Women's Leadership Panel

Wednesday March 31, 2021 11:00am12:00pm
This powerful session will bring together four inspiring women leaders from across innovation to share their perspectives and examine the impact that female leaders have on their organizations and the skills that have been critical for their success.
Open to everyone, this is a highly participatory and thought-provoking session and sure to be a rich conversation!
Session objectives:
  • Gain perspective of the technological innovation field from women in industry
  • Learn from fellow technological innovation professionals on their career development journeys
  • Deepen knowledge of the experience of the profession
Gain insight into:
  • Different paths to success in industry for women scientists
  • Real-life experiences of women who have succeeded in industry
  • What does it really mean to be a woman in science
  • A glimpse of the future for science, and
  • How men can act as allies.
Dr. Sheri Smithey is the Vice President of the Global R&D Network at Nestle Purina PetCare. One of her top career achievements is achieving her current role as Head of R&D where she and her team are focused on re-shaping strategy areas and organization to drive future business results for the regions. 
Sheri received her BS in Biochemistry, an MS in Agriculture Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering. She is an active member of the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) and AAAS.
Sheri has a big family, which includes her husband, Tracy Smithey, her two children, Kaitlin Howard, son-in-law Preston Howard and Wyatt Smithey, as well as five pets. Her furry family members include her Jack Russel Terrier Josie, Boxer/Pit Bull mix Dixie, Lab/Pointer mix Buster, DLH Cat Mango and DSH Cat Martin.
Lee Ann Cochran, partner with Amphora Consulting, spent nearly 20 years in corporate workplaces across the aerospace, defense, start-up and non-profit industries after earning a BS in Materials Science & Engineering from The Ohio State University. Her career experience spans multiple organizational sectors, including research, process scaling, manufacturing, proposal development, commercialization, business development, sales, marketing, licensing, and market strategy.
As an agent for change, Lee Ann serves on the boards of the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV) and is the immediate Past President of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Board.  She is a prior Board member of the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI).
Lee Ann’s advocacy earned her Battelle’s recognition as a 2014 Women’s History Month honoree for championing ideas to drive change and shape the future and the Outstanding Soroptimist Award in 2016 with Soroptimist of Columbus and Franklin County. She has also been honored for her excellence in leadership, strategy and sales by organizations including Women for Economic Leadership Development (Women You Should Know, 2014), Smart Business (Progressive Woman in Cleveland, 2017), and WEPAN (President’s Award, 2018).
A TEDx speaker and author of Perspectives: Authenticity in the Workplace, Lee Ann travels globally to deliver keynote presentations and workshops delivering the Amphora Grassroots Strategy program and supporting employers who value diversity, equity and inclusion while creating a positive work environment. 
Matrice Jackson, R&E Director at Kimberly Clark Corporation, is an experienced people leader and product developer who has been recognized for her leadership in innovation and building talent.  She is passionate about helping people develop and authentically use their superpowers to bring value within the innovation space. 
At Kimberly Clark Corporation, she has led teams and worked across multiple Research, Development & Engineering disciplines in both consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) industries.  She has had proven success in working with and building the capability of global, multi-cultural teams in the areas of product, process, and technology innovation.  She leads teams with intention, intuition and vision and believes diverse teams that are engaged and empowered are necessary to deliver high-performing, customer-valued innovations to the marketplace. Matrice currently serves as a board member for the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI).
Dr. Martha Gardner is the Chief Engineer – Quality for GE Aviation.  In this role, Martha is a champion and driver of GE Aviation’s Proactive Quality Framework.  Prior to joining Aviation in 2018, Martha spent 20 years at GE Research where she last served as the Global Quality Leader and the Chief Scientist for Statistics, Quality, and Innovation Methods. She is passionate about the usage of statistics and analytics to solve problems and teaching others how to do the same.
Martha has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Classical Languages and a M.S. in Applied Statistics from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from North Carolina State University.  She was named to The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review “Top 100” list of young innovators in 2004, named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2014, and received the Gerald J. Hahn Quality & Productivity Achievement Award in 2020.  Martha is a certified GE Quality Leader, DFSS Black Belt, and MATRIZ Level 4 TRIZ Specialist. Martha currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI). 
Phillip J. Spencer is a Talent Management & Development Manager at Entegris where he manages employee development programs and leads Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.  Having previously worked in various roles in Human Resources, Phillip focuses his career on building engaging and inclusive workplaces. He holds a B.S. in Management from Bentley University and an MBA from Lasell College.