Q: What has been your career path since graduation from Villanova?
A: Immediately after graduating (and a road trip with sorority sisters throughout the southern US), I went to the University of Virginia with a plan to earn my PhD in Chemical Engineering, but stopped after my MS, anxious to get to work. For over three years I worked for the City of Philadelphia Water Department. Within months I was given complete responsibility for the city’s entire potable reservoir system, along with a group of about 15 people. It was a terrific job because I could get all the responsibility and leadership experience I wanted and I learned A LOT from the people I worked with, most of whom had not attended college and many whom had not attended high school. My learning curve flattened and I decided to go back to school for my PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. I graduated after 2 ½ years and although I intended to become an engineering professor, I felt a couple years of real world experience would make me a better teacher. I joined Air Products in Allentown in a manufacturing role. I thoroughly enjoyed my work and thoughts of teaching fell to the wayside. My career at Air Products progressed rapidly through assignments in Engineering, R&D, commercial development and general management. During this time I earned an MBA from Wharton in the two-year executive program.
I left Air products for a VP/GM role at Rohm and Haas (now part of Dow Chemical) and eventually was fortunate enough to run several global businesses as well as having overall responsibility for company operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – while living in Paris! After about 11 years, I joined Honeywell as president and CEO of the chemicals groups (former Allied Chemical). I retired from Honeywell in 2008, or specifically, I retired from “full time in one place.” I now serve as the Secretary of Villanova’s Board of Trustees, the co-Chair of Drexel’s Center for Corporate Governance and on the Executive Committee of the advisory board of the University Research Association in Washington DC which has oversight responsibility for the Fermi and Sandia Laboratories. I am currently a director of four public companies (Halliburton, Praxair, LyondellBasell and AgroFresh Solutions) and I am co-founder (along with Denise Devine ’77 VSB) of a start-up medical device company.
I have had and continue to have a fabulous career!!!