Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award
Endowed by Northrop Grumman Corporation
Cindy Hoover, F.SWE
Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
For decisive, strategic leadership that values diversity and inclusion; for inspiring mentorship that helps women engineers flourish; and for giving spirit and vision to the organization, mission, and future of SWE.
The role of vice president at Spirit AeroSystems is the latest in a long line of leadership positions Cindy Hoover, F.SWE, has held during her more than 30 years of industry experience in petroleum, high tech electrons and aerospace. She began her career with Koch Industries after graduating from Wichita State University (WSU) in 1990 with a B.S. in electrical engineering, where she was one of four women in her graduating class.
She joined Spirit AeroSystems in 2007 to lead the company’s engineering organization responsible for Boeing’s Twin Aisle sustaining operations and change activity. Based in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit is the world’s largest aerostructures manufacturer for commercial airplanes, defense platforms, and business/regional jets with operations in the United States, the U.K., Malaysia, France, and Morocco.
Within Spirit, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in lean operations, engineering, factory support, and program management. Her promotion to vice president of research and technology and growth programs in 2020 placed Hoover in charge of creating strategy and capabilities to deliver technical innovation to support Spirit’s global business and diversify the company through new growth opportunities. Her current role reflects her focus on moving the company forward and supports her desire to bring engineering opportunities to the next generation.
Hoover created the Spirit Women in Engineering Professions and Technology employee resource group in 2010. With more than 300 members company-wide, the group serves as a pathway to effect change throughout the organization in support of the advancement of women into leadership roles. Through this work, Hoover has mentored several women who now have senior-level positions at Spirit. She remains committed to the group and continues to serve as their executive sponsor.
Hoover has held leadership positions at all levels of the Society of Women Engineers since joining the Wichita State University Section as a student in 1988. As the Wichita Section president, she created and chaired the first Engineering Expo, an outreach program to introduce various engineering disciplines to children in the community. The expo has experienced continued success in the community for over 20 years, growing to attract more than 2,500 children in 2019, and successfully shifted to a virtual event in 2020.
Hoover was elected to serve as president of the Society during the tumultuous FY2020. Through her leadership, she used her position to guide the organization’s strategic direction as it responded to the global pandemic and pivoted to virtual platforms. She remains committed to SWE and the vision of a world with gender parity and equality in engineering and technology. SWE has honored her storied years of service with the Prism Award (2014), the Work/Life Integration Award (2017), and the Fellow Grade (2018).
Hoover earned her MBA from Friends University and has held positions on several boards, including United Way and the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. As a proud alumnus of Wichita State University, she currently serves as WSU Alumni Association BOD chair and as a member of WSU’s National Advisory Council. In addition, her family endowed the WSU Hoover Family Scholarship for Engineering in support of women majoring in engineering entering their sophomore year.
She and her husband, Bryan, live in Wichita and have three adult sons.