Cheryl Holdaway

Product Development Chemist, Newell Rubbermaid, Manchester TN.Keynote Speaker 2019


Cheryl Holdaway grew up in Cottageville, South Carolina, a very rural area about 40 miles inland from Charleston. She attended a rural elementary school and high school, where she graduated 2nd in her class. She then attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, wanting to do something in the sciences. In 1985, Cheryl received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Within two weeks of graduating, she was in the workforce and has been a practicing chemist throughout all these years. The first job she held was as a Quality control technician in a vitamin manufacturing plant. After a year, she moved to a company that made supplies for the textile mills. At this company, she made items used in the dying and texturizing of fabric --- sizes, durable press resin, and flame retardant, among others.
Life then took Cheryl from South Carolina to Kentucky where she worked for an automotive paint plant. There, they made OEM paint, which is used at the car manufacturing facilities, as well as After Market Paint. Later, she moved back to South Carolina where she worked for a pen manufacturer. Life then took her to Florida where she worked on fertilizer additives. Cheryl now resides in Manchester, Tennessee.  She works for the writing division of Newell Rubbermaid, home of the Sharpie marker.
Cheryl’s hobbies include cooking, crocheting, sewing, and gardening. She has four beautiful step children and three grandchildren.  She also has 2 dogs and 2 cats.

 Summary of the talk

When you ask someone what a STEM job looks like, they usually say an engineer, a doctor, a computer programmer, but the average person really does not understand how many STEM jobs are needed to accomplish a very simple task in industry --- developing, producing, and selling a marker, as an example.
I am going to take you on a journey from the brain of a marketing person dreaming about a new marker all the way to an employee at your local department store putting that marker on the shelf so that you can purchase it.

How many STEM jobs do you think were needed to allow the marker to make that journey?





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