Spring 2024


January 24-31, 2024

BS Education & Community (Purdue University), MS Counseling & Personnel Services (Purdue University), PhD Educational Technology (Purdue University)

Roche is a three-time Purdue alumna (’79, ’81 and ’00) with a background in co-creating with others compelling and meaningful strategies that transform the organization to work towards shared goals that sustainably benefit all stakeholders. She has led cultural transitions in private and public sector environments and her experience working with Agilent Technologies and other organizations has motivated her to seek best practices for how individuals and organizations develop the capability to interpret an evolving and complex environment in order to make effective action.

TOPIC AREAS: Human Resources, Private & Public Sector, Strategy, Culture and Leadership


January 26-31, 2024

Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) Chemical Engineering (Purdue University)

Riddle is a Purdue alumna (’86) with experience directing the world’s largest consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble. She has been the vice president engineering leader in several business units like Fabric Care and most recently Global Supply Chain Innovation. The fabric care business includes billion dollar brands like Tide, Gain, and Downy. The supply chain innovation role included automation and digitization of the supply networks across the globe. She is the past CEO/president of non-profit Southwest Ohio Water Company and today serves on various non-profit boards. She recently retired from P&G and is driven to prepare the next generation of engineers to be leaders in the industry.

TOPIC AREAS: Supply Chain Innovation, Fabric Care Engineering, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Process Engineering, Business Process Improvement, Capital Investment, Women’s Empowerment


February 7-14, 2024

BS Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), MS Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), PhD Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University)

Matthew P. Szolwinski was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated as valedictorian from Marquette University High School. Inspired by the first space shuttle launch in 1981, Szolwinski enrolled in 1989 at Purdue University to pursue an undergraduate degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. While at Purdue, he was an active student leader, serving as president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council, a member of Iron Key and Mortar Board honor societies, and a member of search committees for Dean of Engineering and the Athletic Director.  He is a recipient of the Mercury 7 scholarship. Matt also served as a residence hall counselor and staff resident.

After graduating with highest honors in 1993, Szolwinski began his graduate program in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics – working with Dr. Thomas N. Farris on understanding the mechanics of fretting fatigue in aging aircraft for the U.S. Air Force as a Department of Defense Fellow. This work, which culminated in Szolwinski being awarded a doctorate in 1998, earned him the ASME International Marshall B. Peterson award for early career contributions in tribology.

Szolwinski served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from 1998 to 2000. He left RPI to join Pratt & Whitney, where he worked to support Pratt’s entire operational commercial engine fleet as a structures integration manager. In late 2004, Szolwinski returned to the Midwest to join the systems engineering team designing the GEnx engine for the 787 Dreamliner at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio. He was a key contributor to the initial FAA certification of the GEnx in March of 2008. Shortly after this certification, Szolwinski was named chief engineer for GE Aviation’s large military engines, including the F110, which powers over two-thirds of the combat-ready fleet of F-16s in the U.S. Air Force fleet, along with the fleet of engines that power the B-1, B-2 and U-2 aircraft.

Szolwinski then returned to the commercial side of GE’s engine business, leading the team to field the GEnx engine on the 787 and then the technology development effort for the GE9X, the world’s most powerful engine that is the sole-source powerplant for Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 777X. Szolwinski led GE’s large-combat engineering team that was responsible for all aspects of the design, system integration and product support for a global fleet of nearly 10,000 military engines. He now serves as general manager of a global engineering team that supports GE Aerospace’s aeroderivative products, an installed base of nearly 4000 engines across a variety of highly specialized power generation; oil and gas; and marine applications.

Matt is married to Jenni Birch Szolwinski (Purdue B.S. ’94, M.S. ’96) with two children, Anna (Purdue CLA ‘22) and Adam (Purdue Polytechnic – Cybersecurity ’26).  He enjoys traveling, stationary cycling and cheering for all Boilermaker sports teams. He also has been an active industry alumni advisor of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which awarded him the Purdue Outstanding Aerospace Engineer award in 2010.

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership in Technology, Lean Principles, Career Paths - Academia vs. Industry, Systems-level Thinking, Balancing Career and Family/Personal Life


February 21-28, 2024

BS Electrical Technology (Purdue University), MBA (Ball State)

Chris Jones began his career in 1984 at Delco Electronics (GM) where he held various leadership roles which included project and program leadership focusing on the develop of custom automotive electronics for major automotive manufacturers.  During this phase he also led the deployment of Six Sigma and other innovation methods where he earned his Six Sigma Master Blackbelt certification. In 2013 he joined Stryker leading the development of orthopedic robotic power tools. During his career, Jones has excelled in team development and strategic development and implementation to navigate the significant challenges of complex product development.

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership, Team Building, Complex Product Development, Structured Problem Solving, Mentoring, Boy Scouts of America, General Aviation


March 20-27, 2024

BA Business & Communication (Purdue University), MBA (University of Colorado)

Launching into the wine industry in 1984 as a 24-year-old newly minted MBA meant entering a male dominated environment and breaking down barriers. By the time Epp was 31, it also meant finding a work life balance juggling husband, children and career pressures. Epp's extensive background in the wine industry includes sales and brand management roles with The Robert Mondavi Winery, Terlato Family Distributors, Breakthru Beverage Distributors and E&J Gallo Winery, where her career began 38 years ago. In January 2005, Epp joined Wente Family Estates, California’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. For 14 years, she served as vice president of sales, overseeing half the country. Her primary role, and one of her passions, was leading teams to success and articulating next steps. On the business side of the equation, she focused on sales goal achievement, analysis of sales data, accessing opportunities, forming in-depth financial strategies and creating pricing and programming. Fortunately, another great passion (and the most fun) was found in sharing her knowledge of wine with friends and consumers from around the country. In March 2023, Epp chose to move on from a full-time career to focus on other pursuits, the most important being conservation (she is co-chair and founder of Save Our Rox, in Roxborough Park Colorado). While earning her communications and business degrees at Purdue University, she credits her time as an RA at Windsor’s Warren Hall as her first opportunity to be a leader.

Epp will be joined by her two nieces who recently graduated from Purdue – Sheila Swibes, Bachelor of Science Marketing ('18), and Julia Swibes, Bachelor of Arts Public Relations & Advertising ('21).

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership, Women in Business, Finding Your Passion, Work Life Balance, Being Respectful Fearless and Open, Sales Marketing & Communication, Fitness to Survive and Thrive, Conservation 

sheila-swibes.jpgSHEILA SWIBES

BS Marketing (Purdue University)

Graduating from Purdue University in 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the Krannert School of Management is Sheila’s favorite accomplishment to date.  While at Purdue, Sheila was the Social Media Intern for Purdue University Student Life Marketing as well as a member of Phi Mu. Her professional journey with PepsiCo spans over 5 years, marked by a diverse trajectory across various business functions and cities. Starting her career in Supply Chain Management at the Frankfort East Manufacturing Plant in Frankfort, IN was not exactly part of the plan, but provided an insightful experience as a first job out of college. She then made her way to Field Sales in Seattle, WA. Currently, she works in Space Transformation at the Chicago Headquarters where she continues to thrive in the dynamic landscape that is PepsiCo. Sheila is originally from Chesterton, IN and currently living in downtown Chicago.

julia-swibes.jpgJULIA SWIBES

BS Public Relations and Advertising (Purdue University)

As a proud Purdue University alumna, she graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in Advertising. Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Julia serves as the Marketing Manager for a local non-profit organization. Her passion for marketing and social media began at the age of 17 when she started assisting local businesses with their social media management and photography needs. Over time, Julia's career has evolved, encompassing website management, event coordination, and the development of impactful marketing strategies. Julia was born and raised in Munster, Indiana, and now resides in downtown Chicago, Illinois.