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Women in Titanium 2018 Recap

Wednesday, November 7, 2018  
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Women in Titanium 2018 Recap

LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- The Women in Titanium committee held its fourth annual Professional Development Day on Oct. 7 in conjunction with the 2018 TITANIUM USA conference and exhibition at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.

Guest speakers included Monica Beck, the ITA’s legal counsel and managing legal counsel at The Fierberg National Law Group, and Lisa M. Vidacs, senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Engagement at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.


Outgoing WiT Chair Michelle Pharand, vice president of sales and marketing, Astral Air Parts, LLC, welcomed the group in attendance.


Attendees enjoyed a casual lunch, which allowed for networking and connecting with other women and men in the industry. WiT awarded prizes via raffle tickets that were handed out at the door, then commenced with the speaker presentations.


Beck’s presentation - #NotHERE – addressed workplace sexual harassment and ways employers can mitigate the emotional and monetary losses as a result. She shared startling statistics with the audience, and shed light on the ways in which sexual harassment disrupts the workplace.

Beck addressed Title VII, including what it entails (discrimination based on sex, which also includes harassment), the area it covers under the law and that retaliation by an employer is illegal.


She shed light on an employer’s liability under Title VII, and also ways in which a company could implement and policies and procedures to prevent or mitigate sexual harassment in the workplace.

Beck’s presentation sparked a lively discussion with the audience, and she addressed questions and concerns that arose. The open discussion allowed participants to hear personal accounts and ways their companies or organizations were combating harassment. Click here to view the entirety of Ms. Beck’s presentation.


Vidacs’s presentation addressed “Fact and Fiction about the Federal Reserve,” as well as challenges she faced throughout her career as a woman in a male-dominated industry.


First, she debunked some of the myths surrounding the Federal Reserve. Vidacs educated the group on how the Federal Reserve functions and its main responsibilities, including bank regulation and supervision, providing financial services and creating monetary policy.

Vidacs shared some of the struggles she faced and the lessons she learned along the way – most importantly, to be true to oneself and to make the most of opportunities that are presented to you.


When she was first approached about becoming a senior vice president, she was hesitant because she was unsure if she had the experience necessary to do the job well. Despite her fears, she took stock of her insecurities and what was holding her back and dove into the position. Vidacs encouraged everyone in the audience to make the leap no matter how daunting the task might seem at the time, because they just might succeed.

As part of the day, Mona Dine, president and owner of Pacesetter Coaching and Consulting, offered complimentary one-on-one coaching sessions throughout the day Sunday and into Monday morning. Dine joined WiT last year in Hollywood, Fla. as a speaker, and also offered her coaching sessions at that time.


Warren joins WiT

Roxanne Warren, director of RDC Programs at Norsk Titanium, joined the WiT committee this year. Warren has been an integral part of the group, offering support for WiT initiatives and hosting the plant tour of Nork Titanium and networking reception in Plattsburgh, NY in September. At her previous position with Arconic, she hosted the plant tour of the Arconic 3D plant and networking reception in Austin, Texas.


Warren is excited to share her knowledge through mentorship and connecting with other women in the industry through the WiT committee initiatives. Her enthusiasm and connections in the industry and to higher education will help expand WiT’s efforts.


Warren Joins WiT Committee

Roxanne Warren, who recently was installed as a member of the executive board of the International Titanium Association’s (ITA) Women in Titanium (WiT) committee, vividly recalls when she “fell in love with titanium and manufacturing technology.” Warren, then a Program Manager for RTI, remembers a call in the spring of 2010 to manufacture a structural device that would help stop the massive oil leak at the BP Deep Water Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.


Warren led a team that manufactured RTI’s portion of the free-standing riser system that attached to the capping stack, bringing oil to the surface. Following that achievement, Warren became a program manager for the development of titanium aluminide forgings for “LEAP” high-bypass turbofan engine designed and built by Snecma Aircraft Engines of France.


It was during this period that she became involved with the ITA and the titanium industry. Warren later relocated to the Austin, Texas area to be the plant and operations manager for additive manufacturing at Arconic, and then joined Norsk Titanium in February 2018, furthering her additive pursuits as director of the company’s Rapid Development Centers (RDCs).


At Norsk, Warren is a part of the development of the company’s “Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™)” additive manufacturing team, with a focus on producing titanium aerospace components. As reported last year, Norsk made its mark in the industry by delivering the first structural additive manufacturing components for aerospace to industry giant Boeing. These first OEM-qualified additive manufactured titanium structural aerospace parts are now flying on the Boeing 787. According to various press reports, Norsk utilizes its wire-fed RPD™ process to manufacture near-net-shape titanium parts at its production facilities in both Hønefoss, Norway, and more recently, Plattsburgh, NY.


Warren said Norsk is now working with key customers to enable development agreements, allowing companies to take advantage of this technology to rapidly design and develop parts and full-rate, serial production at its Plattsburgh, NY, production facility. In support of that growth, Norsk is expanding their marketing approach for applications in other industries: space, oil and gas, and defense.


Considering the many aspects of her extensive resume, Warren plans to share her experiences and insights as a mentor through her involvement with WiT. When it comes to being a mentor, she takes a holistic approach to that outreach responsibility. “For me, being a mentor with WiT isn’t just about titanium; it’s about leading across life.” She said she would encourage young adults (women and men) to consider a career in the titanium industry by presenting herself as a good leadership role model.


At the heart of Warren’s mentoring mission will be promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, which has been an imperative for the WiT committee. The goal is to have young adults embrace the “STEM perspective” and “wrap it around any career path they may choose, inside or outside of the engineering/manufacturing field,” she said.


Warren used her own journey as an example of the STEM perspective, saying that she began her career in computer programming, having graduated from Texas A&M University (1987) with degrees in business analysis and software development. As detailed above, her career track evolved and she became involved in manufacturing by transferring her capabilities in math and engineering. “It’s all about the STEM movement,” she said. “My programming, program management and operations background brought a unique skillset for both my past and present career direction, inclusive of additive manufacturing.”


The STEM movement also relies heavily on mentorship, applying a scientific approach to communication skills, career networking and risk management, Warren said. “We need young people to engage in predictive engineering and ‘disruptive technologies’ like digital additive manufacturing,” noting that industry advances in additive manufacturing will disrupt, redefine and reorient long-held business norms. Young adults she meets are especially receptive to this type of critical thinking. She said in many ways, mentoring today involves updating knowledge in manufacturing that was first learned over 50 years ago.


Warren mentioned two mentors that were influential in her career: Donald E. Larsen, director of special projects at Arconic Engineered Structures (and the Vice President of the ITA board of directors); and David O. Craig, the information technology director at Baker Hughes Inc. Larsen encouraged Warren to “make a difference and don’t just ‘be’ in business and life. Take your skill set and keep going, don’t stop. Create your own destiny,” she said, recalling his advice. Craig counseled Warren to invest in her skills and maintain a balanced self-confidence in spite of critics and naysayers. “Do your best and have the confidence to prove your capabilities to the world.”



Two years ago, as part of her WiT outreach, Warren hosted college students for a plant tour at Arconic’s Austin facility. “I wanted the students to see, up close, an industry that they might not have considered as a career. It wasn’t just about additive manufacturing. We provided an insight to the entirety of the business: from commercial, to engineering, to what it takes to successfully deliver quality parts that meet stringent customer requirements.” In September, Warren will host a tour of Norsk’s Plattsburgh facility and operations.



Thinking about her future role on the executive board of the WiT committee, and stepping back to assess her own career track, Warren simply smiled and said: “To date, it has been one heck of a ride. I am looking forward to encouraging and helping others define their version of success and achieve it.”


Volunteer Group


The committee also announced the development of its first ever volunteer group. The group is comprised of women from various ITA member organizations, and will be responsible for disseminating WiT information to their companies, attending regional table top events and being champions for WiT initiatives. Volunteers will then have to opportunity to join the WiT executive committee after serving on the volunteer group. The committee hopes the volunteers will make an impact in their workplaces, garner more attention and drive interest in events for the upcoming year.


The mission of the WiT committee is two-fold: To develop a networking group of collegial women presently in the titanium industry; and to promote, attract, and encourage high school and college women to enter the titanium industry.


For more information, contact Karina Graziani at or call 303-404-2221.

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