Member Highlight

MARCH 2024 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Ashley Taylor
VP Finance
Mouser Electronics, Inc.

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
By accident! I found a job posting at the bottom of an email from a recruiter about a completely different job. I clicked the link and have been with Mouser for the last 7 years.

What motivates you to do what you do, everyday?
The people. I really believe people are the most important asset in any organization. Treat them as such; life will be easier, and business will be better for everyone.

What was a mistake and learning lesson you’ve had in your career? What did you do different as a result of this experience in the future?
Separate your identity from your job or title. Cultivate relationships and networks across diverse interests. While dedicated to my work and teams, I work to be grounded in a clear understanding of who I am beyond the professional sphere.

What does your day typically look like in your role? What does a “Day in the Life” for you entail?
I check emails first thing to see what may have occurred in our global offices, review work submitted by team members, meet with my team and teams across the organization on projects, prep for the financial close week, and review financial statements.

Tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I am passionate about my faith, I was captain of my college rugby team, and I teach yoga several times per month.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
"Don't try to own someone else's feelings." - Dr. Henry Cloud

Finally, what’s your "why" for WE?
A structured, respectful, and challenging environment for leaders, women and otherwise, is life and career-changing.

 


 

FEBRUARY 2024 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Paul Starr
Director of Sales & Customer Engagement
Newark

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I have been in technical sales for over 20 years and sold capital equipment for most of them. During that time, I was exposed to how expansive and deeply embedded our electronics industry truly was for the entire economy and OEMs, particularly around the globe. In 2016, the Newark Center of Excellence in Northeast Ohio had an opening at the exact time I was looking to make a change, and my previous exposure to the electronics world motivated me to join our beloved industry. I haven't looked back since! 

What motivates you to do what you do, everyday?
The people I am responsible for and work alongside every single day. I was fortunate to work for the Barry-Wehmiller companies underneath Bob Chapman very early in my career. Bob introduced me to the concept of what he has branded as "Truly Human Leadership". There, I was brought up in a work culture that showed me that you can create a global, billion-dollar business where people and profits are valued. When you care for the people, the profits can and will follow, which my experience continues to teach and prove to me. Avnet very much has that same culture, so working in electronics for Avnet reminds me of the environment I loved at BW. 

What was a mistake and learning lesson you’ve had in your career? What did you do different as a result of this experience in the future?
Oh goodness, confession time. As a young leader, I fell into the trap of thinking that leadership meant a management style that involved controlling every aspect of a situation or project to ensure a perfect outcome, even the most minor details. My 4 years as a US Marine drilled that idea into my head, as perfectionism on small details can make the difference between life and death. Well, that is the classic definition of micro-management in the civilian world.

Anyone with a micro-manager is having flashbacks to how unmotivating that environment can be outside military life.  I came to understand that I cannot control everything, and the perfectionist in me needed to chill out.

Through many years of self-reflection and wise counsel, what I do differently now is make sure we use a proven behavior-based interview program to hire top talent during the interview phase. Then, once on the team, I make sure I set the clearest expectations of success for any situation or project and then allow my leaders to execute those expectations using their own personal and unique God-given talents.  Once the project or situation is behind us, we do a deep dive into the outcomes, then adjust and learn for the next time. People are allowed to make mistakes, and letting them make those mistakes honestly with a strong support system to back them up is the best teacher you can ask for. 


What does your day typically look like in your role? What does a “Day in the Life” for you entail?
I try to approach my day as if it is a bunch of puzzles for me to solve, and then I ask for help solving the rest. Those puzzles look like navigating a sales opportunity, helping coach a leader on how to create the best outcome of a tricky situation, motivating a person who needs some encouragement, ensuring I hit all the deadlines on projects I have on my plate, and the rest of the standard BAU requests we all experience in each day. I like to coach my leaders to look at a problem with the perspective that the answers to our current situation are in there somewhere; we just must find them.

Tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)

  1. First and foremost, I am passionate about my Faith in Jesus. He is the author of all that is good in my life, and His message is easy for me to understand. While I'm not great at it and make many mistakes, forgiveness is free and available for everyone, no matter what. He wants nothing more than for all of us to get up and try again tomorrow, even if we screw it up. So that makes perfect sense to me. Growing up, my house was centered on that idea, and I'm eternally grateful.
  2. Next is my family; they are a ton of fun to be around, and I see 4 different comedic styles on display 24/7. We are a loud family; I am the reason for that. Everyone has to talk loud to communicate over the general amount of noise I make, but we're a lot of fun at parties. Northeast Ohio rules!! I grew up in Stow, Ohio, a suburb of Akron, and my whole family loves Akron. My sister and her business partner own an interior design store, and my brother owns a tattoo shop in Akron. So, it's kind of in my blood. As kids, we spent a ton of time downtown. I get a little carried away sometimes talking to suppliers about how awesome I think Akron is (sorry, y'all).  But I genuinely do feel that way about my city. "Ohio against the World" is a little too intense for me, but it's a real thing you feel when you are from here. 
  3. Our history with Civil Rights, more presidents than any other state, NASA facilities and the number of Astronauts we've produced, three major Hall of Fames, and the list goes on and on of all the remarkable and globally impactful people and inventions that come from my home state.


Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
MLK said it perfectly when he said:

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

If you approach life with this perspective, you will find peace and joy in all you do!

Finally, what’s your "why" for WE?
My wife Julie, my 3 daughters, my mom, and two older sisters are 100% my "why" for WE. I am determined to do my part to provide an equitable workplace for all people to feel valued and respected so they can thrive in their unique talents.

 


 

JANUARY 2024 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Marion Thierry
Regional Supplier Marketing Manager
Mouser Electronics

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
During my studies, I tried to get experience in different industries, so I could find out what would be the best fit. I went to aviation, textiles, and the electronics industry.

After graduation, I moved to Germany, and I can’t say I was 100% sure I would go into the electronics industry until the moment when I found the job offer at Freescale and applied for it. The job felt right and I knew I was going to pursue a career in the electronics industry. That was almost 8 years ago, and though I’m still in my early career, it’s clear to me where I belong.

What motivates you to do what you do, everyday?
I think that the most rewarding feeling for me at the end of the day is to know that I have given my best in any situation, and I’ve helped achieve something. I want to make sure my suppliers, colleagues, and friends know that they can count on me to be supportive, deliver what’s needed, give advice, and listen.

What was a mistake and learning lesson you’ve had in your career? What did you do different as a result of this experience in the future?
I learned that not sticking to my core values with decisions or behaviors toward another is a mistake I’ve learned the most from because it makes you feel like you’re moving away from who you are. I’ve learned to listen to myself more, trust my judgment, and step back sometimes to make sure that my actions reflect the values I stand for. 

It´s so important to stick to your true self because that´s what got you where you are – trust yourself.

What does your day typically look like in your role? What does a “Day in the Life” for you entail?
The amazing thing about my role is that the days don´t look like each other and that´s what makes it refreshing! I´m building my days around my goals and what is needed from my suppliers and colleagues, as I want to ensure everyone has what they need to get on with their goals! I enjoy the fact as well that I get to travel to meet with my suppliers, attend events and collaborate with my international colleagues!

Tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.) Doesn’t matter the country I travel to; I never miss a sunrise (even though I'm not a morning person) – they are incredible and give you the feeling you can do anything.

I´ve been living outside of France (my home country) for the last 10 years! 

Finally, I just bought a van!

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
Remember that happiness is a way of travel not a destination – Roy Goodman

Finally, what’s your "why" for WE?
Being part of a community that supports and empowers women – I´m so grateful I get to be part of something that allows people in the electronics industry to support each other.

I´m so excited about the many projects we have coming our way! 

 


 

NOVEMBER 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Maria Gillespie
Sr. Manager Distribution Americas
TE Connectivity

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I had just moved to Orlando and answered a local ad needing an expeditor. I was granted an interview and offered a position on the spot! I advanced through the small but great organization quickly. At the time I did not know what an electronics stocking distributor was, so this opportunity opened the door to a whole new world. I quickly gained interest, progressing from expeditor to sales order management, and then to the procurement and supply chain. By the eighteenth month mark I was touching all things purchasing, quality, sales, and even an occasional accounting issue. I had the opportunity to gain experience in distribution and learn how the puzzle of the electronics industry channel works together. The beauty of my journey is that I have established amazing life-long relationships and managed to create a place for myself in this massive, but small village of an industry. 

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
For so long, my “why” began as a need for survival. Both parents passing in my early years granted me a sense of responsibility and also sparked a tenacious motivation to lead a life of purpose. My “why” in subsequent years was driven very much by my initial work in mil-aero and seeing the impact I could have. I’m an immigrant and a proud, naturalized citizen of the United States. I found a true sense of meaning for my efforts in this vertical by supporting the courageous men and women who made our freedoms possible. Now that I’m managing teams in my current role, I am energized by impacting multiple verticals, and that’s what continues to drive my passion for this industry.

Ultimately, going back to my initial start in the industry, my “why” stems from my love for connecting with people and solving problems. I’m amazed at the countless opportunities we have to do this daily. I also have a core, unquenchable desire to continue to evolve in both my personal development and professional abilities with the hopes that in that success, I can be a role model to my two boys and provide them with opportunities that will help them reach their full potential in life.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
Allowing my passion to turn overly emotional and nonproductive. Maturing and growing into myself also meant that I needed to solve challenges I faced in a more strategic way. Since I have always taken pride in my direct approach, navigating this and taking a step back when things are not unfolding as I planned was key. I have learned to approach setbacks with an open mind, and only after I have considered all aspects.

What does your day typically look like in your role? What does a “Day in the Life” for you entail?
Some days I may be flying out to a meeting in one of the territories visiting a channel market partner in the East for local business reviews or trainings to navigate through the challenges of our current market conditions, develop solutions to support our mutual goals, and/or meet remotely with our partners’ sales leaders to shift or re-align our go-to-market strategy. Other days I’m connecting internally with our BU’s (business units) leaders to drive proactive strategies to better understand market trends, share best practices, and creatively work through obstacles to continue to expand our market growth.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I have two boys, 9 and 11, and I’m also a bonus mom to three boys, 14, 27, and 30. When we all get together, we certainly take up a big table, and we love it! I’m passionate about my involvement in my boys’ lives, school, and our community. I serve as the President of the local Elementary School PTA with a focus to bring teachers and parents together for the goal to bring the arts back into our educational programs and provide fun, enriching activities to the students to cultivate a life-long love for learning.

As much as I enjoy travelling, I greatly appreciate the blessing of living on Long Island, where I have access to the beach, providing relaxation and can also access the largest city in the world. Depending on our mood, the ability to have multiple options is priceless!

Finally, when time allows, we enjoy a motorcycle ride on either coast, the great South Bay, or in the North Fork.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
"We never lose, we either win or we learn." - Nelson Mandela

 


 

SEPTEMBER 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Crishana Runge
Operations & Finance Manager
Dove Electronic Components

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I began my career in the Electronics industry through my background in Finance. I relocated with my family and took an accounting position at a nearby electronic component distributor, Dove Electronic Components, Inc., and the rest is history. I moved from one role to the next until I was in a leadership position, and as my experience grew, so did my love for the business. 

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
My children are my main source of motivation. Whether you work in business or as an engineer, the work we all undertake in technology is influencing the future for the following generation. I want to contribute to the advancement of the field for women, especially for my daughter who has great expectations for choosing a STEM major in college.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
My biggest error was not setting clear and concise career goals as a young professional as well as not seeking mentorship or advice. It took me a long time to grasp how important job advancement and goals are for maintaining motivation, continuing education, and realizing your aspirations. I changed my path by setting new goals and maintaining a healthy and achievable timeline to continue progressing. Reassessing your dreams and goals regularly as life moves forward, allows you to always stay adaptive and pliable to receive perhaps unexpected opportunities.

What does your day typically look like in your role? What does a “Day in the Life” for you entail?
I oversee all Dove departments on a daily basis to make sure they are operating effectively and doing their best work. I might spend the entire day in meetings, brainstorming with the leadership team, planning a wellness challenge, or carrying out an internal audit. One of the reasons I enjoy working in operations so much is that my day-to-day tasks vary depending on the demands of the company.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
In addition to my efforts at WE, I serve on the executive board for Girls Inc. and work to advocate for the underserved communities and schools on Long Island. By raising capital and organizing events to increase awareness for this incredible organization's ongoing operations, my work is specifically designed to promote STEM in young girls and ensure that their needs are satisfied to engage in activities throughout the year. I volunteer with FIRST Robotics, most recently as a Judge for the FRC at Hofstra University. There is nothing more exciting than interviewing kids who built these extraordinary robots together as a team. Their spirit is incredibly contagious. In addition, I enjoy cooking, skiing, and going to the local beach to watch the sunset with my family.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“Life is for Service”, Fred Rogers

 


 

AUGUST 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Niki Taylor
Global Product Segment Leader
Newark

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I came to the industry by accident. I majored in French in college, and minored in Spanish and International business. My first job was in Inside Sales covering the Canada customers, using my French. I had no idea what a connector was; 18 years later, I am still here. 

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
What I like about my role is I get to do something different every day - Marketing, supplier relations, inventory management, sales – and I get to work with so many people across the globe. Plus, I’m fascinated to see how the product is used in such exciting industries: alternative energy, renewables, automotive, medical, etc. It’s great to see what’s coming next in our world!

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
The majority of my mistakes have a common theme: miscommunication. Any past mistake reminds me to be super clear and concise in my words, and not make assumptions on others’ work load, language ability or experience.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years.
I am an avid college football fan (I’ve had season tickets to Notre Dame football in my family for over 80 years – same seats!). I’ve seen some great games from those seats!
One of my prized possessions is my collection of Beatles albums on vinyl, which I collected while I was studying in France.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile” – Paul Simon from “Only Living Boy in New York”. This quote (and song) inspires and calms me.

 


 

JULY 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Amy Rooney
Director, Global Accounts
RFMW

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
When I was in school, I had no plans to enter the industry. I was carrying a full course load at NIU and working full-time as well (different industry). A friend of mine was working for an interconnect manufacturer that was growing by leaps and bounds and needed some temporary help with accounting work. He asked if I would help and I declined with fervor, letting him know that I had zero disposable time. He insisted that if you wanted something done, you ask a busy person, and I guess that sold me. I ended up really enjoying the industry, left my other job, to stay full-time at the interconnect company and ended up working for them for almost 10 years (but in a sales role). I moved from manufacturing into distribution in 2007 and love the fact that my role allows me exposure and influence in all areas of the business, functionally and geographically.

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
Community! My role is global in nature, which allows me to move in and out of different regions and cultures. It allows me the opportunity to engage and build community with people of various cultures, backgrounds & experiences. It allows me to experience the world, and to learn best practices from a wider scope, and to be intentional about putting those lessons into practice within a leadership role.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
For years, I felt that self-advocating conflicted with practicing empathy, that self-interest would supersede community interest, and so I failed to self-advocate. I think I’ve come to understand that the two can live in harmony, with thoughtful intention. I think that women in leadership positions often struggle with different perceptions of power but as G.D. Anderson so eloquently stated, “Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” It’s a challenge, to be sure, and also an opportunity.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
1) On the weekends, I am active in circus arts… I’m a flying trapeze instructor with Get A Grip Trapeze in Chicago, dabble in aerial straps and partner acrobatics & have performed in the Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival. 2) I am very politically active and have worked on several local to federal level campaigns. 3) I got married during the pandemic and have an extremely active two year old… an unexpected, but delightful complement to my two college age kids!

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I’m a big fan of James Clear’s “Atomic Habits”. It’s hard to choose just one quote, but really appreciate this one: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

 


 

JUNE 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Margo Antonellis
Distribution Manager
Coakley, Boyd, and Abbett

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
After a less-than-fun year in ‘fund accounting’, I decided to ditch the office and backpack through Europe with my best friend. We had an amazing time (maybe too much of one?), and when I returned home, my savings were totally wiped out. So, I did what any self-respecting living at home 22-year-old would: I answered an ad in the paper for an inside-to-outside sales position at Coakley, Boyd, and Abbett. And the rest, as they say, is history (that was way back in '96, by the way)

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
Throughout my career, I've had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing people who have really helped me grow both personally and professionally. What really motivates me these days is the chance to inspire the next wave in the electronics industry. It's crazy to think that so many young people aren't aware of the amazing potential this industry offers.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
What did you do differently as a result moving forward? Oh boy, where do I start? I've made so many mistakes in my career that it's hard to pick just one. From the big ones to the little ones, they've all taught me valuable lessons and helped me grow. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I've picked up along the way: never let a customer pick the wine when your credit card limit is $500, when running a promotion that includes transportation for 50 people, it helps to write down the bus company you hired a month in advance just in case they don’t show up on time and always read the ENTIRE email chain before you hit "forward". But the biggest lesson I've learned is that mistakes are inevitable, no matter how good you are or how long you've been doing your job. It's how you pick yourself up, learn from them, and move forward that really defines who you are.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
First and foremost, my family, friends and my “frenchies” are my world - they bring me such joy and comfort. Secondly, I used to be a marathon runner, but these days I'm content with 5Ks. And last but certainly not least, my guilty pleasure: I'm a HUGE Barry Manilow fan. I mean, let's be real, who doesn't love "Copacabana"?

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I thought about giving you another one because it’s not totally professional but it really is my favorite quote : "Embrace the suck." I know it might sound a bit rough around the edges, but it has been my biggest lesson in my hardest times.  If you can push through the worst times and keep going, you'll come out on the other side as a better, more resilient person. It's not always easy, but it's a reminder that the tough times won't last forever and that the rewards of pushing through are always worth it.

 


 

MAY 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Linda J Johnson
EVP Operations
DIGI-KEY ELECTRONICS

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I started with Digi-Key in 1987, when the company was still quite small.  I was the 96th employee at the time, and like most, I started in the warehouse picking and packaging.  As a young parent, I was looking for a stable job that offered good benefits and really had no idea what they did, other than they had a good reputation.  I’ve never looked back.  It’s been a wonderful journey full of opportunities, with an amazing company and industry.

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
I enjoy the challenges of a fast-paced, continually changing, growing industry and company that challenges me to learn and adapt.   We also have a great company culture and team globally, whom I enjoy personally and professionally, and respect greatly.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
There’s been many along the way, but I think the biggest mistake earlier in my career, was not speaking up when I saw either process or people issues that were creating problems.  I’ve since learned through time and confidence to make sure my voice is heard.  It’s not important to always be right, but it is important to bring your thoughts forward and be part of the solution.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I really enjoy the outdoors (all seasons, although this winter can stop now!)  I cross-country ski, love to fish, ride horse and garden.   My husband and I also raise registered Black Angus cattle, so when I’m not at work, you can find me in a tractor, skid steer or helping in the barn during calving season.  I have four grandchildren who I refer to as “life’s rewards”.  For those of you who are grandparents, you know what I mean.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
Quote by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”   A great quote to remember, especially as a leader.

 


 

APRIL 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Jeana Feely
Sales Engineer
Infinity Sales, Inc.

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I was recruited directly from the military and I started working at Infinity Sales, a manufacturer’s representative as a Field Sales Engineer. I came into the industry not knowing anything about the electronics industry or about semiconductors.

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
I love finding creative solutions to really challenging problems. Being able to influence decisions and connect technology to end products to bring ideas to life is what inspires me every day.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
When I first started in the industry, I would ask for the reference or guide or some published material that would explain to me how to do things.  I wanted processes and concrete steps to take that would allow me to achieve success. It took me awhile to learn that success comes to those who create their own path.  Creativity and innovation in my job is what has allowed me to succeed. Instead of asking how others have done something, I now ask myself what is the best strategy to achieve key objectives with the most efficiency.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I love spending time at the beach with my kids. I have a passion for making and designing clothes and I enjoy hiking.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." – Henry Ford

 


 

FEBRUARY 2023 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Jennifer Eby
President/CEO - Solutions Expert and Relationship Manager
MaRCTech2, Inc.

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
I was living in Beaverton, Oregon.  College wasn't for me, so I got a J.O.B., trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do after high school.  Classifieds out - I got my first real job, as a receptionist for a manufacturing company (I don't even remember what they made!).  I was so excited, as the Purchasing Manager kept giving me things to do, I officially became a Purchasing Assistant.  Then onto another company, I was a Buyer.  Then I moved to Seattle and started with Inside Sales at Marshall Industries, then outside sales and so it was, I was stuck and addicted to the Electronic Industry!

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
Connecting with people and building relationships feeds me.  Helping to bring the right solutions, and putting people and companies together, is what I love.  Being a connector or a 'bridge' is my superpower!  I love contributing to change and solutions.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?  
Wow.  Really, this came to me over the last 5 or so years.  Stop comparing myself to others, or their success.  I used to judge myself for not being as technical or as 'smart' as others or outgoing enough.  But what I learned is, we all have our gifts.  I have different gifts than those people I compared myself to.  I wish I had learned that before I was in my 50s.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)
I love personal growth, especially when it has to do with spirituality or things metaphysical.  My personal growth path has empowered me to become a better leader and motivator.  I meditate every day.  Lastly, I love Hardware startups.  It doesn't always pay, but it sure makes me feel good.  I'm in love with trees and nature (thank you, covid!)

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
It seems like we worry too much about what everyone else thinks about us, more than what is our own truth and how we love ourselves.  Currently one of my 'favorite quotes' is this, "What other people think of you is none of your business."

 


 

NOVEMBER 2022 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Julie Carr
Partner - Distribution Manager
MacInnis Company

How did you get your start in the Electronics Industry?
Cronin Electronics, a small electronics distributor was my first part time job.  The owner, TX Cronin worked very closely with my mother from its inception, and she ultimately brought me in full time after graduation.

What’s your “why”? What’s your motivation to do what you do, everyday?
My son, he has always been my ultimate motivation; providing for him has always been my biggest driver.

What was your biggest mistake/learning lesson? What did you do different as a result moving forward?
Due to my own insecurities, I did not move out of my proverbial box early in my career.  I struggled in many ways to grow and reach a next level. A few of my colleagues would even refer to me as a wallflower. A fair amount of what I have accomplished came from sponsors, mentors and just maturity. I knew how important networking for my company was, but I did not realize how advantageous personal networking would be until many years after I started.  As a result, I have volunteered in both local and national industry organizations.   I also take full advantage of the tools Women in Electronics has created.  Had these tools been available early on, maybe I would have grown at a faster rate.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know about you (passions, hobbies, etc.)

  1. Travel would probably be my largest passion.  There was a good amount of time I was not able to and now that my son is more independent, I have a major sense of wanderlust.
  2. I am also very active in giving back to the industry.  This industry has been very good to myself and my company.  I have a strong appreciation for this, and I get a tremendous sense of reward in giving back.  Therefore, a fair amount of my personal time goes into supporting both local chapters and national committees for Women in Electronics and ERA.  A fair amount of my personal time goes into supporting both local chapters and national committees for Women in Electronics and ERA.
  3. Lastly, I enjoy being near the water.  I am fortunate to live in an area that I have access to beaches, rivers and lakes.  I spent a good amount of my summer boating.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I have many phrases that I use often.  However, if I were to pick one quote that I contemplate both personally and professionally, it would probably be  “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”— Albert Einstein

 


 

MAY 2022 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Cindy Weir
Sr. Director Global Product & Purchasing
PEI-Genesis

How did you get started working in the Electronics Industry?
I was working at Apple Computer in Carrollton, TX and went from working on the line testing disk drives to facilities purchasing.  When they closed that facility, a good friend went to work for Time Electronics (Avnet) and started as an inside sales person.  After Time Electronics, I went to Teccor Electronics (eventually bought by Littelfuse) in Customer Service and then ended up at Arrow Electronics where I spent almost 25 years. From there I took a position at TTI and stayed for a number of years until ultimately, PEI Genesis.

How did you get involved with WE?
From the very beginning in conversations with Jackie Mattox and Amy Keller.  How important it is to bring women into this industry and then keep them.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I was born in Missouri but grew up in Texas.
I have 3 older brothers, so I played every sport in school.
I love to travel and have been to different parts of Africa 3 times.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
You should join! The benefits of what you can get career wise are worth it.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
We tend to seek happiness when it’s actually a choice!

 


 

JUNE MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

William Lowe Jr.
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Yageo Corporation

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I was hired in July of 2008 as the CFO of KEMET.  Prior to KEMET I had 30 years of experience split between Tier One automotive suppliers and textile manufacturing in both the financial area and operations. All very tough and cyclical industries.

How did you get involved with WE?
I got involved with WE through Monica Highfill while she was at KEMET.  I have long been a proponent of providing advancement and career opportunities to women in the industries I have worked so it was an honor to be asked to become more involved.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I began my career in 1975 as an IRS agent in the Organized Crime unit in Detroit.
 
I like classic cars and trucks.  Have restored a 1969 Chevelle Super Sport and a 1974 Ford Truck. (My very first new car was a 1971 Chevelle Super sport after graduating High School).
 
I am learning to play a Lap Steel guitar so I can accompany my grandson (age 11) on his acoustical guitar at a Blue Grass festival next year.  I have never played any type of guitar before now.  My favorite T-shirt now says – I play Lap Steel guitars- but I will stop playing for Money!

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
I would say you will be missing a great enhancement and benefit to your career and self -development if you do not join.  Employers generally have not done a great job providing the type of information, mentorships and networking opportunities that one can avail themselves of by being a member of WE.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I know that most CEO and CFO types usually have some great flowery quote from a successful businessperson of the past, but that is not me.  Having worked mid-night shift making automotive parts to pay for my college education all four-years and working in very tough industries my entire career my favorite quote originated from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.  Currently parodied as: “whatever doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger”.  This is probably not a very popular quote in today’s times – but what it really says to me is that you learn from the tough times and as you come out the other side you can apply those learnings to be better in your job or life and more prepared for future situations that will test your abilities.  It truly accurately paints the picture of resilience and an ability of overcoming adversity.

 


 

APRIL MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Stephannie Bronson
Head/Director of Customer Service & Sales Operations, Americas
YAGEO Group

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I came from a long Sales career in Logistics and my husband’s company relocated us back to S. Florida in 2018.   While looking for a new role, I found the KEMET Opportunity and as I began researching the company and the industry, I was intrigued! I joined KEMET in October 2018 as the Director of Inside Sales & Service Operation and began learning about our product lines and customers.

How did you get involved with WE?
I was referred by Monica Highfill as a way to network, learn and meet other members in the industry.  I became a Mentor in 2020 and am a member of the Mentorship Committee as of 2021 and love being a part of WE.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
- I am married for 11.5 years to an amazing husband named Brian who makes me laugh every single day!
- My first “sales job” was when I had a paper route at 12 years old and I won a trip to Disney for the most subscriptions sold in my region!
-  I love watching comedy TV shows and my current favorite is called “Pivoting”.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
You have no idea what you are missing! It is such a great way to network, learn, grow and give back to women!   The training resources and seminars are beneficial in so many areas and the available resources in the library/archives is always expanding.  I love the sense of community and meeting others in our industry whether through the mentorship programs or during training or leadership seminars.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I have 2…
- "A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman."    Melinda Gates
- "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."    Eleanor Roosevelt

 


 

FEBRUARY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Maryellen Stack
Director of Marketing Communication
Sager Electronics

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
Completely unintentionally! My husband and I, both originally from Massachusetts, had been living in the Philadelphia area. My husband was working on site at a distributor for IBM, but the position was transitioning back to Atlanta, Georgia. After five years of being away from family and looking to start our own, we made the decision to return back home. I posted my resume on Monster.com, and Sager Electronics hired me on a contractual basis to cover for their marketing manager who was out on maternity leave. It proved to be a good fit and Sager offered me a permanent position at the end of my contract.

How did you get involved with WE?
I was first approached by Holly Good, Margo Antonellis and Julie Carr about Women in Electronics. After attending the first chapter meeting, I felt compelled to get involved. I’d been quite fortunate at Sager to be mentored and sponsored by strong, well-established leaders in the industry. I appreciated WE’s focus on professional and personal development, as well as the potential exposure to an expanded network. Joining WE afforded me an opportunity to continue to work on my own development and grow my leadership skills, while also providing me the chance to work first-hand with strong women leaders like Diane Sweeney of TE Connectivity and later directly with Jackie Mattox, Monica Highfill and Amy Keller as I assumed a role on the board.

Tell us what a chapter meeting is like for you, virtual or in person. 
I appreciate the evolution of WE’s Chapter meetings – especially during the Pandemic – and how Susan Leager and the chapter leads reshaped the meetings to better support topic discussions and involvement by all in attendance. The ability to interact and connect with other WE members during the breakout sessions has been of tremendous value.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I am adopted, and to say my story would be the perfect Lifetime movie would be an understatement. I found both my maternal and paternal birth families and consider myself more than fortunate to have developed strong relationships with my birth relatives.

In addition to Massachusetts, I’ve had the opportunity to live in Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Marlton, New Jersey. I lived in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics and had attended a number of Olympic Games and events.

I have two intelligent, beautiful daughters who have been instrumental in my development and growth over the last twenty years. As much as I’ve been a parent to them, they’ve taught me so much about myself and the greater world, and they certainly keep me on my toes!

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Do it, but don’t sit on the sidelines. The true benefits of being a part of WE – or any of the industry associations – is to get involved. Join the trainings, participate in the events, become a mentor, and volunteer if you can spear the time.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes.” Author Unknown

 


 

NOVEMBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Tobi Cornell
CPMR, VP Distribution ~ Outside Sales DFW
Kruvand Associates Inc

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I learned about the electronics industry from my father, who had been involved since he started at Texas Instrument after college.  Then he entered the rep business in the ‘80’s, and that is how I learned about the role of a manufacturer’s rep.  When I graduated from college, I interviewed with the rep firm that my father had just sold, and started as inside sales representative.

After spending 2 ½ years in inside sales, I made the move to outside sales and LOVED it!  What an exciting role in the rep world, and what an incredible industry this is!  It’s so fun and so different every day!!!

How did you get involved with WE?
I was one of the founding members of WE!  It all started with an amazing idea by Jackie Mattox, who invited several of us to the first meeting to discuss a real need for an organization like this in our industry.  About 20 women came to that first event, and from there it has grown so much, with plans to keep up that growth!  It’s all about encouraging and empowering women in our industry, and finding more women to JOIN this amazing industry.   We encourage any young woman or young man to join us in the electronics industry, as there is such a need to bring youth into this side of electronic sales and manufacturing.

Tell us what a chapter meeting is like for you, virtual or in person.
I am a chapter chair, and have really enjoyed all the versions of the chapter meetings I’ve experienced over the years as a member of WE.  The in-person meetings were fantastic, but  the virtual ones have been even better I think.  We’ve been able to combine territories this way, and you can meet and visit with so many amazing women across the country.  We’ve done regional meetings as well as national meetings, and both have allowed for interaction far beyond what you would be able to achieve in person only.   The topics for the chapter meetings are always wonderful, and the break out room discussions are meaningful.  Attending a chapter meeting is a great way to be connected within WE and meet many members all at one time. 

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I was a military brat growing up with my mother and stepfather (who was in the Marine Corps).  We traveled all over…including a year living in Okinawa.
 
I grew up with 3 siblings…one brother, one step-brother, and one step-sister…and they’re all awesome!

May favorite place that I have ever visited is New Zealand…and I’d love to live there someday!

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
I would say , yes, definitely join WE!  I would talk about the camaraderie you feel when you join WE, and share with them one of my favorite WE member benefit which are the online training sessions.  There’s always a business training and then a personal growth training each month, and each webinar offers something that is so valuable to the listener.  During these meetings you can join in the chat feature which is live during the conversation, and see so many others engaged in the discussion sharing opinions and ideas.  It’s very inspiring.  WE is dedicated to empowering women, but also to empowering every young employee in our industry who is learning their way, men and women alike.  

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.” ― Teddy Roosevelt

 


 

OCTOBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Debbie Conyers
VP of Member Engagement; Foundation Executive Director
Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA)

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
When NEDA relocated from Chicago to Atlanta, a friend very involved in the industry and in the association - Rob Rodin - introduced me to Robin Gray. Although there wasn’t a “fit” at the time, a year later the association was looking for someone to lead an industry marketing campaign to tout the Authorized Channel. It was a time when the “dot com’s” were a threat. My background in marketing and advertising made it a challenge I couldn’t pass up! Since then, a mix of responsibilities and opportunities have allowed me to get involved with a number of initiatives, engage with members and switch things up. Twenty years has flown! 

How did you get involved with WE?
Jackie reached out in 2017 to attend the first meeting. Although I had worked for the association since 2001, the prospects of getting to know many of the people who worked in the industry – especially the women – were slim. That meeting had such a unique energy and positive purpose – I was hooked! It became a mission for me to have more involvement and spread the word. ECIA has been a supportive partner and that encouragement made a difference. 

Tell us what a chapter meeting is like for you, virtual or in person.
The virtual meetings have been a unique way to stay in touch and connect with the group. Putting a face to a name is so important and helps build that rapport. It helps me with my job to be able to hear about the concerns of the day and then offer programs or information via ECIA.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
Although I have lived in the Atlanta area for 25 years and in Southern California for 20 before that, I am a Yankee at heart. You won’t catch me drinking sweet tea or eating grits! My heart bleeds black and gold for the Pittsburgh Steelers and blue for the UCONN Huskies.

My degree is in early childhood education. It served me well in raising my amazing kids (they’re adults and still speak to me!) and it has been surprisingly important with my interactions in business for over 40 years.

My happy place is anywhere that I can see the ocean and walk the beach.  With retirement looming, that’s where you’ll find me.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Get involved and take advantage of the training and meetings! Very few companies – in this industry or any other – offer these female-focused opportunities. Women bring a unique set of skills and perspectives to the table. The need for a different type of engagement is huge and Women in Electronics offers both professional and personal enrichment programs. The WE leadership team has your best interests at the heart of what they do – take advantage! Participate, network and be a part of the change we desperately need and deserve. This group of women “has your back” and that is a wonderful reward!  

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
Yes! “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care!”

 


 

SEPTEMBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Kristie Pierson
Operations Director
Arrow Electronics

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
When I was in college, I attended class from 6 am to 9 am every day, but needed to find a job that would allow me to work full-time. I was able to secure a position at a rep firm in Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 that afforded me the opportunity to complete my degree while working. This position launched my career in the electronics industry.

How did you get involved with WE?
I have always been supportive of women groups in this industry and had even started a monthly meeting for my fellow female Product Managers that went on for a number of years. While these meetings are no longer held, they were well attended during the program’s duration. As such, when my previous manager Allison Sabia suggested joining Women in Electronics, I was excited for the networking and mentoring opportunities. Amy Keller was also instrumental in my decision to join WE, as she and I had multiple conversations when she was still with Arrow. 

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I am a big Notre Dame fan. Cooking relaxes me, and preparing for Thanksgiving is my favorite. I own two 130lbs+ Great Danes.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
WE offers you a place to listen, learn, and grow as a woman in this industry. There is a concerted effort to better the talent pool. The gap of women at the top will only decrease if we bring each other along as we climb. I think the mentorship and personal improvement sessions are the most valuable aspects of becoming a member - everyone gets something out of them if you give them a chance.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
"Don’t just speak about it, be about it."

 


 

SEPTEMBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Michelle Goode
Inside Sales Manager
Arrow Electronics

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
When I was a Junior in college, my father who worked for Siemens at the time, told me about an opportunity at one of his Manufacture Rep companies in Southern California. I started working in their front office part time until I graduated and then one of the Field Sales told me his wife was retiring from Arrow and I should apply for her position in sales. I applied and got the position at Arrow not long after graduation. 

How did you get involved with WE?
I heard about the organization from Jackie Mattox and was invited to attend the inaugural WE Conference in Laguna Beach in 2017. It was a group of dynamic women with a great vision and advocating for one another! I feel very blessed to have been part of this group from the very beginning. 

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
A chapter meeting in our area is time to network, collaborate together and share insights about an ever-evolving industry.  

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I am a Grandma to a beautiful 2 year old granddaughter, my two favorite vacation destinations are Lake Tahoe and Destin, FL. Lastly, I love to volunteer my time to organizations that help our military, especially the United States Marine Corps since I am a Marine Wife.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
I would say that you will be surrounded with talented women in the group who motivate you to grow, you will get some wonderful monthly trainings with incredible speakers and have the opportunity to network with women from all over the globe. 

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Dr. Maya Angelou

 


 

AUGUST MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Eva Jelezova
Global Director of Product Management & Marcom, CVP
Littelfuse

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I had recently graduated from college and moved to Chicago, IL from Cleveland, OH. My grand plan was to work in an advertising agency ala Don Draper, but while I was getting my bearings in a new city, I decided to do some freelance work. I landed at Littelfuse, thinking I would only be there for a short time – that was 17 years ago!  

How did you get involved with WE?
I had to temporarily relocate to Orange County, CA for work. I did not know anyone locally and one of our Littelfuse Reps, Margo Antonellis from CBA encouraged me to join Women in Electronics and go to a local chapter meeting. That’s where I met Jackie Mattox and was so inspired by her passion and vision that I immediately wanted to be involved. Since then, I’ve met so many great women through WE, both at the local chapters and at the conference, and many of them have become good friends. I am very proud that Littelfuse is now an official WE sponsor and is supporting the important work that WE is championing for women in the electronics industry! 

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
I’ve been to chapter meetings both in SoCal and in the Chicago area and they were fantastic! The topics of the discussion are relevant and thought-provoking, and I usually walk away refreshed, inspired and full of new ideas. The meetings are well attended and provide a great opportunity to catch up with industry friends while also meeting new people. I am looking forward to attending in person again soon. 

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I am from Bulgaria originally, and didn’t move here until college, so most 80s and 90s pop culture is lost on me, which makes me a terrible trivia player! This year, my colleagues inspired me to join a running challenge and I am going for 1,000 miles this year. That’s the distance from Chicago to Denver – currently I’ve ran 660 miles. Besides that I love reading non-fiction (recommendations welcome!), traveling (can’t wait to go back to Africa), art (I collect and create) and of course good coffee, food and wine! 

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Go for it, you won’t regret it! While the available resources and learning are top notch, it is the people involved and the welcoming, supportive and encouraging culture that really make WE special. 

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I have so many… “Everything is possible, nothing is easy,” “Start with the end in mind,” “Ask for forgiveness, not permission,” “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

 


 

JULY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Jennifer Paukert
Vice President, Sales
Master Electronics

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
My spouse, whom I was just dating at the time, was working for TE Connectivity and encouraged me to get into sales. She suggested I get my feet wet by joining Arrow Electronics in their Advantage group. That is where I got my start and quickly realized sales was the field I was meant for. From there, I moved to Master to work in Field Sales and the rest is history. 

How did you get involved with WE?
As I came into higher leadership roles, I started gaining a passion for empowering and advocating for women in our industry. I started a very grassroots-style women-focused communication within Master, which eventually grew into our official Women at Master Employee Resource Group. Around the same time, I heard about WE and quickly noticed the synergies in message and benefits it could bring to our team at Master. I joined WE as member and quickly decided I wanted to help spread the word and start a chapter in the Minneapolis area. 

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic arrived just as we were getting started with building our chapter engagement. Thankfully, our neighboring chapters in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin were gracious enough to include us in their virtual chapter meetings. I hope to start in-person meetings in the near future. 

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
Several people find it shocking to find out I have 2 sets of twins under the age of 5. It is quite a busy household as they sure keep us on our toes! I also have a love for all things motorsports. In particular, my Ducati Monster motorcycle.  I also just recently joined CrossFit.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Worth it! If you are looking for an inspiring group of women who are dedicated to self-growth and empowering others, this is the right place to be. The monthly trainings are extremely valuable and relevant and the chapter meetings allow for broader engagement and thoughtful conversations that lead to deeper connections with other women in our industry. 

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I usually find some great quotes in music lyrics. My favorite one is “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist,” by Sleeping at Last. It provides a reminder that we only have so much time on this planet so enjoy life to the fullest while we can.

 


 

JUNE MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Claire Williams
VP of Engagement Management
Orbweaver

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I had worked with Tony Powell, Orbweaver CEO previously.  I was looking for a new opportunity and reached out to two former co-workers of mine that were currently employed by Orbweaver.  They gave me positive feedback about their experience with the company and the industry overall.  I met with Tony and the Orbweaver crew and it felt like a good match for me.  I had worked at a small software company previously and enjoyed the pace and the fact that there isn’t a lot of overhead that gets in the way of forward progress.  Short, impromptu communication is easier in a small company.  Time isn’t wasted by waiting for a meeting to provide feedback or course correction.   

How did you get involved with WE?
I noticed a WE post on LinkedIn from one of my industry connections and began to follow WE on LinkedIn. I was impressed with the relevant topics that were being discussed and could envision how I would benefit greatly by getting involved. I attended the Leadership Summit in March  and was hooked!  The presenters (Lanan Clark, Lynn Torrel, Shawn Andrews) were excellent and the content was very helpful and thought-provoking. I felt energized after attending and it left me wanting more. For me, events such as this serve as motivational fuel that keeps me going, keeping me thinking about what I can do to improve myself – both personally and professionally.  

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
Over the years, the industry networking events ie: trade shows, conferences have gone away. Having the opportunity in a casual, welcoming environment to meet other women who share the same goals and experiences is gratifying. The chosen topic at each meeting is current and impactful. To hear other candid opinions and experiences are enlightening.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I come from a large family.  I am 1 of 7 children (number 5, middle child).    I have 12 nieces and nephews who are now having children of their own.  It’s my family that has kept me in the Northeast as most of us live in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.  Prior to the pandemic, there was often a celebration gathering for my family.  I’m looking forward to a family reunion this summer.  I have an 18 year old son and have been married for 24 years to my husband Scott.
 
In the last 6 months, I’ve started a mindfulness practice.  When I first wake up in the morning, I reflect on 3 things for which I am grateful.  Then, If I am in the right frame of mind, I spend 10 minutes meditating before work.  If it doesn’t happen in the morning, I do it in the early evening.   I use two different apps for this:  Chopra and 10% Happier.  Meditation has helped me in multiple ways.  The biggest benefit is in my ability to accept circumstances as they come and not let my anxiety get the best of me.   
 
I am a big fan of our country’s National Parks.  I’ve been to about 20… there are so many more on my list that I want to visit.  Yosemite is my favorite place to be.  Nature completely de-stresses me. A hike in the woods or a trip to the beach are my happy places!

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
You will get of it what you put into it. The opportunity is yours for the taking.  You are worth it and you deserve it!

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
I have many favorite quotes.   I have several that I have turned to often over the past year that center around how important it is to think positively – the idea that you become what you think about most often.   
 
Here is a gem:
"Find the good.  It’s all around you.  Find it, showcase it, and you’ll start believing in it." — Jesse Owens, Track Star and Olympic Gold Medalist

 


 

MAY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Sue Breault
Sales Engineer
Crowley Associates

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
My collegiate days were full of aspirations to become a medical technology professional. I loved the technical part of the field but as soon I was exposed to the hospital humdrum routine, I knew it was not for me. In my job search, I joined a local electro-mechanical switch manufacturer as an entry-level, customer service representative. I loved the fast pace, ever-changing work environment and mostly I loved the people in the industry. There were very few electronics industry women managers in the mid-eighties but the women I worked alongside were highly talented and true professionals and soon became my mentors. Dedication, hard work and many advocates along the way enabled me to prosper and succeed.  

How did you get involved with WE?
Three years ago, I was invited to a local Boston chapter meeting. I had no expectations in mind but recall leaving the event with renewed energy and many new industry friends. I have always understood the importance of continued professional self-improvement but mostly with business skills in mind vs. industry networking and personal development. My involvement with WE brought me awareness to the importance of both aspects of development. 

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
Over the years, the industry networking events ie: trade shows, conferences have gone away. Having the opportunity in a casual, welcoming environment to meet other women who share the same goals and experiences is gratifying. The chosen topic at each meeting is current and impactful. To hear other candid opinions and experiences are enlightening. 

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
  1. I am a nutrition geek.
  2. I love horses. In my younger days, I competed all over New England in jumping events.
  3. I follow the stock market intently. If I were not in the electronics industry, I would be a stockbroker.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
More so, this question should be WHY wouldn’t someone join this organization? I know of no other industry that has this type of organization and resource for women’s career development. Having access to a local, national and now global network of industry professionals as well as ongoing leadership and life balance instruction and guidance is extremely valuable. 

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“Success is…knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” — John Maxwell

 


 

APRIL MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Ruth Gray
Key Account Manager
Arrow Electronics

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I began my career twelve years ago in Internal Sales at Cinch Connectors. I studied Journalism and French, so I never envisioned a career in electronics. Now I can’t imagine working in a different industry. I just love being part of something that is at the forefront of technology and has the power to change the world. I also feel fortunate to have held roles for both manufacturers and distributors that have allowed me to travel and meet incredible people.

How did you get involved with WE?
I heard about WE on LinkedIn, loved what the women in the US were doing and felt that we were crying out for something like this in Europe. After a little nudge from my mentor, I reached out to Amy Keller and offered to lead the first European Chapter. Jackie and I have been working closely on expanding in Europe ever since.   

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
The chapter meetings in Europe have all been virtual so far. They are vibrant, inspirational, and powerful! The feedback from the community in Europe has been amazing and I can’t wait to meet all the remarkable women in person. For now though, I’m just grateful for the glimmer of sunshine in such a challenging year.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I speak French and was lucky enough to live in Paris and study at the Université de Versailles. I have adored spending time in France throughout my career.

I have a gorgeous 4-year-old son who is the reason for everything I do.

I love live music and festivals, so I can’t wait to dance in a crowd again.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Do it! I have been able to proactively network with women in our industry more effectively whilst being locked in the house than ever before. The leadership training has challenged my way of thinking and I now have a great female mentor. Most importantly, I feel part of a community. What more could you want?

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” — Eleanor Roosevelt



 

MARCH MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Jani Duffy
Western Regional Manager
Ohmite

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I started my career working for Bell Industries, a distributor located in Scottsdale, AZ.  Since this time, I have successfully completed the Electronic Industry Trifecta!  I have had the opportunity to work for a manufacturer’s rep, a distributor and a manufacturer throughout my journey in the industry.  I have held various positions such as Field Sales, Regional Sales Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager and Distribution Manager.  Throughout these various positions, I have gained a tremendous amount of experience in every aspect of the industry that allows me to understand how the trifecta organizations work successfully together to bring new technologies to market.


How did you get involved with WE?
One of my Reps, Julie Carr from The MacInnis Group, told me about WE and invited me to attend the 1st leadership conference in San Diego.  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the conference but became very interested and soon joined the organization.  Since then, WE has been such a blessing in my life both professionally and personally. Holly Good asked me to start the Arizona chapter in 2018.  Since that time, I have attended every leadership conference and am now a member of the Women in Electronics Chapter Council and Membership Recruitment Committee.

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
When we could be together as a group, we would meet at a local establishment or in a conference room at someone’s office.  It was a great opportunity to meet the local women leaders in our industry and share our experiences together.  Debbie Martin and I incorporated a theme into each meeting and had some fun giveaways for the attendees.  

Since the start of CV19, our meetings have transitioned to virtual regional chapter meetings.  During these call, we incorporate breakout rooms so we can share our thoughts and ideas which allows for a smaller group to have meaningful conversations.  Virtually or in person, the chapter meetings are a great way to meet amazing women in the industry.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I would like to attend every PGA golf tournament in the US and each course that hosts the British Open. I love walking golf courses and watching the pros play.  One of my favorite experiences was attending the British Open at St. Andrews with my husband, mom and dad.

I was on the drama team and sang in the Swing Choir in high school.  I competed and won awards and performed in several plays and musicals.

I ran in the first Pat Tillman race in Tempe, AZ in 2005 with only 5,000 people.  Today, close to 30,000 people run in the race.  The race is 4.2 miles because Pat wore number 42 on his jersey.  The race finishes on the 42 yard line at Arizona States Sun Devil football stadium.  I admire Pat for his courage and never give up attitude.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
The time to join is NOW. The leadership development and networking are so important whatever stage you are in your career.  With so many of us working virtually, being a part of the Women in Electronics organization has really helped me with my professional and personal growth during this time.   Staying connected and learning from the leaders in our industry through podcasts, regional chapter meetings and trainings has been fundamental in my career development.  

I would encourage anyone that is not a member to join for 1 month and check all the great resources that Women in Electronics has to offer you.     

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” — Walter Scott



FEBRUARY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Neda Simeonova
Communications Director
Electronics Representatives Association

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I joined the electronics industry in 2015 after accepting a Communications Director role at the Electronics Representatives Association. My first introduction to ERA was through Tess Hill who had devoted more than 50 years to the association and the industry. Tess had been trying to retire for a few years and naturally, it took hiring three people to fill her shoes. Five years later, I continue to be influenced and inspired by her can-do attitude.  

How did you get involved with WE?
I believe I am very fortunate to have joined the industry at a time when there are more women than ever in the electronics field, and especially women who are committed to reversing the stereotype that women don’t support other women. I first became aware of WE through posts in my LinkedIn feed and other industry news sources. Naturally, I wanted to find out more about an organization that is dedicated to supporting women through mentorship and training. In addition, ERA is committed to building relationships with other industry associations so that we can serve our members better. ERA CEO Walter Tobin encouraged me to join WE in 2020 and I am thrilled to be learning more about the organization and its initiatives.

Tell us what a chapter meeting in your area is like.
As a recent WE member I have just started looking at attending some of the local WE chapter meetings. I would love to take advantage of these meetings in the months ahead and connect with industry peers.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I was born in Bulgaria, traveled extensively in my childhood and eventually moved to the US to pursue a degree in Journalism. I love cooking to unwind. I would choose mountains over the beach any day — one of the few downsides of living in Chicago.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
At a time when it is harder than ever to stay connected, form new connections, get inspired, be creative and most importantly, remain hopeful and resilient, joining WE is a great way to collaborate with other industry professionals and join a community that is dedicated to supporting and developing the women leaders of tomorrow.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
― Maya Angelou


JANUARY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Debbie Martin
Marketing Communications Manager
TDK Electronics Inc.

How did you get started working in the electronics industry?
I started out in the electronics industry in 1998 when I first moved to Arizona, where I worked for a Japanese switch manufacturer whose US office was located in Scottsdale.  At the time it was just a temporary job but it quickly blossomed into my career in marketing communications.

How did you get involved with WE?
I got involved with WE as a co-chapter lead with my colleague Jani Duffy.  We share the same goal in wanting the organization to grow and succeed. There are a lot of manufacturers, distributors, reps and customers in the greater Phoenix area and we want to share the WE story with everyone.  I feel like I have been searching for an organization like Women in Electronics most of my career, so when I learned about the organization, I didn’t hesitate to jump in and volunteer my time.

Let us get to know you better, tell us 3 things about you we might not know.
I love to clean, sounds strange but using my Dyson while listening to music brings me joy. The other day, I noticed our town was doing some road maintenance and they were using a very large, truck-size industrial vacuum to clean out the cracks, I was quite intrigued…lol.

I love to work-out every day, I feel like if I don’t have at least one sore muscle than I must not be working out hard enough.  

And last but MOST important is that I’m blessed beyond the moon and stars with a beautiful family! A husband of almost 28 years, and two beautiful, healthy kids, Kailee and Nicholas!

What would you say to someone who was considering joining WE?
Don’t hesitate!  It’s an absolutely life changing opportunity. There are so many amazing people you will meet who are all inspiring.  The monthly trainings are always spot-on in helping become a better person and a better leader.  But don’t sit on the sideline, get involved.  Volunteer in some small or big way with the organization, it isn’t until you get out of your comfort zone that you start to grow and advance your career.  WE has significantly helped me develop more self-confidence and to realize that I bring value to my company.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
Vivian Greene

 

NOVEMBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Holly Good
National Distribution Manager, Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc.

I started my career in the electronics industry as a receptionist at a distributor branch office. Almost 30 years later, I have completed the electronics industry trifecta working in distribution, for a manufacturer’s representative, and for the past 9 years for Cornell Dubilier, a capacitor manufacturer.  Over the course of my career I have worked in inside and outside sales, sales operations, product management and various leadership positions.  The variety of work experiences I have had has been beneficial in my current role as National Distributor Sales Manager because I gained a great understanding of how all of the pieces in our industry fit together.

I got started with WE when I was invited to attend the first WE Conference and haven’t looked back.  I have met some fantastic women from all over the world and without WE our paths probably would not have crossed. It’s really been a tremendous blessing and I’m happy that I’m able to be involved with WE and give back to the industry that I’ve built my career in.

I love that we are able to have virtual chapter meetings now, because I can hop on a different one each quarter and get to interact with different members from all over the country.  When we are able to gather in person, I normally attend the New England chapter events.  Earlier this year WE had an in person event where we had professional head shots taken so we could update our LinkedIn profiles. It was a lot of fun and a great time meeting other members.  Because I travel with my job, I’ve also been able to attend chapter meetings in Minnesota and Fort Worth, Texas!

        Here are 3 things about you me that you might not know:

  • I really don’t like to drive.  I’d much rather be a passenger and I can’t wait for fully autonomous vehicles to be more mainstream.
  • My favorite sport to watch is ice hockey, but I can’t ice skate at all.
  • My dream job would be to be a QVC host ‐ shopping and talking, it’s a win win!


I would encourage everyone to join, no matter what stage of your career you are in, there is something here for you.  I continue to refine my skills and learn new things. I’ve met new people and made some lasting friendships as a result of WE.

My favorite quote is from Amy Cuddy;  “Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes”.  I’ve had this written on a sticky note in  my office for years.  I apply it to all facets in my life. It reminds me that if I understand what I want to achieve and make small changes along the way, I will get to where I want to be.


 

OCTOBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Tamara Geoffrion
Sales Operations Manager, Arrow Electronics Global Supply Chain Services 

 I started in the electronics industry as an administrative assistant at Future Electronics and a few years later moved into a sales role at Arrow Electronics.  At that time I really started to learn about our dynamic industry and fell in love with the fast paced, ever changing world of electronics distribution.  Overall I’ve been in the electronics industry for 20 years in a variety of roles and have enjoyed all that I have experienced in my career.

A colleague at work mentioned WE to me as it was first starting up in 2018.  She knew I was interested in growing and learning professionally and recommended becoming a member of WE due to its resources and reach across the industry.   I not only joined WE but also took on a leadership role by becoming the lead for our local chapter in Denver, CO and more recently become a member of the WE Council. Being involved in WE has been a valuable experience for me and has also provided me with a wealth of tools and resources that have given me the courage to take my career to the next level.  My expanded role in the WE council has provided additional opportunities to work with other WE Chapters across the country to share best practices and continue grow our community of women leaders in the industry.  I’m honored to be part of a forward looking organization of women supporting other women as we navigate our career journeys.

This quote inspires me because it reminds me to slow down and enjoy each moment life brings us.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” ~Maya Angelou