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  • 2022 Spring Networking Event Panelists

Enrichment Session 1: Culture Change with Accountability

Kathy Miller, Author, Steeltoes and Stilettos

Kathy is co-author of Steel Toes and Stilettos: A True Story of Women Manufacturing and Lean Transformation Success (Dec 2021, Taylor & Francis). Kathy is a transformational leader who consistently delivers impressive business results through team development, process discipline, and continuous improvement. Kathy is known for creation of inclusive cultures based on trust, respect, and accountability. Learn more about her book or purchase a copy here.

Kathy Miller is a Senior Operations Executive holding numerous senior roles such as plant operations manager, general manager, global vice president and global director at General Motors/Delphi Automotive Systems, Parker Hannifin, Rolls-Royce and Vertiv Corporations. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI Engineering and Management Institute), a Master's Degree of Business Administration from Ball State University, and a Master's Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Kathy is also a graduate of Coach U and in the process of attaining her ACC certification. Kathy is a Shingo Prize Recipient for Large Businesses as a Plant Operations Manager (2004) and was inducted into the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2021.

Kathy’s masters’ thesis: Welcome to the Efficacious Factory: Improving Business Results Through Positive Workplace Relationships, Meaningful Work, and Optimism supplements her experience and informs her coaching, consulting, and speaking engagements. Kathy’s public speaking experience includes conferences for Industry Week, Women in Manufacturing, and the International Positive Psychology Association. Kathy has written for or been featured in numerous manufacturing trade publications, including Automation.com, Industrial Process Products & Technology, Industry Equipment News, Industry Today, Battery Technology, EMS Now (Electronic Manufacturing Services), Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, Shop Metalworking Technology, Smart Industry, and Quality Digest.

Rupal Thanawala, Trident Systems

Rupal is a business and digital strategy executive with deep expertise in providing Virtual CxO advisory services to start-up to Fortune 500 clients to drive business outcomes through Innovation, M&A Divestitures and Digital transformation. Her experience ranges from establishing new business operations and clients, launching new products, leading large-scale global engagement, owning P&L, branding and marketing management to corporate responsibility. She provided strategy and digital solution services for supply chain, finance, HR, manufacturing, social media, regulatory compliance and quality across multiple industries.

She is passionate about her community and champions programs related to mentoring youth and women, education, technology, entrepreneurship, education, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Paula Rivera, Eli Lilly

Paula Angarita Rivera is a Senior Scientist – Medicines Innovation Hub at Eli Lilly & Company. Paula received her dual degree in biomedical engineering and mathematics from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Marian University in 2019. Paula then pursued her master’s in Mechanical engineering at IUPUI and completed the program in 2021, specializing in nanodevices that alert patients of their current health stage for a range of diseases such as COVID-19, diabetes, and cancer.

Paula joined her dream company, Eli Lilly in January 2022 as part of a prestigious talent development program called Leadership Development Program (LDP) where early career professionals are given the opportunity to navigate between different organizations and discover their passion within the company for a period of two years. Currently, she is working in the Delivery Devices and Connected Solutions (DDCS) organization as an engineer who supports the creation of device protocols to further the development of new medicine delivery methods for patients.

Paula has demonstrated excellence in her work, research, and her advocacy efforts within the community. She has received recognizable awards such as the 2022 IUPUI Chancellor’s Scholar Award which is given to the master’s student and Ph.D. student with the highest academic standing, 2020 Elite 50, and she was a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Scholarship recipient. In addition to her academic achievements, Paula is also part of several organizations and leadership programs including SADCO, SHPE, SACNAS, and Axis. Through her advocacy, leadership, and fierce determination Paula has overcome many barriers to achieve this level of academic excellence and she has also worked to make an impact through engineering in the community. Her positivity and creativity can energize any space. She is a faith-driven, charismatic, and ambitious professional who is focused on making a positive impact in our community.

Enrichment Session 2: Evaluating Stagnation: When is it time to move on?

Linda Hicks, ECC Horizon and President of Women & Hi Tech

Linda Hicks is currently the Vice President of Midwest Operations for ECC Horizon, a regional office of an environmental consulting company based in New Jersey. Linda leads a team of environmental scientists, geologists and project managers conducting environmental investigations and remedial projects throughout the US. Linda is a chemical engineer by training and has over 33 years of experience in the chemical industry gained through working at Vertellus Specialties Inc. Although Linda spent a couple years of her tenure at Vertellus doing commercial work as the Director of the Specialty Chemicals business, the majority of her career was spent within technology and manufacturing. She led global manufacturing and technology organizations including engineering, process safety, research and development, applications development, operations and global quality. Linda built the first pyridine and picolines manufacturing plant in China and has traveled the world establishing technology teams, processes, and manufacturing assets. Linda’s last role at Vertellus was Vice President of Global Technology and she was a member of the Vertellus executive leadership team.

Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.). Linda is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and served on the Executive Advisory Board of the Center for Chemical Process Safety for over 10 years. Linda is active in the community and has a passion for advancing girl/women empowerment, financial independence and STEM careers. She has served on the board of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, and held the position of Interim President and CEO, Board Chair (3-years) and Development Chair. Girls Inc.’s mission – “Inspiring all girls to be Strong, Smart and Bold”, resonates strongly with everything Linda does. She is a board member of TechPoint Foundation for Youth and has been member of Women and Hi-Tech for 5+ years. Linda was the co-recipient of the 2014 Money Magazine’s Money Hero for the state of Indiana, awarded the 2014 “Mentor Me” Leading Light Award by Indiana Women & Hi-Tech and named a 2015 Women of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal. Linda is married and has two accomplished daughters.

Promoting STEM careers, particularly to women, is what prompted Linda to get involved with Women and Hi-Tech. Women continue to be underserved in this area. Starting at a young age they develop the impression that STEM is so heavily populated by men that it’s tough to get ahead, have fun and build friendships. Linda believes Women in Hi-Tech works to dispel these paradigms and influence confidence building. She finds it inspirational and motivating to be surrounded by a sea of highly accomplished Tech women who are focused on mentoring each other.

Aisha Mohyuddin, Rolls Royce --
photo and bio coming soon!

Emma Clust, Tanium

Emma Clust is the Director of Strategic Accounts for Tanium, one of the fastest growing privately held cybersecurity and systems management companies in the world. Emma spends her time developing relationships with clients throughout the State of Indiana, and helping organizations realize their security goals by managing risk and remediating threats in their IT environment. Emma is passionate about learning, and questioning assumptions. She started her career in local government, eventually moving into a contract position for a Federal agency and finally making the jump into cybersecurity technology sales. While sales can have a bad reputation, she believes that by working with organizations she respects, to help them secure their environment she is helping keep her community safe and making the world a better place in an increasingly complex society.

She is the mother of two young children, who keep her free time to a minimum- as any parent can attest. Her path to motherhood has often informed her professional decisions, and she doesn’t believe in “having it all,” but knows women are actually superheroes. In her free time she, she chairs the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association’s active and often contentious Land Use Committee, reviewing land use petitions and interfacing with the more than 18,000 residents of Meridian-Kessler. She also finds time to run every day as a meditative practice, where she can marinade on issues and strategize on her next move.

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