Feed on

On Tuesday, June 17, 25 Dallas SWE members met at Blue Mesa Grill in Addison to celebrate our successes over FY14!  It was an evening of gratitude as we looked back at the professional development, outreach, and membership programs of the past year, and excitement as we looked forward to our plans for FY15.


First, we enjoyed a tasty meal and inspirational presentation from Terri Maxwell.  She shared a bit about her journey from a childhood of poverty and abuse to becoming a successful entrepreneur, driven by her desire to help others achieve their career and life goals.  She outlined three key steps in how she has been able to Succeed on Purpose:


Terri Maxwell of Succeed on Purpose

1) What do you want?  Without a clearly defined goal in mind, your attention will be scattered and ineffective.  You need to focus on what you truly want to accomplish.

2) How bad do you want it?  Desire is key to motivating you to take action towards your goal.  If you’re not willing to sacrifice, work hard, and endure some failures to achieve what you want, then you don’t want it badly enough.

3) How will it serve?  Having a goal to make a lot of money or be famous is not enough in and of itself to sustain you through cycles of failure and fatigue along the way.  When your goal serves a purpose, helps others, or meets a need where there was previously a gap, your focus and desire are well-placed.

Terri’s insight was timely as we recognized our leadership team for their hard work in the pursuit of inspiring young girls, collegiate women, and our fellow professionals to be confident engineers!  Dallas SWE members asked Terri lots of questions about her experience in working with women’s outreach organizations, determining whether challenges in the workplace should be endured or signify a failure and opportunity to try different methods, and how her books, Succeed on Purpose: Everything Happens for a Reason and The World of New Work: From the Cube to the Cloud have helped her to realize and internalize her own success.  Many thanks to Terri for sharing her story with us!

Later in the evening, Dallas SWE President Jennifer Vilbig gave an overview of the many activities we held throughout FY14.  You can view the End of Year Flyer here!  Jennifer also presented the following awards:

Dallas SWE Achievement Award: Stephanie Butler, for her accomplishments as a technology innovator at Texas Instuments, most recently as Innovation Manager for TI’s Power Supply Systems Business Unit.

Dallas SWE Distinguished Engineering Educator: Dr. Nandika D’Souza from the University of North Texas, for her unwavering leadership for numerous outreach programs including Design Your World, Moon Day, and the Coppell Engineering Expo.  She’s also led her own initiatives within UNT that encompass SWE’s goals.

Dallas SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award: Neha Dobhal, for demonstrating outstanding technical performance, as well as leadership in professional organizations (SWE) and the community. As VP of Dallas SWE, her membership programs have raised Dallas SWE’s paid membership roster to over 150, which has resulted in vastly increased participation at events and our adding a second Section Representative to the Region C leadership level.

SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member Award Nominee: Moriah Momsen, for her dedication and leadership in the Southern Methodist University SWE chapter.  She has helped increase SMU SWE’s membership, improved overall participation, supported monthly visits with girls at Girls Inc, and executed several annual She Networks, She Wins events with Dallas SWE.

SWE Outstanding SWE Counselor Award Nominee: Jennifer Vilbig, for her work in revitalizing the SWE chapter at Southern Methodist University.  In the past few years their membership has grown rapidly and they have hosted a Region C Conference (2013).

Jennifer also recognized the following Dallas SWE leadership team members with certificates of appreciation:

  • Vice President Barbara Read, for planning and executing such excellent professional development programs this year!
  • SWE Treasurer Shalini Nair, for her prompt and accurate record keeping of Dallas SWE’s finances.
  • SWE Secretary Morgen Schroeder, for her efficient use of Constant Contact to keep members of our growing email distributions (which has almost DOUBLED!) in the know, and for excellent use of Dallas SWE’s social media reach.
  • SWE Vice President of Membership Neha Dobhal,, for her efforts to contact and engage new and existing members of Dallas SWE.
  • SWE Vice President of Outreach Dr. Nandika D’Souza, for her dedication to our growing outreach programs, especially the Design Your World event at UNT in March 2014.
  • SWE Section Representative Wanda Holmes and Alternate Section Representative Amanda Posadas, for their timely completion of section reports and representing Dallas SWE to Region C.
  • Awards Co-Chairs Neha Dobhal and Zaineb Ahmad, for organizing the documentation needed to nominate Dallas SWE members for Region C and SWE Society Awards.
  • Fundraising Committe Chair Nicole Navinsky, for her efforts in securing corporate sponsors and other donations for Dallas SWE and our various events throughout the year.
  • ISD Communications Chair Lynn Mortensen, for recruiting a record number of school districts in Dallas SWE’s outreach events.
  • Membership Committee Chair Rachel Siedner, for helping to grow Dallas SWE’s membership about 50% over the past year.
  • Nominating Committee Chair Haley Vingsness, for encouraging and recognizing the future leaders of Dallas SWE.
  • Outreach Awards Committee Chair Gwen Sollenberger, P.E., for awarding certificates to students as their teachers request them.
  • Programs Committee Chair Mehreen Halani, for her assistance on programs planning and execution throughout the year.
  • Scholarship Committee Chairs Juanita Miller and Cherrie Fischer, who evaluated a record 19 scholarship applications and awarded 3 new scholarships this year!
  • Webmaster Shelley Stracener, for her continued efforts to maintain and improve the Dallas SWE website, and for excellent use of Dallas SWE’s social media reach.
  • Board of Trustees Members Barbara Vilbig, P.E., Justa Trevino, Amy Herbel, and Liong So, who have done a great job managing Dallas SWE’s Scholarship funds.

Finally, leadership team members at the banquet recognized Jennifer Vilbig for her tireless efforts over the past two years to improve Dallas SWE!  She has done an excellent job and we hope to continue the momentum she has inspired in the organization in FY15!  After leadership roles transition to the newly elected FY15 team, look forward to another great year in the Society of Women Engineers!

Comments are closed.