Women in Business
Take a memo: Delaware’s businesswomen have the vision, ability and tenacity to build thriving companies. Meet executives who’ve succeeded despite unthinkable loss, financial obstacles or resistance from employees in male-dominated fields.
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Achieving sustainable growth is one of the key missions at DuPont. Linda J. Fisher, the vice president of DuPont Safety as well as its health and environment chief sustainability officer, is responsible for DuPont’s sustainable growth strategy across all business functions. “My role is to provide strategic direction for the company on key sustainability issues and initiatives such as reducing our carbon footprint and developing renewable energies,” says Fisher. “My team and I continuously work to integrate sustainability into the business through scientific processes and innovation, and we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to bring it to the forefront of product development.”
The structure Each of DuPont’s key 13 business units has sustainability leaders and team members.
The role of the CSO The role is shifting from a focus on compliance and regulatory issues to opportunities for growth. There is significant focus on climate and energy now, but it’s Fisher’s job to understand what’s next.
Trish Fitzharris is president of Service Quest Inc., a leading expert in food safety systems for the school nutrition industry in the tri-state area. She founded the organization in 2000 to increase food safety awareness and build confidence in schools, and she has earned the trust of countless school administrators. Fitzharris provides food safety education, training and technology to more than 300 sites a month. Also president of GR8 Marketing, a national company that provides educational development tools to the school nutrition industry, Fitzharris was named Industry Member of the Year by the Delaware School Nutrition Association in 2006.
A major victory In July 2005 the USDA required every school in the country to comply with tough food-safety protocols. Fitzharris was one of 18 educators in the country selected to teach the plan.
Her mentor Former boss Hap Galer, of Galer and Hults, a maintenance supply company based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, “gave me 18 months to turn a struggling division around or he was closing the doors. I was 23.” She succeeded. So Galer asked her to develop a food-safety division. The rest is history.
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