EMPOWERING WOMEN

Our mission is to Connect, Educate, and Empower Women that will not only inspire the next generation of leaders, but provide a community for those currently leading. We will discuss opportunities and issues we handle every day as well as learn skills to strengthen our voice as Women in the Industry!

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EMPOWERING WOMEN IN INDUSTRY

STEERING COMMITTEE

Eileen O’Neill is the Executive Director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization of water quality professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Va. In this capacity she oversees a staff of 100 and an annual budget of $27 million and serves as Secretary of the Federation’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. O’Neill was appointed WEF’s executive director in January 2014. She had previously worked with the Federation for more than 20 years in a variety of positions, including overseeing WEF’s technical, international, and communications programs, and serving as the organization’s chief technical officer before becoming deputy executive director in late 2011. She also serves as an officer of the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.

Before joining WEF, Dr. O’Neill worked as an academic and in environmental consulting in the U.S. and in Europe. She has a B.S. in soil science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (U.K.) and a Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Aberdeen (U.K.). Dr. O’Neill undertook a postdoctoral traineeship in environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and holds the Board Certified Environmental Scientist (specialty certification in Environmental Chemistry) credential from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists.

Eileen O'Neill

Julene Allen is a military veteran, and former insurance professional turned women's rights activist, journalist, author and founder of Women of Color in the Workplace™.  As a self-taught interviewer with over ten years of experience, Julene has recorded the stories of approximately 100 women leaders. She has interviewed innovators such as Lori Lyons, the first black woman to shoot the cover of Fortune Magazine; Bonnie-Jill Laflin, the first and only woman NBA Scout; London-based Champion boxer Marianne Marston, prodigy of the late legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin' Joe Frazier; Peggy Llewellyn, the first woman of color in the world to win a professional motorsports event; Illinois State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Shaili Chopra, an award-winning business journalist and one of India’s top television editor-presenters. Allen is also a LEAN IN regional leader and serve as director of the global network, LEAN IN | Women of Color which aids in the advancement and retention of women of color in leadership and high-ranking positions. The program provides bridge building resources for communities and organizations. In June 2017, LEAN IN | Women of Color’s company discussion tool kit was launched inside the workplace of Procter and Gamble. Allen has been recently honored by LEAN IN for organizing outstanding programming out of more than 100 other regional leaders and their networks which collectively when put together, captures 44,000 LEAN IN circles across the globe.

Other initiatives she spearheads is the Latinas Equal Pay Day Commemoration Project in which LEAN IN | Women of Color reached out to organizations such as the Hispanic Executive, The National Diversity Council and The Alumni Council and asked them to partner with the project by nominating an outstanding leader at their organization on Latina Equal Pay Day and the Black Women's Equal Pay Day Commemoration Project which launched in 2019. The project has a focus on black women who are at the top of their industries and offer advice to inspire more women of color to leadership. This initiative is in collaboration of the newly released podcast series, Conversations for Equal Pay.

Allen’s panel and speaking experience include equal pay for women and women of color, the crabs in the barrel syndrome, representation matters for women of color in media, and building an internal and external network for women and women of color.

Julene Allen

Kristel Zaman is Senior Manager with Xylem Inc. She is responsible for Flygt products in America's region. Kristel is known as a speaker and contributor to Hydraulic Institute, and number of water and wastewater related conferences and associations. Kristel holds an Engineering degree from Tallinn Technical University in Estonia and a Master’s of Science in Strategic Marketing from the Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY.

Kristel Zaman

Gabriela Espinoza is Legal Counsel for Sulzer RES and an alumna of the University of Houston with a Master’s Degree in Law.  Gabriela has overall 15 years of experience in legal counseling, Contract Management, and law-related services ranging from domestic to international issues with great expertise in contract drafting and negotiation for the Pumps and Turbo Machinery Industry.  In her spare time, she greatly enjoys spending time with the kids and family, traveling and just relaxing.

Gabriela Espinoza

Kelly is a 3rd generation industrial manufacturer with 15 years of B2B sales and media experience. She began her professional career in broadcast media, earning a degree from Texas Tech University in Broadcast Journalism and English while completing internships at both KRBE radio in Houston and KCBD-TV in Lubbock. After college, she was hired by KCBD-TV and quickly promoted to Assignment Editor, where she chose which stories would receive coverage and assigned newsroom assets. On the weekends, she worked for KMMX as a DJ where she hosted ‘The Totally 80s Weekend’. Then, Kelly was a National Account Executive with Clear Channel Communications in San Antonio before pursuing a graduate degree in Marketing and Financial Planning from Texas Tech. Upon completion, Kelly managed all marketing and sales operations at her family’s 125 person industrial manufacturing business. During her tenure, she consistently produced double digit growth and was ultimately promoted to President, with authority over all operations, company-wide. In 2016 she was featured in a cover story as a ‘Legacy Leader’ by the National Association of Manufacturers, and in 2017 she was honored with the ‘Service Award’ by the Valve Manufacturers Association of America.

Kelly Watson

Gina Simpson is a native of Alabama and a multiple graduate of The University of Alabama. She has spent her career as a serial entrepreneur founding, managing and growing several companies. Mrs. Simpson, a certified professional coach, enjoys using her entrepreneurial experience to grow and foster businesses. Currently, she is the President of Regina Holdings, LLC, a consulting and investment firm, and Soluna Strategies, a professional coaching firm. In addition to a business owner, consultant, and coach, Mrs. Simpson is a Professor at The University of Alabama in Entrepreneurship. Gina and her husband, Mark, began their entrepreneurial journey in the field of construction and have founded six businesses over the last 18 years. She was awarded the Rising Star Entrepreneurship Award by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the Roots and Wings Award by the Women in Business Council. She is very active in the community serving on several boards. Mrs. Simpson holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Small Company Management and Entrepreneurship and an M.S. in Marketing. She has been married for 19 years and has two daughters, which she hails as her greatest accomplishments.

Gina Simpson

Chrishelle Rogers serves as Vice President for the Commercial Pump Business Unit at Taco Comfort Solutions. In this role, Chrishelle is responsible for the stewardship of the commercial operations including: product management, supply chain, production, product life-cycle engineering and various departmental projects.  She leads the new product development process, which is largely focused on the development of highly innovative and efficient products positioned across the commercial heating and cooling markets.  Additionally, she partners with the sales team to drive customer engagement by visiting with customers, giving hands-on product training, and speaking at industry conferences. Through her work in different economic regions worldwide, she has a strong understanding of global business challenges. Prior to Taco, Chrishelle worked at Dover Corporation and Xylem, Inc in various management roles.

 

A Denver, Colorado native, Chrishelle holds a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Business Administration from Brown University and IE University located in Madrid, Spain. In her free time, Chrishelle enjoys playing golf, spending time with her family and supporting STEM programs that focus on the development of girls in math and science.

Chrishelle Rogers

Christy Bermensolo, Co-owner of Engineered Software, Inc. She joined in 2006 from Intel Corporation, where she advanced from a chassis and component design engineer to a senior engineer on Thermal and Mechanical System Integration. Her work spanned from large server systems, including the first IA-64 bit server, to enabling components and desktop architecture design. During this time, Bermensolo is credited for developing a patent for a connector (#6,146,176) used in the interconnection of the CPU to Memory Module on the first IA-64bit Itanium server. As the Vice President of Engineering at Engineered Software, she devoted her expertise to managing and developing a team of engineers to create technical collateral to support product development, training products and technical publications. She was also instrumental in developing interdepartmental processes to aid in the development of world class software products for the fluid handling industry. Currently, Bermensolo leads a talented management team dedicated to relentless customer focus, the innovative development of our products and the advancement and empowerment of our employees. Through transparent and efficient business operations, Bermensolo is the leading force behind ESI’s emphasis on solving the technical challenges of the fluid hydraulics industry. Bermensolo serves on the Pump Systems Matter (PSM) board, a non-profit educational affiliate of the Hydraulic Institute. PSM works to build awareness of the importance of pump system optimization with pump manufacturers, pump users and pump system operations. Previously, Bermensolo was the team captain of her swim team at the University of New Mexico, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has also earned an MBA from The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in June 2015. Her other passions include her family, skiing, bike touring and triathlons.

Christy Bermensolo

Elle has over three years of environmental engineering experience that includes water and wastewater facility planning, design, rehabilitation, cost analysis, and construction. She excels in the development of innovative solutions, plans and specifications for bidding and construction, and has experience in design-build project services including technical oversight of shop drawing submittals and interpretation of construction requirements.  Elle is a member of the Steering Committee for Empowering Women in Industry and shares the organization’s goal to celebrate, educate, and empower women.  As a member of the Women’s Leadership Team at CP&Y, she helped create and launch a mentoring program within her company.  A newly-wed as of October last year, she spends as much time as she can with her husband, grilling, taking weekend road trips, and hiking.

Elle Frier

Jennifer Anderson is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Director at The University of Alabama. She developed and implemented the OLLI at UA program thirteen years ago with the advice, experience, and direction of an advisory board.  She has also managed over 1000 events and conferences during her 16-year tenure at UA which included overseeing the Bryant Conference Center.   She has been looked upon as an “out of the box” thinker and idea generator in the industry of lifelong learning and small businesses known to many as the “gig” industry.

Her previous work experience includes teaching Secondary Education Language Arts, Managing Store operations for the Limited Corporation, Retail and Food Service Director for the launch of Visionland Theme Park and Director of Bama Dining Food Service at The University of Alabama.   Jennifer received her B.A. in Education from The University of Alabama along with her Masters in in Human and Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama with a concentration in conflict resolution.   Jennifer serves the community as a board member on the Police Athletic League, Shelton State Community College Foundation, and the Holy Spirit Athletic Association.  Jennifer has made an impact through her work and service.  She was chosen by The University of Alabama as the Professional Staff Employee of the Year for 2015.  She was also awarded in 2016 from the Circle K organization as the community leader and partner of the year.  Jennifer’s family which consists of six children is known as the modern day Brady Bunch.  She and her husband Steve reside in Tuscaloosa, AL. 

Jennifer Anderson

Director of Special Projects at Indar (Grupo Ingeteam) with 20 years of experience in the field of Water Engineering. Based in Spain, this Mechanical, Hydraulic and Civil Engineer 

Maria Elena Rodriguez Hernandez

Rachel works an Application Engineer at Verder, Inc. In her role, she enjoys working with the team to provide customers with the perfect pump for their application. This includes learning process details and effectively communicating the pump technology.

 

Rachel Molnar is a graduate from Mercer University who majored in Biomedical Engineering, after developing a passion for calculus, physics, and biomechanics. A couple highlights of Rachel’s collegiate career were traveling with Mercer to Vietnam to fit amputees with prosthetics and coordinating an international conference for the Coalition of Collegiate Women’s Leadership. 

 

Rachel was born and raised near Atlanta, GA. Having grown up as a competitive swimmer, she enjoys exercise but, more importantly, thrives while working in a team environment. On weekends, she can be found spending time with family and friends or cultivating her love of the outdoors by section hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail. During baseball season, Rachel can be found watching her favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles, nearly every night, and during the off-season she can be found reading a book.

Rachel Molnar

Jackie Henderson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a specialization in holistic practices. Jackie is also a fitness trainer and dance choreographer of over 30 years. She inspires many with her high-energy & innovative classes, personal development workshops, coaching, and counseling. The MIST program is a natural evolution of her love and commitment of integrating health & wellness on a mind, body, and soul level.  It is Jackie’s intention to guide people to their full potential through holistic practice & inspiration.

Jackie Henderson