Women in STEM and Business Forum

Panelists, from left: Loretta Gomez, Fernanda Santos, Veda Shamsid-Dean, and Gladys Vonglahn


A panel of successful businesswomen highlighted the Essex County College Women in STEM and Business forum on Thursday, March 14. The program, held in the 4th Floor MPR, was presented as part of the College’s Women’s History Month celebration.

Three of the panelists – Gladys Vonglahn, Loretta Gomez and Fernanda Santos – are ECC graduates. Veda Shamsid-Deen was the fourth panelist.

The forum was co-sponsored by the ECC’s Office of Community, Continuing Education & Workforce Development; Educational Opportunity Fund; and the College’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Chapter.  

Loretta, who works at Kenvue, Inc., helped establish the SWE chapter while a student at ECC. She graduated from ECC in 2018 with an Associate in Mechanical Engineering Technology.  

Fernanda, who earned her Associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 2018, also works at Kenvue as an External Manufacturing Quality Specialist. She told the audience, “Explore, get involved and network. Grow while you are a student at Essex County College.”

Kenvue is a consumer health company based in Montgomery Township.

Gladys (Class of 2017 with a degree in Business Administration) is the owner of Gladys Cleaning Service. She urged the students to “work hard to reach your goals and vision.” She said students should also do as much community service as they can.

Veda is co-founder and COO of ARConnext Technologies, Inc. She oversees operations, and spearheads business strategies and development initiatives.

Following their presentations, the panelists met and talked at length with the students.