August 31, 2015
FOCUS: 40 UNDER FORTY

Gina Melendez

Site Lean Leader, Parker Hannifin, Devens

Birthplace: Southbridge
Residence: Worcester
High school: Southbridge High School
Colleges and degrees earned: Bachelor's degree, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; master's degree, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Career highlights: Conducting a leadership workshop at EASTEC; panelist at the Making It Real: Girls & Manufacturing Summit; Pratt & Whitney's Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award finalist; featured in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers' magazine: "Back to Work, America! Latinas at the Forefront of Manufacturing.

Community involvement: Mentor and career coach to college students and professionals; advocate for manufacturing and STEM education in the U.S.; director of operations and strategy for ManyMentors (nonprofit); former executive board member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Connecticut chapter, and Pratt & Whitney's Hispanic Leadership Forum

Ultimate career goal: Continue to break the status quo in corporate America and make it about the people.

Non-relative you admire most: TV sitcom characters Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) and Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell)

Favorite book: "Design for Operational Excellence: A Breakthrough Strategy for Business Growth," by Kevin J. Duggan

Hidden talents: 100 unbroken double-unders

"By the time I turn 50, I'd like to have accomplished … the rise of manufacturing back in the U.S.!

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