M. Ann Harlan

M. Ann Harlan

Distinguished Alumna Award

Ann Harlan has extensive business and legal experience in consumer products and manufacturing business segments and has a reputation as a trusted advisor in the Boardroom. In her board appointments on both public and private company boards, she has led strategic planning initiatives and c-suite succession planning.

Since 2009, Ms. Harlan has served as a director of the NYSE listed Gorman Rupp Company (ticker: GRC) where she has been lead director since 2016. Ms. Harlan chairs the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. Gorman Rupp designs and manufactures a broad line of fluid management systems across diversified industries. 

Since 2019, Ms. Harlan has also served as a director of the NYSE listed Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (ticker: CLF) where she sits on the Audit Committee. Cleveland Cliffs, founded in 1847, is the largest and oldest iron ore mining company in the United States.

Her private company board experience includes FlavorX Corporation as well as Eatem Foods Corporation, where she served as a director from 2010 until its purchase by Archer Daniels Midland in 2015. Her advisory work with companies in rapidly changing business segments continued with her role, from 2009 until 2018, as a member of the Advisory Board of Gates Group Capital Partners, an investment partnership providing equity capital in the logistic and transportation industries.

In addition, Ms. Harlan serves as a Director of University Hospitals Health System, Inc., a large integrated health care system where she chairs the Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee, the Executive Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.

From 1998 to 2011, Ms. Harlan was a member of the senior management team at The JM Smucker Company (ticker: SJM), a Fortune 500 Company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Smucker is a manufacturing and marketing company of leading food and pet food brands in North America. As Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Ms. Harlan served on the Executive Strategy Counsel and was instrumental in the development and implementation of corporate strategy. 

Prior to joining Smucker, Ms. Harlan was a partner in a large Midwest law firm where her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and commercial finance. 

Ms. Harlan is a frequent speaker on corporate governance and related Board subjects, including the role of the Board in succession planning and corporate culture development. She is an alumnae of the DirectWomen Class of 2011 and member of the DirectWomen Advisory Board from 2012 – 2015 as well as a past Co Chair of the DirectWomen Midwest Alumnae group. Ms. Harlan is also the Co-Chair of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. 

Ms. Harlan continues her commitment to talent management and professional advisory work through her affiliation with BarkerGilmore, LLC where she provides succession planning and professional development advice to senior legal professionals.

Ms. Harlan is an active leader in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations including the Presidents Advisory Committee of Case Western Reserve University, the Visiting Committee of Case Western University School of Law and the past Chair of the Board of The First Tee of Cleveland. Among her recognitions, she was named a Woman of Professional Excellence by the YWCA, the Society of Benchers and is a member of Leadership Cleveland.

Ms. Harlan received her undergraduate B.A. degree from Skidmore College, her J.D .from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and she has also completed an Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.