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NextGen For Industry - Class of 2019

The industrial sector is on the rise — and the next generation of leaders is a big reason why. They’re introducing new ideas, taking on new challenges, and driving companies in bold new directions. At Thomas, we’re recognizing their impact.

January - Aleah Titus

Aleah Titus
One of ABB’s youngest LPG Supply Chain Managers, Aleah Titus has worked to save her company nearly $5 million.  While working in Richmond, VA, Aleah created a tool that highlighted material shortages.  As a result, she was able to fully recover business within 90 days of being on the project. Aleah was recognized for her potential early on and was placed in ABB’s Supply Chain Excellence Program. Learn more about Aleah >

February - Leon Spencer

Leon Spencer

Within his first 6 months at Shell, Leon achieved over $600,000 worth of savings. To date, he has identified over $16 million in savings. In his role as an Aviation Operations Logistics Analyst, Leon is responsible for coordinating all material and personnel movement to and from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Leon has the difficult task of making sure that all movement to and from the rig is executed safely and cost-effectively. Find out more about Leon >


March - Ibrahim Ibrahim

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Ibrahim started his career at Lynn Welding as an intern in 2011.  Since then, he has quickly grown within the company and at 27 years old is now their youngest Operations Manager. Ibrahim was able to overcome many struggles, including moving to the United States at 18 with no knowledge of English.  He now manages a company of over 50 people, working with high-level clients in the aerospace industry. Read more about Ibrahim >

April - Rachel Pacheco

Rachel Pacheco
During her time at Genomatica, Rachel has successfully brought two manufacturing campaigns to scale. She led a team of fermentation and process engineers from California to a site in rural Italy to produce a chemical called butylene glycol using sustainable methods. The campaign produced 600 tons of the chemical in just 5 weeks, making it the world's first commercialization of bio-based butylene glycol. Learn about Rachel >

May - Arek Gdowski

Arek Gdowski
As an Engineer at Dehumidifier Corporation of America, Arek wears many hats.  He is involved in creating 3D models, wiring diagrams and designing components for dehumidifier solutions. Aside from his engineering responsibilities, Arek also performs I.T. duties for his company. Arek recently programmed and created a Selection Software, which allows clients to easily access and select components for their dehumidifier solutions. Learn more about Arek >

June - Sara Cavanaugh

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Sara always knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry. In college she found her professional passion and graduated with a degree in Supply Chain Management from University of Maryland College Park.  At J. Crew in Manhattan her role provides her with the best of both worlds. She works in fashion but utilizes her analytical skills.  As a Distribution Planner, Sara tracks, monitors and forecasts merchandise delivery. Recently she built an Outbound Forecasting tool that pulls from 15+ separate reports and aggregates the information to better predict unit outbound levels by week through the full year. Learn more about Sara>

July - Jillian Gorsuch

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As an additive manufacturing technology manager at Maxar Technologies, Jillian is an innovator in Earth intelligence and infrastructure that develops cutting edge technology to connect Earth and space. She is an accomplished mechanical engineer who has made significant contributions to the company’s RF payload, ground equipment and solar array systems. In her current role Jillian is instrumental in promoting the use of Additive Manufacturing in SSL-built spacecraft. She is an evangelist for how 3D printing can reduce mass, improve schedules and enable new geometries that increase performance and operational life. Learn more about Jillian >

August - Esma Talu

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After receiving her degree at The Ohio State University in Marketing and Logistics, Esma Talu found her unexpected niche within the world of chemistry as she focuses on marketing and selling sustainable chemicals to industrial manufacturers. In addition to rallying around women within her company, Talu also serves as the Women’s Innovation Network site leader for the Chicago office; she intends to use what she's seen in the industry to change not only her company but the industrial workforce as a whole. Learn more about Esma>

September - Kenneth Harris II

Kenneth Harris II
The youngest African American engineer in NASA's history to integrate a billion-dollar satellite in North America's largest clean room, Kenneth has made a remarkable impact on the country's space program in his 11 years at NASA. Most recently, he worked on the James Webb Space Satellite, valued at $10 billion - NASA's most expensive on-satellite mission - and expected to be 2,000 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope. As an ambassador for the NASA Education Department, Kenneth also visits classrooms to encourage students to pursue future careers in STEM roles. Learn more about Kenneth > 

October - Gary D'Souza


In the span of his career, Gary D' Souza has already traveled across the world; his first move from Abu Dhabi to the U.S. in pursuit of an industrial engineering degree led him to AGCO after graduation. 11 years later, D'Souza had the opportunity to move his career south to Porto Alegre, Brazil to implement a product lifecycle management system across AGCO's six Brazilian factories. Despite the challenging nature of his role and the difficulty of teaching himself a new language, he says getting factory team members on board with a new technology or an innovative approach is one of the most rewarding parts of his job. Learn more about Gary > 

November - Susanna Morse


After joining the family business following her parents' cancer diagnoses, Susanna Morse focused on implementing change to ensure a successful future for the third-generation company. By shifting employee mindset to be more receptive and responsive to change in an industry often slow to adjust, Morse has improved team diversity, implemented new technology, and engaged a multi-generational workforce. In making these adjustments across the business, she’s made great strides in bringing the seventy-two-year-old family business to new heights. Learn more about Susanna >

December - Kyle Rasksen


Kyle Rasksen spent his childhood at his father's fourth-generation metal spinning and stamping company, doing small jobs to earn his candy money. He is now the company's plant manager. After gaining a better understanding of CNC technology, Rasksen saw an opportunity to incorporate additional technology within the facility. Since joining the team as plant manager, Rasken has incorporated two automation robots into Metal Craft's job shop; the company also plans to integrate a water jet robot in January. Learn more about Kyle >


They’re changing the way industrial companies think, work, and succeed. They’re The NextGen For Industry, and we’re putting them in the spotlight — with your help.