Women in Weights and Measures

Women in Weights and Measures 

Mission: To empower women at all levels to develop their natural abilities and fullest potential and equip them to excel as leaders in weights and measures. 

Purpose: To raise awareness that women are valuable contributors in the field of weights and measures and to provide training and opportunities for leadership advancement 

On Tuesday afternoon of the NCWM Annual Meeting, we held a special panel discussion called “Women in Weights and Measures” to celebrate accomplishments and highlight challenges women face in the weights and measures field and inspire future leaders. We had an amazing turn out. 

Meet the Moderator:

Elisa Stritt 

After graduating from Arizona State University, Elisa returned to her home state of Nebraska to manage a family-owned housing community in need of a new direction.  In 2013, Elisa decided to pursue her career goals and joined the NCWM team, taking on the roles of Meeting Planner and Office Manager, and currently Director of Operations. Her responsibilities include sourcing and coordinating numerous meetings held by NCWM throughout the year, serving as the primary liaison for the NCWM membership, and providing diligent oversight of the organization's financial matters. Elisa’s favorite part of her work is the meaningful relationships she has formed with NCWM members and meeting attendees.

 Meet the Panelists:

Cheryl Ayer

Cheryl has been with the Division of Weights and Measures since 2006 and began her career as a program assistant over Licensing. In November of 2008, she accepted a position as an investigator and, along with that position, she was required to complete the NH Part-Time Police Academy to qualify for the position, which she completed in April 2009. Cheryl worked as an investigator for 10 1/2 years until she was promoted to Director in July of 2019.

Lisa Corn

Lisa Corn serves as Laboratory Manager for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Giddings Metrology Laboratory. Lisa was first introduced to the world of metrology and weights and measures in 2008 as a metrology lab technician through this laboratory she now manages. The laboratory is responsible for putting out traceable measurement results in the parameter areas of Mass and Volume. In addition to her duties in her lab, Lisa is a NIST Associate, working with the NIST’s Office of Weights & Measures to develop and instruct seminars and webinars.

Brandi Harder

Brandi Harder is the Quality Manager for Rice Lake Weighing Systems and has been with the company since 2013. As Quality Manager, she specializes in new development, global approvals, and quality systems. Brandi is married to Brad (who is also in the scale business), is a mother to two teenage sons, and has two entertaining dogs to keep her busy at their home in Wisconsin.

Katrice Lippa

Katrice Lippa has been the Chief of the Office of Weights and Measures at NIST since 2021. Before this role, Lippa managed Organic Chemical Metrology at NIST beginning in 2016 and before that she was a Research Chemist and Scientific Advisor in NIST Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Metrology Divisions since 2002.

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is the Bureau Director of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Bureau of Regulatory Services, serving since March 2021. Thompson has been with the Department for 31 years, beginning her career as an Administrative Assistant in the Petroleum Products Inspection Division in 1992, and assuming the Director role of the Petroleum Division in 2009.

 

Featured Women in Weights and Measures 

Roxanne Chepsongol
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
Standards and Consumer Services
Division Director

Roxanne Chepsongol is the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Division Director of weights and measures located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her passion for working with industry and consumers stems from her agricultural background growing up on a dairy farm. Roxanne is devoted to serving the consumers of New Mexico through regulatory compliance, industry relationships and building up her inspector team for success. Roxanne is inspired daily by her husband and their two children, together they own and operate a small homestead operation in rural Dona Ana County. In her free time, she enjoys farming, gardening, hiking, volunteering with 4-H and spending time at the lake with her family.

Whitney Corley
Program Manager of Metrology
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

Whitney Corley is a driven professional who earned her degree from LSU in 2016. Since 2018, she has been working as a metrologist at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, where she recently assumed the role of Program Manager of Metrology. Her dedication and efforts have contributed to the department’s success, and she takes pride in being a part of the team that supports the weights and measures community

Valorie Forbes

Valerie joined the Delaware Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures in 1997 as the Administrative Specialist II. Valerie keeps the wheels turning within the section. Along with handling complaints, accounts payable, and the daily operational needs of the section she maintains the Voluntary Serviceperson, Weighmaster, and WinWam Programs, assists the Administrator with hiring, and the annual budget details as well as writing any RFP for the section. She is currently a member of the SWMA PDC and MEMS committees.

Erica Garnier
Measurement Canada’s Director of Weights and Measures
Center of Expertise

Erica began her career 20 years ago as a weights and measures Inspector for Measurement Canada in Calgary, AB. She applied for the job while waiting for my application for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to be processed. By the time she had completed her technical training and was in the field conducting examinations on her own, the RCMP called to offer her a job and she turned it down. She was really enjoying the work she was doing. She was the only female W&M inspector in the Region at the time. Her male colleagues laughed when she remarked how interested the public was in the examinations they did. She always had people coming up to her while examining fuel dispensers, asking about what she was doing. Apparently, they didn’t have the same experience! She also used to get a lot of help from traders with loading and unloading hand weights. Again, apparently this was not their experience! In her first few years as an Inspector, she recalls travelling to a remote location to conduct an examination of a truck mounted meter. After backing up the prover trailer (flawlessly of course) the trader asked her what she was doing there. She began explaining Measurement Canada’s mandate and how our marketplace monitoring was unbiased and random. The trader stopped her and said “No, what are YOU doing here? A woman doing this work”. She remembers just laughing because she was 25 and wasn’t sure what to say. Now she is so happy to see the number of female inspectors working at Measurement Canada. It is no longer unusual to see a woman in the field.

Ryanne Hartman
Senior Weights and Measures Specialist
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Weights and Measures Program

As the Senior Weights and Measures Specialist Ryanne has oversight of the service registration program with responsibility for the review and reporting of all Place in Service reports submitted by industry. She also administers, maintains, and creates new registration exams, directs field audits of submitted service work, and direct field audits of submitted service work.

Christina Osborn
State Director for Texas.

Christina has been Director for Consumer Product Protection since August of 2018. In December of 2019, she was additionally tasked with serving as Director for the Licensing and Data Quality program for the Texas Department of Agriculture and is also over the agency’s licensing of all regulatory programs. She has been instrumental in improving the efficiency of the Department’s occupational licensing.

Also, Christina oversees the Texas metrology lab located in Giddings, Texas. She works with the metrology lab manager and staff, Consumer Product Protection program staff, and TDA field staff to ensure the Texas Department of Agriculture makes every effort to provide equity in the marketplace.

As part of her time as a regulatory official at another Texas state agency, Christina spent 10 years at the Texas General Land Office, as an inspector; lease, easement, contract and property manager where her main job function was to lease state lands for hunting, grazing and oil and gas production. She became a licensed CTCM, or Certified Texas Contract Manager during her time at GLO.

Julia Schlipp
Program Manager
Device and Commodity Inspection Program
Missouri Department of Agriculture

Julia has worked for the State of Missouri for twenty-three years, has held several leadership roles during that time, and has been involved in many different projects to improve efficiency in state government. Julia is currently the Program Manager for the Device and Commodity Inspection Program within the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Division. In this role, she helps ensure equity in the marketplace through the work her Program performs. She directs and oversees twenty field staff who provide annual inspections of weighing and measuring devices, performs inspections on egg/milk products, and provide price verifications and package checks on products sold throughout the state. All these areas affect Missouri consumers each day, so she takes great pride in helping Missouri consumers get what they pay for.

Kate Smetana

Kate is a Metrologist and Quality Manager for the Colorado Metrology Laboratory. She began her Weights and Measures career with the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 2008 as a field inspector. In 2012 she took an opportunity to transfer into the lab where she has played a pivotal role in designing their new laboratory facility and pushed to increase the laboratory's scope of accreditation to include Echelon I calibration services. In addition to proudly serving the consumers of Colorado, Kate is an Associate Instructor with the NIST Office of Weights and Measures.

Claudia Verdugo

Claudia’s career with the County of San Diego, Agriculture/Weights & Measures Division started at the end of 2007 when she was in her early 20s and fresh out of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She started on the agriculture side as an Insect Detection Specialist for the Pierce’s Disease program. Late 2009, she was promoted to inspector and worked in the Agricultural Standards division inspecting certified producer and farmers markets, organic certification, standardization inspections of fruit and vegetables, and shell egg inspections. In 2011, she was assigned to quantity control and price verification. It was during that time that she truly learned all about what Weights and Measures does for the community and business owners. Her dedication to Weights and Measures was acknowledged in 2013 when she was awarded Employee of the Year and shortly after she was promoted to Weights and Measures supervisor. She was born in San Diego but grew up in southern Missouri and all over Colorado. She loves to hang out with her family, watch her kids do what they love, vacation, and play the piano.

Alison Wilkinson
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Chief of Weights and Measure

Alison is the Chief of Maryland Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures. Before this role, she was previously the Assistant Chief and managed the Liquid Measuring Device program. Wilkinson began her career as a registered service technician for LPG and vehicle tank meters, registered with Weights and Measures in multiple states. She decided to leave the private sector in 2018 and join MDA Weights and Measures as an inspector. Quickly advancing in her career, Wilkinson became the first female vehicle scale inspector for MDA Weights and Measures before transitioning into the office in April of 2022.