Dr. Rona Howenstine currently serves as the Vice President, Operational Excellence and Claims for OneAmerica Financial Partners. She recently authored “Absolutely Achievable: Making Your Desired Future Your Reality” which she describes as 1/3 personal memoir, 1/3 inspiration and 1/3 self-help. Over the previous 17 years, Rona held significant leadership roles in the areas of Operations Management, Quality and Continuous Improvement at Rolls-Royce. Most recently, she was the Global Head of Improvement – Defense Aerospace Sector. In this position, she led a diverse team which was responsible for transforming the culture, developing, and deploying the continuous improvement strategy to achieve committed business performance.
Rona received her Lean Sigma Black Belt and Executive Master Black Belt accreditation from Rolls-Royce, and holds a Lean Bronze accreditation though the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Rona has published and lectured widely in her field and has received numerous awards for leadership, achievement and mentoring. In 2012, Rona was awarded 1) the inaugural Institute of Industrial Engineers Middle Career Leadership Award for Industry, 2) Women & Hi Tech Outstanding Achievement in Science, Technology, or Engineering Award, and 3) the Manufacturing Institute Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Award. In addition, she was recognized in 2004 as the recipient of the Women & Hi Tech Outstanding Contribution to Manufacturing Industry Award.
Rona holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics with an Economics minor, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Industrial Engineering, all from the University of Pittsburgh. She has mentored widely and believes that the primary focus of her personal legacy is to empower people to achieve more than they thought possible.