Heritage Month Spotlight: Amy Ninness, Eaton Corporation

Amy Ninness

General Manager, Conveyance Systems
Eaton’s Aerospace Group

Discovering Opportunity and Inspiration in Aerospace

Four questions with Amy Ninness, general manager, Conveyance Systems, Eaton’s Aerospace Group

When did you get into the aerospace industry?

I started my career at Eaton 21 years ago, fresh out of college with a degree in chemical engineering. It was a great opportunity for a recent grad, and I found aerospace so interesting as I became more involved. Modern aircraft are highly complex, and fluid conveyance between power generation sources and other components is hugely important in how they operate. That’s where Eaton is able to provide a lot of value to our customers—because making those critical connections, efficiently moving fuel and other hydraulic fluids throughout the aircraft, isn’t easy.

How did your career develop from there?

After working at Eaton for a few years, I was fortunate to be invited to participate in one of the company’s leadership development programs. Through the three-year rotational program, I was able to better develop my understanding of all parts of the business—project management, finance and more. It was eye-opening, pivotal to my career development and really set me up for greater success at Eaton.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I’m a very internally motivated person, so I take great satisfaction in taking on bigger, new and different challenges, wherever they might be. I always want to keep learning.

In the aerospace industry, there are always opportunities to do it. Nothing is ever the same, whether it’s customer expectations or different program needs. And I think it’s my innate willingness to take on those different challenges that has helped me flourish in this field. I know I’m going to come in every day and learn something different. There will always be something that comes in and requires a new approach. I find that fascinating and inspiring. I love what I’m doing, and I wish everyone could have so much fun on a daily basis.

What kind of advice would you offer to young women in the aerospace industry?

In my role today, I have the opportunity to mentor young people and watch their careers grow, and what I think it really boils down to is this: You can’t be afraid to discuss what interests you, or what you want to learn more about, or perhaps most importantly, what gaps you might want to address. When I think about what has always helped me, it’s when I let people know what experiences I wanted and needed.

When you tell people what interests you, they will help you identify and seize those opportunities. It’s important to let your voice be heard.

In her role, Amy is responsible for developing product line strategies, managing complex customer issues and driving growth as the leader of Eaton Aerospace Group’s Conveyance business. She joined Eaton in 1998 as a technical sales engineer and later participated in Eaton’s Leadership Development Program. Since then, Amy has held numerous positions in customer service, sales and program management within the Aerospace Group. Most recently, Amy was director of sales for Eaton Aerospace Group’s Fluid and Electrical Distribution Division. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Michigan.