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Career Voices

les Olympics as a synchronized swimmer. She was then inducted into the Venezuelan Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989 for making her mark among the youth of the world in the sport. Through this remarkable achievement, she adopted a strong passion for challenges and an unbreakable can-do attitude.

Amicarella ventured into the professional world in 1988, tak- ing a job with GE. She joined the company’s energy business as a power systems engineer in Detroit, Michigan, and held the position until 1992, a year before completing an MBA at Oakland University.

During the first 14 years of her career on GE’s energy man- agement fast track, she moved through critical jobs such as business development manager in Schenectady, New York; Caracas, Venezuela; and Miami, Florida. She was Disney global account executive—driving all aspects of the corporate rela- tionship with GE and Disney; a strategic initiatives manager for GE Power Systems in Schenectady, New York; and the general manager of sales operations based in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The first big [career] decision I made was to become an engineer as it aligned with my natural skills and abilities,” Ami- carella told Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology maga- zine. “The second big decision was starting in a field role with GE,” she said. “That really set me on a path of being hands-on and having field experience. I had an opportunity to manage people early. By age 26, I was already managing a group of engineers.”

From there, Amicarella branched into other functions. She got into a sales training program, selling power plants in Latin America; strategic planning and operations, which, for her career, gave her a 360-degree view. By the time she got to run a business and become a general manager she had worked in various roles from engineering to sales to planning to opera- tions. That set her on a course for being well-rounded and able to relate to a variety of different functions.

“Not that you can see everything,” she cautioned, “but I clearly had significant varied experiences. You also need to be a good negotiator and know at what point you can make a decision, when you can’t, and how to escalate that,” Ami- carella explained. “You work commercially through the terms with a customer to deliver on your promises and execute. It’s synchronized work.”

From 2005-2007, Amicarella off-ramped—using a two-year hiatus from GE to focus on her family and as an aside created a startup targeted at real estate investments in the northern Nevada area. Amicarella met her husband when she was 21, on her first day at GE. The couple has a 17-year-old daughter

14 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2014

who is off to the Colorado School of Mines to swim and study biochemistry, plus two sons, aged 14 and 10.

Amicarella returned to GE as GM Oil and Gas Services for North America in Houston, Texas, running a $400 million business serving exploration and production to downstream, stretching from Trinidad to Alaska.

In 2011, Amicarella joined current employer Aggreko and served as a vice president of the North Business Unit where she was responsible for several regions in the United States, from California to New York. She then moved into a similar role as vice president of the South Business Unit exceeding business growth and profitability expectations—leading natural gas strategy and deployment of temporary power generators for the increasingly popular shale plays.

“During the time when my position was focused on North America, there was growing demand for supplemental power support and Aggreko was part of this humungous uncon- ventional oil and gas development boom,” she said. “The shale explosion transformed our business and introduced new product lines.”

Oftentimes there isn’t an electrical line where people drill, she explained, so they require power. “Aggreko comes in on the production side with temporary power generation once a well has been set to run the pumps. In the local business, we have hundreds of units supporting temporary power needs,” she said.

Now as managing director of Aggreko’s APP division, Ami- carella has come a long way from the 1984 Olympics and her first job as a GE field engineer…and still believes in the impor- tance of encouraging young people to continue to do intern- ships and co-op programs as she started a co-op program in her first role at GE.

Adds Amicarella, “If there is any parting advice I can impart onto professionals in any stage of their career, I would say to be very clear on what it is you need to accomplish. For me, work is like a sport, given my experience as an Olympian. First, have the discipline to train through the pain, long hours, and exhaustion, with endurance. Those traits serve the same basic principles in business and can be applied to work or family life. Second, understand that you can’t do it alone. Bring to the table an ability to work as part of a team that is clear on goals and objectives.”

Clearly, abiding by those two simple philosophies undoubtedly helped Ana Amicarella become the successful global executive, wife and mother she is today.

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