Empowering Women
in Manufacturing And Business

Successful women sharing their experiences and life stories that contribute to the greater good of all, improving products, making things better and safer, and fulfilling lives.


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Women and Manufacturing

#80 Success = Integrity + Kindness

This week on The WAM Podcast, you’re invited to learn leadership lessons from a woman who first walked the shop floor at age 11, ran machines at 13, ran a manufacturing organization at 23, and remains at the helm today, weathering storms that have included losing 90% of revenues during a major downturn in the economy.  Guest, …

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#79 Raising The Bar Of Sustainable Textiles

On this week’s episode of The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, sat down with a self-made, fearless influencer and leader in the textile industry, Stephanie Benedetto. Through her business, Queen of Raw, Stephanie has found a unique marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, aiming to reduce the amount of wastage and pollution that burning fabric and …

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#78 Riveting Exchanges: Managing A Bad Boss To Your Own Advantage

On this week’s edition of “Riveting Exchanges” on The WAM Podcast, hosts, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace, talk about bad bosses. Everyone has had a bad boss at one point or another, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps you don’t know how to communicate with them, or you’re trying to get past an obstacle …

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#77 Managing Your Credit Risk

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Amy Nicklaus, is joined by Charity Forte, who is a leading client services manager for CreditRiskMonitor, which offers industry-leading financial risk analysis for credit, supply chain, and financial professionals. Charity and her team educate their clients on financial risk and show them how to use the service to mitigate the …

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#76 Bring The MAGIC Of Your Whole Self To Work!

On this episode of The WAM Podcast, host, Barbara Trautlein, interviews Linda Mott, who has held a variety of roles in the male-dominated utility industry, including BC Hydro’s Employee Engagement Manager for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  Linda advises us to bring our whole selves to work and is the perfect role model for how …

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#75 ASSP: Women At Risk In The Workplace

This week on The WAM Podcast’s special series with the American Society Of Safety Professionals, host, Jennifer McNelly, speaks with Dr. Katie Schofield, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Master of Environmental Health and Safety program. The ladies talk about how gender influences injury risk in the workplace and explore how the changing world …

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#74 Riveting Exchanges: 3 Key Principles For Laying The Foundation Of A Successful Business

This week on The WAM Podcast’s edition of “Riveting Exchanges,” hosts, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace, had the pleasure of talking all about entrepreneurship with their guest, Maureen Barsema, better known as Mo. Mo is the owner of her own financial and strategic coaching business called Outside Looking In LLC. Her company guides other businesses toward financial …

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#73 The Customer Mission: Recruiting And Retaining The Right Employees

On this week’s edition of “The Customer Mission” on The WAM Podcast, host, Andrea Olson, is advising listeners about talent attraction and retention, an important conversation for many manufacturers who have a hard time recruiting and keeping skilled talent in their organizations. Perhaps it’s time to investigate whether we are approaching the hiring process correctly because attracting …

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#72 A Fearless Woman In The Metal Industry

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano is joined by Edie Comminos, the owner of Alpha Metals Recycling Company in Chicago. Edie is a fearless and self-made woman who has established herself and her company as a force with which to be reckoned! In their conversation, the ladies talk about the metal industry and how …

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#71 Riveting Exchanges: The Art Of Internal Selling

On this week’s edition of the “Riveting Exchanges” segment on The WAM Podcast, hosts, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace, discuss the concept of internally selling and what to do to get buy-in from your boss or colleagues for your next big idea. They discuss examples from their own extensive work experience and how they managed to get …

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#70 The Spotlight On Supply Chains

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, speaks to Lisa Morales-Hellebo, an amazing entrepreneur who is challenging the traditional views of supply chain and spotlighting new and innovative ways to look at it. In 2017, Lisa and her partner, Brian Aoaeh, launched The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, one of the largest and fastest growing grassroots-driven network of open …

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#69 ASSP: Seeing Gender in Workplace Safety Through Multiple Lenses

This week on the first edition of The WAM Podcast’s special 6-episode ASSP series, host and CEO of The American Society Of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Jennifer McNelly, speaks with Dr. Cori Wong, Assistant Vice President for Gender Equity within the office of the Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University. The ladies discuss how prioritizing gender diversity and …

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#68 Riveting Exchanges: Navigating Intrepreneurship Through Company Culture

On this edition of “Riveting Exchanges” on The WAM Podcast, hosts, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace, dive into the concept of intrepreneurship. Like entrepreneurship, it’s all about innovation and innovating new ideas, but with the key difference that it takes place within an organization. The ladies discuss the role of company culture in cultivating an atmosphere of …

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#67 Merging Communications And Business

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, spoke with Lynn Kier, Vice President of Communications and Branding for the Schaeffler Group, USA, a leading, global integrated automotive industrial supplier. As you will hear, Lynn is an incredibly dynamic woman who has flourished and continues to make an impact in a male-dominated industry for many years …

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#66 Shaping The Future Of Workplace Diversity

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, is joined by the founders of The Second Shift, Gina Hadley and Jenny Galluzzo. The Second Shift is a platform that connects its business partners with a leading network of women working independently. The Second Shift is designed to help businesses find the expertise and skills they need when they need …

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#65 The Fearless Pursuit Of Success

On this episode of The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, is joined by Kathi Bond, President of CryoPlus, a successful cryogenic service provider for the past 25 years. Kathi’s story is a testament to how fearless she is as a person, and we find out how her success can be attributed to recognizing an opportunity in the …

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#64 Implementing The Elements Of Corporate Social Responsibility

This week on The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, was delighted to speak with Christen Graham, President of Giving Strong, a social impact consulting firm. Christen counsels companies on a variety of strategies to deploy their resources, whether it’s in the area of corporate social responsibility, community reactions, philanthropy, and even reputation management. Christen shares the journey …

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#63 SPARKing Excitement For Engineering & Manufacturing In Elementary Schools

On this week’s episode of WAM, host, Barbara Trautlein had the pleasure of speaking with Shonali Ditz and Tiernan Murrell, who inspire us with their story about how their journeys as women engineers in manufacturing motivated them to create SparkShop, an innovative, hands-on learning experience to ignite elementary school students with their infectious passion for STEM. Shonali and …

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#62 Full Time: Changing The Perception Of The Manufacturing Industry

This week on WAM’s edition of “Full Time,” Amy Nicklaus sits down with fellow WAM host, Andrea Olson. Andrea is the CEO of Prag’madik, an operational strategy consultancy, and the Director of the Midwest Manufacturing Business Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of mid-market manufacturing in the US. The two ladies dive into Andrea’s background and how her experience in …

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#61 Full Time: Get Real

This week on WAM’s segment of “Full Time with Amy Nicklaus,” Amy sits down with real estate relocation specialist, Laura Ana Blanche, the founder of Knecht Properties, to discuss her reasons for going into real estate, the qualifications required to be a relocation specialist, her expansion from one market into the entire tri-state area, and the importance of relocation …

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#60 Riveting Exchanges: Making The Most Of Your Sabbatical

On this week’s edition of Riveting Exchanges on The WAM Podcast, Andrea and Desiree had the pleasure of interviewing Stacey Felzer, the owner of Chord Marketing Services, a B2B marketing firm that specializes in creating marketing that’s in tune with your customers’ needs. Stacey, Andrea, and Desiree explore the topic of sabbaticals. Felzer recently came …

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#59 Full Time: Thread’s Not Dead

This week on WAM’s edition of Full Time With Amy Nicklaus, Amy sits down with the President and Founder of Made Here New York, Karyn Villante, who shares her story about getting back into the clothing manufacturing industry after taking some time off and about the importance of localized sourcing and production. Made Here In New York specializes …

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#58 Riveting Exchanges: How Do Your Verbal Communication Skills Stack Up?

As a manufacturing leader, do you know how your verbal communications impact your career? In this week’s episode of Riveting Exchanges, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace take a deep dive into the best practices of verbal communications, including how to listen for understanding, controlling your emotions, using silence and eye contact to control the conversation, and more, …

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#57 Full Time: The Potato Episode

Get to know your host! This week on Full Time With Amy Nicklaus, Amy is sharing a little bit of her crazy life— managing a family and a marketing company, having ADHD, and some of the everyday challenges that she faces, along with some ridiculously funny stories that most of her listeners will be able to relate to, …

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#56 Riveting Exchanges: The Importance of Language In Manufacturing And Culture

Written language is so important in how you communicate. Andrea and Desiree talk about how much language can help, and hurt your professional image. The slightest change in the written word can affect the outcome dramatically. Take a look at lessons learned on this episode of Riveting Exchanges.

#55 The Customer Mission: Are You Sabotaging Your Customers?

It’s not about you. Truly, no matter what business you are in, it’s not about you. Too many organizations unintentionally support internal cultures that focus on the company, not the customer. In this Customer Mission Podcast, host Andrea Olson and CEO of Pragmadik, discusses the ways manufacturers can unintentionally sabotage their customers by creating obstacles to …

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#54 How You Can Still Have It While Working On Achieving Your Goals

This week, on Full-Time with Amy Nicklaus, we welcome Elizabeth Barry. With many successes of her own and her more than 20-year career, Elizabeth is now a coach and consultant for some of the most successful entrepreneurs, as well as C-suite level businessmen and women. Amy and Elizabeth dive into some secrets of success, along with the …

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#53 The Importance Of Diversity In The Workplace

In this episode of Riveting Exchanges, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace chat with Michelle Murphy, Chief Diversity Officer at Ingersoll Rand. Michelle discusses the importance of diversity in the workplace, the impact women and minorities are having on the success of manufacturing, and how the industry can compete more effectively through leveraging diverse perspectives.

#52 Who Solves Problems In Your Company?

Listen Now – When an organization faces a problem, we often default to finding the fastest, cheapest, and easiest solution. Yet this approach can often leave us with unsatisfactory results, because the company doesn’t truly understand its problems, or the processes and resources needed to effectively solve them for the long term. Instead, a cycle of …

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#43 Marketing Manufacturing To Millennials

On this episode of WAM, hosts, Andrea Olson and Desiree Grace, sit down with an accomplished millennial in the manufacturing world, Priscila Hammett. As the Product Marketing Manager at Emerson, Priscilla shares her unique perspective on how we can make manufacturing more appealing to millennials. The ladies discuss future opportunities in manufacturing, the challenges that Priscila faced as …

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