Podcast Episodes | Custom Powder Systems


A podcast dedicated to some of the top engineers who share something in common:  They’re all women. Hosted by Denise McIntosh—CEO of Custom Powder Systems—who knows the unique challenges women face in this industry. You’ll hear from women who have overcome the odds and grown to be some of the most respected professionals in their fields.

Denise speaks with Beth Brock, Corporate Support for Environmental Management Systems, Compliance, and Sustainability for Smithfield Foods in Kansas City.

Denise speaks with Kim Duncan, Founder, President, and owner of Duncan Enterprises. Kim’s engineering story began abroad while attending a high school on a ship! She was the only woman engineer in her graduating class, obtaining her degree almost two years sooner than others.

Denise speaks with Stephanie Wilkins, co-owner of Pharmaconsult US. Stephanie was encouraged at a young age to look into subjects like drafting and auto repair.  She quickly picked up knowledge and skills, and soon found herself working in companies surrounded by men. 

In this episode, Denise McIntosh talks with Shannon Goodson about her early interest in chemistry and how that lead to working for a pharma company at a young age.  She played a role in the processing and also in the packaging of liquids, powder processing, and blister lines, among other things.

Michelle Bridges – Executive Trainer with The Great Game of Business Denise speaks with Michelle Bridges about her work in the medical sales market helping take difficult concepts and make them easy to understand. 

Eleanor Small

Dr. Eleanor Small – Product Development founded in Design for Manufacturability with Johnson & Johnson Dr. Small shares how chemists take a small formula and make it on a large scale and why team input and customer data are so important. 

Richalle Ritts, Manager of Process Engineering at Integrated Project Services Richalle Ritts is not only the Manager of Process Engineering, but she’s also a Mom.  When the lockdown happened in the spring, she quickly learned where the difficulties and the opportunities lay. 

Helga Salling, Senior Director at IPS-Integrated Project Services Helga and Denise talk about what it takes to be a female leader in the pharma industry.  Topics include the myth of defining a woman by what she wears, leading from the heart, and embracing who you are in the workplace. 

Lynn Aurelius, Business Development Manager at Bollé Safety A fascinating conversation about the personal safety equipment used in industrial plants around the world.  Lynn talks about how she made the unique leap from being a calligrapher to her current position at Bollé Safety. 

Dr. Sarah Miksinski, a Senior Director in Global Regulatory Excellence at AstraZeneca. Sarah’s career has gone from working nationally on the regulatory side of pharmaceuticals at the FDA, to working globally on the regulatory side of the creation of pharmaceuticals with AstraZeneca. 

Dr. Namrata Karki, Product Development Manager with Ortho Molecular Products. In this episode, Denise speaks with Dr. Namrata Karki about her journey all the way from Nepal to Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Growing up in Nepal, her parents stressed the importance of education. 

Caroline Hand, Evonik Industries Production Engineer/Healthcare and Nutrition Division. Caroline and Denise talk about how a love of math and science drew her to an engineering expo while in high school.

Lisa Kerner and Denise talk about the history of CRB and their work with Custom Powder. You’ll hear Lisa’s fascinating journey from her beginnings in administration to her current role as the Corporate Trade Show Manager.  

Jean Ann Groves, a retired Business Continuity expert, talks about how the civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s sparked a major change for women in the workplace.  

Bo Crouse-Feuerhelm has gone from being a college drop-out to a Vice President of Client Solutions in a major construction company.  Her career has been full of unexpected turns, working with exceptionally generous mentors, and exceptionally difficult bosses. 

Sandra Bachamp, Director of Engineering at DPS Group, talks about the fascinating path that took her from just a fleeting interest in architecture to discovering her calling in engineering.  She and Denise discuss the importance of mentors and mentorship, balancing work with family, plus advancements in modular isolation rooms that are changing many industries.

Amanda Wollnick once thought science “isn’t for girls.”  But something kept calling her back to it.  In this episode, you’ll hear how she took her chemical and engineering knowledge to American Breast Care in Marietta, Georgia.  There, Amanda is helping transform the prosthetic breast industry, and even holds a patent on a formulation that helps keep the breast prosthetic in place and looking natural.

Jen Clark came out of school with a degree in industrial engineering when she got an invite to her first ISPE annual meeting.  As an eager graduate, she began networking and telling people in the industry she was ready to work.  In this episode, Jen and Denise advocate for making personal connections with people and building lasting relationships. 

Jill Miller’s journey ranges from an unlikely start in sales working for a thermoplastics company, to following her passion for narrowing the wealth gap in the Food & Beverage Packaging/Processing Industry. 

Denise visits with Lindsey Daniel and Jen Clark at the most recent ISPE conference in Boston.  In this episode, you’ll learn how each of these women came to be a part of the organization, and how ISPE and Women in Pharma have greatly improved the careers of women throughout the industry.

Denise McIntosh talks about supply chain challenges facing Nicole Baird, the senior buyer at Aptar.  Nicole shares how her ability to develop and maintain relationships has paid off when supplies are short, and encourages those getting into the industry to always be learning.  By learning different aspects of the business, Nicole has been able to quickly adapt to whatever the economy throws her way.

Before she was 18, Jennie Taveras found herself in a new country, learning a new language and culture. By the time she was in college, she was excelling in engineering and had picked up a Brooklyn accent. In this episode, Denise talks with Jennie about her remarkable career path, her infectious optimism, and the importance of good networks and mentoring.

Returning to the workforce after an absence doesn’t have to be scary.  Carson Riutta learned that through networking and discovering that she already has more than enough skills and knowledge to jump in provide great value to a company.  In this episode, Denise and Carson discuss why it’s so important to network, ask questions, and stop telling yourself stories about what you can’t do…instead, discover what you CAN.

This roundtable discussion was recorded at the Pack Expo International in Chicago as Denise and her guests discuss how to encourage a more diverse workforce, and why that is so vital to business growth. These four experts will share tips on how they are proactively bringing new talent to the table and setting their companies up for success in the future.

Guests: Jill Miller, CEO of Lunum, Derick Jiwan, Innovation and Business Development at WinField, Cimberly Weir, Instructor of Packaging Science at Michigan State University, and Angela Desmond with Aylward-Elmach

Denise introduces us to several of the women who work at Custom Powder Systems. We learn what they do, how they started, and ideas from their point of view on how we can encourage and recruit more women into the industry.

Ann and Denise discuss how a positive culture and employees who share the same values as a company is the missing piece for most organizations.  Ann shares storeis from her time with Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, and explains the steps needed to form a solid culture to make your company proud and profitable.