SureShade, the U.S. designer and manufacturer of patented retractable sunshade systems for the marine industry, was honored to have Dana Russikoff, SureShade co-founder and business leader, participate in a PIDC Women of Philadelphia Industry and Manufacturing Panel to discuss women’s growth opportunities and other issues in the Philadelphia manufacturing sector as well as the boating industry.
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), a non-profit partnership between the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to support local business growth and foster economic development, hosted the panel discussion on Monday April 27, 2015 in conjunction with the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC). Panelists representing Philadelphia executive women in industry and manufacturing included: Dana Russikoff, SureShade co-founder and business leader; Jodi Keller-Wheeler, Vice President at United Scrap, Metal Buyers and Recyclers; Cindy Yingling, Chief Financial Officer at Dietz & Watson; and Victoria Myers, Director of Administration at Piasecki Aircraft Corporation.
Panelists shared their career experiences and discussed the topics and trends currently driving growth in the industrial sector in Philadelphia. As the only woman executive representing the boating industry in the Philadelphia manufacturing sector, SureShade’s Dana Russikoff shared her thoughts on women’s roles in the industrial sector as well as overall growth opportunities for the boating industry in the region.
In response to a question about challenges women might face in the manufacturing sector, Dana Russikoff commented, “When I first entered this industry, I was encouraged by the number of women in prominent manufacturing roles – the President of Grady White (Kris Carroll), the NMMA Chairperson and owner of Regulator Boats (Joan Maxwell), the VP of Supply Chain at Brunswick (Jan Morton), VP of Production at Boston Whaler (Rebecca Crews) and Sea Ray electrical engineer Rosa Gonzalez, to name a few. Also at our own company – we are 50% women. So it’s really more about sustaining that momentum and spreading the word that boating industry is a great place for women to build a rewarding career.”
Russikoff also shared her thoughts on the outlook of the manufacturing sector and boating in Philadelphia. “As a proud supply chain partner in the almost $40 billion boating industry eager to grow boating participation, headquartered in a city currently implementing a compelling manufacturing growth strategy and attracting new industry to the region, I’m in this unique position of introducing a city to an industry, and an industry to a city – and it also doesn’t hurt that we boast this gem called the Delaware River. So I’m excited about the potential – hoping that one day we can bring a boat show back to the city and who knows, maybe even build boats here someday as well.”
Congratulations Dana for representing women in manufacturing and the boating industry in the Philadelphia market!