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, complex acquisition integration teams and c-suite succession planning.
Since 2009, Ann has served as an independent director of the NYSE-listed Gorman Rupp Company (ticker: GRC) where she has been lead director since 2016. Ann chairs the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and she also serves on the Audit Committee, having previously chaired the Compensation Committee. Gorman Rupp designs and manufactures a broad line of fluid management systems across diversified industries. In addition to manufacturing facilities in the United States, Gorman Rupp maintains distribution in over 150 foreign countries and has operation facilities in Canada, Europe, and Africa.
Ann has also recently been appointed to the board of Oswald Companies, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage and risk management firms. Previously, Ann served on the Boards of Eatem Foods Corporation, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., and FlavorX Corporation.
In addition, Ann serves as a Director of University Hospitals Health System, Inc., a $4 Billion dollar corporation providing complex health care solutions, where she chairs the Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee, the Strategic Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.
From 1998 to 2011, Ann 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 an iconic manufacturing and marketing company of over 40 leading food and pet food brands in North America with more than 30 manufacturing locations.
As Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Ann was the executive officer responsible for managing and directing all legal matters for Smucker. She also participated in all Board meetings and served as primary advisor to the Board and management on matters related to corporate governance and executive compensation as well as key regulatory, risk and related business issues.
During her tenure with Smucker, her business responsibilities included a leadership role in acquisitions and divestitures during a period of intense innovation and market competition and disruption. Ann also served on the Executive Strategy Counsel responsible for the development and implementation of corporate strategy. The successful execution of the strategy, including the Company’s entry into the China market during this time period, resulted in more than 25 domestic and international acquisitions and annual sales growth from a baseline of $500 Million to over $5 Billion annually.
Prior to joining Smucker, Ms. Harlan was a partner with Calfee, Halter & Griswold where she was a business and legal advisor to her clients in the areas of corporate mergers and acquisitions and commercial finance.
Her advisory work with companies in disruptive and fast-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.
Ann 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 the Co-Chair of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Women Corporate Directors, an international organization of over 2,500 female business leaders and board members.
Ms. Harlan continues her commitment to talent management and professional advisory work through her affiliation with BarkerGilmore, LLC and Harlan Peterson Partners, LLC., where she provides succession planning and professional development advice to senior executives and legal professionals.
Ann is an active leader in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations including the Presidents Advisory Committee of Case Western Reserve University 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 and is a member of Leadership Cleveland.
Ms. Harlan received her undergraduate B.A. degree from Skidmore College, her JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and she has also completed an Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.