Friday, July 17, 2020

FY21 Section Election Guide: Candidate Bios and Statements

Hello Readers! The FY20 Nomination Committee is excited to present the following slate of candidates for consideration by the membership as SWE PNW officers for the FY21 fiscal year:
  • President
  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Treasurer-Elect

President Candidates

Cary Kaczowka


Cary Kaczowka is a manager with Boeing Commercial Aircraft’s Customer Engineering organization. Over the past seven years she has been a materials engineer in Boeing’s Product Development group and a structural design engineer supporting the 777X program. She grew up in Massachusetts and earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation & Society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2013. While working full time she completed her M.S. in Materials Engineering at USC in 2019. She lives aboard her 34’ sailboat, and has spent the past few years learning about diesel engine and boat maintenance, racing sailboats, cruising the Puget Sound, and sharing the joy of sailing as much as possible. Cary has been a member of SWE’s Leadership Coaching Committee since 2013 and a member of SWE since 2009.

Candidate Statement

Hello fellow SWE members! Like many of you I joined the Society of Women Engineers in order to grow personally and professionally, and hopefully gain some leadership experience. SWE has brought me countless friendships and professional connections and is one of the reasons I have the job I have today. I hope to be considered for the role of Pacific Northwest Section president in order to give back to the society that has done so much for me.
My SWE experience includes 4 years as a collegiate section officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (including section president), 7 years on the Leadership Coaching Committee, and a number of regional and societal conference presentations. Most recently I was fortunate enough to give a keynote speech at the 2020 WeLocal conference in Salt Lake City. I have continued to stay involved with SWE through societal committees, and this next year I would like to work with fellow PNW SWE members to continue to build and strengthen our local section.
The Pacific Northwest is a unique location filled with talented engineers across nearly every industry. Our section membership is distributed amongst beautiful landscapes and has members at every stage of their careers. We have a diversity of membership worth celebrating, and along with the 2021 PNW SWE officer board I hope to create opportunities to foster the connections amongst us. Many of our section members are looking to network, consider career transitions, develop new skills, or simply to give back to the community.
My first goal as the PNW section president will be to help anyone who is interested to truly feel like a member of a SWE section (and have fun doing it). I’m looking for your support and participation in FY2021 – in whatever way is right for you. Thank you!

President-Elect Candidates

Rachel Gitajn


Although relatively new to SWE PNW, Rachel is a longtime SWE leader, having served as both section President and Regional Lieutenant Governor while living and working in Vermont. A Mechanical Engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Rachel Gitajn spent the first 13 years of her career working as a Design Engineer in the outdoor industry—developing snowboard products, bicycles, and footwear in a mix of engineering, product design and innovation roles. In 2018, Rachel moved to Seattle to join local startup, Glowforge, as a Senior Mechanical Engineer. It was Rachel’s extensive outreach experience that first drew her to Glowforge, which makes a pioneering laser cutter/engraver optimized for at-home artists and crafters, seeing it as the perfect tool to help inspire the next generation of diverse engineers and creators. After moving 3 times in the past 5 years, Rachel is really excited to plant roots in Seattle and take on a leadership role with SWE PNW. When she’s not working, you’ll find Rachel either in the mountains (hiking, snowboarding, backpacking or mountain biking), or at her home in Ballard gardening and nurturing her beloved houseplants.

Candidate Statement

When Dana, the WE Local—Bellevue Chair who I worked with as a member of the Program Subcommittee last year, reached out about the call for FY21 officer nominations, I was interested right away. After moving 3 times in the past 5 years, I’ve finally begun to set roots here in Seattle. My partner and I bought a house last year, and I have been itching to expand my local network and re-engage in community work that I love. SWE has always inspired and energized me, originally as a member, and later as a chapter and regional leader. While I was Vice President and President of my SWE chapter in Vermont, we doubled our engagement and event attendance, cemented our relationship with local organizations for outreach partnerships, and built a strong reputation for programming by sending the presenters of local annual workshops (on topics like Salary Negotiation) to the SWE Annual Conferences. Not only was I involved in my local section, I’ve also attended numerous regional and national conferences over the years, and have been an annual conference speaker twice, once as a panelist at the 2007, and later as an individual speaker, presenting “Designing Your Dream Job” in Nashville at WE15. I love this organization and see the next two years as a perfect opportunity to re-energize the local PNW chapter and re-commit our community to our values that seem more timely than ever - integrity, inclusion, trust, mutual support, and professional excellence. The President-Elect position is a perfect place for me to focus my energy and passion, while also learning the intricacies of our local chapter and chapter governance that will set me up for success the following year as President. Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Secretary Candidates

Elaine Reeves


Elaine is an Environmental Compliance Engineer at Microsoft in Redmond, WA and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. Originally from Edina, MN, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Art in Physics at the University of St Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. Elaine earned her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.
Elaine Reeves is a SWE Life Member with over 10 years as a professional member; 7 of which has been here in the Pacific Northwest. Elaine has held leadership positions in both the Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest Professional sections and within Region J.
Elaine is active at the society level with reviewing scholarships for both incoming freshmen and upperclassmen since 2009 and has recently become a collegiate poster judge.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, all things Disney, and spending time with her husband, 2 toddler daughters and 2 dogs.

Candidate Statement

Hi SWE PNW. I am currently running for Secretary of our section for FY21. As the FY21 Secretary, I would like to continue the work on documentation that has currently been implemented as well as work on creating more clarity to the roles and processes of SWE PNW. I enjoy working with the executive board and want to make sure that they are supported in their roles as well as assist in bringing programs to our members.
I have previously served as your FY19 President, FY18 President-Elect, & FY15/16/17 Section Representative as elected roles and numerous unelected positions as well. I am eager to apply my knowledge of SWE to this role.

Gail Cornelius


I am fulfilling a dream of service to a field (and organization) that first showed up in my life as part of a “What is Engineering?” assignment in Mr. Roberts’ 7 th grade MESA class. Born and raised in Seattle, I have had the fortune of applying my two engineering degrees in both industry and academia. For four years I was an officer (including President) for one of the largest student sections in the country (Cal Poly), and my first Boeing internship came after sitting with a recruiter at our “Evening With Industry” banquet. 18 years later, I had a “mid-career crisis” and left Boeing to become the inaugural Director of UW’s “Career Center @ Engineering,” where I oversee the professional development of over 8,000 Engineering students (28% of them female). I also serve as the adviser for UW’s SWE student section, which boasts over 400 members. Outside of work, I married my college sweetheart (another engineer!), and we have two beautiful daughters, who both aspire to be in STEM-related fields. I also coach girls volleyball at a local high school and am also President of Cal Poly’s Seattle alumni chapter.

Candidate Statement

Analytical. Arranger. Deliberative. Focus. Strategic. These five strengths are indicative of the detailed nature of my personality, fit for the role of Secretary.
I look forward to sharing our SWE members’ stories so that young girls realize that they are not alone. Being a minority myself in school, I wanted desperately to fit in and see people “like me” in my fields of interest. Currently being a mother to a middle school daughter, I know how important “confidence” is, particularly around math and science. And as a mother of a fourth grader, I’m starting to help my student navigate the choppy waters of the social scene & confidence issues. If we intend to continue an upward trend of females in engineering, it is integral that we open communication lines with a wide audience through programming and awareness. I want to use the Secretary role to share our members’ stories and be a visible presence in the community.
Just as SWE supported my development, I hope to provide that scaffold through robust & regular communication as Secretary. At my alma mater, I served four years as a student section officer and gained organizational, leadership, and communication skills. As adviser/counselor for UW’s student section, I share my SWE story regularly with my officers because I see first-hand how important it is to continue a young woman’s journey into the field; just because she gains a degree does not mean that her need for support, praise, and encouragement stops. At UW we encourage the College-to-Career membership, and I hope to use this Secretary role for more resource sharing & community building.
As Secretary, I look to re-invigorate the presence of the SWE-PNW our section to our members, both prospective and current.

Lynn Aylesworth


I first joined SWE at Everett Community College and heavily invested my time to SWE at Washington State University (WSU) Everett, where I studied electrical engineering. I attended two WE Nationals while attending and three WE Locals. While I was at WSU Everett, I was the Associated Students President and graduated with Summa Cum Laude. I just graduated in May and am currently working at Crane Aerospace & Electronics and wanting to get more involved as a professional with SWE. This community made me realize how great and supportive women are in the STEM field and would love to see that spread. I love my dog Luna and recently just got more involved with hiking. If anyone wants to go hiking once COVID-19 passes, I would love to go!

Candidate Statement

The school that I attended for undergrad did not have many women engineers. I was one of two in the graduating class of 2020 for the electrical engineering program. I have seen the men that support the women in STEM and the other women empowering the other women. At my work, there are also not a lot of women in the engineering field. SWE is a great organization to really showcase everyone supporting women as we grow in the STEM fields. Being one of very few engineers at my work, I would love to spread the positivity of empowering women engineers. I would like to see SWE continue to grow to showcase women that are succeeding in these STEM majors. In addition, I would love to see younger generations adapt to the newer science and math that are being uncovered. I also see SWE growing to be a very diverse section that has a positive outlook on equal opportunity for women. As Secretary, I would love to be a supportive role in SWE PNW. Not only that but be an active role model and support the future women and men in STEM.

Prerana Jaikumar


Hi, my name is Prerana Jaikumar! I am a Biomedical Engineering graduate of Case Western Reserve University, class of 2018. I am currently a graduate student studying a Master's in Information Management, specializing in User Experience at the University of Washington, Seattle. I hope to pursue a career in product management in the health tech industry. I have served both as a Secretary and as a Director of Programming of the Case Western Reserve University SWE section during my years as a collegiate member. As a collegiate, I helped develop industry relations with my university through networking events held on-campus and on-site at local companies. I also helped organize our annual Engineering Explorer event with local Girl Scouts, where Girl Scouts would have opportunities to engage in different science- and engineering-themed stations situated all around campus. I have also attended 3 WE Annual Conferences, in Philadelphia, PA; Minneapolis, MN; and Anaheim, CA. SWE has helped me grow professionally - both in my technical expertise and in my confidence as a woman in STEM. As a former Midwesterner, I am excited to grow my experience as a member of the SWE PNW region!

Candidate Statement

I am applying for the position of Secretary of the SWE PNW section. I feel that I am an excellent candidate for the position, given my extensive experience with SWE at the collegiate level and my passion for empowering women to pursue careers in STEM. I served as Secretary (1 year) and Director of Programming (1 year) of the Case Western Reserve University section during college, and I have also attended 3 WE Annual Conferences. I discovered SWE as a sophomore in college; the women I met through SWE guided and inspired me to broaden my goals and gain confidence as an engineer. I want to continue paying it forward for younger generations, to support my peers as they aim high for their goals, and to subsequently grow myself in this supportive environment.
  My past experience as a collegiate Secretary and professional experience as a Project Manager lend themselves well to the role of the SWE PNW Secretary. As Secretary, I will be sure to document clear and effective minutes and maintain records in an orderly and timely fashion. I will also communicate well to all officers and liaise often with the virtual brand committee to ensure everyone is well-informed. I hope to eventually move into product management in the health tech industry; I believe this role would help strengthen my management and communication skills. Additionally, I am originally from the Midwest. I would love to share my experiences being from a different part of the country and network with women engineers from the PNW area! I will also be a graduate student at the University of Washington this fall. I plan to incorporate SWE into my regular schedule as a student, and prioritize it as I would with any class or research commitment.

Treasurer Candidates

Erin Kiselica


Erin Kiselica is a Software Engineer at Amazon, where she currently works on interactive shopping experiences with the Amazon Live team. She holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Outside of work, Erin spends much of her time organizing all things music-related at Amazon, and you can find her playing clarinet with the Amazon Symphony Orchestra and Amazon Winds. She also loves puzzles and helps run the Amazon Puzzlehunt and Puzzled Pint Seattle.
Erin is a SWE Life Member, and SWE has been an important part of her life since her freshman year of college in 2007. She has previously held various leadership roles including Outreach Coordinator, organizing RIT SWE's award-winning overnight outreach program for two years, and Section Representative for SWE Philadelphia in FY16. Most recently, Erin served as the Collegiate Scholarship Chair for SWE PNW in FY19, and continues to be involved in SWE through outreach and as a society scholarship judge.

Candidate Statement

Hi everyone, I would like to submit my name for your consideration for Treasurer for FY21. Our section has a huge opportunity in terms of jump-starting our programs and re-engaging our members this year, and I am excited to get a running start. Having good financial health is core to any program, and I am able to bring my experience from other board positions to ensure we stay on track and our records stay organized. Most recently, I created and secured the first ever funding for Musicians@Amazon, a parent program for Amazon's musical groups, and currently manage the budgets for the three groups within the program. I also have experience creating reports from my time as the Amazon Symphony Orchestra's Membership Officer, where I tracked trends in membership as well as presented member survey data to the board to influence our overall direction and to our members to promote transparency. While my recent board experience is musical in nature, I am extremely passionate about technology education and outreach, and have taught Computer Science classes in local high schools for the past three years through TEALS. SWE is an organization that means a lot to me, and it has provided support through my college years, transition to becoming a professional engineer, and relocations around the country. I look forward to bringing that same support to our members by serving as a part of the FY21 Executive Council. Thank you for your consideration!

Stephanie Tu


Stephanie is a member of Boeing’s Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP), a two year engineering rotational program across different business units and product life cycle stages. Since she started in 2019, she has worked in flight controls, additive manufacturing, and flight test. She has been involved with SWE since her freshman year at Rutgers University, contributing to SWE at the local, regional, and national levels. As President of the Rutgers SWE Chapter for two years, Stephanie worked with her executive board to create and implement weekly events for the STEM community and sought to make SWE an inclusive environment for all genders and majors. As a result of her passion for mentoring and STEM outreach, Stephanie has volunteered over 350 hours to engage the next generation of engineers and was chosen for the 2019 Outstanding Collegiate Member Award at WE19. In addition to her Rutgers SWE involvement, Stephanie was a SWE Future Leader and a Region E Collegiate Communications Editor. She currently is the lead of the SWE Student Programs Committee New Benefits Workgroup and ran a SWENext pilot mentoring program in Pittsburgh, PA last year. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys exercising, painting, and collecting succulents.

Candidate Statement

For as long as I can remember, SWE has always been my constant. The SWE Chapter at Rutgers University has provided me with a support system that helped me learn and grow into the person that I am today. As such, I would like to continue my involvement with SWE as a professional member and give back to the community as the Treasurer of the PNW Section.
I served as the treasurer of the Rutgers University SWE Section and have experience with managing a budget, collecting funds, providing timely reimbursements, and filling out financial reports for SWE HQ. As I mentioned in my bio, I also have had SWE positions at all levels, attended both national and regional conferences and am familiar with the structure of the organization. I can leverage the contacts that I created at these roles to learn best practices for our section.
Having been a part of the PNW section for over a year now, I would like to work on engaging more recent graduates and early career professionals. I have heard from members that they want to get involved and meet others in the area, but they are not sure how. Some ideas I had were monthly meet ups (virtual of course!) to discuss different topics or game nights. Another strategy I want to pursue is to collaborate with the collegiate/SWENext sections in our area more. We have over 500 members in our section who are all good resources for these younger engineers. As a board member, I would work to create these opportunities whether it may be long term mentoring or a one-time event. I am excited to continue my SWE involvement and look forward to meeting you all in the future!

Suzanne Ailene Hakam

Biography & Candidate Statement

PNW has one of the largest Section Treasuries in SWE due to 1983 Society Conference overage share, several bequests by Members who are still with us in spirit and several years of consciously staying within or under budget. This next fiscal year, the primary challenges are to conveying accurate section fiscal information to the officer team, complete a simplification and consolidation of section finances started back in 2015, and how to invest our monies wisely so as to provide long term support for operations and a revitalized scholarship program. Especially important to me is mentoring and working with the Treasurer successor, the Treasurer Elect. In the past the Treasurer position has seemed to operate more or less as a solo position. I am excited by the opportunity to make it more of a team effort and provide the supporting structure the section leadership needs.
I am well suited for this position as I know the details and history of our funds. I have previously been Section Treasurer in fiscal years 2002/2003 and 2004/2005 and again in fiscal years 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017. I have also been involved with several section level financial audits.
I am a long-time, active SWE member (since 1983). I have held both appointed and elected positions on the national and local levels over the years. I have served twice as PNW Section President and have held various other Section positions such as: Program Chair, Membership Chair, Professional Development Chair, Newsletter Editor, Section Representative, Certificate of Merit & Freshman COM Scholarship Chair, and Vice President of Career Guidance. I especially enjoyed volunteering for career guidance events. When SWE had Regions, I also served two years on the SWE Board of Directors as the Region J Director, three years as a regional student coordinator, and twice as Region J Representative to the Society Nominating committee. I also did double duty as the 2016 Region Conference Treasurer. I took most of last year off from SWE but am ready to re-engage.
I received my MSEE in 1984 from Wichita State University and her BSEE from the University of Washington in 1979. For over 40 years I have work primarily on military derivative programs for The Boeing Company. I am currently performing qualification tests and FAA certification of phased array communications technology and electronic avionics boxes. After all these years with Boeing, I am finally contemplating retirement but have made no final decisions. When I am not busy working at Boeing or with SWE, I enjoy reading, gardening, and participating in Toastmasters. And I am a proud parent to a class of 2020 college graduate, Lara.

Treasurer-Elect Candidates

Magreth Haji


Magreth Haji is a Propulsion Engineer that currently supports the 777X Engines Installations and Integration team in Everett, WA. Her work statement involves defining requirements to be met prior to engine airplane certification. These requirements involve; Flight tests, Fire tests and any engine changes to be implemented. She also analyzes flight test data to confirm successful pass for a flight test. Prior to joining the current team, Magreth worked as a Stress Analyst for the Engine Build Up team for the 737 Max. She also worked as a design engineer for the Nacelle Actuation team for the 737 Max program where she was in charge of drawing reviews from suppliers and clearly defining the AMM (Airplane Maintenance Manual) and CMM (Component Maintenance Manual).
She also serves as treasurer for BBEA Puget Sound Chapter. As Treasurer she has been responsible for planning and allocating funds for the year. She coordinates with all committees to make sure that they all have sufficient funds for programs put in place. Apart from BBEA, Magreth is also involved outside of Boeing. She serves as a Curriculum co-focal for the Joule Foundation. Joule Foundation’s vision is to “ridge the gender gap in Africa STEM education” with a mission “to promote STEM education among young African women through academic program”. As a curriculum co-focal, Magreth develops projects and workshops for students in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tanzania to provide STEM projects experience. Magreth is also involved in other External Technical Affiliations (ETA) such as SWE, NSBE and participated at a BEYA conference.

Candidate Statement

As a woman in the Engineering field that experiences challenges every day I would like to inspire young girls and keep encouraging them through sharing my journey. I believe that SWE creates a platform for people to share experiences and increase their network. I got my job at Boeing after attending the SWE conference. It was my first time ever attending and I met quite a few people that are either my co-workers now or even friends outside of work. When I was in college I considered myself an active member of SWE after joining the professional world I have been trying to learn how to balance work and life that I have not been able to be fully active in SWE. I have attended a local SWE conference in Bellevue and definitely looking forward to attend more. I would like to see SWE as an organization get more representation. I like to see different women from different backgrounds coming together and sharing their ideas and experience. I would like SWE to create space for learning and a diverse of opportunities for the generations to come. I have been a treasurer for different organizations hence I have some experience in that area. I am sure this will be different to what I am used to but learning is also part of the reason I am nominating myself. I am definitely looking forward to sharing my experience and learning from others. As an early career engineer, I believe that this will be valuable for me in my career and help others learn from me as well.

Megan Buck


Megan Buck received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Opispo in 2016 and currently works at Schneider Electric as a Sales Engineer. She moved to the Seattle area in 2019 and is excited to get more involved with SWE PNW. Before moving to Seattle, Megan was involved with SWE CRS in Portland as their Webmaster. She also worked on the Local Host Committees for WE Local Bellevue and Salt Lake City. In her free time, Megan enjoys running, hiking with her dog, and snowboarding.

Candidate Statement

I’m excited to be running at Treasurer-Elect for FY21! While I have had some involvement with SWE on the local level, I have not been exposed to the financial side of a SWE section. I think spending a year as Treasurer-Elect is a great way to learn about the finances that go in to making a section work. I’m also a new member of SWE PNW and look forward to getting more involved with everything the section is doing. I’m hoping to bring some ideas over from the Columbia River Section in Portland so we can continue to improve.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Call for FY21 Nominations

Hello SWE PNW!

We hope that this note finds you healthy and well! As we are preparing for a great FY21, we have several great opportunities open for elected officer positions.

The elected officer positions are:
  • President
  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Treasurer-Elect

Each position will have at least the following responsibilities:
  • All elected and non-elected officers will be asked to attend the summer and winter organizational planning sessions
  • All elected and non-elected officers will be invited to the monthly executive council meetings

Additional details of each elected position are included at the end of this blog entry.

Your nomination at this point need only consist of your name and position(s) of interest. Please return all nominations by email to by July 10, 2020.

If you have any questions about making a nomination for any of these positions, please feel free to reach out to the Nomination Committee. We are more than willing to help answer your questions to the best of our ability!

Thank you,
FY20 SWE PNW Nomination Committee
Upekesha Addagatla Ngugi, April Byrne, Sherrie Rippe, Tiffany Tang, Kat McCoy


  • Represent the section before the public and preside at meetings of the section and its executive council;
  • Appoint the chairs of all committees, with the approval of the executive council, except chair of nominating committee;
  • Approve the appointment of all committee members, except the members of the nominating committee;
  • Authorize the disbursement of section funds within the budget approved by the executive council;
  • Be an authorized signatory on all section accounts;
  • Coordinate activities and execute the business and policies of the section between meetings;
  • Review and approve the year-end section financial report;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the committee chairs as assigned; and
  • Perform other duties normally associated with the office of president or as may be assigned by the executive council or the governance documents.
  • Assume the duties of the president in case of temporary absence or temporary inability to serve;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the committee chairs as assigned;
  • Authorize the disbursement of section funds within the budget approved by the executive council;
  • Be an authorized signatory on all section accounts; 
  • Perform other duties incident to the office of president elect, whether assigned by the president, the executive council, or the governance documents; and
  • Serve as president in the year following their term as president-elect.
  • Maintain records of the section, record meeting minutes at all EC meetings, maintain and update bylaws as needed;
  • Serve as the section data officer;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the committee chairs as assigned; and
  • Support the virtual brand committee by maintaining connection between the virtual brand committee and the executive council.
  • Perform other duties normally associated with the office of secretary or as may be assigned by the president, the executive council, or the governance documents.
  • Be responsible for the collection, distribution, and safekeeping of section funds;
  • Be an authorized signatory on all section accounts;
  • Prepare, maintain, and report as directed on the financial position of the section in relation to the approved budget;
  • Submit a financial report to the Society in accordance with established procedures;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the committee chairs as assigned; and
  • Perform other duties normally associated with the office of treasurer or as may be assigned by the president, the executive council, or the governance documents.
  • Assume the duties of treasurer in case of temporary absence or temporary inability to serve; 
  • Be an authorized signatory on all section accounts;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the committee chairs as assigned;
  • Perform other duties incident to the office of treasurer elect, whether assigned by the president, the treasurer or Society governing documents; and
  • Serve as treasurer in the year following their term as treasurer-elect.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

SWE PNW @ WE Local San Diego 2020

Contributor: Theresa Krack, FY20 President

We're excited to be heading to WE Local San Diego next week! And there are several things we wanted to pass on to you for helping support and engage with your fellow PNW SWEsters… so checkout the highlights below for some great information!

PNW Connections

Want to connect with your fellow SWEsters while at WE Local? Be sure to hop over and request to join our "SWE PNW @ WE Conferences" facebook group! There are a few question to answer to join (make sure to answer them or your request won't be reviewed until you do).

Here you can connect with other SWE PNW members that are at the conference, coordinate meet-ups both at session and outside of the conference, and share your WE Local stories!

You can find the group from our Facebook page or through direct link here.

Support your SWEster Presenters

Wondering what session to check out? Then take a look at some of the sessions being presented by your fellow PNW SWEster! Presenting and don't see yours listed? Send our Virtual Brand Team an email at and they'll be happy to update to include your session!

Yoga for the Office Space 
Fri, Jan 31, 12:25pm - 12:45pm, Kat McCoy

As engineers, we all too often spend our days at our desks for hours at a time. This can leave us exhausted, stressed and sore. Taking short stretch breaks during the day can keep your mind relaxed and your body more comfortable so that throughout the day you can stay refreshed and your mind and body are ready to take on the challenges you are faced with. During this session, I will walk everyone through some breathing techniques and stretching exercises that can be performed at your office desk. Each of these exercises only take a few moments and as a whole routine can be performed in a matter of just a few minutes. Breathe in and stretch out at your desk.

Learning Outcomes
1. Establish good stretching routines for your daily life.
2. Practice breathing techniques for relaxation and focus.

Alone Amongst Many: Establishing Yourself in a New Community
Fri, Jan 31, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, SWE PNW Panel

Across your collegiate and professional career, you may be faced with the daunting decision of whether or not to move to a new area. Or you may find yourself in a new area, feeling very alone and wondering how to get connected with the locals. You may find yourself wondering, what can I do to establish my own new personal community? Our panel of speakers are all transplants, at one point making their home in the Pacific Northwest. They have moved city to city, coast to coast, and even country to country. The panelists will share what worked for them, what didn’t, and what they wished they would have done differently. And the look forward to answering questions to help you on your journey!

Learning Outcomes
1. Learn how to develop a strategic plan to be able to engage in the new community and make connections.
2. Learn to interpret the feedback from the panelist to their own unique situation to create an actionable plan in their new area.
3. Recognize and understand different approaches for making community connections so that they can tailor it to their own approach.

SWE Board of Trustees Overview and Endowment Basics
Sat, Feb 01, 10:00am - 10:45am, Ester Barbuto

This session will be an overview of the SWE Board of Trustees. At the end of the session, you'll have an understanding of what the group does, what an endowment is, and how to get involved.

Learning Outcomes
1.Explain Endowment basics.
2.Describe SWE’s Endowment Fund.
3. Describe the role and function of the SWE Board of Trustees.

The Next Evolution of Your SWE Section’s Digital Infrastructure
Sat, Feb 01, 4:15pm - 5:00pm, Theresa Krack

As technology evolves and new communication tools become available, SWE sections must continually reevaluate the best options to serve their local members. Adapting to technological change is a challenge in any local section, and affects both the section’s infrastructure behind the scenes as well as its public footprint.

This session will be an interactive workshop to help sections determine what the next evolution of their Section’s digital infrastructure will be and learn from one section’s path.

Theresa will first share her experiences developing, launching, and implementing a comprehensive, multiple year plan for the revitalization of the SWE Pacific Northwest Section`s Virtual Brand. She’ll share the lessons she learned, along with challenges and changes to the short and long-term vision. She will provide a space for discussion on both tools and techniques for deployment of a digital infrastructure for a section.

Learning Outcomes
1. Understand the advantages of laying out a multiple year plan for developing a virtual brand for the SWE section.
2. Grow awareness of key tools that can help support a Section’s virtual footprint/brand and infrastructure.
3. Apply shared lessons learned from the PNW experience to virtual brand development in other sections.

Be A Panelist on Alone Amongst Many

If you're heading to WE Local San Diego and want to try your hand at being a panelist, we're still looking for a few people to join our SWE PNW developed panel on the lessons learned when trying to establish a new community after a move.

If you've done a significant move (state to state, country to country, etc) and would interested in being on the panel, please email no later than Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Find your 'SWE PNW Member' Ribbons

We'll be having our SWE PNW Member ribbon hunt again at WE Local San Diego! Keep your eye on our Instagram for who to find to get them and for our lucky ribbon finders pictures!

Want to help hand out ribbons? Let us know! Email to help spread our ribbon fun!

Share & Tag SWE PNW!

Follow SWE PNW on our social media channels and tag us - you may even see your photo shared on our pages!

Instagram: @swe.pnw --> see all our live-time photo posting here!
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Sunday, October 6, 2019

FY20 Section Election Guide: Treasurer Candidate Bios & Statements

Treasurer Candidates
  • Shawna Murray
  • Abstain
  • Write-In
Shawna Murray
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Shawna Murray is a senior leader in Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) Mission Assurance, Systems Safety and Environmental Engineering. Prior to her position as SSEE Manager she was an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) professional at the Enterprise level and Environmental Team Manager at the Boeing St. Louis Site. Some of her primary functions include: support Environment and workplace safety initiatives to ensure the successful integration of requirements; program support throughout the production and flight line and compliance programs (multi-media).

Prior to joining Boeing in 2007, Shawna held various safety, health and environmental engineering positions as a consultant involving: supervision of personnel; development and coordination program compliance, environmental monitoring and waste (hazardous, radiological, mixed, TSCA) management programs and site characterization, remediation, and remedial design; technical design in groundwater and soil remediation and hazardous waste management; and implementing information technology systems where possible. Areas of expertise and working knowledge include OSHA and ISO 14001 and 45001 standards and CERCLA, RCRA, CAA, TSCA, CWA, SDWA, SWDA, and various state's regulations and EPA regions.

She holds Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and Master of Science degree in Industrial Hygiene from Central Missouri State University.

Candidate Statement
No statement provided.

FY20 Section Election Guide: Secretary Bios & Statements

Secretary Candidates
  • Ashley White
  • Abstain
  • Write-In
Ashley White

I joined SWE at Seattle University where I attended engineering school for electrical engineering. While at SU I served as the Treasurer my junior year and then President my senior year. As president I collaborated with a team of nine to organize social and professional development events and outreach opportunities. After graduation I continued to help SU’s section by serving as their professional liaison. I assisted them on numerous occasions throughout the year and kept them informed about things happening in the professional sector. This past year I joined the VBT to start helping out on the professional side of SWE. I am currently working for Honeywell Aerospace as a system engineer. I'm working on communication and navigational radio equipment for airplanes. In my free time I love to visit new places and spend time with my cat.

Candidate Statement
Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of having a family that supported my decision to pursue engineering. I attended a university which has women as the department heads for most of the STEM majors. I also have had many great female mentors who have careers in engineering fields. However, not all women have this kind of support, and SWE is one of the best organizations at making sure that women and young girls have the aid they need to succeed in careers that are still male-dominated. I want to continue showing women that they can have successful jobs in engineering fields and that SWE can provide the extra support they need. My goal for Secretary is to have an active role in supporting current and future women engineers. While also mentoring recent college graduates to stay involved with the society, and to promote the growth of women in engineering.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

FY20 Summer Planning Meeting Agenda

Contributor: Theresa Krack, FY20 President

Are you getting excited for FY20?!??! We have our first section operations event coming up this Saturday, August 10, 2019 – our FY20 Summer Planning meeting!

This event is open to all section members and thanks to our fiscal year sponsor, Honeywell, lunch from Panera will be provided!

The goal of the summer planning meeting is to provide a focused space for our sections members to come and brainstorm on the types of event and activities we’ll target in FY20 – and maybe start some initial prioritization and next steps to go from idea to implementation. This will also provide the opportunity for those attending who may be interested in helping with a committee or even taking on a leadership role to sign up!

Since there are always a lot of options for what we can look at, we will be focusing on some of the bigger areas for the section. To that end, please find below our planned agenda for the day. We will do our best to stay on track with the timing – but be sure to arrive about 15 minutes ahead of any session you want to participate in to make sure you can join in!

8:30 am
9:00 am
9:00 am
9:30 am
Welcome, D&I Moment, & Goals
9:30 am
10:00 am
FY20 SWE PNW structure & Introduction
10:00 am
11:00 am
Section Level SWOT Analysis:
·        Strengths
·        Weaknesses
·        Opportunities
·        Threats
11:00 am
12:00 pm
Focus Area Breakout #1:
(a)    Professional development
(b)    Outreach (K-12) & Volunteering
(c)    Social & Networking
12:00 pm
1:00 pm
Working Lunch:
·        D&I Moment Touch Base
·        65th Anniversary Brainstorming
1:00 pm
1:30 pm
Signature Event Breakout:
(a)    Holiday Party
(b)    Enso Center Workshop
1:30 pm
2:00 pm
New Signature Event Brainstorming
2:00 pm
2:45 pm
Focus Area Breakout #2:
(a)    Corporate/Partner Relations
(b)    Member Engagement
(c)    SWE Business/Careers
2:45 pm
3:30 pm
Section Operations Brainstorming
3:30 pm
4:00 pm
Wrap up & Volunteer Sign-up

SWOT Analysis
One of the tools we’ll be using at the planning meeting is a SWOT analysis. This is a tool that looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Our first group activity will be to look at this from a section level, looking primary at it from the perspective of our members. For a little bit more, see the quick summary below:
  • Strengths are things that we do well, better than anyone else. They could also be what you tell others about our section – elements that make up your SWE PNW elevator pitch.
  • Weakness are areas that we can improve and do better in.
  • Opportunities are things that we aren’t doing today but could be doing in the near or far future timeframes.
  • Threats will look at external things or elements that we can’t (or have a hard time to) control.
You may see this tool deployed in some of the breakout sessions as well.

Breakout Sessions
We’ll have a couple of breakout session through out the day. These will be focused on a topic and have 2-3 small breakout groups looking at a sub-topic. In general, these sessions will start with an assessment of the current state baseline, start to brainstorming ideas around targeted prompts, look at impact vs effort to help prioritize, and will target coming up with concrete next step for the top priority.

Each breakout session will have a moderator that will be provided with key baseline information as well as questions prompts to help the group stay on topics and brainstorm.

A D&I Moment
As we build on the launch of the diversity and inclusion goal from FY19 and the deployment of D&I moments at our Executive Council meetings, we’ll be expanding that concept for the planning meeting. We’ll launch the D&I moment at the beginning of the day – but it will be an all-day activity, built into the various sessions. I’m excited to see how we can continue D&I forward and at the forefront of our events in FY20!

Day-of Moderators
There are several breakout session and mini-activities that I am looking for a few people to help with as a moderator. Guidelines, prompts, and instructions will be provide to help you support the topic  and breakout session.

If you are interested, please email with “FY20 Summer Planning Meeting: Moderator” in the subject if you’d like to help.

Don’t forget to RSVP!
That about does it for the ahead of event details. If you have questions ahead of the event, please email or post them in the Facebook event discussion here:

And don’t forget to RSVP here (especially if you want to be included in the lunch count!):

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Theresa Krack is SWE PNW's FY20 President, having serve the section as FY19 President Elect, past section representative, and the driver behind the launch/deployment of the Virtual Brand Team (VBT). She is a Development Program Manager at Honeywell Aerospace, with a background in aerospace and aircraft certification engineering. In her remaining spare time, she is a SWE Leadership Coach for professional sections, a martial arts enthusiast, and enjoys getting out on her bike for rides.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

President’s Corner: Welcome to FY20!

Contributor: Theresa Krack, FY20 President

Greetings SWE PNW and welcome to FY20! I hope you have all had a great summer so far and are getting excited for our next year with SWE. I know I am!

One of the new things I am going to introduce in FY20 is a (hopefully) monthly “President’s Corner” blog post. This will be one more way that you can keep in touch with what SWE PNW is up to, especially from a behind the scenes Section Operations perspective.

For July 2019, our President's Corner topics are:
  • FY20 Theme: Continuing the Journey
  • FY20 Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace
  • Signature Events
  • FY20 Summer Planning Meeting
  • FY19-FY20 Section Operations Housekeeping
  • Thank you, FY19 EC!

FY20 Theme: Continuing the Journey

I am excited to announce that this year’s theme for SWE PNW is “Continuing the Journey” – this builds on the successes and challenges that we had in FY19 “Taking the First Step” in a post-region world of SWE.

As we work towards a successful FY20 and beyond, we’ll be looking at how we set up the section for long term success both for our members’ experiences and for our section leadership experience and pipeline. In FY19, we introduced the concept of “Focus Areas” as topics that we think are key for both areas. In FY20, we’re going to continue to define and refine Focus Areas to make those connections between members and local organizations.

Our key Focus Areas and their overall goal are list below. We had a great year working on continuing with our Professional Development and Outreach areas, and even got started with building corporate relationships. And we’ve aligned many of our EC activities/events to Section Operations so members can keep track of those. If you are interested in helping (or even leading) one of the focus areas, please let me know!

Focus Area
Professional Development
To provide formal and informal learning opportunities to allow SWE members to develop skills to help in their professional careers.
Outreach (K-12) & Volunteering
To engage with the community around STEM related activities and provide volunteering opportunities for SWE Members to impact their local areas.
Social & Networking
To provide formal and informal opportunities for SWE members to engage with each other, build relationships, and make new connections.
Member Engagement
To focus on the recruitment, retention, and engagement of SWE professional members with the Section
Corporate Relations
To focus on the engagement of local companies and partner organizations with the SWE Section
Section Operations
To run the SWE business and organizational activities that support the Section.

FY20 Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

I am super excited to announce that Honeywell Aerospace in Redmond, WA, will be our FY20 Sponsor! This is a result of the relationships built last year through our Corporate Relations focus area and it’s great to see that relationship building result in expanded support from a local company.

Honeywell Aerospace will be providing both locations and funds to support the section in multiple focus areas as a part of their sponsorship. I look forward to continuing the grow the relationship with Honeywell in FY20 and hopefully expand our relationships with other corporate partners and organizations in the area!

Look for a future blog post highlighting their FY20 sponsorship - coming soon to a link near you!

Signature Events

Another great area that we’re going to be continuing to develop is our Section’s Signature Events. FY19 was the first year we introduced the “Signature Event” nomenclature as a way to highlight our larger events that often cross multiple focus areas. Signature event that we would like to continue to develop in FY20 are:
  • Holiday Party
  • Mid-Year Open House
  • Enso Center Workshop
  • Annual Banquet
There are a few ideas for a new signature event to launch in FY20 – anything from a Kick-off Open House in fall, to a Conference Prep Workshop ahead of the Society WE Conferences to even a summer informal picnic after the annual banquet to wrap up the year. We’ll be taking a look at a couple ideas during our FY20 Summer Planning meeting on August 10, 2019 – which is, of course, a great set up to talk about that event!

FY20 Summer Planning Meeting

Our FY20 Summer Planning meeting is open to all SWE PNW members and it’s your chance to help come up with ideas for the section under all focus areas! It will also be your first opportunity this year to have a chance to volunteer or take on a leadership role for FY20. Plus lunch will be provided thanks to Honeywell's sponsorship!

Topics that we will be looking at are:
  • Annual & strategic planning activities
  • Focus area and event ideation breakout sessions
  • Signature Event brainstorming
  • Opportunity to sign up for committees / leadership roles
  • And how do we celebrate 65 years as a section!?!?
We’ll be running a combination of target all group topics, breakout sessions to provide focused brainstorming and initial planning ideas, and mini break out sessions on more detailed targeted topics. The detailed agenda should be posted about a week a head of the event, so keep your eye open!

One thing we are looking for are breakout session leaders. You don’t have to be taking on a role in FY20 to help with this. The idea is that you would be given a set of prompts to lead the discussion and then you would help the breakout group brainstorm and record thoughts. If this interests you, please let me know!

Be sure to RSVP for the event, even if you can only make it for part of it!

FY19-FY20 Section Operations Housekeeping

As you may be aware, we had a few items that are still open from FY19 to FY20 on the section operations side: FY20 Election and Bylaws updates. Here are a few quick updates on both:

We were not able to run a FY20 Election as of yet due to the lack of candidates to slate. We are looking for candidates to slate for President Elect (serving 1 yr as President Elect and 1 yr President in sequence), Secretary (1 yr term), and Treasurer (1 yr term). If you are interested in any of these positions, please reach out to the Nomination Committee ASAP via

For our Bylaws updates, triggered by the dissolution of regions and other upkeep, we are in the holding pattern of waiting for HQ review and feedback. That step needs to completed first before we can put the Bylaws to the section voted for approval. At this point, we don’t have a solid timeline but are hoping to have feedback in August. Please watch for more updates on this as we have them.

Thank you, FY19 EC!

Finally, I wanted to give a huge thank you to the FY19 Executive Council (EC) and especially the elected officers from last year. Thank you to Elaine Reeves (FY19 President), Sherrie Rippe (FY19 Treasurer), Marina Dannecker (FY19 Secretary), Heather Alverez (FY19 Outreach VP), and Sonia Hingorany (FY19 Professional Development VP). Thank you to all the sections members that stepped into leadership and supporting roles to help make the section successful!

This article is part of SWE PNW's President's Corner series, where the current Section President provide highlights on what the Section has been up to behind the scenes and covers anything from SWE business to upcoming events. If you have a topic you'd like to see addressed or question answered, please submit to with the subject "President's Corner Submission."

Theresa Krack is SWE PNW's FY20 President, having serve the section as FY19 President Elect, past section representative, and the driver behind the launch/deployment of the Virtual Brand Team (VBT). She is a Development Program Manager at Honeywell Aerospace, with a background in aerospace and aircraft certification engineering. In her remaining spare time, she is a SWE Leadership Coach for professional sections, a martial arts enthusiast, and enjoys getting out on her bike for rides.