Meet Kimberly Steward
Global Ingredients Chemistry Leader
During the global pandemic, Kimberly made a bold decision to join Cargill in August 2020 after spending eight years in the chemical agriculture industry. From our headquarters in Minneapolis, she currently leads a multidisciplinary global team with expertise in protein, carbohydrate, organic and biochemistry, and chemical engineering. Despite the challenges of integrating with and leading such a diverse team during a pandemic, Kimberly’s passion for science, people and learning has made it a natural fit.
Together with her team, she is helping Cargill design new ingredients for both food and bioindustrial applications based on consumer and customer needs. She finds navigating these complex challenges to be both energizing and rewarding. Her commitment to creating a diverse and positive working environment led her to join Cargill’s North America Regional Diversity Council and serve on the planning committee for the Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry (EWOC) Conference. The combination of Kimberly’s technical and people leadership impacts her team, company and community. And she’s just getting started.
What made you choose Cargill?
The two key drivers in my decision to join Cargill were the breadth of opportunities within a single company and my desire to stay in the agricultural industry. Having spent eight years in crop protection, I was intrigued by the opportunity to apply my experience and skill set in tackling the challenges and driving innovation post-harvest. Joining Cargill has been the perfect fit for the next phase of my professional growth. My current role fuels my passion for science, people and learning and presents me with numerous development opportunities, such as leading a global versus a local team.
What are your career goals moving forward?
I don’t have a particular role that I am aiming for. When it comes to my career development, it is important for me to constantly feel that I am in a state of growth and actively seek opportunities to develop and learn new skills. I live by the words of Ginni Rometty, the first female CEO of IBM, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” So, I do my best to challenge myself to seek to be uncomfortable. Regardless of the role or title I hold, what is important is that I am provided an opportunity to grow and can tap into my passion for people, science and learning.
When you think about our work, what makes you most excited?
What strikes me most about the work we do in R&D is the breadth of opportunities we have to deliver innovative solutions for both the consumer and our customers. With our diverse talent across the function, I am excited to see how we will leverage our expertise to solve the most complex global challenges in the food and bioindustrial businesses.
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