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Kristie Chinn

Kristie is the CEO of A&A Custom Automation, Inc. She was introduced to the industry by her dad and brother. Her dad was a farmer, as well as a skilled machinist and welder. Her brother had a degree in Tool Engineering and was also a skilled machinist and welder. Her dad and brother took on small machining and welding jobs and worked out of the barn on the family farm. Opportunities continued to grow, so they officially started A&A Metal Products, Inc. in 1989. Kristie joined the family business in 1992 and became a minority shareholder. She bought out her dad and brother in 2010. Since inception, A&A continued to diversify, with the largest percentage of revenue now coming from custom automation. In 2014, the company made the decision to rebrand and change the name to A&A Custom Automation, Inc. A&A continues to provide custom solutions to customers facing challenging manufacturing and production issues. A&A serves customers in a wide array of industries, including the plastics, heavy equipment, automotive, public transit, military, electronics, and appliance industries.

The company has 50 employees, consisting of machinists, fabricators, electricians, machine builders/assemblers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and programmers/controls engineers.

 

Kristie has a degree in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Kentucky and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Beth Rovazzini

Beth Rovazzini is president and owner of B&W Plumbing and Heating Co, Inc. Her parents, Jerry and Mary Bratton, started the company in their garage in 1961. Upon graduation with an accounting degree from Indiana University, Beth started her career as a staff accountant at Arthur Anderson. It did not take long for her to determine she loved accounting but not being a staff accountant. Her parents had invested in a Restaurant and things were not going well. After she left Arthur Anderson, she worked at the Restaurant, One –Eyed Jacks, with the intent to organize it to sell. This venture was just the right amount of excitement and challenge and she managed it for five years. In 1988, before her marriage to Gary Rovazzini, they sold the restaurant and she joined B&W in the accounting role. She purchased the business from her parents along with 3 partners in 2003.  Owning a small business is challenging and exhilarating, being a woman owning a construction business is like being at the top of

the roller coaster every day.

 

 Interacting with people, customers, staff or business associates are the force that brings Beth to work every day. She has not found the satisfaction of helping a customer solve a problem in any other place. Although the workforce shortages are a challenge to everyone in construction the silver lining has been working with the young people and helping them

find their way in their careers.

 

Her passion for training the young people is evident in the boards she serves on, Area 31 Career and Tech Center Outreach Board,

IPS Construction, Engineering and Design Sector Committee,

Mechanical Skills Board and Employ Indy Board.

 

Beth is a born and bred Hoosier and her community is extremely important. She just completed serving six years on the BBB of Central Indiana and continues to participate on the Relevance committee.

Beth currently serves on the board of NAWBO-Indy.

She has been a member since 2008.

 

Beth and her husband love to take her parents and go

“camping’ in their RV along with 4 dogs. 

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Leah Curry

Leah Curry is honored to serve as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc., (TMMI) where she leads all production and administrative functions at the manufacturing facility in Princeton, Indiana, which produces the Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Sienna, and Sequoia. 

 

Previously, Curry served as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV), a transmissions and engines manufacturing plant located in Buffalo, West Virginia.

 

During her 23-year career with Toyota, Curry has held several management positions at TMMI, including vice president of manufacturing. She has also served as general manager of assembly and held leadership positions in body weld, stamping, maintenance, production engineering, and new model launch.

 

Additionally, Curry serves on several national and regional boards, including The Manufacturing Institute, Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, Deaconess Health Systems and The Evansville Regional Business Committee. In 2013, she received the Manufacturing Institute’s Step Ahead award that recognizes female leadership in manufacturing. Curry was twice named one of the top 100 women in Automotive by Automotive News (2015, 2020). She studied chemistry at the University of Evansville and industrial electronics at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville, Indiana.

Moderator:
Andrea Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is the Dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Applied Science and Associate Professor of Agriculture at Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette. She holds a Master of Science in Agriculture and Extension Education and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education, both from Purdue University. As Dean, Andrea’s goals focus on supporting a successful team of faculty and staff while leveraging industry relationships to build a stronger workforce in the greater Lafayette area.  Before being named Dean, she served Ivy Tech as Chair and Assistant Professor of the Agriculture Program. As Program Chair, Andrea fostered relationships for over 150 internship experiences across the country, increased participation in the Pathway to Purdue Agriculture Program by approximately 250%, and enhanced the College’s ties to the Indiana FFA Association by co-hosting the Annual State Convention with Purdue. Ivy Tech-Lafayette hosts one day of Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events, as well as Chapter Fun Night. Andrea serves on the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network Board of Directors and Clinton County 4-H Council.  Andrea resides in Carroll County with her husband and two children on a small cattle and crop farm.