Dow leaders honored for STEM excellence with 2023 HENAAC Awards

MIDLAND, Mich., Sept 27, 2023 – Dow (NYSE: Dow) announced three leaders have been recognized by the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) with awards in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) excellence.

The awards are distributed by Great Minds in STEM (GMiS), an organization that seeks to highlight and honor the achievements of the nation’s best and brightest Hispanic engineers, scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and technology experts.

HENAAC award winners recognize STEM professionals who are leaders, innovators, and who represent the best and brightest minds the United States has to offer.

Luminary honorees represent professionals in STEM who initiate, collaborate, and lead key programs and research within their companies. These individuals have made significant contributions to the Hispanic technical community as leaders and role models.

HENAAC Award Winner
Most Promising Scientist – Ph.D. – Industry
Juan F. Callejas

Senior R&D TS&D Leader

juan callejas

In his current role, Juan has leadership responsibilities for Applications R&D and TS&D teams which share the main goal of delivering key innovation programs with strategic accounts. Juan continues to focus on strengthening the partnership between R&D and TS&D teams to drive a strategy that supports a growth innovation agenda.

Juan started his career at Dow in 2016 in the Architectural Coatings R&D group after participating in the 2015 BEST Symposium. Since joining the team, he has led and contributed to several R&D programs and scale-ups for key customers in Europe and North America.

Juan has authored and contributed to five filed patent applications, 22 CRI reports, and 14 peer-reviewed papers with over 2,800 citations. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University.

Juan is passionate about diversity and inclusion as shown by his involvement in different organizations that advance representation in the industry. He led the 2020 BEST Symposium, is involved in the Collegeville Hispanic and Latin Network (HLN) employee resource group chapter and previously led the STEM Ambassadors organization.

GMiS Luminaries
Nestor de Mattos

Corporate Vice President and
Chief Supply Chain Officer
Integrated Supply Chain


In his current role, Nestor oversees the global end-to-end supply chain including planning & scheduling, customer service, site logistics, logistics, international trade, sustainability, systems solutions, and innovation to advance Dow’s strategic growth. He also co-chairs, with Dow’s CIO/CDO, an executive leader team responsible for setting the strategic direction and implementing the Company Digital and End-to-End transformation.
During Nestor’s 20+year career with Dow, he has held numerous leadership positions serving most recently as the North America commercial vice president for Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) where he was a member of the global business leadership team responsible for the overall profit and loss of P&SP’s North America region. He earned a Chemical Engineering degree from Sao Paulo University in Brazil and holds an MBA from Northwood University.

Passionate about building an inclusive work culture and always striving to learn more about racial and cultural biases, Nestor created and hosts Attuned In, a video series on LinkedIn where he focuses on exploring different perspectives surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The goal of his cultural listening series is to offer valuable insight and learnings that can be put into practice.



Varinia Bernales
Associate Research Scientist

varinia bernales

Varinia Bernales joined Dow in 2018 as a quantum and computational chemist in the Chemical Science (CS) group in Core R&D. In her current role, she supports primarily the Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure segment and plays a pivotal role in discovering new catalyst families through a synergy of computational and experimental methodologies. She has authored 9 filed patent applications, 28 CRI reports, and 32 peer-reviewed papers. She currently serves on the scientific advisory board of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center and actively reviews manuscripts for several scientific journals.

Varinia has also contributed to shaping the recruiting strategy within CS at Dow and actively participates in the ACS Diversity & Inclusion Midland Section and the CS Community and Culture groups.

As a testament to her dedication to global scientific advancement, she has served as an invited lecturer in several Latin American countries as part of the Current Topics in Theoretical Chemistry initiative, which brings state-of-the-art capabilities to countries with developing research programs.

She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Universidad de Chile and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. Her work is marked by significant contributions to various energy-related projects, spanning actinide materials, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and the development of highly accurate quantum methods. In 2017, Varinia was honored with the Outstanding Postdoctoral Award by ACS Computers in Chemistry Division.

“The talent and dedication to excellence these colleagues demonstrate is truly exceptional,” shared Mauro Gregorio, executive sponsor of Dow’s HLN employee resource group and business president of Performance Materials and Coatings. “It is an honor to continue being recognized through the prestigious HENAAC Awards for championing Inclusion, Diversity and Equity while celebrating the people trailblazing progress in STEM. Congratulations to Juan, Nestor, and Varinia for this special recognition.”

All GMiS professional honorees will receive their awards at the 35th Anniversary GMiS Conference, “Recharging America with our Youth,” October 11 - 14, 2023 in Pasadena, California.

Numerous Dow employees have been honored with HENAAC Awards over the years, including Mauro Gregorio (2014), Rui Cruz (2014), Andre Argenton (2017), Carlos Villa (2019), Izabel Assis (2020), Leonardo Lopez (2020), Lidaris San Miguel Rivera (2021), Lauren Jackson (2021), Fernando Signorini (2022), and Diego Cristancho (2022).

Learn more about Great Minds in STEM and the HENAAC Awards at

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance leadership to achieve profitable growth and help deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,800 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $57 billion in 2022. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

For further information contact:

Ilse Granados Lerma