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Panel Discussion

Transitions and Reinvention

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join the discussion on personal and professional transitions, whether through expanding our skill sets, changing careers or "reinventing" one's self.

Panel Moderator

Dr. Karissa Thacker

Karissa ThackerDr. Karissa Thacker is a widely respected management psychologist whose focus on helping executives and organizations reach their full potential has fostered sustained leadership and strategic growth. Her areas of expertise include executive development, leadership training, and cultural assessment. Karissa has provided these services to over 200 of the Fortune 500 including UPS, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, General Mills, AT&T, Exelon, and Best Buy Corporation. Her leadership assessment work has been used in the placement and development of key executives in the retail, manufacturing, and energy sectors.


Barbara Bridendolph

Barbara BridendolphBarbara Bridendolph is CEO of Crenshaw Associates, a premiere talent strategy boutique providing advisory services to senior executives - primarily Fortune 100 C-levels and their direct reports. Barb has worked with more than 200 Directors, CEOs, Presidents, and high potential/rising executives to promote their professional growth and business success. She draws on her personal experiences as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and board member to offer pragmatic suggestions for the complicated issues they face. Barbara is Chairperson of Penn State’s Parents Council and sits on the Alumni Society Board for the Smeal College of Business. She was selected as an inaugural member of the University’s Parents Council, and was honored in 2011 with the Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award from Penn State Smeal.

Ariel Charles

Ariel CharlesAriel Charles is a Supplier Performance Specialist for Agusta Westland, a helicopter manufacturing assembly plant located in Northeast Philadelphia, with a parent company in Italy. Agusta Westland produces helicopters to service the commercial market, and helicopters configured for Search and Rescue, EMS and law enforcement. In her role, Ariel manages supplier programs for quality, delivery adherence, and new product introduction improvement plans. She has responsibility for FAA compliance, internal audits, and supplier quality assurance compliance. Ariel received a Bachelors degree from Temple University in Finance and Real Estate.  She is currently working towards her MBA with the Smeal College of Business EMBA program.

Karla Trotman

Karla Trotman Karla Trotman is the owner of BellyButtonBoutique.com, an online boutique that specializes in products of comfort, support and healing for pre- and post-natal women. Karla is also the Marketing and Special Projects Manager at Electro Soft, Incorporated, an electronics contract manufacturing and engineering firm started by her father 25 years ago. Prior to Electro Soft and the launch of her boutique, Karla served as a leader in distribution and supply chain logistics for premier consumer products organizations, IKEA and GAP, where she was responsible for managing and maintaining a steady flow of products – from point of origin to point of retail. A Startup Nation “Leading Moms in Business” winner, Karla consults small businesses on successful implementation of social media into their current marketing strategy.