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Shannon Bumgarner

Shannon Bumgarner is an integrated supply chain leader inspiring change within organizations and women in technical careers. As a degreed engineer with 20+ years experience, she has worked for leading industrial companies strengthening, procurement and process engineering strategies, and mentoring women in largely male-dominated industries. She speaks, writes, and creates peer-coaching networks as part of her own endeavor, FemSpired. 


2021 Host of the Empowering Women Podcast

For more information on Shannon, visit

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Yolanda Kokayi

A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Yolanda has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with a specialization in Broadcast Journalism. She has an extensive background in B2B marketing, communications, and public relations. As a marketer, she is a passionate brand advocate and has worked over the past two decades helping leading companies build engaging brands and telling their stories. 


Yolanda is a member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Empowering Women, Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Marketing Council and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council.

For more information on Yolanda, visit

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Kristel Zaman

Kristel Zaman is a Director of Marketing and Product Management with Grundfos. She is responsible for municipal and groundwater business in Americas region. Kristel is a known speaker and contributor to Hydraulic Institute, Water Environment Federation, and number of other industry organizations.

Kristel describes herself as a learner and servant leader: sensitive to the needs of customers, encouraging mentor developing her team and inspiring others around her. She is passionate about supporting diversity and inclusion at the workplace and focused on empowering women in industry.

Kristel was born in Estonia, moved to USA almost two decades ago. At her leisure, Kristel is an avid reader, beginner yogi, loves needle crafts, and enjoys spending time with her four rescue cats.

For more information on Kristel, visit


Emily Soloby

Emily Soloby is the Founder and CEO of Juno Jones Shoes (, making stylish steel toe boots for women. She is a former lawyer, and the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, a school and transportation safety training firm. Emily is also the founder of the Hazard Girls (Women in Nontraditional Fields) community, and the host of the Hazard Girls Podcast.

For more information on Emily, visit

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Nicole Calhoun

Nicole is a high-energy and results-oriented professional who has worked with diverse multi-cultural teams around the world. She brings 25 years of corporate and technology experience to her training workshops. 


Nicole’s professional experience includes enterprise level technology systems with such roles as Software Engineering, Business Systems Analysis and Project Management. Her industry knowledge includes Financial & Merchant Services, Retirement & Payroll Services, Manufacturing and Automotive.  

Nicole’s work experience includes companies like: JP Morgan Chase & Co., General Motors, Delphi, Detroit Diesel, National Steel Corporation and Electronic Data Systems (now DXC). 


As a certified John Maxwell Team speaker, trainer, and coach, Nicole delivers content that adds value through an inspiring, engaging, and exciting experience that audiences enjoy. 


For more information on Nicole, visit: or


Mary-Frances Klimek

Mary-Frances Klimek is the Superintendent at the Racine Wastewater Utility in Racine, Wisconsin. She oversees all wastewater operations, maintenance, laboratory services and regulatory compliance and most reporting. Prior to becoming Superintendent in 2015, she was the first woman to work outside of the lab or clerical support group. She is involved in committees regarding racial equity, inclusion, leadership and wellness. She is excited to be a new member of the Empowering Women in Industry Steering Committee. She is Chair of the Central States Water Environment Association Wisconsin Section, a past Local Arrangements Chair and current committee member for the annual conference.  Additionally, she is the 2019 Empowering Women in Industry Mentor of the Year, a 7S member, recipient of the Water Environment Federation Hatfield Award and the CSWEA Operations Award. She was recently featured in Treatment Plant Operator Magazine and Water & Wastes Digest. She is most proud of her family and the support they show for the many projects she involves them in.

For more information on Mary-Frances, visit


Lauren Dreher

Lauren Dreher is a mindset author and speaker. After growing up with scars and finding herself with little confidence in her adulthood, she decided to make a change. She became and advocate and speaker for those who have a lack of confidence due to their outer image. Lauren took a deep personal development dive and developed a passion for mindset. Her mission is to help people shift their mindset to a positive one. Using habits, tools, and learning triggers she helps people to be able to manage their mindset even on the toughest days. 


She has a passion for speaking and motivating people to help themselves make this change in her life. 

For more information on Lauren, visit


Rebekah Mechtensimer

Bekah Mechtensimer, Director with Empowering Pumps & Equipment, started in the industrial industry selling nuts, bolts, and washers. From there, she moved up to a technical sales position for pumps, compressors, and pneumatic tools. When she wasn’t in the office selling; she was in the shop helping manufacturing with whatever was needed that day. Bekah joined the EP&E team in 2017 with a desire to grow in the industry. In her free time, you can find her hanging out with her pup, Woodrow, or enjoying her favorite music - preferably at a festival!


For more information on Bekah, visit


Maria Elena Rodriguez Hernandez

Maria Elena Rodriguez Hernandez is a Water Engineering Director at Ingeteam (Water Sector), with +25 years of experience in the field of Turbomachinery and Water Engineering. Elena is based in Zarautz, Basque Country in Spain and is a mechanical, hydraulic, and civil engineer who is currently completing a course in the University about Management and Direction of Water Companies. Elena is an active advocate for women in Engineering Fields and Technical careers, serving as a founding member of the Empowering Women in Industry steering committee. She is passionate about travel, photography, and Water Megastructures.

For more information on Elena, visit

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Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson has been a Mechanical Engineer for John Crane Inc. for 20 plus years. She plays an important role with the company with 20 plus years of experience.  She provide dedication and commitment with products in the area of Compression Packing, Gaskets, PTFE and some Mechanical Seals items. She is very passionate with upholding and advocating for John Crane’s Brand.


She continuously makes strides in creating relationships with other women the Technical Industry. She has been a mentor and have offered guidance to young people within her community in reaching their goals in life.


Kathy is a member of FSA, Empowering Women, Society Women Engineers (SWE), National Technical Association (NTA) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

For more information on Kathy, visit:


Renee J Joseph

Renee Joseph is the VP of Global Customer and Sales and Enablement for a Fortune 500 Company as well as speaker, author, and leadership coach


She has a 20+ year career introducing and executing strategies to drive growth within global competitive markets with deep knowledge of customer and sales enablement principles.  She is known as a transformative leader with a passion for establishing, growing, and leading top performing teams. Working exclusively in a male dominated engineering industry throughout her entire career, she has dedicated herself to educating, mentoring and advocating for diversity in the workplace. 


Renee resides in Wisconsin and in her leisure, she enjoys playing the piano, watercolor painting, writing, practicing yoga, beekeeping and spending time with her husband, four children and seven grandchildren.

For more information on Renee, visit


Stephanie Hajducek

Stephanie Hajducek is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of This One’s for the Gals, an organization that helps to educate and empower girls to step out of their comfort zone and step into a world of endless possibilities in industry.  She has held positions with industry leading companies such as Bechtel, ChevronPhillips, Puffer Sweiven, Citgo and Steel Dynamics.  After almost 20 years out of high school, and with the support of her husband and three children, Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from The University of Southern Mississippi.  She hopes that by sharing her experiences she is able to help girls find their career path a little sooner rather than later. 

For more information on Stephanie Hajducek, visit

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Jill Miller

Jill Miller is a 20+ year industrial sales & leadership veteran turned entrepreneur and mentor. She is co-Founder and CEO of the Below the Line, Inc, where uses wisdom gained from her experience as a woman in a commonly male industry, her ability to inspire and to bring hope to any situation as the common thread in all she does. As a mentor, she works with women in manufacturing to provide guidance on achieving sustainable, unconditional self-acceptance. As an entrepreneur, she develops solutions that enable diverse workers in all wage bands to create sustainable wealth.  She is well known for her frank, but compassionate approach to complex challenges while delivering fast, professional results to all stakeholders. 


She values health, faith, family,  connection and curiosity. Jill lives in Chicagoland with her two teenage daughters, is on the Board of Directors for the Spondylitis Association of America, the Curriculum Director for the YWCA Metro Chicago Breedlove Entrepreneurship Center & joins the Brookings Institute 17 Rooms as a moderator in UN Sustainable Development Goal Room 8.  focused on decent work and economic growth. 

Learn more about Jill here:


DeIla Ray

My name is DeIla Ray. Over the last 8 years of working in the construction industry and welding pipe I have worked on a variety of jobsites including compressor stations, refineries, water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities, and sanitary systems for hemp extraction. I’ve welded over 20,000 feet of pipe for underground building supports that now support the structure for a cancer research facility, parking garages, retail stores, and apartment buildings. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I don’t look like a pipe welder. Well, I’m not sure what you think a welder is supposed to “look like” but I’m proof enough that we need to break stereotypes!

Working alongside my husband, Jack, who is also my fabricator and journeymen pipefitter, we have travelled across the United States working together. 24/7 side by side while clocked in or in our camper we traveled in, we became quite the duo. I have 6g code vessel certifications in GTAW & SMAW as well as being a Certified NIRON Fusion Pipe Welder. With our expertise and consistent push for success we paved a path of respect and made a name for the work we provided. In 2019 Jack and I decided to spread our own wings and we started Alpha Duo LLC. We have a full-service mobile welding unit comprised of any tool needed to get the job done and you are sure to find us having fun while doing it.

In 2020 Empowering Women in Industry awarded me with the esteemed title Tradeswoman of the Year. Since receiving this honor it opened my thoughts to how I can do more for women in industry and I am currently underway to making those thoughts a reality. I am active member of the National Association of Women in Construction Central Missouri Chapter #341. I have also done a vast amount of product testing for the John Tillmans Company’s newly released Women’s PPE line including gloves that fit smaller hands, protective wear like jackets and high-vis vests that don’t engulf women’s bodies and make working conditions even more hazardous than they already are.

I am currently working on introducing welding to our local youth. I’m so excited to share my love, passion, and skills especially with young girls. I wish I knew someone when I was a young girl that would have introduced me to welding and the trades in general. There is a sense of pride that comes with building something with your very own hands and seeing its completion and I can’t wait to share that love with others. Aside from my passion for welding I am also a Professional Licensed Body Piercer and own my studio alongside my husband and his brothers who own and operate our tattoo studio the Majestic Moose Tattoo Haberdashery in Mexico, MO.

For more information on Deila Ray, visit

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