Eatem Foods Corporation
Q & A
How did you get involved with the boards you serve (or served) on? Did networking play a role?
Gorman-Rupp's focus is pumps, which is a bit different from the food industry. What has it been like adjusting to work in that environment?
You have held quite a few leadership roles with Gorman-Rupp and also with several of the other boards you have served on. How did you get into these roles and what advice would you give to women who are interested in becoming committee chairs?
What have you learned about what it's like to be a director since becoming a director? How have you grown into the position?
In a relatively brief time, you joined several boards, you retired from the J.M. Smucker Company, and you started your own management consulting firm. What was it like going through so much professional transition in such a short time?
What advice would you give to women who are also going through many transitions stimultaneously?
What are your short and long-term goals moving forward?
How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives?
Have you seen any shifts in the corporate world in attitudes towards women in leadership or executive positions since you started your career?
Have you had an experience where diversity on a board led you in one direction versus another direction?
Do you have any final advice for aspiring women directors?
Ms. Harlan has served on the Board of Directors of The Gorman Rupp Company, a leading manufacturer of precision pumps and pump solutions, since 2009 and currently serves as the company’s Lead Director.
Ms. Harlan also chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee at the Gorman Rupp Company and sits on the Audit Committee, having previously served on the Compensation Committee. The Gorman Rupp Company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GRC.
Ms. Harlan also served on the Board of Directors of Eatem Foods Corporation a private equity controlled, privately held, manufacturer of food ingredients and flavorings from 2010 until it was acquired by Archer Daniels Midland in 2015.
Additionally, Ann sits on the Advisory Board of Gates Group Capital Partners a private equity firm that invests in companies in the transportation and logistics sectors.
Ms. Harlan is also a member of the Board of University Hospitals Health System, Inc., a multi - billion health system where she is the Vice-Chair of the Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.
Ann is also the Co-Chair of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Women Corporate Directors.
In addition, Ann is the Founder and Co -CEO of Harlan Peterson Partners, LLC, a consulting firm with a unique focus in the area of executive development and individual C suite leadership coaching.
Prior to founding Harlan Peterson Partners, Ann Harlan was the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The J.M. Smucker Company, a consumer products company, publically traded on the NYSE under the symbol SJM.
Prior to joining The J.M. Smucker Company, Ms. Harlan was a partner with a large Ohio based law firm, where her corporate practice focused on business advisory services and mergers and acquisitions, largely in the industrial manufacturing and consumer products sectors.
Ms. Harlan is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Trustees of The First Tee of Cleveland. In other civic activities, Ms. Harlan serves on the Visiting Committee of each of The Case Western Reserve University and The Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She is past Chair of the Board of Case Western Reserve University Law School Alumni Association and served as the inaugural Chair of the CWRU Law School Women’s Initiative. Ann also served as Co Chair of the 2012 and 2013 Women in Law and Leadership Conference at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Past community work includes the Board of Trustees of the following organizations: In Counsel With Women, DirectWomen, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Foundation, Jobs for Greater Cleveland’s Graduates, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Project Learn, Cleveland Golf Charities and the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation.
She is a graduate of Skidmore College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she was inducted into the Order of the Barristers. Ann is also a frequent speaker on women’s leadership and executive presence, and, in her free time, she is an avid cyclist.