WE Local Keynote Speakers

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Thank You to Our 2024 WE Local Keynotes!

Smt Anuradha T K

Distinguished Scientist
Retd. Director, Satcom Programme
ISRO Head Quarters

Dr. Anuradha TK, a distinguished figure in the field of aerospace engineering, possesses a multifaceted expertise spanning various domains of satellite technology, embedded systems design, instrumentation, and automation. With a career deeply rooted in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr. Anuradha TK has led numerous groundbreaking initiatives, notably serving as Programme Director for ISRO’s Geo Platform Satellite programmes from 2016 to 2018.

Her illustrious career includes serving as the First Woman Project Director from the ISRO Satellite Centre, overseeing the successful realization and launch of GSAT-12 and GSAT-10. Dr. Anuradha TK has also led teams in the design and realization of several communication satellites, such as GSAT-9, GSAT-17, and GSAT-18, showcasing her exceptional leadership and technical acumen.

Beyond her contributions to ISRO, Dr. Anuradha TK has represented India on international platforms, including the prestigious “Royal Exhibition-Engineers Panel Discussions” in London, UK, alongside representatives from NASA and ESA.

Recognized for her outstanding contributions, Dr. Anuradha TK has been honored with numerous awards, including the Space Gold Medal award by the Astronautical Society of India and the ISRO Merit Award for the realization of indigenous communication spacecraft. She holds an honorary doctorate from Akkamahadevi University and has received accolades from various societal institutions for her inspirational leadership and achievements.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Dr. Anuradha TK is a prolific author and speaker, having contributed to numerous national and international forums. Despite her demanding career, she finds solace in hobbies such as reading, music, and writing poems. Dr. Anuradha TK is happily married and is a proud mother of two daughters, embodying a perfect balance between her personal and professional life.

Nirmala Menon

Founder and CEO
Interweave Consulting

Nirmala Menon, Founder and CEO of Interweave Consulting, is a HR professional with almost 4 decades of global work experience across multiple industries. Over the last two decades she has become one of the most recognized specialists in the DEI space in India. An alumnus of XLRI India and Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Nirmala built her career in human resources, with a special interest in Diversity and Inclusion management. Her passion for this relatively unexplored space in India led her to set up Interweave Consulting in 2007.

Today, Interweave is a one-stop DEI solution provider, widely recognized as a thought leader and pioneer for the space in corporate India. Prior to Interweave, Nirmala was the Diversity and Employee Relations Lead for IBM, where she led the diversity efforts in India, and also facilitated interventions across the globe including ASEAN, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Nirmala and her team at Interweave work with some of the most marquee clients in the industry and take pride in being at the cutting edge of the DEI journey in India. Strategic partnerships with global leaders in the DEI space, like Catalyst Inc, Out & Equal and DTUI and UN Women are endorsements that Interweave is proud of.

Nirmala’s contributions in the field of Diversity and Inclusion has been recognized with her being a part of several industry body initiatives across CII, NHRD, NASSCOM etc. and being listed among the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in the Global Diversity List initiated by The Economist. She is also a certified coach from the International Coaching Academy and most recently was accepted as a Fellow of the Coaching Federation of India, a special recognition for her contributions to women’s empowerment and development in India.

A storehouse of energy, Nirmala is full of ideas and a stickler for quality. Her endless zest and passion for her work continues to raise the bar for Interweave and the DEI space in India.

Katja Millard

Corporate Vice President
Critical Communication Networks
Motorola Solutions

Without realizing it, Katja built her career around always responding to challenges with – “I’ll figure it out” and then being seen to follow through. With humorous stories and tangible advice this keynote aims to give insight into how powerful a positive mindset and strong determination can be.

Katja was promoted to her current position leading Critical Communications Product Management and Engineering in January 2021. Currently she is responsible for approximately 650 employees across 4 design centers, and a business performing to an annual revenue of ~$1.5B. Prior to that, she had been leading a variety of product teams including Ruggedised Smartphones, Device Accessories, Body-Worn Video and IoT. Between 2018 and 2021, Katja was leading the Israel R&D Center and during her 15 year tenure, she has been leading teams in all R&D centers globally.

Katja brings 25 years of experience in the tech industry and has held positions in sales, service, product management and engineering. She came to Motorola from the GN Group in Denmark, where she held various positions in sales and product development.

Linkedin Andrea Igl

Andrea Igl

Program Head Transformation
Techmahindra

Experienced IT manager with proven expertise in implementing new business and IT strategies in various industries. A personal passion for driving agile and digital transformations.

A personal passion for driving agile and digital transformations. Strong background in digital and agile technologies and methods and a track record of turning business requirements into solutions. Andrea is often called upon to drive difficult turnarounds, increase customer satisfaction and building high-performing teams that achieve company goals. She is also the Makers Lab Founder.

LAS VEGAS OPENING KEYNOTE
Doa J. Ross, PE
Deputy General Manager of Engineering
Las Vegas Valley Water District & Southern Nevada Water Authority

As Deputy General Manager of Engineering, Doa oversees the Engineering, Infrastructure Management and Customer Care & Field Services Departments. Her duties include infrastructure design and construction, asset management, expansion in support of development, metering, billing, and system reliability, with an emphasis on implementing innovative solutions for sustainability and conservation.

At WE Local Las Vegas, Doa will discuss her journey of overcoming stereotypes within a male-dominated profession and offer her personal top ten tips on how to go from an entry-level position to management.

LAS VEGAS CLOSING KEYNOTE
Kristina Kennedy
Engineering Associate Professor; Senior Faculty Director
The Ohio State University

Lift While You Lead during WE Local Las Vegas. Kristina Kennedy learned early on the importance of standing up and speaking out.  With this, she will share the ways she found success in her career, but more importantly, helped support junior associates to achieve success by lifting while she led.

BALTIMORE OPENING KEYNOTE
Wendy Cocke
Engineering Leadership Solutions
Founder

At WE Local Baltimore, hear from Wendy Cocke, a dedicated Society of Women Engineers member for 25+ years, bestselling author, and founder of Engineering Leadership Solutions. With a background in leading technical teams for Fortune 500 companies, Wendy, a chemical engineer, now consults and teaches at her alma mater. Through her books, including “Making Flex Work: Defining Success on Your Own Terms,” Wendy advocates a personalized, small business-minded approach to career customization, changing the conversation on work dynamics.

BALTIMORE CLOSING KEYNOTE
Christal LaVecchia
Vice President and Chief Engineer
Lockheed Martin

Don’t miss Christal LaVecchia at WE Local Baltimore! Christal is the vice president and chief engineer for Lockheed Martin’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber-Defense and Combat Systems and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C6ISR) line of business within the Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) business area. In this capacity, she is responsible for the technical execution, products and people who develop next generation solutions in the areas of undersea systems, cyber, unmanned vehicles, battle management, ISR, acoustic sensors and precision navigation. In addition, she is the RMS executive sponsor for the Women’s Impact Network (WIN) and RMS Inclusion Council Lead. She also serves as the Lockheed Martin Executive Sponsor for the University of Central Florida ensuring a strong partnership for the development of a STEM pipeline and innovation.

WICHITA OPENING KEYNOTE
Heather Meyer
Vice President, U.S. Quality
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Join WE Local Wichita to hear from Heather Meyer, who joined Spirit in December 2022 and currently oversees quality operations programs for Spirit’s U.S. sites. Previously at Textron Aviation, Meyer served as Vice President of Quality Assurance, managing manufacturing quality for commercial, defense products, and aftermarket parts. Having been with Textron since 2006, Heather held various roles, including regulatory approval, manufacturing support services, customer quality, and experimental program introduction quality. A board member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, she’s been an active community leader in organizations like Leadership Augusta, Kiwanis Club, and Junior Achievement.

WICHITA CLOSING KEYNOTE
Carrie Shapiro
Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Procurement
Georgia Pacific

Cap off the WE Local Wichita conference with Carrie! Carrie has been with Georgia Pacific for 8 years. She is currently serving as Vice President of Strategic Sourcing &Procurement for Georgia Pacific. In this role, Carrie has responsibility for transformation of procurement operations across GP. Prior to this role, Carrie spent 5 years leading Dixie Manufacturing serving as Vice President of Dixie Operations.  

Carrie’s talk “Lead without Limits” will highlight successes and failures as a leader to challenge and encourage you to make a difference with your teams and organizations through leadership.