FY23 Executive Council
Candace L. Gray is an engineer, so she understands the rewards and challenges of being a woman in STEM. While acknowledging the progress made to attract more women in engineering, Candace also knows there is much more work to do. Since joining SWE-SD in 2018, she has been a part of this growing community of women who support each other, help each other advance professionally, and inspire the next generation of female engineers. Candace is enthusiastic and desires to continue building on the achievements of previous years. Her vision is to increase the awareness and presence of SWE-SD in the community by engaging in more partnerships with like minded organizations, to continue providing impactful career development programming, and to bolster girls’ interest in STEM.
Candace has contributed to several committees and in 2021 she was both the Banquet committee chair and the Member of the Year. She is the current FY22 Vice President and led the effort to secure a PDG grant. Candace is also heading the FY22 Banquet planning activities for the commemorative 40th anniversary celebration. She has demonstrated her leadership and seeks to take on a larger role as President of the Executive Council.
Candace has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership. She has over 18 years of experience in design, test, and manufacturing, and is a manufacturing leader at General Atomics. She is active in her company’s Employee Resource Groups and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.
You will find Candace throughout the local STEM community volunteering, organizing, and being a role model. She is passionate about furthering SWE’s mission and is excited to continue serving both our SWE members and the community in the coming year.
Ally Hardy is a recent graduate from SDSU here in San Diego in 2020 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an emphasis in Bioengineering. She works at Becton Dickinson as a Product Development engineer in R&D within the infusion disposables business. As she makes this transition into the world of industry, Ally wants to continue with SWE as it was a big part of her college experience.
Ally joined SWE her sophomore year at SDSU where she made incredible connections that have lasted through the past few years. Her senior year including picking up leadership roles in not only SWE, but other clubs, as well. In SWE she was the acting VP of Membership, Events, and Secretary where she was responsible for a variety of activities ranging from membership relations to cross-collegiate events.
Growing up in a family of engineers, STEM has been a constant backbone to Ally’s childhood with her family acting as a strong support system. She knows she’s been lucky to have parents and other family members that were supportive of her choosing a career in engineering. Her passion for empowering women in STEM comes from her desire to share similar support to those girls and women who may not have had the same experiences. In addition to supporting women currently in their careers, Ally strives to set an example for younger girls and inspire them to pursue a path that may not be commonly chosen by their peers.
Ally looks forward to developing and strengthening personal relationships within the San Diego section and outside the professional chapter with collegiate chapters, SWENext, and business partners. She looks forward to utilizing her leadership experience from her collegiate days partnered with her fresh passion to be a fierce asset to SWE San Diego and our members.
Lauren’s passion for engineering started at a young age, spending hours in the garage working on cars with her dad. In high school, her interest in mechanics, math, and science created a platform for her to dive into engineering & robotics. Although, she often found herself as one of the only girls amongst these groups. Those experiences have fueled her passion for supporting women in STEM.
Lauren graduated from Purdue University in 2020 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Lauren was first exposed to SWE at Purdue, the oldest continuously chartered SWE section in the country, where she participated in the mentorship program. Throughout college, she spent four years as an engineering ambassador, guiding prospective students (especially young women) through the admissions process and helping them learn about Purdue’s engineering program. She also led a Purdue Grand Prix go-kart team as the club’s first female Crew Chief.
Now, Lauren is a Customer Solutions Manager at Amazon Web Services, leading customers on their cloud journeys. She has served on the Women@Amazon San Diego chapter board as the Director of Finance and Recruiting for the past year. With SWE-SD, Lauren has been an active member of the Public Relations (PR) committee for the past year and a half and for the past five months served as co-chair for the committee. Within PR, she has helped gain new sponsors for the chapter and organized two sponsorship campaigns. Lauren also serves as a SWENext Counselor for a chapter at her former high school, Pacific Ridge School, in Carlsbad.
Lauren is excited to serve on SWE-SD’s Executive Council as Treasurer. She is looking forward to taking her passion and experience supporting women in STEM to the next level by learning and developing herself as a leader.
Rachelle Aguas has been increasingly involved in SWE-San Diego since 2020 and is currently the FY22 Member Engagement Chair. She is a technical writer/editor with an English degree who works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. She first learned about SWE through the annual SWE-SD Open House, advertised by the Women’s Internal Network at General Atomics (WIN@GA) where she is Community Outreach Coordinator, identifying and organizing a local outreach event with support of company volunteers. Rachelle is passionate about supporting women in STEM, applies her experience, positive energy, and inclusive mindset to SWE-SD.
This fiscal year she organized and hosted a diverse slate of programs for our members, from athletic activities like hiking, paddle boarding, and rock climbing to social engagements like pumpkin carving, cookie baking, and a brewery social. In addition to her leadership role within SWE-SD, Rachelle is an active member and advocate, participating and enthusiastically promoting SWE-SD professional development opportunities, ensuring work peers and local friends are aware and included. She also is helping the banquet committee as a committee member, supporting the planning and organizing of the 40th anniversary celebration.
Rachelle is someone who creates an environment that is welcoming, encourages experience and growth, which solidifies that sense of belonging for new and returning members and has had a trickle effect with retention and members’ interest in participating and supporting our many committees. She is deserving of being SWE-SD Corresponding Secretary, not only for her direct and indirect contributions to SWE-SD in the past year, but for the continuous impact she will have in the coming future
Aileen Fahme holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD and an MBA from University of Redlands. She is a Consulting Applications Engineer at Solar Turbines Inc. She is a team lead to 10 Project Application Engineers. As a subject matter expert, a coach, and a mentor, she loves sharing her experiences in engineering, working with internal and external customers, winning as well as losing projects, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with every project. She is motivated and driven by the energy and eagerness and enthusiasm that she sees in the people she trains.
Aileen served as the FY22 SWE-SD Recording Secretary . What she loved most about this role is the interaction, the connection, and the networking with fellow SWE members. As a sponsor for the outreach committee, she volunteered in various virtual outreach events where she shared her journey in engineering. Additionally she spearheaded the Engineer at the Mall outreach event as well as ran the SWE-SD booth at the FIRST Robotics Competition at Del Mar Arena. Any opportunity she finds where she can encourage, motivate, inspire young girls in STEM, she will never pass up.
Her organization skills, her thoroughness and her attention to details make her a qualified candidate for the SWE Recording Secretary position. Her experience in the corporate world has inspired her to give back what she’s learned over the years. She plans to use her mentorship and leadership skills to encourage and help the young women pursue their goals in STEM. She looks forward to serving and bringing energy and enthusiasm to the Executive Council as Recording Secretary for FY 2023!
Outside of the professional world, she is a mother to a 17 year old student athlete, she loves to cook, bake, run, meditate, and play cello.