2023 New Jersey Women in Leadership Symposium
March 08, 2023
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM (ET)
Rising in Resilience: Achieving Empowerment through Advancement & Adaptability
Rekha is recognized for her strategic agility and ability to work through others to consistently exceed business projections as both a Board Director and General Manager. She participates on Boards of various businesses, across multiple industries, to help Chief Executives expand the value of their portfolios. Her extensive experience with Services and Products-centric Industrial businesses has allowed her to build a strong reputation for sound judgement, operational expertise, and world-class leadership. She has a record of growing complex global businesses at different stages of maturity, with unique economic conditions. She is also able to quickly influence Chief Executive Officers. In 2021 Rekha joined Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners as an Operating Partner, where she participates on Boards of businesses in industries as diverse as traffic and healthcare. She spends significant time collaborating with CEO’s on strategy and helping to identify and assess C-suite talent. She also works to bring on independent board members where needed to further enhance the CEO’s support network. In her previous role as Johnson Control’s Vice President and General Manager of Fire Suppression, Rekha managed a $1.3 billion global business. During this time, she architected multiple portfolio moves, stabilized the business during a time of contraction while investing for growth and seeking innovation, and ultimately maximized profit from strong growth. The leadership team of the business received the Chairman’s Award for this performance. Earlier in her career, Rekha led the Water & Mechanical business within the Fire Suppression portfolio, a $600 million global P&L. She also led a $330 million service and installation business as a Regional Manager for SimplexGrinnell, where she was responsible for accelerating operating performance across a 12-branch region and 1,200 employees. Her early career included a range of increasingly senior operational and functional leadership roles at Johnson Controls (formerly Tyco International) and General Electric. Rekha holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Waterloo, a Master’s of Science (Engineering) and a Bachelor’s of Science (Engineering) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is a member of C200 (c200.org) and Him for Her (himforher.org). She was born and raised in Calgary, Canada and met her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia, before moving to Buck’s County, PA, where they currently reside.
Megan Pollock joined Panasonic Corporation of North America in April 2022 as the Vice President of Branding & Strategic Communications Megan joined Panasonic with an affinity for our rich purpose-driven history and an admiration for our commitment to living out our Basic Business Principles each day. In her role she oversees PEXNA branding and communications initiatives, providing strategic support to stakeholders across the region. In addition, Megan leverages her team’s creative and technical expertise to provide solutions and strategies for developing compelling campaigns and event activations that effectively share our brand and organizational value. While at Samsung Electronics America, Megan was a strategic communications leader assuming roles with increasing responsibilities. In 2017, she has assumed the role of Vice President of Strategic Communications and Partnerships, overseeing media relations, policy communications, corporate newsroom, social media, and risk management. Prior to joining Samsung, Megan held communications leadership roles at public relations and marketing firm, DKC and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Megan earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her two sons in Alexandria, VA.
Carmen Villar is the Vice President of Social Business Innovation at Merck & Co. In this role, Carmen works across the company to elevate the intersection of corporate responsibility and business impact, while striving to create sustainable health systems to support improved health and well-being globally. Prior to coming to Merck in 2019, Carmen worked with the CDC and led the agency through both the West African Ebola and the Zika emergency responses. Her leadership was critical in providing coordination across the agency and with other US government counterparts and earned her the honor of the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award. She has worked in both Nigeria and Zambia, providing leadership and oversight to CDC’s programs as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). As a key health advisor to the US Ambassadors in Nigeria and Zambia, she also provided expert advice in critical public health areas such as polio and tuberculosis. Carmen started in government as a Presidential Management Fellow focusing on policy and program planning for HIV, STD, and TB prevention. Carmen has also overseen multi-site domestic and international HIV research projects in the areas of drug use, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and vaccines. Prior to joining the CDC, she was the Policy Affairs Coordinator at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and had also served as a Legislative Aide in the California Assembly. Carmen holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from UC Berkley.
Keti Mehta currently serves as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Growth Leader for Gallagher’s NY Metro office, where she manages the firm’s growth initiatives to expand and deepen client footprint across diverse industry segments. Mehta also serves as an Advisor to the inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee of the Risk & Insurance Management Society’s (RIMS) Advisory Board. For the past eight years, Keti has passionately served as a Board Member on the Tri-State Diversity Council (NY, NJ, and CT). Recognized for being an inspiring growth accelerator, strategic brand promoter, and influencer - Keti Mehta successfully develops high-performing teams and strategic partnerships to unleash organic growth potential. She stands out for being a transformational culture catalyst by building diverse communities of practice that promote inclusion and collaboration. Keti leads by example and is a highly skilled, certified sales activator, leadership development coach, talent enthusiast and evangelist of the Customer Experience. Mehta has also held senior executive leadership roles at Hub International, USI Insurance Services, Dell, and Morgan Stanley. Keti resides in White Plains, Westchester County with her husband of 24 years and their beloved daughter, Karina. Keti is a licensed NY Property & Casualty Insurance Broker. Mehta received a Master of Arts degree in Change Leadership/Business Transformation from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in New York City. Additionally, Keti holds an Executive Coaching Certification from the International Coach Federation.
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