!]
  • Liz San Miguel | She/Her/Hers | Awards Subcommittee Member
    Los Angeles Section
    SWE Member: 11 years
    Fun Fact: I love to cook and make things from scratch. I’ve been “visiting other countries” during the pandemic by cooking food from those countries. Last weekend was Morocco. We smoked a leg of lamb on oak chips and made pita from scratch.
  • Devyn Yates | She/Her/Hers | Collegiate Competition Subcommittee Lead
    St. Louis Section
    SWE Member: 6 years
    Fun Fact: My favorite animal is a giraffe and one of my life goals is to travel to Africa and see them in their natural habitat.
  • Pramita Mitra | She/Her/Hers | Collegiate Competition Subcommittee Member
    Detroit Section
    SWE Member: 6 years
    Fun Fact: I detest working out, but can walk miles on a beach. I also love visiting lighthouses!
  • Vanessa Velasco | She/Her/Hers | Marketing Subcommittee Lead & Headquarters
    WE Local Manager, Marketing & Events
    Fun Fact: I was a nationally recognized race walker. Though I do not compete anymore, I love working out even if it’s only 20-30 minutes a day.
  • Dian Nguyen | She/Her/Hers | Marketing Subcommittee Member
    Hawaiian Islands Professional Section
    SWE Member: 10 years
    Fun Fact: I would love to travel the world and learn traditional dances from countries I have visited.
  • Steven Ulrich | He/Him/His | Floating LAB Member
    Rocky Mountain Section
    SWE Member: 3 years
    Fun Fact: I recently started brewing mead during the pandemic.
  • Jan Williams | She/Her/Hers | Floating LAB Member
    Central New Mexico Section
    SWE Member: 35+ Years
    Fun Fact: I am the swimmer on a 70.3 Iron Man team (with board member Kerrie Greenfelder, our runner) called Two Youths and a Hag (I’m the hag who swims the 1.2 mile leg).
  • Tori Morgan | She/Her/Hers | Social Subcommittee Lead
    Philadelphia Section
    SWE Member: 23 years
    Fun Fact: I enjoy traveling and seeing new places. Fortunately, I also like reading during this time of staying home.
  • Jocelyne Denhof | She/Her/Hers | Social Subcommittee Member
    Grand Rapids Section
    SWE Member: 7 years
    Fun Fact: I like to stay active by playing on social sporting leagues – usually ultimate frisbee in the summer, broomball in the winter. I even play trampoline dodgeball!
  • Carole Womeldorf | She/Her/Hers | SWENext Subcommittee Lead
    Southwest Ohio Section
    SWE Member: LOTS of years
    Fun Fact: SAILING with family is my heart

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Author(s) Information

  • What are WE Local's Leaders Planning for 2021? WE Local Dian Nguyen

    WE Local Advisory Board Marketing Subcommittee Member, Hawaiian Islands Section, Senior Radio Frequency Design Engineer at QORVO and Vanessa Velasco, WE Local Manager, Marketing and Events

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