Monday, June 29, 2015

FY16 Candidate Bios: Section Representative

Section Representative Candidates:

Theresa Krack

Theresa Krack has been an active participant and member of the Society of Women Engineers since her college days at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is passionate about continuing her development as a professional engineer but also strives to pay it forward to the next generation and continue to find ways to improve the SWE connections for current members.

Theresa was a professional member of the SWE Wisconsin (SWE-WI) Section from 2006 to 2013. Her passion was to help bridge her interest in SWE with her life-long passion for Girl Scouting. In May 2012, she became the SWE-WI Girl Scout Liaison, working to keep SWE-WI involved with Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE), coordinating STEM outreach events for both groups. For one such event, she organized a booth at the Girl Scout 100th anniversary Rock the Ice celebration, making silly putty with both girls and adults. She also support a SWE-WI program to connect established and active section members to new and less active members to help ensure that they felt connected to the section.

When she moved to the Seattle area in the fall of 2013 to work with Honeywell Aerospace, she became engaged and affiliated with the Pacific Northwest (SWE PNW) Section. Theresa worked to fit the SWE PNW events, both professional development and outreach, in her schedule of balancing moving, a new job, and a Master of Engineering program. She wanted to quickly connect with her new local section and was able to start meeting new people and learning what SWE PNW has to offer.

After learning about some of the difficulties connecting members across the challenging geography and traffic considerations, Theresa approach the SWE PNW leadership team with a 2 year plan to revamp and develop an improved virtual footprint for the section, in the hope that improving the virtual space for the group would provide better member-to-member engagement for the section. She became the Virtual Brand Coordinator and started to work at improving the section’s virtual footprint.

Just shy of halfway through that plan, she has transitioned and update the section webpage, launched an integrated social media platform, and has been working to streamline the behind the scenes infrastructure for the group. Theresa is excited for some of the new improvements that she’ll be launch for the Section in FY16 and looks forward to continuing to work with the SWE PNW!


Elaine Reeves

Elaine Reeves received her B.S.E.E. from the University of St. Thomas in 2009 and is currently working towards her M.S.E.E. at the University of Washington.

She is currently working as an EMC Test Engineer and Deputy Quality Manager at Microsoft Corp where she performs controlled emission and immunity testing on ITE products. From 2009 – 2012 she was an EMC Test Engineer at Northwest EMC in Brooklyn Park MN, where she primarily focused on medical equipment testing.  She has been a member of both SWE and IEEE since 2001 as an undergraduate student.

Professional/Technical Society Activities:
2012 St. Cloud State University School Counselor
2012 University of St. Thomas School Counselor (interim)
2009-2012 SWE-MN Professional Development Committee Member
2012-present PNW-SWE Member
2009-2012 SWE-MN Member
2009-present IEEE Member
2009-present IEEE EMC Society Member
2008-2012 Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers
2010-2012 SWE National Scholarship Reviewer
2012 SWE-MN Scholarship Reviewer
2011-2012 SWE-MN Professional Development Committee Co-chair


Julie Bennett

Julie Bennett is an Engineer and Scientist at the Boeing Company where she currently works as a project manager for the Product Development Electromagnetic Effects team supporting new technology projects and sustaining delivery efforts for BCA. Julie earned a bachelor's degree, a Master of Science in Engineering, mechanical, and a Master of Business Administration, operations, from the University of Washington. Julie was a former Treasurer for the Pacific Northwest Section and currently serves on the engineering program advisory boards for Central and Western Washington Universities.

FY16 Candidate Bios: VP Outreach

Vice President of Career Development (Outreach) Candidate:

Amy O’Dell

My name is Amy O’Dell and I have been involved with SWE-PNW for about three years. I am currently working as a Performance Engineer at Boeing in the Engine Performance group. Throughout my time with this section I have been involved in various outreach events, chaired the Certificate of Merit program for three years, and last year I served as the Vice President of Outreach. Prior to coming to the SWE-PNW section I was heavily involved with my collegiate SWE section at Iowa State University. During that time I was the Director of Outreach for two terms.

FY16 Candidate Bios: VP Professional Development

Vice President of Professional Development Candidate:

Grace Lefebure

I moved to Seattle about 3 years ago from West Chester, PA to work as a Stress Analysis Engineer at Boeing. I graduated from the University of Virginia (UVa) in 2012 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in biomedical engineering; these studies reflect my passion for biomechanics, and I would ultimately like to use my degree to innovate products to reduce sports-related injuries.

I currently serve as the Newsletter Editor of SWE-PNW. Within this role, I communicate events, activities, and news to our members and work with the virtual brand team to ensure consistent interaction with members. In addition, as a board member of the UVaClub of Seattle (Alumni group), I organize events to encourage Alumni networking and a connection to the University after graduation. Prior to moving to Seattle, I held various leadership roles at many organizations that helped me develop a diverse set of skills, including Fundraising Chair, Marketing Chair, Service Chair, etc. Most notably of these was my 2 year term as president of the Monroe Society at UVa, an organization that sets up prospective student visits with current students, where I coordinated hundreds of volunteers and transformed our communication strategy.

I am interested in the VP of Professional Development role because I believe that learning never ends and learning something new brings people together. I hope to plan a variety of events that stimulate engaging conversations to facilitate learning and encourage relationships among SWE members.

Outside of work, I stay very active in athletic endeavors like triathlons, yoga, boxing, and soccer. I’m looking forward to competing in a triathlon this June and my first backpacking trip in July.

FY16 Candidate Bios: Treasurer

Treasurer Candidate:

Suzanne Hakam

Suzanne is running for a second term as your section treasurer as she has spent this past year digging into SWE-PNW’s books and getting the records cleaned up and prepared for the IRS audit that is sure to come as we will be hosting the FY16 Tri-region conference. Suzanne is well suited for this position as she knows the details and history of our funds. She was Section Treasurer 2002/2003, again in 2004/2005 (as a replacement) and Region J Treasurer in 2007/2008.
Suzanne Hakam is a long-time, active SWE member (since 1983). She has held both appointed and elected positions on the national, regional and local levels, serving two years on the Board of Directors as the Region J Director, three years as a regional student coordinator, twice as PNW Section President, and twice as Region J Representative to the Society Nominating committee. She has held other positions in the PNW Section over the years: Program Chair, Membership Chair, Professional Development Chair, Newsletter Editor, Section Representative, Certificate of Merit & Freshman COM Scholarship Chair, and the Vice President of Career Guidance.
Suzanne received her MSEE in 1984 from Wichita State University and her BSEE from the University of Washington in 1979. She works primarily on military derivative programs for The Boeing Company for over 35years. She is currently in Wideband Communications and RF Systems in Kent, performing
Environmental and EMI qualification tests and integration of phased array communications technology and electronic avionics boxes.
When she is not busy with SWE, working at Boeing, or parenting her teenager Lara, Suzanne also enjoys reading, gardening, and Toastmasters. She is also a Girl Scout leader.

FY16 Elections Open!

Hello SWE PNW Members,

Elections are now open for the FY16 elected officer positions. Please take a few minutes to cast your vote using the following link.

The ballot will say active until July 21, 2015, after which the voting period will close.

If you are interested in participating on a section committee or have any ideas for the section, send an email to FY16 President Kathryn Cook at

Thank you for your vote!
PNW Nominating Committee

Friday, June 5, 2015

FY16 Elected Officer Slate Announcement

Hello SWE PNW Members!

The PNW Nominating Committee is excited to announce the elected officer slate for FY16. As we close FY15, we would like to thank all of the outgoing officers for their dedication and leadership. Transitioning into FY16 we want to build on our outstanding outreach programs as well as support each of our members in developing their professional networks and leadership skills.

To support these goals, the Nominating Committee is proposing the below slate for the FY16 Elected Officer positions:
Vice President of Professional Development
Grace Lefebure
Vice President of Career Guidance (Outreach)
Amy O'Dell
Suzanne Hakam
Section Representative #1
Theresa Krack
Section Representative #2
Elaine Reeves
Section Representative #3
President Elect

If you are interested in being added to the proposed slate of candidates, please contact the Nominating Committee at no later than June 20, 2015. After June 20, 2015, the Nominating Committee will send out voting information to all members. 

If you are interested getting involved with one of our committees (ex: outreach, professional development, finance, membership, or virtual brand), please also reach out to the Nominating Committee. Note there is no deadline for becoming involved with a committee.

We also welcome all suggestions and comments for the section! If you have any thoughts or ideas, please contact on our webpage here:

Kathryn Cook (FY15 President-Elect)

Nominating Committee Members:
Kathryn Cook - Chair
Lisa Schmalhurst
Yael Tropen