Sheri H. Edison

Board Experience

AK Steel (NYSE: AKS)

Board Member; Nominating and Governance Committee Member; Audit and Compensation Committee Member

Q & A

How did you learn about your current board opportunities? Did active networking play a role?

I let my interest in serving on a public company board be known, actively networked, and attended events where I could meet other Directors.

How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives?

DirectWomen helped me to reframe my personal and professional experiences and skills in a way that highlighted the value that I could bring to a Board position.

What have been/were the most challenging aspects of establishing yourself as a director?

Adjusting to the cadence of Board service (e.g. Board meetings, special meetings, Committee calls, etc) and establishing my calendar around it.

Which of your skills/attributes do you believe have been most instrumental in your board role(s)?

My ability to see through complexity, problem solving, broad experience leading critical business functions, and governance expertise.

What specific events, people or tactics (if any) have helped your transition from career woman to board director?

Wonderful mentors, all of whom have served or currently serve on public company boards; attendance at governance programs; new friendships with others who share my passion for Board service.

What ongoing activities continue to develop/enhance your effectiveness as a director?

Ongoing learning about the industry in which the company on whose board I serve operates, annual attendance to at least one governance program to stay on top of current issues and hone my governance skills, mentoring other women and people of color who desire to serve on a Board.

What are your further short/medium/long-term board service objectives?

Short term: Continue to work toward being the best Board member that I can be on my current Board; Long term: Assume a Board leadership role.

What advice would you give to aspiring women directors?

Go for it.



Sheri Edison is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Bemis Company, Inc., a manufacturer of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials for leading food consumer products, healthcare and other enterprises worldwide. At Bemis, Ms. Edison’s responsibilities include corporate governance, trade compliance, enterprise risk management and product safety and stewardship. 

Prior to joining Bemis in 2010, Ms. Edison served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Hill-Rom, a global medical device manufacturer and supplier of medical technologies and related services to the health care industry. As CAO, Ms. Edison gained broad functional and operational leadership experience in medical device and general manufacturing. She improved efficiencies and performance in several critical business functions, including IT, Supplier Quality and Regulatory Affairs. In collaboration with the CFO and other members of the executive team, Ms. Edison designed and implemented multiple continuous improvement initiatives to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating expenses. One notable achievement was the double digit reduction of enterprise-wide discretionary spending, together with the creation of metrics and tools to ensure sustainable savings in future years. 

Ms. Edison’s broad based business experience includes a stint as owner, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of a company that operated a three-store chain of specialty retail franchise stores in northeastern Ohio. In this role, Ms. Edison acquired sales, marketing and operational experience while also developing strategic leadership skills. 

Ms. Edison earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Journalism from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She currently serves on the board of the Appleton Performing Arts Center, and is a member of NACD Corporate Directors Institute, the FM Global Advisory Board and Women Business Leaders of the United States Healthcare Industry. Ms. Edison has been a guest lecturer and past member of the Business Advisory Board at the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University, and a guest lecturer in the Business Scholars Program at Hanover College. 

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Sheri Edison, DirectWomen Alumna, Named to Board of AK Steel