Accredited two years in a row as one of the top 25 most influential women of the mid-market by CEO Connection, Kim Ann Mink runs a US$802 million company. Despite her success, she remains humble; she’s not one to boast about her awards or achievements.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate,” she says. “Not only to do what I love, which combines my passion for science and business, but I also work with, learn from and find inspiration in an enormously talented and diverse group of colleagues and business leaders.”
For the past 30 years, Kim Ann has developed broad expertise in the specialty chemicals industry. Within four companies across 10 businesses, her experience spans R&D, sales, marketing and general management.
Four years ago, she saw Innophos as an opportunity to implement structures and processes that would strengthen the company’s foundations. “I was determined to find a leadership position that would allow me to apply my scientific training, professional background and executive experience to an organization that was ripe with potential for transformative growth,” she recalls.
Now, she’s proud to lead a team of more than 1,500 professionals in a diverse global workforce as the company’s Chairman, President and CEO. “These past several years have been exciting, rewarding and a transformative journey so far.”
As for the company’s success, Kim Ann believes that it is intrinsically tied to collaboration and creativity. “Externally, our customer-facing work revolves around our ability to collaborate successfully and to creatively address customer-specific needs,” she explains. “We work together with the customer to develop innovative products and solutions to serve their end consumers better.
“Internally, collaboration is a core value because we have a culture where every employee, regardless of their position or tenure, has an equal voice,” she continues. “I believe teams thrive when they’re given free rein to operate creatively and are surrounded by colleagues who challenge them to think outside the box.”
“I believe teams thrive when they're given free rein to operate creatively and are surrounded by colleagues who challenge them to think outside the box.”
As consumers become more educated and empowered to make critical choices while shopping, the company strives to help people fulfill their desire to lead healthier lives. As a leading international producer of specialty ingredient solutions for the food, health, and nutrition markets, Innophos’s ambition is to contribute to this.
“We’re all consumers,” Kim Ann says. “We know what goes through our minds when we’re shopping. People are more health conscious and informed about the food they eat today. We truly want to be an agent of change, working to help create products and solutions that provide consumers with the best the market has to offer.”
Kim Ann believes leading the company with balance, openness and accessibility achieves the highest results. “I lead by these qualities, married with a belief in the importance of accountability,” she explains.
“I must be accountable in all aspects: to our shareholders, our customers, our employees, and our failures as well as our successes. While being a CEO is “more than a full-time job”, she manages to balance her passions with her professional life, including fundraising and advocacy work in support of finding a cure for ALS, which both her mother and mother-in-law battled, and mentoring young professionals.
“Spending time with my family will always be my priority. They’ve always stood behind me and my career, and together we are committed to doing everything we can for patients of ALS.
“I’m also passionate about mentoring young professionals, particularly in the areas of STEM. It’s something I continue to do, no matter where my career has taken me,” Kim Ann says.
“We are capable of accomplishing anything that we set our minds to.”
At work and home, she is indeed a woman on a mission; breaking down the still-present mentality that women can’t run large corporations. Her awards from CEO Connection affirm her ability, and she sits alongside many inspiring and accomplished female executives.
“We are capable of accomplishing anything that we set our minds to, including leading multimillion, and billion-dollar organizations,” she states. “It is a further step in helping us to refute the archaic notion some hold that women cannot be strong or successful leaders. Women of all ages, races, religions, nationalities and abilities have rightfully earned their seat at the table.”