We announced a new Chief Operating Officer this week. Wendy Smith, with over thirty years’ experience in plant operations and design and engineering services management, is excited to take on the challenge.
“This new role is a wonderful blend of both of my engineering and manufacturing roots. I am excited to bring those two worlds together and work with the entire team as we engineer and fabricate solutions to delight our customers. I am energized by the day to day bustle in our shops and being able to witness the wide variety of projects becoming reality before our eyes,” said Smith.
Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering with a Business Management minor from Alfred University, including a study abroad semester at the University of Sheffield in England. She started at Corning Incorporated as a Melting Engineer and went on to hold key manufacturing and operations leadership positions over the next 15 years including Department Head, Product Line Coordinator, Supply Chain Manager, Operations Manager and Plant Manager.
In 2003 she joined Optimation Technology Inc. as the Mechanical and Process Engineering/Design Supervisor as well as the COO of Klug Systems (a company that Optimation had recently acquired). Over the next fifteen years, Smith took on additional management and leadership roles at Optimation where she is currently the COO, a member of the Sales Team and the Executive team, and sits on the Board of Directors.
Smith has broad experience in a variety of manufacturing environments including continuous flow, batch processes, hot glass, refractory, finishing and assembly. She also has broad general management experience with responsibilities for sales, gross margin, operations, manufacturing efficiencies, EH&S, facilities, information technology, supply chain, procurement, logistics, materials, and quality. She has extensive experience with business strategic planning as well as organizational and personnel development.
Smith is an active member of the Board of Directors for Compeer Rochester. She is former President of the Rochester Engineering Society and continues to serve on the scholarship committee for that organization. She has also served on the President’s Advisory Board at Roberts Wesleyan College. Smith is married and has four children.
In 2019 Smith was recognized as an Influential Woman in Manufacturing by Putnam Media. Influential Women in Manufacturing honors women who are effecting change in the manufacturing and industrial production space. Women are vastly underrepresented in U.S. manufacturing, which continues to struggle with a skills gap.
- According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for only 13% of the engineering workforce in the United States.
- Only 26% of those working in computer science in the United States are women.
- Women account for about one-third of the manufacturing workforce overall.
It’s not news that manufacturing needs more women in skilled and professional positions such as the skilled trades, designing and drafting, engineering and development. But if we’re going to close the gender gap in manufacturing, we also need to see more women in leadership positions. Optimation Technology is honored to grow these numbers by a very important one.
We are so proud of you Wendy! Thank you for choosing Optimation!