“The QAD Story” will be presented by the South Coast software company’s founder, Pamela Lopker, at the California Lutheran University Corporate Leaders Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Jan. 24 at The Fess Parker, A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, in Santa Barbara.
Lopker, chairman and president of QAD, expanded the company to 27 offices and more than 1,600 employees. QAD serves manufacturers in more than 100 countries.
A UCSB graduate, Lopker started working as a software developer after earning a degree in mathematics and economics. When her future husband, Karl, a founder of Deckers Brands, asked her to develop software for his company that integrated manufacturing, financial operations and order management, she quit her job to write it. At the time, multiple software programs were required to run a manufacturing supply chain.
At the age of 25, Lopker started QAD in 1979 to sell the software to a wider market. Her husband joined the company two years later and serves as CEO.
Lopker continues to be the driving force behind QAD’s research and development program. “The company is working to make the transition to machine-machine communication and the Internet of Things faster, simpler and less costly for customers,” QAD officials said.
Fortune magazine has profiled Lopker four times and has called her a “Hero of U.S. Manufacturing in 2001.” Ernst & Young named her Entrepreneur of the Year for the Greater Los Angeles Area in 1996. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997.
Lopker and her husband helped establish the first endowed chair in computer science at UCSB through the Lopker Family Foundation. QAD has lead technology initiatives through Project Upgrade and TeachNet, which have provided grants to Santa Barbara County schools since 2005.
The Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series brings members of the business and civic communities together to share ideas and hear from prominent leaders in the region. The series will continue with a presentation by IndieU co-founders Jeffrey and Natalie Edell on app development and entertainment on March 3 in Ventura and a panel discussion on hospitality industry trends on May 2 at Cal Lutheran.