Second Session

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Starting a Small Business

Robert L. Graham, RLG Consulting

Have you ever had the urge to be your own boss? Or maybe you have a great idea, but you're not sure you have what it takes to make it work. In this session you will be introduced to several strategies for starting a small business. It is important to realistically assess the product or service offered - does it solve a problem, is it unique? What does the market and competition look like? Mr. Graham will discuss the critical success factors in preparing a business plan and funding options for start-up businesses. He will also discuss the roles of the management team in the planning, control and execution of the business plan.

Robert L. (Bob) Graham is an experienced executive in the medical device, telecommunications and defense industries, having served in extensive leadership roles as a Chief Financial Officer and as an Operations General Manager at both Fortune-500 and start-up companies. Mr. Graham has spent over 35 years with fast growing, advanced technology companies, serving for many years as Vice President and General Manager of a $50 million dollar worldwide radar component and subsystem division of M/A-Com, Inc. For most of the past ten years he has specialized in start-up businesses within the medical device industry.

Mr. Graham holds both BSBA and MBA degrees, and is a graduate of the M.I.T. Sloan School executive management program. He has served as a guest lecturer at the M.I.T. Sloan School, and is a contributing author to The Controller's Handbook and Management Accounting. Mr. Graham is currently semi-retired, and serves as a financial consultant to small business and the Habitat For Humanity charity, where he holds the position of Finance Director for the Lawrence, MA affiliate on a pro bono. Additionally he is co-founder of the Chinese-American Cancer Institute, a recent cancer treatment start-up firm affiliated with Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, MA, and holds positions as Sr. Vice President, CFO and Director.

Effective Interpersonal Communication

Vincent G. Norton, Raytheon Learning Institutes

Effective communication is more than what you say. It's listening, recognizing nonverbal cues, and working successfully with those who have different styles. This workshop will examine effective communication experiences and present a communication matrix model. So much of our professional and personal success depends on our communication skills. If you'd like to express your ideas more effectively at work or be more comfortable in social situations, this workshop can help! The workshop will use discussion and group interaction extensively.

Vincent G. Norton is an Advanced Facilitator on Raytheon Learning Institute's national delivery faculty. RLI is the primary company-wide source for designing, developing and delivering strategic learning solutions throughout Raytheon Company. Vin has extensive design and delivery experience in the areas of leadership, mentoring, coaching and team-building.

Vin's educational background includes a BA from Boston College and an MBA and Training and Development Certificate from Boston University. He is a Senior Lecturer on the faculty of Northeastern University's University College.

Strategies to Improve your Resume

Lee Tsouris and Kathy Duggan

Is your resume holding you back? Learn a professional communicator's approach to resume writing. This class will help you to identify your skills, organize your material, and present yourself in a way that hiring managers notice!

Lee C. Tsouris is currently an HR Generalist with Northrop Grumman Corporation Norden Systems located in Norwalk, CT. His responsibilities focus on Staffing and Labor Relations. He has also been responsible for the Recruiting and Staffing function for General DataComm Inc., Dictaphone Corporation and Electrolux Corporation. In addition he has broad experience in corporate and manufacturing operations.

Lee has also served on the Board of Directors for Southern Connecticut Chapter and Connecticut State Council of the Society of Human Resources Management.

He is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport where he received his BS – Industrial Relations with a Labor Law minor in 1977.

Kathy Duggan is currently the manager of Recruiting, Placement and Personnel Practices for GE Aircraft Engines, a division of GE Transportation, in Lynn. In her role she is responsible for ensuring that all Exempt, Non-exempt, Hourly, Co-op and summer jobs are filled with high quality candidates, quickly, in compliance with all State and Federal regulations.

Previously, Kathy worked with the Sales and Marketing, Program Management and Customer support personnel who supported the Military and Commercial Engine businesses in Lynn as an HR Manager. She has had extensive experience working with the Engineering personnel for GE Aircraft Engines as well. Kathy is a graduate of the Cornell University with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations.

GE Aircraft Engines is the world’s leading manufacturer of jet engines headquartered in Evendale, Ohio with Core Engineering sites in Evendale and in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Section Vitality Module: PR and Communication

Emily Synk and Trish Adamo

Why is SWE such a well-kept secret? This session will help you increase public awareness of your section and improve communications with members. Region F's Professional and Student Vitality Coaches will present some of the tools available to promote your SWE section internally and externally. Come to this session ready to share your experiences, learn from others, and take away some new ideas for your section. We will be discussing PR and communication for both professional and student sections, so there will be something for everyone!

Emily Synk is a Senior Staff Engineer at GE Aircraft Engines in Lynn MA, currently working in commercial control systems. She is a life member of SWE and currently serves as the Region F Section Vitality Leadership Coach and as a Boston Section Representative. Her past SWE positions include Boston Section President, University of Michigan Student Section President, and Region F Conference co-chair.

Mary-Patricia (Trish) Adamo received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University. Trish is currently the engineering manager at Learning Technologies, Inc. (LTI) in Somerville, Massachusetts. LTI is a manufacturer of astronomy learning tools, including a portable planetarium system sold to schools and museums all over the world. A member of the Boston section of the Society of Women Engineers, she served as co-membership chairperson for 3 years, co-chair of the Nominating Committee, former treasurer, and is currently serving as a Section Vitality coach for Region F. For 4 years at RAND Worldwide, she was the Regional Training Manager, controlling CAD training services for 14 offices with 12 trainers on the east coast of North America. Prior to RAND, Trish was employed for 4 years by Converse, Inc. as the Advanced Products Engineer and holds 3 patents with that company.

With student presenters, Sarah Johnson and Stephanie Zehler

Building Awareness for Science Education Reform

Ann McMahon and Michele Fitzpatrick

See description in Session I...


Questions? Contact Sherisse Hughes at 860-843-2093 or via email at