Velma has spent over 25 years serving as a strategic advisor to executives on matters related to global supply chain resilience, operational efficiencies, cybersecurity, leadership, organizational transformation, and positioning for future growth.
Dynamic Leader and Strategist
Velma is a visionary business strategist with a proven track record of identifying and capitalizing on emerging opportunities to drive growth strategies across complex and competitive environments for R&D, product manufacturing, technology start-ups, and management consulting companies. She is known for generating pioneering ideas, securing consensus across multiple organizational levels, and delivering strong financial results across national markets.
Velma is a noted speaker and thought leader on growing and sustaining the National STEM pipeline. Throughout her career, she has been a champion for advancing STEM and increasing our national competitiveness. As an engineering professor at Penn State, she created the first course of its kind to increase the retention of minority engineering students. As a business and community leader and USA Science and Engineering Festival Nifty Fifty national speaker, she mentors women entrepreneurs and works with K-12 educators to increase student success.
Velma is passionate about improving access to education and fostering empowerment, especially for women, children, and underserved communities. Her perspective and engagement are informed by her experience as an immigrant, living and working abroad, and successfully building consensus across different cultures. She is a founding board member of The Self-Help Organization for vulnerable Women and children in Need (SHOWN), which improves access to education, health, and social and economic empowerment opportunities, especially for women and children in need across sub-Saharan Africa. Velma also serves on the Advisory Council for the Women’s Business Collaborative and the Advisory Board for DevMar Manufacturing LLC.
Velma received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University; an M.S. in Engineering Science from Harvard University and a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She enjoys global travel, snorkeling, and spending time with family and friends at her ancestral home in the Bahamas.