Hudson La Force joined Grace as Chief Financial Officer in 2008 and became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2016. He was elected a director in 2017 and became President and Chief Executive Officer on November 8, 2018.
As COO, Hudson was responsible for Grace's Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies business segments as well as its global manufacturing and supply chain operations. During his tenure, sales increased nearly 20 percent as Grace invested to accelerate its growth and implement the Grace Value Model. He was deeply involved in Grace's internal transformation into a fully-integrated global operating company and its external transformation into two industry-leading public companies in February 2016.
As CFO, Hudson focused on improving the company's profitability, cash flow, and return on invested capital. Gross margins increased eight percentage points, adjusted EBITDA margins increased 11 percentage points, adjusted free cash flow increased nearly three times, and adjusted return on invested capital increased 11 percentage points.
Prior to joining Grace, Hudson served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education where he led a transformation of the department's management practices. He also served as a member of the President's Management Council.
Before entering public service in 2005, Hudson worked at Dell Inc., where he held general management and financial leadership positions at the company's headquarters in Austin, Texas and in China. From 2002 to 2005, Hudson served as a general manager for Dell in China, leading a $500 million business unit through a period of double-digit sales growth, triple-digit earnings growth, and significant operational change. Before joining Dell in 1997, he worked at AlliedSignal, Inc. (now Honeywell), Emerson Electric Co., and Arthur Andersen & Co.
Hudson earned a Bachelor's degree at Baylor University and an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a board member of Madison Industries, a Chicago-based industrial holding company and a former board member of KIPP DC, a public charter school operator in Washington, D.C.
Liz Brown joined Grace in 2015 to lead Human Resources and to serve as a member of the senior leadership team and an officer of the company. Today, she drives the development and maturity of "Great Talent" and "High-Performance Culture," two central elements of the Grace Value Model. She directs the strategic design, development, and continuous improvement of the global organization with its 3,900 employees and operations in 30 countries. She is responsible for HR partnerships with the company's functions and three business segments in addition to its Total Rewards and Talent Management Centers of Excellence. Since 2018, she also has had responsibility for the company's Information Technology organization. Under her leadership, the HR and IT functions support business strategy as well as merger and acquisition execution and integration.
Liz came to Grace from Tyco (now Johnson Controls) where she held HR leadership positions beginning in 2010. As Vice President, Human Resources, she provided HR leadership for several business units and global functions. She also led the Talent Center of Excellence, spanning talent management, talent acquisition, and organizational development.
Prior to Tyco, Liz held Human Resources leadership roles with global chemical company LyondellBasell Industries, including HR Business Partner for multiple global businesses and functions, HR operations leader, and HRIS leader. Before joining LyondellBasell's HRIS organization in 1997, Liz led major IT projects for I-NET, an IT outsource solutions provider. She began her career with Life Fitness, where she held roles in finance, sales, and marketing.
Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California at Los Angeles and is accredited as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Keith Cole's appointment in 2014 reflects the importance of environment, health, safety, and security at Grace and the full integration of the company's EHS, regulatory, and public affairs activities. Keith directs the company's EHS operations and government relations in more than 30 countries.
For over a decade prior to joining Grace, Keith held leadership positions in government relations and public policy for General Motors Corporation, including assignments in Shanghai and Washington, D.C. In these roles, he focused on the energy and environmental agenda for the company's advanced technology and promoted GM interests in growth markets in China, Russia, CIS, India, ASEAN, Africa, and the Middle East.
From 1999 to 2002, Keith was a partner in the Washington law firm of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP, and from 1997 to 1999, he was a partner with the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. In these roles, he provided government relationships and regulatory counsel on environmental, energy, and natural resource matters.
Prior to his lobbying experience, he served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate, Small Business Committee (1995-1997); and Minority Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee (1989-1995). During this service, he was involved in a wide variety of matters including RCRA, Superfund, and the Clean Air Act.
Keith earned his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering & Material Science from Duke University and his Juris Doctor at the University of Virginia School of Law.
In May 2019, the Board of Directors elected Bill Dockman as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bill serves as a member of Grace's leadership team and is responsible for global financial management and operations as well as Grace's shared services center in the Philippines.
Between May 2018 and his promotion to his current role, Bill was Vice President and Controller and Interim Chief Financial Officer while also serving as Chief Accounting Officer.
Bill joined Grace in 1999 and has held significant leadership roles in the growth and transformation of the company, including the 2016 tax-free spin-off of Grace’s Construction Products and packaging businesses, the consolidation and reorganization of the global finance organization following the spin, the development of the shared services center in Manila, and over 30 acquisitions and divestitures.
Bill most recently was Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Advanced Refining Technologies (ART), Grace’s joint venture with Chevron, and before that as Director, Financial Planning and Analysis.
Prior to joining Grace in 1999, Bill held finance leadership roles at MedStar Health, KPMG, and the University of Maryland Medical System. Bill earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Towson University and his MBA at the University of Baltimore.
Cherée Johnson joined Grace in January 2021 as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary with leadership responsibility for all legal matters worldwide, including management of Grace's legal department. As Corporate Secretary, she is responsible for corporate governance and matters relating to the activities of the board of directors. Cherée also serves as Grace's Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer.
Cherée joined Grace from McCormick & Co., Inc. where she was Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Corporate Secretary and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel. At McCormick, Cherée served as general counsel for the Consumer Products Business as well as the businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.
Before joining McCormick, Cherée was Deputy General Counsel at The Kraft Heinz Company (formerly H.J. Heinz Company or "Heinz"). Prior to Kraft Heinz, Chereé held several leadership positions at global companies including Cargill and 3M.
Cherée earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering with Honors at Florida A&M University and her Juris Doctor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She has been a member of several boards, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Advisory Board, and is a member of the American Bar Association and USPTO Patent Bar.
Sam Mills joined Grace as Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain in January 2018. He has responsibility for global manufacturing, procurement, order fulfillment, logistics, and supply chain planning activities. His strengths as a leader as well as his experience and success in a sophisticated global operating environment are well aligned with Grace's growth and productivity priorities.
Sam came to Grace from Honeywell International, Inc., where he served as Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain for several of its businesses, including Energy & Environmental Solutions and Honeywell's Automation and Control Solutions' Electro-Mechanical Center of Excellence. During his career, Sam has held leadership positions throughout the integrated supply chain, including manufacturing, materials process leadership, continuous improvement, and sourcing roles. Previous companies include Invensys Plc (now Schneider Electric), Eaton Corporation's Cooper Bussmann business, and Danaher's Joslyn Hi-Voltage business.
Over decades in global manufacturing and supply chain, Sam became an expert in lean manufacturing and a Six Sigma black belt. He has deep experience in change management, acquisitions integration, and talent management.
He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Since October 2015, Tom Petti has led Grace's Refining Technologies business, which includes fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts and additives, methanol-to-olefins (MTO) catalysts, and hydroprocessing catalysts through Advanced Refining Technologies (ART), Grace's joint venture with Chevron. Tom serves on ART's Board of Directors.
Under Tom's leadership, the business has captured opportunities in the fastest-growing segments in FCC applications, specifically, global production of petrochemical feedstocks and heavy feed bottom-of-the-barrel processing. ART has achieved record performance in hydroprocessing to produce cleaner-burning fuels, and the company expanded into the emerging MTO catalysts segment.
Tom joined Grace in 1992 in process development and later held positions in FCC R&D, Technical Service, Sales, and Marketing, before being promoted to General Manager of the Americas and Global Marketing Director for Specialty Catalysts.
In 2006, Tom left Grace to found Vandelay Management, LLC, a strategic development consultancy serving the specialty chemicals industry. He rejoined Grace in 2012 as Vice President, Strategic Planning.
Beginning in 2013, Tom served as President, Grace Construction Products. Under his leadership, the segment grew and significantly improved profitability. This business was separated from Grace in 2016, becoming part of a new public company called GCP Applied Technologies Inc. (GCP:NYSE).
Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, an MBA from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.
As Vice President, Strategy and Growth and a member of Grace's senior leadership team, Jag Reddy leads the company's global strategy and growth process. He is responsible for key growth priorities, including strengthening Grace's innovation, commercial, M&A, and manufacturing capabilities, and aligning growth initiatives with the Grace Value Model. He also serves as leader of the company's Asia Pacific region. Jag joined Grace in 2018.
In addition to his role with Grace, in 2019, Jag was named Managing Director of Advanced Refining Technologies LLC (ART), Grace's hydroprocessing joint venture with Chevron. He is the senior executive of the joint venture and responsible for the overall performance of the business as well as the management of resources provided by the parent companies, Chevron and Grace.
Prior to joining Grace, Jag served as Vice President and General Manager, Water Technologies Strategic Business Unit, and Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Pentair PLC. Previously, he held strategy and business leadership roles at ITT Corporation and its spin-off, Xylem Inc., including strategic leadership roles in the company's China, India, Middle East, and Latin America markets. Before ITT, he spent time in M&A roles with United Technologies Corp. He also held product management and P&L responsibilities with Danaher Corporation. Jag started his career in operations at Denso Corporation.
Jag earned an MBA in finance and strategy from the Kellogg School of Management and a Master's in engineering management from the McCormick School of Engineering, both at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master's in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from India.
Laura Schwinn was named President of Grace's Specialty Catalysts business on November 1, 2018. The $700 million Specialty Catalysts operating segment includes the company's market-leading polyolefin catalysts business and its UNIPOL® Polypropylene Process Technology licensing franchise.
Previously, Laura was Chief Executive Officer of C&C Reservoirs, the global leader in comprehensive intelligence on the world's most significant oil and gas fields. Over more than 25 years, she has led operations, strategic marketing, product development, joint venture partnerships, and M&A activity for multi-billion-dollar enterprises. She has held senior executive roles including President, Oil and Gas Field Services, at Clean Harbors Environmental Services, and others during 12 years with Halliburton, one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. At Halliburton, Laura was the first woman to hold the position of global vice president of a product line, serving as Vice President, Drill Bits and Services operating in over 60 countries. She previously held international business development roles with Schlumberger Corporation.
Laura earned her Bachelor of Commerce Degree in International Business from the University of Victoria, Canada. She has served on boards in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, and China. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Pason Systems Inc. (TSX: PSI)
Since May 2017, Sandra Wisniewski has led Grace Materials Technologies, the business segment that produces and sells specialty materials, including silica-based and silica-alumina-based products used in a broad array of consumer, pharmaceutical, chemical processes, and coatings applications. Sandra's record of generating sustainable growth is built on her diverse background including general management, sales leadership, U.S. and global marketing, operations, R&D, manufacturing, and global project management.
Prior to joining Grace, she was President and Chief Executive Officer for SunTech Medical, an international blood pressure technology company. Previously, she served as a General Manager and Vice President at Sanofi, a global healthcare technology company.
The first 25 years of her career were with Baxter International where she held several leadership positions in general management, sales, marketing, R&D, global project management, manufacturing, and operations. As Global Marketing Vice President for Intravenous Solutions, she led a successful revitalization of the company's $1 billion heritage business by implementing centralized global portfolio management.
Sandra earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA in Marketing, Finance, and Business Strategy from Northwestern University.