Women's Leadership Network
Packaging & Processing Women's Leadership Network

PPWLN Breakfast at PACK EXPO International

Stay tuned for the much-anticipated PPWLN Networking Breakfast at PACK EXPO International 2024! This event promises a morning filled with inspiration and connection. Enjoy a delicious breakfast while listening to a special guest speaker who will share valuable insights and experiences for women in the workplace. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to network with industry peers and forge new professional relationships.

This FREE networking event unites industry professionals at all levels. Discover the initiatives driving PPWLN while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and building connections that matter.

*To attend, you must be registered for PACK EXPO International.






Panel at EXPO PACK México: Women’s Leadership and the Packaging Industry in Latin America: Driving Gender Equality and STEM Careers  

June 15, 2022

This panel will bring together extraordinary women who will tell us their inspiring stories and discuss the strategies and actions they have taken, not only to become leaders in the manufacturing industry, but to promote STEM careers among girls and young women in our region.


  • Graciela Rojas Montemayor, Founder and President of the Mexican Movimiento STEM.
  • Edurne Balmori, Gender equity and inclusion issues leader.
  • Claudia Jañez, One of the most influential business leaders with 25 years of experience in companies such as DuPont, Ford, GE and PepsiCo.
  • Laura Bonilla, President of CANAINCA - Director of Corporate Affairs for Unilever Latin America North


In 2020, she was named as one of the 100 female world leaders in STEM and won in Mexico’s name the Globant Award in the Game Changer category, for her work in making young girls and female students gain interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and fostering their further development.

Ms. Rojas has been recognized as one of the most influential women in Mexico, and awarded various prizes, not least among them the National Prize for Entrepreneurship in 2014, and the National Quality Prize in 2015.

She has also been recognized due to her extraordinary work at the STEM Ecosystem, and as one of the most outstanding female executives in Mexico, in magazines such as Expansión, Mundo Ejecutivo, and Forbes.


Leader at gender equity and inclusion issues

According to the ranking published by the magazine Expansión in 2021, M.A. Balmori is amongst the 100 most influential Mexican women. She was distinguished with the “Iconic Women creating a better world for all in Diversity and Inclusion” prize at the Women Economic Forum by the world’s largest all-inclusive international women’s chamber ALL Ladies League.

She is an engineer and a food specialist from the Iberoamerican University, with postgraduate studies in Business Senior Management, Administration, and Leadership from IESE Business School, Barcelona.

Laura BonillaPresident of CANAINCA - Director of Corporate Affairs for Unilever Latin America North

Laura has built her professional career at Unilever for over 38 years. Her recognized merits, both within Unilever and throughout her trajectory in general, have made her one of the most influential women in the industry, according to the magazine Poder y Negocios.

Laura was summoned to participate in the book “Those Who Inspire”, which brings together different Mexican prominent personalities and is aimed at inspiring young Mexicans through these figures’ life and professional histories.

Her corporate and trade-oriented vision rests on the experience she has gathered as the member of executive boards for a diversity of industrial associations in sectors including food processing, soaps and detergents, personal and home care products, and preserves. Also, through her participation in institutions like the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), where she has been the Vice President for Sustainability, and the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN), which was recognized as a “Social Responsibility Promoting Organism” under her leadership.

CLAUDIA JAÑEZOne of the most influential and important leaders in business in Mexico, according to Expansión, Fortune, Forbes and Líderes magazine.

Independent Advisor of management boards at Grupo Industrial Saltillo, IDEAL,HSBC México, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores and América Móvil.

Claudia, MSc., has an experience of more than 25 years with global companies such as PepsiCo, DuPont, GE and Ford.

Former President for Latin America and Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at DuPont.

Thank you for joining us!
PPWLN's Event: The New World of Work 


Everyone has had to work differently over the past year, with some adjustments driving long-term transformations in the way we work. Things like increased digitalization and automation on the plant floor, the push for diversity and gender parity, and how to attract the next generation workforce – together are creating the new world of work.

Our breakfast at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO brought together a panel of experts to discuss different perspectives on how to thrive in this fast changing world. First, PPWLN welcomed Tracey Noonan, co-founder and CEO of Wicked Good Cupcakes, as our keynote speaker.

Tracey and her daughter turned a small home-based baking business into a multimillion-dollar corporation through creativity, perseverance and an investment from Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary. Recently acquired by Hickory Farms, Tracey reflected on her experience of scaling an e-commerce business, managing a growing workforce, and her insights into how the food and beverage industry is evolving.

Following her keynote, Noonan joined Yolanda Malone, vice president of global RD Foods at PepsiCo, PPWLN executive council members Jan Tharp, president & CEO, Bumble Bee Seafood Company and Sharron Gilbert, president & CEO of Septimatech Group Inc. for a candid conversation about the new world of work, what it means to the future of manufacturing, and what we can do to make a difference.

Yolanda A. Malone is Vice President of Global Foods Packaging for PepsiCo. Her team is responsible for setting the packaging strategy and implementation for the company’s global food brands. She also oversees packaging equipment platform development, global packaging innovation, regional AOP delivery, local brand innovation and stewardship, material development, packaging sustainability initiatives for snacks/foods, and packaging material productivity.

Yolanda has more than 30 years of packaging experience within the CPG industry. Since joining PepsiCo in 2010, she’s launched innovations across PepsiCo’s carbonated beverage business, its joint-venture partnerships with Starbucks and Lipton and food service equipment platforms. Yolanda is a Chairwomen and Board Member for the Packagin Managers Council (IOPP) and an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow.

Yolanda was raised in Michigan and went to college at MSU. She has three young-adult children and enjoys travel, shopping, and being a “foody.”

jan tharp

Tracey Noonan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Wicked Good Cupcakes, Inc. along with daughter, Dani Vilagie. The two started the business in their home kitchen in 2010, and after much success and increased demand, they opened their first retail location in Cohasset, MA in October of 2011. Since then, the company has grown to be a nationally known, multi-million dollar brand thanks in part to an appearance on ABC’s Emmy Award winning show, “Shark Tank” and subsequent deal with Shark, Kevin O’Leary. Kevin has called Wicked Good Cupcakes, “One of his best investments from Shark Tank.” Wicked Good Cupcakes is now the largest shipper of cupcakes in the US and has added a host of other products.

Tracey and Dani have appeared on Seasons 4-8 of Shark Tank, ABC’s Good Morning America, 20/20, the Kris Jenner Show, the Meredith Vieira Show, CNBC’s Squawk Box, Fox Business News with Cinnabon’s Kat Cole, Start Up USA, Food Factory, Beyond the Tank, Say Yes to the Dress and as a guest seller on QVC. Tracey was a 2015 and 2016 Finalist in the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition, an invitation she received again in 2017. Tracey also mentors female MBA students for Babson College’s Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab.

jan tharp

AJ Jorgenson is the Vice President of Strategic Engagement at The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. Ms. Jorgenson develops and executes all strategic operations for the Institute’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative, and the Institute’s longest running program, the STEP Women’s Initiative. She is helping to foster and promote an inclusive culture in manufacturing, supporting companies with their D&I efforts and amplifying best practices to multiply the impact, as well as leading industry engagements to increase the number of women and underrepresented populations in manufacturing.

Previously, Ms. Jorgenson oversaw national Manufacturing Day to 2,500 events nationwide, reaching 350,000 students, parents, and teachers and helped lead the Institute’s partnership with the U.S. military to assist veterans and transitioning military personnel prepare for and find jobs in manufacturing. Prior to joining the NAM, Ms. Jorgenson served as the Executive Coordinator of Research and Development for Mars, Incorporated.

Leading Through Chaos

When Jan Tharp took over as president and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods, she inherited a company embroiled in turmoil related to a price-fixing scandal from former executives, lawsuits and bankruptcy. In the midst of all of this, Tharp was on a mission to rewrite the company value statement and develop a pipeline of new seafood products, all while navigating the company’s sale to FCF Co. Tharp has turned the company around and is now charting a successful path forward focused on new product development, sustainability and putting the customer first. During PACK EXPO Connects' Jumpstart program, Tharp shared how she started her career as a packaging engineer and has been able to lead through hard times while maintaining empathy, transparency and open communication.

Financial Empowerment and Fixing the Broken Rung 

The struggle continues when it comes to gender parity in corporate America. And, while there are signs of progress—as more women are in senior leadership roles than five years ago—research shows that there is an issue of inequality in the workplace. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) “Women in the Workplace 2019” report states the biggest obstacle to advancing women’s careers is not the glass ceiling, but rather the broken rung—that entry level position where women get stuck.  The Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network breakfast at PACK EXPO East took a closer look at the data, exploring inclusiveness and workplace diversity, which, when embraced, results in financial empowerment for individuals and the organization as a whole.

Two keynote speakers addressed the issues of the “power of parity” and accelerating gender equality through investment strategies.


Karen NorheimSenior Partner, Minneapolis, McKinsey

Over the last fifteen years at McKinsey, Kweilin has served clients across both strategy and operations transformations. She leads the life insurance practice, is a leader in the financial services practice, and is on the Operations Leadership Team in North America. Kweilin has broad experience in designing and implementing global performance transformations—including redesigning operating models and increasing operational efficiency and effectiveness. She improves customer journeys by applying digital, analytics, and process redesign.

In addition to her client work, Kweilin is a member of the McKinsey Global Institute Council, which advises on MGI’s research on global economic, business, and technology trends. She also instigated and co-led McKinsey’s Power of Parity work on gender equality and how to help improve the lives of women around the world. That has led to client work with global philanthropies, multilateral organizations, and companies on how to accelerate gender equality. She is part of the MGI Steering Committee on the Future of Work, including its geographic, gender, and racial implications in the U.S. and beyond.

Kweilin speaks globally on the untapped potential of women, and strategies and best practices to accelerate gender equality at the government, company, and individual level. Her research and insights have appeared in WSJ, CNN, Fortune, Forbes, Time, Newsweek, and the Harvard Business Review. She has been interviewed on television by the BBC, Bloomberg, and CNBC. She has spoken at the UN, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Wilson Center, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. EEOC, and the White House. Kweilin serves on the board of directors for MAKERS@, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, and the YWCA of Minneapolis. Kweilin has been named one of Minnesota’s top ten corporate women by Twin Cities Business magazine and was named a 2015 Woman in Business by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. She was named a 2018 Girl Scouts of River Valleys Woman of Distinction. Kweilin worked for 2 years at the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), a not-for-profit organization in Boston that helps women entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. While at CWE, she created a microloan program for low-income women. Kweilin attended Wellesley and Harvard, and majored in Economics and Political Science. She attended Harvard Business School where she was co-president of the Women’s Student Association.

She lives in Minneapolis with her 3 daughters (including twins!) and her husband who works in private equity. While growing up, Kweilin spent a number of years living in China, Japan, Ecuador, and France, living with local families and learning the local languages.

Ellen OchoaVice President, Global Women’s Strategies, Impax Asset Management LLC and Pax Ellevate Management LLC

Kelly Coyne is Vice President of Global Women’s Strategies at Impax Asset Management LLC and Pax Ellevate Management LLC. She leads the Pax Ellevate team, overseeing national sales and marketing initiatives and serving as a product specialist for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund. The fund seeks investment returns that closely correspond to the performance of the Impax Global Women’s Leadership Index, an index of companies around the world that are leaders in advancing women through gender diversity on their boards of directors, in management and through other policies and programs.

Since joining Impax in 2014, Kelly has honed and expanded the firm’s practice management resources, which help institutions and financial advisors more effectively engage with and serve women investors as well as the next generation of clients. Kelly is regarded as a subject matter expert on impact and gender lens investing. She contributes articles to industry publications and is a regular presenter at industry conferences and events nationwide. Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in human rights from Trinity College. She holds the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 6, 63 and 65 registrations. She’s a graduate of Wharton’s Women’s Executive Leadership program. Kelly Coyne is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

jan tharpPresident & CEO, The Bumble Bee Seafood Company

Jan Tharp is President and CEO of The Bumble Bee Seafood Company, a 120-year leader in the seafood industry. Jan is known as a transformational leader within the industry, among her peers and with Bumble Bee employees and is dedicated to continuing to redefine what sustainability means for the seafood industry. Under Jan’s leadership, Bumble Bee was named one of the “Top Places to Work” in both 2019 and 2020 by the San Diego Union Tribune. In addition, Jan was announced as the San Diego Business Journal 2020 “CEO of the Year” (large company category).

Jan was at the forefront of Bumble Bee’s joint venture with Gathered Foods Corporation, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood products. The partnership makes Bumble Bee the first and only major seafood company to partner with a plant-based seafood brand and honors the company’s long-term commitment to ocean health and sustainability. She also championed Bumble Bee’s 2020 announcement of a bold set of sustainability commitments, including allocation of a $40 million Accelerator Fund dedicated to closing the gap on some of the biggest industry challenges in the sustainability space.

Jan is a board member of the National Fisheries Institute and International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Good Catch Foods, and is also actively engaged with Bumble Bee’s work with organizations including World Wildlife Fund, the Marine Stewardship Council, and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. 

2019 PACK EXPO Las Vegas: Women Exploring New Territory On Earth and in Space

Speaker: Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space

It was record attendance with about 700 people attending the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN) breakfast at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. The theme of the meeting was “Exploring New Territory,” which was more than just a metaphor for the keynote speaker Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space. “We need everybody’s ideas and brain power,” Ochoa said. “For an organization to be the best it can be people need to feel valued, they need to feel respected, and if they speak up they need to know that their contributions will be recognized. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for an organization that understands that, and to be part of a team in the great adventure of space exploration.” Read more.

2019 ProFood Tech: Ladies Leading Industry Change

Speakers: Diane Wolf, Consultant and Former Vice President at Kraft Foods and Karen Norheim, Executive Vice President at American Crane & Equipment Corporation

With close to 150 industry professionals in attendance, Wolf and Norheim shared how they maneuvered the manufacturing environment to become a driving force of change at their respective companies. As a leader at American Crane, Karen Norheim oversees the successful day-to-day operations of a 180-person manufacturing facility headquartered in Douglassville, Pennsylvania. She manages all company operations with an emphasis on continued expansion, growth and long-term strategy.

Diane Wolf is a former senior operations executive for Kraft Foods. She was vice president of Operations, Engineering and Global Safety, Environmental and Sustainability prior to becoming an independent consultant in 2012. In her over 35 years of experience, Wolf has held key positions in capital procurement, engineering, manufacturing and product development in North America and globally for Kraft Foods. Read more.

2019 PACK EXPO International: A Conversation with Manufacturing Executives

Speakers: Hugh Roddy, Vice President Global Engineering & Project Management, Chobani, Carol O’Neill, Group President, Packaging, Barry-Wehmiller, AJ Jorgenson, AVP, Strategic Engagement, The Manufacturing Institute

While women find ways to carve out individual career paths in manufacturing, there’s a bigger societal shift that must take place to create momentum for future generations. Specifically, the need to erase the perception of manufacturing as a male-dominated industry. Over 500 industry professionals attended this event, where manufacturing executives weighed in on the company culture change required to make this a sustainable movement – and how the industry as a whole can assist in building a more diversified workforce.

2018 PACK EXPO East: Leverage Your Self Power from the Inside Out

Speaker: Diane Wilhelm, Chief Engineer Advanced Manufacturing, Harley-Davidson Motor Company

During PPWLN's first regional meeting, Wilhelm shared her story about working in tandem with product engineering, leading to the development and launch of new product programs for manufacturing affecting six production facilities worldwide. She has served in several leadership roles at Harley-Davidson over the last 17 years, following a successful career at General Motors and the United States Army. Following her keynote, Debra Zabloudil, president & CEO, The Learning Studio, Inc., conducted an interactive workshop, Pitching It Up and Selling It Sideways.

2017 PACK EXPO Las Vegas: Dancing on the Glass Ceiling

Speaker: Tana Utley, Vice President, Caterpillar Inc.

Over 500 women (and men) had the opportunity to hear from Tana Utley on how her engineering and general management positions across the company led her to manage Caterpillar's Large Power Systems Division today. She shared strategies for making the most of the abundant opportunities that exist for women in the manufacturing industry — and how to give back. Read more.

2016 PACK EXPO International: Deloitte's Manufacturing Study

Speaker: Diane Lyons, Audit Industry Leader, Deloitte & Touche

PPWLN's inaugural breakfast began with insights into Deloitte’s Women in Manufacturing study presented by Diane Lyons. Lyons serves as Deloitte & Touche LLP’s audit industry leader for the consumer and industrial products industry. Diane also shared her experience using candid and frequent communication as the foundation to build trusted relationships with all levels of management – and in leading local and global engagement teams. Following Lyons' keynote was a panel discussion with the network’s Executive Council – featuring insights from Patty Andersen, VP of Human Resources & Aftermarket Services, Delkor Systems, Inc., Jill Costelow, VP of Operations, Pressed Juicery LLC, Janet Tharp, CEO, Bumble Bee Foods and Nancy Wilson, CEO, Morrison Container Handling Solutions.


For questions, please contact:

Name: Tracy Stout
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 571.612.3202