February 2018 Honoree
SoPark Corporation was founded in 1981 by Robert Stevenson with just two employees. It has grown to 78 employees today. And later this year, current president and COO, Rupa Shanmugam will become the majority owner.
Raised in Kampar, Malaysia, Rupa attended the school where her father taught physics, and he was the one who encouraged her to pursue a career in electrical engineering. “I attended and received a diploma in Electronic Engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Kuala Lumpur. While attending college there, I was the only girl in the class for three years. For the next five years, I was the only woman technician when I worked in Singapore at Thomson Consumer Electronics, Western Digital and then Carsem in Malaysia,” Rupa shares.
Taking a break from work, Rupa went to Angola, Indiana where she graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tri-State University (now Trine University). According to Rupa, “I was the only women engineer and later, manager. Through hard work, strong work ethics and having people not only believe in me but mentor me, I have advanced in various roles in manufacturing, from operator, technician, engineer, manager and now president/COO of SoPark Corporation.”
SoPark is Western New York’s largest electronics manufacturing service provider, supplying medical device manufacturers and high-tech original equipment manufacturers with circuit board, electro mechanical and custom cable assemblies, as well as, design for manufacturing services. SoPark is ISO 13485 certified for medical devices and AS9100 for space and defense. For more than 37 years, SoPark has been serving customers in over 15 states and four countries.
Rupa serves on the United Way Boards of Directors and the Women United Advisory Board and is a member of the Employ Buffalo Executive Committee and BNP Manufacturers Council Executive Committee. She is also a committee member with UB Women in STEM. In 2015, Rupa was instrumental in the formation of the first Western New York Chapter of Engineering World Health at the University at Buffalo.