Susan Seilheimer Brennan and Ilya R. Espino de Marotta know what it's like to be the only woman in the boardroom.
Brennan, now chief operations officer (COO) of Bloom Energy Corp., has spent 25 years climbing the corporate ladder in the automotive and energy industries. At Nissan Motors, for example, she was the highest-ranking woman in operations—and one of the few women to hold an executive position at a leading Japanese corporation. Meanwhile Marotta is the first woman to serve as executive vice president (EVP) for engineering and programs management at the 100-year-old Panama Canal Authority.
In May, the organization AWESOME (Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education) will recognize Brennan and Marotta for their role as trailblazers by presenting them with the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award. The award honors women who have achieved extraordinary professional excellence and success, addressed challenges impacting opportunities for women, and advanced the changing landscape of women's supply chain leadership.
"Their accomplishments are extraordinary, and they have excelled in two areas where women at the highest levels of leadership are rare," said Heather Sheehan, executive director of AWESOME. "By their example and by their efforts, they have made expanding opportunities for other women a priority."
As COO of Bloom Energy, Susan Brennan is responsible for global supply chain and purchasing, as well as all new product launch strategy and sales execution, operations, capacity management, labor management, environmental health and safety strategy and compliance, and government affairs.
As EVP for engineering and programs management for the Panama Canal Authority, Marotta is responsible for preparing the designs and specifications for all Panama Canal projects and leads the execution of the Panama Canal Expansion Program. She has worked for the Panama Canal Commission/Panama Canal Authority for more than 30 years. She participated in the development of the Panama Canal Master Plan and the Expansion Proposal presented for national referendum in 2006.
AWESOME is a network of more than 950 women in diverse senior supply chain leadership roles. Members participate in networking, research, industry events, discussions, and collaborations to support the advancement of women's supply chain leadership.