Orange County Branch Newsletter

May 2011

Government Affairs Committee

SWE & ASME Host Professional Development Conference - April 16, 2011

On Saturday April 16, 2011 the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) hosted a Professional Development Conference at Hoag Hospital’s Conference Center in Newport Beach.  The event provided personal and professional development to 42 attendees that ranged from college students to engineering managers at different companies throughout Southern California.

What a great way to start a Saturday morning!  A selection of breakfast items awaited attendees as they arrived at the event.  The day was started off by Shelley Merriman, Past President of SWE-OC, who opened with conference with a warm welcome.  The day began with an icebreaker were you had to introduce yourself to everyone at your table with a provided script that had fill-in the blank sections for your goals and dreams.  The first presentation was made by Seema Shah-Fairbanks, Ph.D., P.E. on Make Dreams Reality by Setting Goals she shared how she has achieved hear dreams and how everyone can make their dreams come true and encouraged everyone to dream big.  Then an interactive networking activity brought everyone to their feet to network.  The second presentation was made Jana Samulski who shared tips on Turning Heads by understanding four key areas of how to align your appearance and communication to get what you want out of life, the presentation was interactive.

After a hearty lunch, the afternoon session began with Bob Dickman who showed us “Why Stories Matter” and why they are important tools to influence your audience.  The afternoon networking activity was a scavenger hunt of personal items that could be found in a purse or wallet of everyone at each table.  The final presentation of the afternoon was a panel discussion: “Success on Your Own Terms”.  The participants included:

 Ziad Mazboudi, P.E., LEED - Current President of the Orange County Branch of ASCE and a Civil Engineer with more than 20 years of professional experience.  Ziad co-wrote a book and has published several professional articles.  He provided advice on career growth, career management and networking.

Michele Gamble, Esq. - Attorney and managing partner at the Orange County office of Collins Collins Muir Stewart LLP with over 15 years of experience.  Her practice focuses on the representation of design professionals in contract negotiations, risk mitigation, and litigation.  In addition to her successful career in law, Michele is a mother of three elementary school aged children and shared how with good planning, she can do it all.

Shannon Pollock - An Aerospace Engineer and Project Manager with over 10 years of experience. As a past president, a long-time member of SWE-OC, and a new mother, Shannon shared how she uses time management to balance work with family and professional organizations. 

Kathleen Monk, E.I.T. - A successful Industrial Engineer with over 5 years of experience, Kathleen is a newlywed and an active athlete who has run 5 marathons.  She shared how communication has allowed her to achieve her training for marathons while balancing work.

Raffle prizes and networking opportunities concluded the day, as attendees went home having expanded their network, and enhanced their personal and professional skills.  This is an annual event so we hope you can join us next year.  For more information and pictures of the conference, visit and click on the Professional Development tab.


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The Government Affairs Committee is looking for volunteers!

Come find out how you can make a difference!


Our next meeting is on May 11, 2011,  Noon to 1 pm

Conference call: 877-229-2164, code: 541830#

If you have any questions please email Jeannette Lindemann at [email protected] or call 949-400-8537

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