Sudharshana Apte
Sr. Scientist II
Altria (ALCS)

"Manufacturing enables me to apply my expertise in solving complex problems by modeling production processes, simulating relevant scenarios and offering strategic insights to stakeholders. My tools provide business users a risk-free environment to test hypotheses and to address key business questions around increasing productivity, reducing costs and optimizing resource allocations. "

Sudharshana has had a strategic impact on Altria (ALCS) throughout her tenure with the company. Often praised by her peers for her integrity, trust, respect and passion to succeed, she provides the infrastructure that shapes Altria’s future and delivers winning results. Working closely with stakeholders, she developed a schedule optimization tool that resulted in increased tobacco processing capacity at John Middleton Company (JMC). At Phillip Morris USA (PMUSA), she developed a model to assess menthol silo capacity requirements to meet business contingency scenarios, which revealed the criticality of investing in additional capacity and identified gaps in existing infrastructure.

Her strong leadership can be seen in her daily job responsibilities and the company’s cultural initiatives, including the EAST (Elevate Asian Strengths and Talents) employee resource group and Murray Garnick’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.  She has created numerous employee programs including “Tableau Tuesday Meet-Ups,” a quarterly forum aimed at helping employees best utilize the Tableau visualization software. Sudharshana strives to develop others at all levels of the organization. Through her involvement in EAST, she forged a new relationship with the Advanced Analytics group that allowed teams which had not previously worked together to exchange knowledge and leverage each other’s expertise.   

Her passion for helping others spans beyond Altria and into her community. She has volunteered with the Richmond Public School’s MathScience Innovation Center  (MSiC) to teach middle school girls about data visualization and real-world uses of mathematics, and spoke at numerous events at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to promote career paths for women in STEM. In addition to being recognized as one of VCU’s “10 Under 10” award winners, she was the first graduate of the university’s PhD program in Systems Modeling and Analysis, among other key involvements. She has also served on the board of the Women in Operations Research and Management Science (WORMS) organization, where she is now president. 

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