Maria is the President of Marakae Marketing Incorporated, a company that she founded in 1996 dedicated to providing clients with creative, professional marketing services that enhance their image and help to increase profits. Celebrating over 20 years in business, Marakae Mareting, Inc. is a Certified Women Business Entity. In addition to running her business, Maria is a wife and mother of three girls, Maria, Rachael, and Kailey; the name of her business incorporates the first syllable of each of their names.
Chet is a Principal Consultant at StraDis Consulting, LLC, which he formed following his retirement from nearly 40 years of corporate life. He now devotes much of his time to volunteer activities. He has served as President of the Penn State Electrical Engineering Alumni Society and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Society of the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (PSEECS). In that capacity, he co-chaired an annual conference which brought together the Penn State EE/CS community (students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners) to discuss latest trends in in the field. He currently mentors undergraduate electrical engineering students and serves as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer, representing Penn State at college fairs in the Atlanta area, where he and his wife reside.
Chet’s consulting activities included serving as external technical advisor for a European Union Project, “Second Generation Locator for Urban Search and Rescue,” whose purpose was to employ the latest technology in locating victims of natural disasters. That work required persuasively documenting potential improvements in designs and plans prepared by a consortium of European corporations and academic institutions which developed a prototype system.
Upon graduating from Penn State, Chet was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. After his military service as a nuclear project officer, he launched his engineering career, ultimately leading R&D (Research and Development) teams at AT&T, Bell South, and Bell Labs. Persuasive writing challenges in those positions included developing project proposals, writing performance evaluations and salary and promotion recommendations, preparing patent proposals, and even preparing responses to proposed regulatory rulings under consideration by the Federal Communications Commission. He continues his persuasive writing in advocating for environment, social, and political causes, and occasionally writes letters of recommendation for students and colleagues.
Chet earned his BS in Electrical Engineering at Penn State, an MS in Electrical Engineering at Stanford, and an MS in Management from Pace University. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu (EE), Tau Beta Pi (Engineering), Phi Kappa Phi (academic), and Quarterdeck (NROTC) honor societies and is inventor or co-inventor of 45 patents.
Karen is the president and owner of Green Collar Consultants, Inc., a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise providing sustainability consulting services to the building industry. Karen became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2009; her goal in forming Green Collar Consultants, Inc. was to unite the often divided factions of white collar professionals to the blue collar workforce in a team with a different color in mind: green. As the primary consultant, Karen helps clients achieve LEED certification or simply incorporate as many energy saving and environmentally friendly aspects as possible into the design and construction of buildings.
Karen received her Bachelor’s degree in English before she became involved in Engineering. Apart from her own business, she does proposal writing on an almost daily basis for her husband’s engineering firm that has generated millions of dollars in revenue for his company, his architectural and engineering sub-consultants, and the contractors who build the projects he designs. For her own company, she written narratives for sustainable design and construction projects that have helped eight projects achieve LEED certification and number of others acquire state and federal grants to help get their projects built. Karen is interested in speaking to Penn State students about the value of writing in the fields of architecture and engineering.