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Karen Smith-Pilkington

General manager and vice president, traditional cameras, Consumer Imaging, Eastman Kodak Co.

Education: MBA, University of Rochester; master of industrial and labor relations, Cornell University; B.A., SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Husband, Wayne; two children, ages 3 months and 5 years
Professional and community leadership: Former co-chairwoman, Kodak’s Women’s Management Group; chairwoman, Simon School alumni advisory council; board member and personnel committee chairwoman, Teenage Parent Support System

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Leadership: When people feel engaged and valued, and they know their organization’s vision, they will give all their energies and feel wonderful about their contribution.
2. Diversity: The more American companies reflect and internalize their diverse customer base in experiences, interests and needs, the more successful they will be.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: That I need to continually leverage the expertise, thinking and capabilities of those around me. Empowering them, and not expecting that I bring value to all processes, frees them to take risks, make content-filled decisions and own the related impact.

What motivates me profoundly: Building a team united in defining the organization’s vision and accomplishing the related objectives, and seeing employees grow and achieve their goals through challenges and investments in their development

Advice to young businesswomen: Determine the skills and experiences deemed important in your organization. Honestly assess your specific skills and seek out assignments and challenges that will stimulate their growth.

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