Executive Board and Committees

Meet our Officers

Valerie is in her second year serving as President. She has formerly served as Vice President for multiple years. She has also served as the Outreach Chair and on the Scholarship Committee. Valerie is a Rochester native and graduate of the University of Rochester, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Valerie currently works as a Lead Project Manager in the Property Services group at National Grid, where she manages capital projects. Valerie also has many years of experience as a mechanical design engineer and Valerie is currently an EIT.

Her interests include hiking with her dog and visiting the Finger Lakes.

Last updated: 10/27/23

​Lexie is in her second year serving as the Vice President and first year as the Social Media Manager for the Greater Syracuse section of SWE. Previously Lexie has also served as the Sponsorship Chair on the Scholarship Committee. 

Lexie graduated in 2020 from Clarkson University with a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering. While at Clarkson, Lexie was SWE’s Sponsorship Chair. Shortly after graduation Lexie began working at SRC as a member of their STELR rotational program and joined SWE not long after that! 

Lexie enjoys running, home projects, playing with her dog, and planning her wedding! 

Last updated: 7/19/22

Ariel is currently the Treasurer of the Greater Syracuse Area Section of SWE, previously she has served as the Treasurer and Vice President.

Ariel is an Engineer in Training at GHD in Syracuse, NY. During her time at GHD she has worked on projects relating to wastewater engineering. Her experience includes the evaluation, design, and construction administration of wastewater treatment plant upgrades and modifications.

She has her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resources Engineering from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and an Associate of Science degree in Environmental Science from SUNY Broome Community College (BCC). While at BCC, Ariel was a captain on the soccer team and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a National Honor Society for Junior Colleges. As a student at ESF, Ariel was a member of the soccer team and was involved in projects for Engineer’s Without Borders, and Alpha Xi Sigma, the College’s Honor Society.

In her free time (ha!), Ariel enjoys going on family walks and baking.

Last updated: 1/16/23

Kara DiNatale joined the Greater Syracuse Area section of SWE in late 2015 and immediately took up the mantels of Communications Committee Chair and Webmaster. FY24 will be her nineth year in this role and her fifth year as section Secretary. She also serves as the Application Coordinator for the section’s scholarship program.

Kara works as a Process Engineer for Novelis at their Oswego, NY facility. Prior to this role she also worked there as a Quality Engineer while completing their Engineer Development Program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Professional Certificate in Materials Engineering from Clarkson University, where she graduated from in 2014. In addition to working full time at Novelis, in 2019 she completed a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics through Kansas State University’s Global Campus. She also volunteers as a goalie coach for the Oswego High School girls’ lacrosse teams.

While at Clarkson Kara was very involved in SWE, serving as the Public Relations Chair and the Director of Membership during her time there. She also played goalie for the women’s lacrosse team and was involved in the honors program. 

Kara enjoys camping, reading, watching hockey, and working on the never-ending list of projects on her 120-year-old house.

Last updated: 8/23/23

Committees and Additional Positions

Communications Committee
Chair: Kara DiNatale
Webmaster: Kara DiNatale
Social Media Manager: Lexie Peppe

Scholarship Committee
Chair/Co-Chairs: Valerie Countryman & OPEN
Application Coordinator: Kara DiNatale
Sponsorship Coordinator: Lexie Peppe
Reception Coordinator: Emily Elithorpe
Application Coordinator Apprentice: OPEN

Non-Committee Positions
Outreach Chair: Rossana Rico
​SU Liaison: Jessica Maita
*NEW* Professional Development Chair: OPEN
Treasurer Apprentice: Emily Ellithorpe

Past Board Members

Many thanks for our members who have served on the Board previous years!