Mary Shelman

October 17, 2016 • 1 minute read

“My dad and my mom had extremely high expectations for me. My dad never said, ‘you can’t do this because you’re a girl.’” –Mary Shelman

Shelman was raised in a small town in Kentucky, where she still has a farm. Her dad was a farm equipment dealer. She traveled with him on equipment repair and sales calls. Early on, her parents saw “there was never anything I couldn’t do” and encouraged her to reach her potential. Shelman was the director of the Harvard Business School agribusiness program and today works with companies, governments and industry organizations to help them analyze and respond to change. She shared inspirational thoughts on learning and leadership with host Sara Steever.

mary_shelmanMary Shelman

Mary L. Shelman is a thought leader and strategic pathfinder in the global food and agribusiness sector. Working with CEOs of firms such as Nestlé, Barilla, Bunge, Fonterra, Olam and Yum! China, Mary has authored dozens of case studies on strategic change and transformational leadership. She has served on the boards of Cooksimple, Fractal Antenna Systems, RiceTec, Stiftung Furst Lichtenstein and has been awarded the IFAMA Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to the industry. She holds a BS in chemical engineering with high distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.


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Marianne Smukowski, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

Jenny Stelmach, American Agri-Women

Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board