Our series, “Let’s get technical: Meet the Outstanding Women in Manufacturing & Technology” continues with a discussion on community involvement and the annual Manufacturing Day.
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00:06 Therese Snow
Welcome to our DELMIA podcast, Global Operations on the Go. I'm your host Therese Snow, and today we're continuing our series that features women who are making a difference in the areas of manufacturing and technology. I'm happy to announce our guest, RFP specialist with Dassault Systèmes, Regina Davis. Regina, welcome.
00:26 Regina Davis
Hi, Therese. Thank you so much. It's an honor to be here. Thanks for thinking of me.
00:31 Therese Snow
Oh, absolutely. My pleasure. So, Regina, before we get started, can you please tell us a little bit about your background?
00:39 Regina Davis
Definitely. I am currently an RFP specialist within Dassault Systèmes. I also am a licensed realtor here in North Carolina. And most recently, I've become the co-pastor of a ministry my husband and I started called Believe Church. And also, in addition to my current endeavors, I have previously served Mecklenburg County in the role of a paramedic for about six years.
01:06 Therese Snow
Wow, you're definitely busy that is for sure. So that's pretty, pretty good stuff. So, Regina, how many years have you been at Dassault Systèmes?
01:16 Regina Davis
Well, I've been here at DS for about nine years. I started as an intern within the marketing department, under Alyssa Ross at the time, then I transitioned to the operations department. And now I'm currently with Deal Value Engineering.
01:36 Therese Snow
Alright, so, what drew you into working for a company in the technology field?
01:42 Regina Davis
Well, actually, I got this opportunity to work here at DS, I want to say, by accident, or maybe I should say it was more serendipity. I was in a Graduate Program at UNC Charlotte, and I had applied for a teaching role at a local community college. So, I went on that interview, and on the way home, the marketing manager at the time called me, and she said the interviewer at the technical college really was impressed with me but had just lost funding for the program.
02:19 Therese Snow
Perfect. Well, I'm glad it worked out and definitely glad you're here. So, I understand that you've been part of some really pretty impressive projects at work. What were they exactly?
02:30 Regina Davis
So, I was a part of a team, really two of us that helped transition our Mexico partners from Latin America geography to our North America geography. And that was done through some training and support, different levels of assistance, and we did travel to Mexico City to help facilitate that move. And I also remained their lead point of contact throughout my tenure within the channel, I was within CPE.
And I also had the opportunity to train partners on a transition from a pretty manual process, which was key to their daily function, it’s called opportunity registration. So, I helped with the automation of the task for the partners and training them in it. I also trained our partners, and we always had about 72 partners on the tools, processes, and upcoming policy changes.
And then as the volunteer coordinator within our office, at our local office here in Charlotte, I organized the Manufacturing Day, and I did that for three years. And because of the efforts, Dassault Systèmes was recognized, and we won the Mayor's International Business Award in 2021.
04:01 Therese Snow
Wow, that's really something special, isn't it? Iit's great to see you at Dassault Systèmes recognized like that. And, Regina, expanding on that Manufacturing Day you just mentioned, on the first Friday in October, Manufacturing Day occurs in the US. It's an annual event that helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers, and it does this by encouraging thousands of companies around the nation to open the doors to students. You, as you mentioned previously, have led and organized Manufacturing Day events in Charlotte, North Carolina. Can you expand on this and tell our listeners about it?
04:40 Regina Davis
Oh, yes, I can. And I just want to stop for just a moment and say, Therese, thank you because you brought that idea from Michigan.
04:52 Therese Snow
It’s my pleasure. It’s what we do in the Detroit area’s manufacturing, so glad it worked out.
04:57 Regina Davis
Right. So, being the volunteer coordinator in the office, I loved the concept and said, you know what, let me help build this out. Then that Manufacturing Day event was about introducing high school juniors and seniors to technology, careers of the future, about college, innovation, and introducing them to the idea of obtaining their goals and dreams. Our first event was a failure in terms of attendance. But our colleagues in the local office, they really showed up strong and they were so supportive and helping put together the event and preparing our office because we held it within our local office.
Now, once I figured out how to secure attendees, the following two years we had over 200 students attend each year who were interested in STEM, and that was representative of three school districts, Cabarrus County, Mecklenburg County and Union County. We even had some homeschooled students, kind of representing about nine or so different schools. And UNC Charlotte allowed us to host it in their PORTAL building. So, that PORTAL building is home to over 20 startup and manufacturing and high-tech companies.
And some of the companies even allowed the students to tour their offices and facilities. So, it was just eye opening for the students to know that that was there in their backyard. And then, another area they were able to tour was the NASCAR Motorsports Engineering building that's on the campus of UNC Charlotte. We fed them breakfast and lunch, provided DS logo giveaway swag bags and items. They were also introduced to the industry and academic speakers. And the final one we had, there was a music performance by a local musician. It's actually CMS school teacher Jamil.
07:10 Therese Snow
CMS. So, Charlotte Mecklenburg’s Shools, you're referring to?
07:15 Regina Davis
07:16 Therese Snow
Oh, that's great. What a fun way to get students into STEM and engineering and technology programs. Definitely a great event, definitely timely for this day and age. In fact, as manufacturers seek to fill four million high-tech jobs over the next decade, Manufacturing Day, I think it's a really good way to empower people to kind of come together and address their collective challenges, so to speak. This way they can help their communities, future generations thrive, especially in the area of manufacturing, right? Definitely something we need to prepare generations for. So, how do you think Manufacturing Day has influenced a career choice in students who attended?
07:59 Regina Davis
Well, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the students and I did send out some surveys after. But, based on some of those comments and discussions, I really believe Manufacturing Day provided a tangible experience for the students that wanted to be part of shaping our technological future. So, the students were able to use our software. One piece that we liked to promote at the time was the Z-Space, which had the living heart software installed, in which they could virtually manipulate a precise replica of the human heart. And they also were able to speak to professionals in the field of technology. In addition, some of the college professors in the different technological realms, and admission officials and some other professors in, that taught different curricular were there and the students were able to interact and to feel a part. And I believe they were able to see that everything takes discipline, but you won't see progress without commitment.
09:05 Therese Snow
Absolutely good advice, especially for the students attending. So, outside of work or work-related functions, Regina, I understand that you're also very active in the Greater Charlotte community. I'm sure our listeners would like to hear a little bit about this.
09:21 Regina Davis
Oh, sure. Like I said, my husband and I just started a new ministry. It's called Believe Church. We had our first service on Sunday, August 14th, and we hold services at the Reedy Creek Elementary School. And the day before we had a Community Day in which we provided over 150 book bags to those who attended, so, they also got music, free ice cream, free sparkle tattoos, balloons, more, we just had a really good time interacting with the community. We also have marriage/couples ministry where we offer support and opportunities for discussion that will enhance marriages and relationships.
And then my husband also has a Men's Ministry where men can get together and discuss issues that are important to them. I've also assisted the community through efforts I was able to spearhead at work as a volunteer coordinator, with all of my colleagues. We've done school drives, supported Shining Hope Farms, Freedom Schools, and some others. And last thing, I am a singer, and I'm an actress. So, I have been in some shows, here in Charlotte.
10:41 Therese Snow
Oh, that's amazing. Yeah, definitely a wonderful way to give back to the community, and you'll have to let us know where and when we can see you perform too and let the fine folks at Dassault Systèmes know that as well. This is fantastic, and Regina, you do so much, not only at work in the field of manufacturing technology, but also really giving back to the community. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today and contributing to the Let's Get Technical series, meet the outstanding women in manufacturing and technology.
11:16 Regina Davis
Those are such kind words and thank you so much and thank you to all of your listeners.
11:21 Therese Snow
Oh, absolutely. My pleasure. And thank you to our listeners for tuning in as well. I'm your host Therese Snow and you've been listening to Global Operations on the Go.