About Barry

Who I Am, Where I’m From

Barry Cordero BiographyI am the descendant of immigrants from both Mexico and Germany. Although I do have a very large family from Mexico, I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago.  I grew up very poor and not always with a lot of guidance.  I never heard of engineering as a child and never had the opportunity to meet anyone from SHPE until much later in life.

Four days after high school, I joined the US Navy as a Nuclear Electrician’s Mate. I spent just under 6 years of my life either learning to operate, operating or training people to operate the electrical systems on nuclear aircraft carriers: particularly the USS Nimitz. I would be lying if I told you that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in service, but I have to admit that some of my most treasured qualities were at least enhanced by this experience. While aboard the Nimitz, I attended community college in preparation for a life after my contract ended in March 2003.

I attended San Diego City College (SDCC) for a year before transferring to the University of California San Diego (UCSD) for their Bioengineering program. I began working for Abbott Vascular in 2006 and continued with Abbott for their Professional Development Program until 2008. I changed roles to become a Manufacturing Engineer with Alphatec Spine where I was in charge of qualifications and validations for the Carlsbad based spinal implant engineering firm.  In January 2009, I left San Diego and joined Medtronic Inc. in Minneapolis, MN where I have worked in many roles from Validation Engineer to my current role as Lean Sigma Deployment Leader at our Batteries and Component Center.

My Early Life in SHPE

SHPEIt was while attending SDCC that I became familiar with SHPE. As SDCC Vice President, our chapter went from struggling to award winning in one year. The SDCC SHPE Chapter became the first ever community college to win a medium national chapter of the year award thanks to the efforts of our team. Through hard work and dedication, this SHPE chapter began the annual SDCC SHPE Bridge Building Competition where San Diego students were challenged to utilize engineering concepts to create the strongest bridge.  The competition continued for many years and was a highlight for the SHPE members and HS students alike.

Teaching RDLCIn 2006, I was elected Regional Student Representative (RSR) for Region II. As RSR, I worked closely with the RVP, to establish a very successful Region-wide Engineering Week event (possibly the first multi-chapter student E-week events in the history of SHPE) and a revitalized Summer Leadership Retreat (SLR).  Due to the efforts of myself and Ricardo Carlos (Region 2 RVP) the SLR was transformed into a new officer training program, rather than only a networking event.  This revised SLR was instrumental in preparing new officers to perform in their new roles.  It was an honor to be part of the planning and implementation of the last West Coast Career Expo which took place in San Diego in 2006, as well.

In late 2007, I was appointed to the position of Hosting Committee Co-Chair for the SHPE 2008 Conference in Phoenix AZ. This conference was a test of sorts, to verify my beliefs in the needs of the membership of our organization. I believe, with even more conviction, that the strength of our organization is in the service we provide to our members. We sought to make the SHPE 2008 conference the greatest example of providing for the needs of our members, at all levels.  Through careful planning and professional member needs identification, we were able to double professional member attendance from any previous year.  This increase in professional attendees also drove increased professional membership to their highest levels to date.

SHPEFrom 2009-2010 I served as the professional development chair for SHPE and helped transform the MGT from a soft skills event to a focused certification program where attendees would leave with tangible results.  The new MGT allows attendees to gain all 35 credit hours necessary to obtain their Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  These type of tangible benefits is what will help us grow in quality of content and quantity of satisfied members and sponsors.

In 2010 I ran for SHPE Region 6 Vice President and served in this position for one year.  During my term Region six grew by 3 Professional Chapters and 3 Student Chapters.  We began to build networks within some of the major cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Cincinnati to better position ourselves for growth in the future.

In 2011, I ran and was elected to SHPE National Vice President.  I am currently finishing my term as National Vice President and have been privileged to work with outstanding leaders on our board of directors and a dedicated and inspiring staff.  I’ve assisted with reshaping our vision and mission and helped establish SHPE’s first strategic plan in many years.  The future is bright for SHPE and I look forward to continuing to lead for many years to come.