The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Leadership is the backbone of our diverse, thriving organization. Our dedicated leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, technological disciplines and industries to share their expertise and guidance, and most importantly, their passion to uphold the Society’s mission. Please help us in welcoming our FY22 Board of Directors and Board of Trustees!
FY22 Board of Directors
Rachel Morford is a principal director at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, where she manages a team responsible for the integration of multiple space and ground programs. In previous roles, Morford led the Aerospace team supporting the production, launch, and on-orbit testing of three high-value communication satellites; provided technical leadership and supported strategic development of international agreements between the U.S. Air Force and other nations; and spent several years as a systems engineer working on national security launches.
Morford has led the Aerospace women’s committee, served on the Aerospace diversity action committee, and is an enthusiastic member of multiple Aerospace employee resource groups. She has been recognized with the Aerospace Woman of the Year award and the Aerospace Commitment to Our People Diversity and Inclusion award.
A senior life member of SWE, Morford joined the Society as a student at the University of Southern California. She has held several leadership roles in SWE at all levels, including chair of the collegiate leadership coaching committee, region governor, Los Angeles Section president, and director of advocacy. Morford is a recipient of the SWE Distinguished New Engineer and the We Local ELiTE awards.
Morford holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and a certificate in technical management from the University of California, Los Angeles. An active alumna, Morford serves on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and the Viterbi Emerging Leaders Board. She enjoys traveling, running, and refinishing furniture.
Dayna Johnson, P.E.
Dayna Johnson, P.E., is the market intelligence leader for North America for Grid Solutions at GE Renewable Energy. She joined GE in 2012 as a commercial manager, leading large teams through the bidding process to develop proposals for high-voltage electrical substations. Prior to joining GE, she worked as a civil engineer, designing water and wastewater projects for rapidly growing communities in the Chicago suburbs.
She holds a B.S. in civil engineering and a Master of Engineering Management from Valparaiso University, and she is a licensed professional engineer and LEED accredited professional.
Johnson has been an active member of SWE since joining as a collegiate member in 2000. She has served as Chicago Regional Section president and section representative and as Region H lieutenant governor and treasurer. She was previously the awards and recognition committee chair and WE11 local host committee co-chair. Most recently, she has been engaged as a governance task force member and senator. She received the SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award in 2011.
Outside of SWE, Johnson is involved in her church and Toastmasters. She resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, their two sons, and their dog. When she isn’t working with SWE, she enjoys traveling to warm locations with beaches far from Chicago, hiking, and home improvement projects.
Lisa Rimpf (she/her) is a daughter, sister, niece, aunt, friend, engineer, collaborator … and, on a journey!
A senior life professional member of SWE, Rimpf appreciates the Society’s rich legacy while maintaining a forward-looking view. She began active involvement in SWE while a student at The University of Toledo and served in various leadership opportunities during the last two decades, most recently on the Society’s strategic planning body (the Senate) as a senator. Other roles include global ambassador, director of regions, Ohio Valley Region G governor, and collegiate section counselor, as well as her roots in local section volunteering. She was recognized as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2014 and received the 2021 WE Local Legacy Award. She currently belongs to the SWE Germany Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar affiliate.
Rimpf earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in chemical engineering. The first 10 years of her career, she conducted air quality control systems research on exhaust gas from power plant and industrial point sources. Concurrent with participation in a corporate people development program, she transitioned into business roles, focusing on process improvement, operational excellence, and corporate mergers and acquisitions integration. She moved from the United States to Germany in 2019 as business applications IT manager for Dürr Systems AG and lives near Stuttgart.
Her favorite saying is, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Because in shining together we can amplify the brightness!
Lindsey Roberts McKenzie, P.E.
Lindsey Roberts McKenzie, P.E., is a senior water resources engineer and project manager with Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH). She holds a B.S. in civil engineering from North Dakota State University, and an M.E. in engineering management from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is also a licensed professional engineer in four states.
McKenzie has 15 years of experience designing and managing large-scale civil engineering projects, including flood risk reduction systems, environmental restoration projects, mining facility improvements, and regional water quality and surface water management studies throughout the United States. She is also a business development lead responsible for supporting SEH’s further expansion into the U.S. federal market by managing long-term contracts and strategic small-business partnerships.
She has been an engaged member of SWE since 2001. As a professional member, McKenzie has served in leadership roles at the section, region, and Society levels, with an emphasis on roles that support the management and growth of the financial resources of the Society. This journey began with her service as Minnesota Section treasurer and continues with her most recent role as Society finance committee chair. She has also served as treasurer and vice president for the Society of American Military Engineers’ Minneapolis-St. Paul Post, and currently sits on the leadership board of the SEH Women in STEM employee resource group and the Women Who Inspire committee at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota.
McKenzie resides in Minneapolis with her husband, their two young sons, and two dogs.
Barbara Brockett retired from Honeywell Aerospace in 2017. She was vice president of engineering operations, responsible for all global engineering tools and support functions.
Previously, Brockett was vice president of engineering test, leading the development and delivery of test solutions and flight operations for all Honeywell Aerospace products. She was vice president of electronics systems engineering, overseeing project management and systems engineering for Honeywell’s commercial and military avionics systems. Her 34-year career as an engineer and leader spanned a broad range of aerospace customers, programs, and products.
Brockett joined SWE in 2005, striving to expand the success of women engineers. She served on the Corporate Partnership Council and launched the Honeywell Engineering Diversity and Inclusion Council, with the charter of improving the hiring, development, and advancement of women and minority engineers. Under her sponsorship, a successful SWE conference recruiting program was implemented and expanded to the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Programs to provide employees with sponsorship and professional development were established. Brockett sponsored the launch of the Women in Honeywell Engineering Network and Aero Women’s Council. These and other programs had a measurable and lasting impact. Brockett received the 2015 SWE Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award in recognition of her career accomplishments.
She graduated from The University of New Mexico in 1983 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. She received the 2018 UNM Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.
Brockett and her husband live in Phoenix. She has three children and seven grandchildren, who are at the top of her hobby list.
Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E.
Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., is the municipal water department engineering manager for Burns & McDonnell in Kansas City, Missouri. She has a B.S. in chemical engineering with an environmental emphasis from The University of Kansas. She is a licensed professional engineer in six states and is a certified design-build professional.
For more than 20 years, Greenfelder has been involved in the design and management of both small and large water/wastewater treatment processing projects for a variety of municipal, public, industrial, federal, and design-build clients. Throughout her career in the water industry, she has demonstrated that she loves what she does, and she continues to display exceptional dedication to the empowerment and betterment of others, particularly young women. She continues to push herself and others to new heights through thoughtful teaching and guidance.
A SWE life member, Greenfelder has dedicated her skills and talents to myriad leadership positions at every level of the Society. Her portfolio of contributions to the advancement of women is as important to her as her technical, professional, and community accomplishments. As such, she is an active leader in numerous organizations, including the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers and the Water Environment Federation.
Greenfelder lives in the Kansas City metropolitan area with her husband and son. She enjoys reading management books, sewing, and long-distance running in sparkly gear.
Kalyani Mallela is director of research and development (R&D) for Johnson & Johnson within its Robotics and Digital Solutions group, leading instrument development, providing solutions to improve outcomes across a broad range of disease states. She has extensive medical device industry experience working on Class I, Class II, and Class III products, within R&D, quality, and regulatory functions. A people-centric leader, Mallela is known for building high-performing teams through developing an inclusive culture and focusing on talent development, mentorship, and coaching. She holds master’s degrees in management of technology and electrical engineering, both from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
She is a diversity and inclusion (D&I) sponsor in the workplace for initiatives to build skills within all engineering levels in R&D to enable recruitment and retention of diverse talent, focusing on leveraging diverse viewpoints and creating an inclusive culture to drive innovation and speed to market. She also sponsors initiatives to recruit diverse talent.
Mallela is an active SWE life member who has held multiple leadership roles at all levels of the Society, including section president, senator, Society awards and recognition committee chair, and Society nominating committee member.
She was named a SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2015. The previous year, Mallela was recognized as one of DiscoverE’s New Faces of Engineering. She has also received The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Award, an honor that recognizes exemplary women in the manufacturing industry.
Mallela inspires children, students, and professionals to be engaged in STEM, through mentoring and being a champion, both at her workplace and for future engineers.
Jennifer Chen Morikawa (she/her) is a senior manufacturing engineer for General Motors (GM). She works as a business planner in Manufacturing Engineering Vehicle Systems, supporting business operations: department finances, hiring, and training. She interfaces on multiple levels within her organization to actively manage department goals and fosters collaboration cross functionally and globally to share best practices and create efficiencies.
Morikawa earned a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in interdisciplinary engineering from Purdue University.
A senior life member of SWE, Morikawa joined the Society more than 20 years ago at the University of Michigan. She has held diverse leadership positions at all levels of the Society, including Detroit Section president, Region H governor, and Society awards and recognition committee chair.
Through her service, Morikawa has gained a rich understanding of SWE’s history and mission. Her knowledge and ability to work across levels and groups have allowed her to enable changes for the Society, including the transition from region conferences to WE Local and introducing the first endowed scholarship for community college students. She has been recognized with the Region H Distinguished Service Award and as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer and Outstanding SWE Counselor.
Morikawa also served as a key leader for the Michigan Chinese School, a small nonprofit educational organization, where she provided new programs and set up processes and guides to allow the organization to evolve. She is a second generation Taiwanese American whose extended family is a melting pot of multi-Asian cultures.
Karen Ramsey-Idem, Ph.D.
Karen Ramsey-Idem, Ph.D., is a global technical leader for Cummins Inc. As global technical operations excellence leader for the corporation, she is responsible for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of technical resources, including strategy definition, management, and implementation. She owns the technical center startup process and has led two multimillion-dollar technical center projects to completion using this process. She is currently leading two more projects.
In 2002, Dr. Ramsey-Idem led the creation of Engineering A Future, a STEM outreach program that introduces middle school females to engineering. At Cummins, she established Cummins Women in Technology (CWiT), an internal development conference for female engineers, in 2007. Both of these annual programs continue today. Dr. Ramsey-Idem is a charter member of the Cummins Leading Inclusion for Technical (LIFT) team, which aspires to increase leadership representation of women and other underrepresented populations in the company’s technical organization. In 2015, she developed and continues to lead the Cummins RePower Program, a STEM career reentry initiative.
Dr. Ramsey-Idem is a certified Six Sigma green belt and sponsor and is a trained facilitator for leadership development, implicit bias, and inclusion dialogue. She and her husband, Stephen Idem, a mechanical engineering professor at Tennessee Technological University, have three adult children and reside in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Creating sustainable opportunities for all to aspire to and achieve in STEM careers is Dr. Ramsey-Idem’s avocation.
Speaker of the Senate
Cherie Cain is a principal systems engineer for Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies. She leads cross functional teams for the development and sustainment of air management systems for commercial aircraft. Whether a team member or leader, she has worked to create an inclusive environment that encourages collaboration with all stakeholders to construct the best solution for the teams’ goals. She joined Collins after a five-year career break, before which she worked in defense as a mechanical designer. She spent her early career in manufacturing and new product introduction of chemical analysis equipment.
Since college, Cain has worked to help increase diversity in STEM through K-12 outreach and mentoring. A longtime SWE member, she has served the Society in a variety of leadership roles. She has held the positions of section representative, region treasurer, and senator. Most recently, she served as senate secretary. She is also a member of Collins LIFT – Leading Inspired Females in Technology, as part of the Recruit and Pipeline development subteam.
Cain has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, design, and systems engineering. She holds an M.S. in systems engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans, her hometown. Cain resides in Glastonbury, Connecticut, with her husband and son. She enjoys reading mysteries, interior decorating, and travel.
Natalie Hahn is a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, pursuing a B.S. in aerospace engineering with a minor in applied mathematics. She has worked as an intern within the aerospace industry for Rockwell Collins, The Boeing Company, and Spirit AeroSystems. She aims to work in the aerospace defense sector, working with aircraft structures following graduation in December 2021.
As a member of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach SWE section, Hahn served as secretary before becoming a three-term president of her section. As president, she led her section through the creation of three committees and a leadership initiative for first-year students while the section saw a 300% growth in membership.
At the Society level, she served as a collegiate-focused leadership coach with the leadership coaching committee for FY19. Recently, she completed a two-year term as coordinator for the Leadership Development Program, working with 50 collegiate members to develop their leadership abilities and SWE knowledge. She aided in the rebranding of the program to reflect SWE’s leadership competency model and to help expand the SWE leadership pipeline.
Hahn is a nontraditional, first-generation student and a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She has been recognized as the FY19 New LCC Coach of the Year and with an FY21 WE Local Guiding Star Award.
Karen Horting, CAE
Executive Director & CEO
Karen Horting, CAE, is the executive director and CEO for the Society of Women Engineers, a position she has held since Dec. 31, 2013. With more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and fund development, Horting was most recently the SWE deputy executive director. In this capacity, she was responsible for all fund-development activities for the organization, including corporate membership and SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council, as well as more traditional philanthropy such as foundation and government grants, individual gifts, and bequests. She also oversaw a number of the Society’s programs and services, including professional development, K-12 outreach, the annual conference, and SWE’s international expansion.
Horting came to SWE in March 2004 from the New York Academy of Sciences, where she served as director of strategic planning, managing the academy’s development activities and long-range organizational planning.
Prior to her role with NYAS, Horting worked for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, managing both marketing and fund development on a global level for Science’s Next Wave, a groundbreaking career-development website for graduate students and postdocs in science, math, and technology. Horting’s experience also includes more than 10 years in the paint and coatings industry in a variety of technical service and marketing functions.
In 2008, Horting earned her certified association executive credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives. Less than 5% of all association professionals have achieved this mark of excellence.
Horting holds a B.S. in biology from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
- Conference Advisory Board
- Corporate Partnership Council
- Editorial Board
FY22 Board of Trustees
Janis Mantini, Chair, Board of Trustees
Janis Mantini, F.SWE, has more than 32 years of experience working in the aerospace industry in various positions, including management; supplier management; program management; and the design, test, and evaluation of aerospace products. Prior to her retirement, she was responsible for leading integration and program management for the Networks and Tactical Systems Business where her team supported the program management function for the business. Site integration activities include supporting the Boeing Southern California State/Local Government regional working group; working to establish Anaheim and Huntington Beach site’s presence in the region, keeping it aligned with the site and program strategies; and supporting Boeing on local boards. She also worked on several strategic initiatives with the BDS Engineering function.
Previously, Mantini served as program manager for the Southern California site consolidation, where she led activities associated with the reduced footprint of the Boeing Anaheim facility and the transition of about 3,000 employees from Anaheim to Boeing’s Huntington Beach facility. Additionally, she spent three years as systems engineering director for a classified program in Boeing’s Space and Intelligence Systems Division. With an extensive background in supplier management, she also supported the Space & Intelligence Systems Division, the Expendable Launch Vehicles Division, C-17 Program, and the International Space Station Program in supplier management leadership roles. She held a Department of Defense Top Secret and SCI level clearance.
Mantini has a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She is a Fellow in the Society of Women Engineers and the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering. Mantini was selected by Penn State as an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus for 2011.
She has served as chair of the board of directors of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and on the Orange County Workforce Investment Board. She has served on and been chair of the City of Huntington Beach Planning Commission. She is a member of and was the 2011 chair for the Penn State Industrial and Professional Advisory Council for the College of Engineering, aerospace department. She is a board member and secretary for the SWE BOT and the VisitHB Business Improvement District marketing bureau. Mantini serves as a commissioner for the City of Huntington Beach Community Services Commission.
Mary Studlick P.E., F.SWE, Treasurer, Board of Trustees
Mary Studlick is a senior life member and Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers. She worked at Exxon Mobil Corporation for over 37 years, retiring in 2019. She is an expert in the implementation and auditing of safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) management systems in upstream and downstream oil and gas operations. For 8 years, she managed the corporation’s SH&E management system auditing program.
Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master’s of Engineering in Petroleum from Tulane University. She was first exposed to SWE in high school when she received a Certificate of Merit from the Rocky Mountain Section and has been involved with SWE ever since. She served as president of her student section and held numerous offices and committee chairs in the New Orleans and Houston sections. She was Regional Director in FY 1988 and served on the Houston Area Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2016, managing the $120,000 overage from the 1998 National Conference. She was first elected to the SWE Board of Trustees in FY 2017.
Mary enjoys horseback riding, knitting, reading, hiking, and traveling with her husband, Joe. She cherishes time spent with their daughter, Liz, an investment banker in New York City.
Deborah Stromberg, Secretary, Board of Trustees
Deborah Stromberg is a SWE Fellow and life member who has actively furthered SWE’s mission for the past 25 years. Through a combination of leadership in SWE, work, and community, she has impacted women at all levels, empowering them to reach their full potential as leaders and role models in the engineering industry. Stromberg has been a longtime member of the Sierra Foothills Section, located in Northern California, and has served as section president, scholarship committee chair, and many years as section representative. She enjoyed serving as a Region A leadership coach for a number of years, which she considers her most rewarding SWE experience and connected her with her wonderful network of SWE colleagues. She completed a term as senator and is the longtime coordinator for the SWE Work/Life Integration Award judging committee.
She has worked for Intel Corporation for 23 years in various technical and leadership roles in flash memory and solid-state drive (SSD) product engineering. Currently, she leads the organization that develops, qualifies, and enables customers to ship all of the Intel SSD products targeted for the data center market. Stromberg has repeatedly built engineering teams from the ground up, utilizing a combination of technical acumen and an effective leadership style. From the earliest part of her career, she has taken initiative in the hiring and progression of technical women. She has built recruiting, hiring, and intern programs, creating a strong and diverse pipeline into her business unit. She was a leader of the Women in Leadership initiative in her business group, tackling the challenges of growing the population of women in technical and managerial leadership roles. She mentors women across a broad range of career levels, and across multiple business groups at Intel. She is a certified facilitator in corporate-level diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the Inclusive Leaders program and the Command Presence Workshop.
Stromberg lives in Davis, California, with her husband and two young sons. She is active in her local community, volunteering in several organizations focused on raising money for causes related to children. She loves to travel with her family, and can often be found at the Little League fields cheering for her boys.
Ester Bergen, Trustee
Ester Bergen (Barbuto) is a senior program manager with Microsoft, focused on increasing connection and collaboration among friends and family with the Microsoft Teams consumer application. She is passionate about developing and launching new technology that creates an enhanced existence for all users. Previously, she was focused on the commercialization and growth of mixed reality business applications. She is a former innovation and crowdsourcing strategy consultant with significant experience in complex problem-solving, systems engineering, and hedge fund market risk. Before Microsoft, she worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, Goldman Sachs, and PepsiCo.
She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. A SWE member since 2005, Barbuto has served in leadership roles, including Carnegie Mellon section president, various region and section representatives, collegiate leadership coaching committee coach, Hampton Roads Section president, secretary, chair, and trustee on the SWE Board of Trustees. She was first elected to the board in FY13.
She enjoys traveling, rock climbing and ultra-cycling. In her free time, she is also a member of the DreamWakers Advisory Council, which connects students in under-resourced classrooms to diverse professionals across the country. She enjoys exploring Seattle with her partner, Peter, and two dogs, Max and Chloe.
Cassi Janakos, Trustee
Cassi Janakos is the Chief Operating Offer of Healthy Horizons. Healthy Horizons provides mother’s room upgrades and management, hospital-grade breast pumps at work, and return to work classes to corporations across North America. Cassi started the company in 2015 and led a team of 40. She specializes in organizational development, operations, and optimization. Previously she worked in systems engineering at Lockheed Martin.
Cassi holds Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds a Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She joined SWE as a student and has held over 35 elected and appointed leadership positions. She served as Region A Governor, where she managed sections in Northern California, Northern Nevada, and Hawaii, and she Chaired the Leadership Coaching Committee. She led 75 leadership coaches in successfully transitioning with the SWE governance changes. She was first elected to the SWE Board of Trustees in FY 2019.
Cassi enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading. In her free time, she mentors start-up executives in Silicon Valley through StartX, advocates for mothers in the workforce. She is a Cultural Mentor with TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Paula McDonald, Trustee
Paula McDonald is a Materials Engineer for rockets used in Missile Defense applications. She currently works for Raytheon after spending 15 years at Aerojet Rocketdyne. She holds a Six Sigma Blackbelt and specializes in various critical high-temperature materials, composites, adhesives, and ablative insulation materials.
Paula holds a Bachelors’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She has been a SWE leader for over 12 years, including the Council of Representatives, Region A Treasurer, and Sacramento Valley Section President. As Region A Treasurer, she helped establish their first portfolio during the worst market of a generation, which was held through the recovery. The extraordinary gains enabled the endowment of the Golden West Region Legacy Scholarship. She is also a talented presenter that has led several sessions at SWE Local and Annual Conferences and was a keynote speaker for Evening with Industry. She is excited to apply this experience in her first year serving the SWE Board of Trustees.
Paula enjoys traveling, music & theater, and exploring nature. She is a devoted momgineer of a six-year-old boy and has been married for 14 years to an engineering executive.
Kim O’Rourke F.SWE, Trustee
Kim O’Rourke, F.SWE, is a senior manager for environmental remediation at The Boeing Company. She has been with Boeing for 30 years and has held positions in materials engineering; manufacturing engineering; environment, health, and safety; quality; and process improvement. Prior to joining Boeing, she worked for General Dynamics and the Institute for Research and Technical Development, a nonprofit organization.
O’Rourke earned a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and an MBA from California State University, Fullerton. She also holds a Six Sigma black belt and is a certified Insights Discovery facilitator.
A SWE life member and Fellow, O’Rourke has held various leadership positions in the Orange County Section, as well as at the regional level as Region B secretary, lieutenant governor, and governor. She has served on the Society bylaws committee and, most recently, the WE Local advisory board (LAB). She is also the SWE focal for Boeing.
O’Rourke is on the board of the nonprofit Employees Community Fund of Boeing, Southern California chapter. The Employees Community Fund is a unique employee-giving program that allows employees to support the needs of their local communities. O’Rourke has been the grant committee lead for the past four years.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and making fused-glass art with the kiln in her garage. O’Rourke lives in San Juan Capistrano, California, with her husband and two cats, Ellie and Squeek.
Holly Teig, Trustee