2016 AIChE Spring Meeting Recap

Posted by Heather Emady on

WIC Women’s Workplace Retention & Reentry (W2R2):

Reentry to Industry: Keynote, Panel Discussion & Workshop

Hilton Americas – Houston, Hearsay on the Green, April 11, 2016

The AIChE Women’s Initiatives Committee offered a new workshop dedicated to retention and reentry of women to the engineering profession at the 2016 Spring AIChE Conference. The 3-hour workshop focused on reentry to industry to provide key strategies for getting back into the workforce after taking time off. The event provided the attendees with the following:

- Career strategies for reentry into industry for participants who have been away from the workplace or are considering taking time off.

- Opportunities to network with other participants who have experienced reentry or are in the process of reentering the workforce to provide mentoring and guidance for successful practices.

- Career counseling specifically directed towards reentering the workforce and how to handle resumes, interviews, etc. for those who have been out of the workforce for a period of time.

Keynote Address: 12 Steps for a Successful Career Transition

Speaker: Beth Bryce, Career Services Director, Adult Degree & DeVos Graduate School of Management, Northwood University

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo credit: Callie Richmond

Beth Bryce’s speech focused on career transitions. Those in career transition may feel overwhelmed, fearful or lack purpose and are searching for motivating strategies to overcome self-limiting beliefs and formulate a plan to find their ideal career. Beth talked about how to position seasoned professionals for success by providing 12 career transition strategies that will deliver the changes they are seeking in their career. These strategies focused on clarifying how to get “unstuck”, preparing for a successful career campaign, increasing confidence, being empowered to take action, committing to goals, minimizing fears and taking action regardless, and ultimately creating a realistic action plan to help gain the confidence, courage, and clarity necessary to make the career changes they seek.

Topics included:

·       Clarify “how” to survive a job transition

·       Be prepared for a successful career campaign

·       Develop richer relationships and increased confidence

·       Be empowered to take action

·       Be strongly committed to your goals

·       Minimize fears and take action regardless

·       Create a 12-step action plan

Beth Bryce is an award-winning Career Strategist and Transformation Coach and Founder of Girls2Women Coaching – a career coaching firm for professional women to define a rewarding career path. She is a certified motivational career coach with a Master’s degree in Leadership specializing in career transitions having coached thousands of people on boldly pursuing their career goals. Beth is also Director of Career advancement and an adjunct professor at Northwood University. Beth was recently honored as a global recipient of the Top 30 Leaders John C. Maxwell Leadership Awards.

Beth’s career column, “Career Moxie” is featured in the magazine, Great Lakes Bay Business. She is also a co-author in the book, “Women on Fire Book 2” by Women on Fire Media. The book is a heart-stirring and heartwarming anthology of stories written by 21 courageous and powerful women who faced real-life challenges and successfully moved through them. Celebrity endorsements include Marianne Williamson, Judy Blume and Agapi Stassinopoulos.

In her free time, Beth serves on various boards in her community and supports organizations that enhance the quality of life for its youth and women. She enjoys reading, writing and traveling all over the world searching for the best food, spas and life-changing adventures. Beth is currently working on launching her first women’s retreat, Daring Circle Ranch, this May in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


The Keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion where following panelists participated:

·       Beth Bryce: Career Services Director, Adult Degree & DeVos Graduate School of Management, Northwood University

·       Julie Mialaret: General Manager Safety - Upstream Americas, Shell

·       Cynthia DeBisschop: Adjunct Faculty, Howard University

·       Teresa Newman: Principal Engineer, Lubrizol

We would like to thank the panelists for their participation on the panel.

Photo credit: Callie Richmond


Hilton Americas – Houston, Hearsay on the Green, April 11, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Laura E. Leonard, Senior Product Line Manager, Gasoline Technologies, Process Technology & Equipment, UOP, A Honeywell Company

At our spring meeting networking luncheon, Laura E. Leonard delivered a keynote presentation entitled “Work Life Balance: A Two Variable Equation with Many Solutions.” Laura addressed over 40 attendees with her strategy and insight into achieving balance within one’s life and successfully achieving realistic goals. As competing priorities exist for many of us such as our careers, family life, professional societies, hobbies, etc., Laura explains that you have to focus on a few areas, not try tackling everything at once. Several take home messages included: ask questions to gain knowledge, set goals, be open minded to changing direction, and take calculated risks aligned with your goals.  Laura left everyone with this essential advice- jump into the deep end with your eyes open, and have a lifeline available (i.e. a good mentor)!


Photo credit: Callie Richmond

Leonard’s work has impacted multiple refining and petrochemicals technologies, with major contributions to light olefin production, clean fuels technology, and integrated refining-petrochemical complexes. In 2010, Leonard became the senior technology specialist for UOP’s Oleflex technology, a catalytic dehydrogenation process for the production of light olefins from their corresponding paraffins.

Her leadership on the Oleflex process included technology renewal efforts to enhance process performance by combining fundamental understanding of solids flow and catalyst chemistry. Her effective communication, intelligent risk-taking, and leadership of diverse cross-functional teams impact all 17 announced Oleflex units around the world. She has also contributed to the commercialization of UOP’s SelectFining process (a selective FCC naphtha hydrodesulfurization process), and to innovative catalyst and process solutions to the problem of gasoline desulfurization without significant loss of product octane.

1-on-1 Career Discussions With Reentry Candidates

Hilton Americas – Houston, Hearsay on the Green, April 11, 2016

This session was a spin-off from the WIC Women's Workplace Retention & Reentry (W2R2) and presented the opportunity for reentry candidates to have one on one sessions for more intimate discussion of career planning and management.