"Manufacturing needs a sexy makeover if it is going to survive." Karla will talk about the type of work that they do, how the people pipeline is drying up for manufacturing, what manufacturing looks like today...But she will also give a perspective as a woman in a male-dominated field.
Check out Karla: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karlatrotman/
Karla Trotman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Electro Soft, Incorporated (ESI), an electronics manufacturing and engineering firm in the United States. She holds a B.S. in Business Logistics from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Drexel University. The breadth of her experience in business extends to supply chain logistics, purchasing, global scheduling, and e-commerce where she served in key roles in companies to include Honeywell, Gap, and IKEA.
Defying expectations is a common thread in the life of Karla. While at IKEA, Karla became the mother of two sons. With two challenging pregnancies, Karla recognized the difficulties prenatal and postnatal mothers experience. Her tenacity for learning, assessing, and fulfilling the needs of local and international communities is evidenced through her establishing Belly Button Boutique while on maternity leave. Karla utilized the power of the Internet in combination with her logistics background to start a successful online business selling products for prenatal and postnatal women. Over the span of 8 years, her business expanded to celebrity and international clientele. She was featured on NBC 10 News, People Magazine’s Celebrity Baby Blog, CBSNews.com, Huffington Post Live, several radio shows, books, and countless blogs.
The success of Belly Button Boutique was an indicator to Karla of her ability to expand her horizons and affect change across multiple industries. She saw her success in navigating both the online space of business and logistics as an opportunity to propel Electro Soft, Incorporated (ESI) forward. ESI was established by Karla’s parents Jim and Sheila Wallace in 1986 and is the largest African-American electronics contract manufacturing and engineering firm in the United States of America. Karla exited corporate America with her sights focused on ESI. Over the past ten years she served in the roles at ESI as Special Projects and Marketing Manager, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and currently as the Chief Executive Officer. Under her guidance, ESI was able to gain a competitive advantage by implementing an online strategy ultimately increasing became a flat revenue streak.
Going against the grain, harnessing the power within, and bucking tradition is a common theme in Karla’s life. Her desire to create a family legacy is evident in her recent acquisition of ESI. Through her leadership at ESI, Karla was named an Influential Woman in Manufacturing by Putnam Media. In addition, she won regional business awards and acquired GWL Technologies. As an influential voice in manufacturing, Karla cuts through the narrative of what is expected of a leader in her industry and sets a precedent for future leaders.
Karla inspires future leaders to be their true selves and to go after whatever interests them in life. She serves her community as a board member for Carson Valley Children’s Aid and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, which raises money to train lawyer advocates to support abused children and victims of human trafficking. She is Co-Chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Alliance, President of the Drexel Executive MBA Alumni Board, Member of the Drexel University Board of Governors, and an appointee to the Montgomery County Workforce Development Board. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.