Choose to Challenge Spotlight: Dawn Frey

Inside Raven

Throughout Women's History Month 2021, we are highlighting some of the Women of Raven who boldly solve great challenges and promote inclusion at Raven. This week's #ChoosetoChallenge Spotlight is Dawn Frey, Business Systems Analyst.

Provide a brief overview of your education and job history.

I graduated from Southeast Vo-Tech (now Southeast Technical College) in 1987 with a certificate in computer programming. After I graduated, I worked for two government IT Teams — Minnehaha County (two years) and the City of Sioux Falls (eight years) — as a Software Developer on the AS400. I also worked for three other small IT shops, two distribution warehouse groups, and a software development shop, and had many roles. During this time, I learned a lot about the Accounts Receivable process, and I was able to bring changes from one place to the next, increasing accuracy and productivity.

At the end of 1999, I became an IT consultant to John Morrell (now Smithfield Foods) on the AS400. Eventually, I was hired as an employee, and I worked there for a total of 13 years. During my time at John Morrell, I helped move software off the mainframe computer and onto the AS400 and maintained Common Business-oriented Language (COBOL) and IBM Report Program Generator (RPG) programmed systems.

Then, one day, a friend who worked at Raven called me about a job opportunity. I interviewed and started at Raven in March of 2011. I started as a developer and helped lead the IT transition from the AS400 to our current general ledger software. I assisted with moving our former Electronic Systems business into Raven Aerostar and Raven Applied Technology. I also managed the AS400 programming team for a time before taking a Business System Analyst position.

Provide a brief overview of your current role and responsibilities at Raven.

I am a Business Systems Analyst for Project Atlas, Raven's investment to replace its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. I worked with the finance team during the first round of go-lives for Raven Engineered Films. During the second round for Raven Aerostar, I worked with the engineering team, the procurement team, and the service and maintenance team. Currently, as we migrate Raven Applied Technology onto the new platform, I am working with the procurement team, the service and maintenance team, and the repair and warranty team.

For you, what is the most rewarding part of contributing to Raven’s mission to Solve Great Challenges?

As a developer, I loved to work with teams struggling with a process, finding ways to create a better flow for the process and helping the team become more efficient and effective.

In my current position as a Business Systems Analyst, I enjoy helping the teams find their stride in Atlas and seeing them become successful in their jobs after moving to the new software.

“A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change.” How do you #ChooseToChallenge biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world?

I choose to be up-front with people about expectations: "I want to do a great job and would like the same for you — would you agree? Together, we can do it! If I know some technique or information that would help you in your job, I would love to share and teach you — just let me know. I would appreciate being able to learn from you as well. Let’s work as a team!"

What advice to you have for those wanting to embrace and uplift the women in their lives beyond International Women’s Day?

When we listen to each other and take an active role in sharing knowledge and wisdom from life/work experiences, we gain a new understanding of one another. This enables us to find ways to give each other opportunities to excel at and develop new skills.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

At work, I am proud of an assignment at a past company where I worked with an engineer to develop a report that saved the company tens of thousands of dollars per week.

In my life, I am proud of my three sons and their families, including my seven grandchildren.