There is something about Ilene. Ilene Gordon enchanted those attending this Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon as she shared her many experiences as an "agent-of-change' in her corporate, board and personal worlds. Ilene was CEO and chairman of Ingredion for almost nine years, and executive chairman until August 1, 2018. The chemistry between her and Donna Zarcone, program facilitator was magical. Definately a two thumbs up lunch and program.
Ilene Gordon is the retired Chairman, President and CEO of Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR), a leading global producer of nature-based ingredient solutions for food, beverage, brewing and industrial customers around the world. Ms. Gordon was chairman, president and CEO of Ingredion from 2009 through 2017 and Executive Chairman January 2018 - July 2018.
A FORTUNE 500 company, Ingredion has 11,000 employees, 2017 net sales of $5.8 billion and a market capitalization close to $9 billion. During her tenure as CEO, Ms. Gordon delivered exceptional shareholder value by more than quadrupling the Company’s share price.
Ms. Gordon joined Ingredion in 2009 from Rio Tinto Alcan where as president and CEO of Alcan Packaging she led a $6.5 billion global packaging business based in Paris, France. Over her 10 year tenure with Alcan and Pechiney, which was acquired by Alcan in 2003, she held various leadership positions, starting as senior vice president of Pechiney Plastic Packaging.
Previously Ms. Gordon spent 17 years in executive roles of increasing responsibility at the Packaging Corporation of America, a division of Tenneco Inc. Before joining Tenneco Inc., Ms. Gordon spent two years at Signode, a leading global packaging company specialized in materials handling. From 1976-1980, Ms. Gordon worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), an international management consulting firm, as a strategy consultant, based in the Boston, London and Chicago offices.
Ms. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and a Master of Science degree in management from MIT's Sloan School of Management.
Ms. Gordon is a director of Lockheed Martin and lead director of International Paper. In the past, Ms. Gordon has served on the boards of five public companies, and she was the first female director of each: Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, United Stationers Inc., Outboard Marine Corporation, Sundstrand Corporation and Zenith Electronics.
Ms. Gordon is a vice chair of The Conference Board and a member of the MIT Corporation, the Institute’s board of trustees. She was listed among Forbes Global Game Changers 2016 and was one of FORTUNE’s Most Power Women for a number of years: five consecutive years on the U.S. list and two years on the global list.
In 2017 she received: The Civic Federation Lyman J. Gage Award for outstanding civic contribution; the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Daniel H. Burnham Award for Distinguished Leadership; the Committee of 200 Corporate Innovator Luminary Award; and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, distribution and manufacturing category. Additionally, she received the Committee for Economic Development Leadership in Diversity Award in 2016 and the National Association of Corporate Directors 2013 Director of the Year award.
Ms. Gordon lives in Chicago and is an active member of the community. She is on the executive committee of The Economic Club of Chicago and a director of World Business Chicago.
Ms. Gordon is married with two adult children.
Facilitator Donna F. Zarcone is president and chief executive officer of The Economic Club of Chicago.
Founded in 1927, The Economic Club is one of nation's most influential forums for the
dissemination of economic, business and social views, dedicated to fostering the development of
leaders within Chicago's civic and business community. The Economic Club has welcomed
many prominent thought leaders as speakers including CEOs of leading Fortune 500 companies,
U.S. presidents, prime ministers, and other foreign dignitaries.
Before her role at the Economic Club, Ms. Zarcone was founder and president of D. F. Zarcone
& Associates LLC, a strategic advisory firm providing consulting at the executive and board
level. Prior to D. F. Zarcone & Associates LLC, Ms. Zarcone served as the president of HarleyDavidson
Financial Services, Inc. where she led the international company through
transformational growth. In her eight-year tenure as president, managed loans grew from $1.1
billion to over $6 billion, market share grew from 20 percent to 50 percent, and annual operating
income increased from $20 million to over $200 million.
Ms. Zarcone currently serves on three corporate boards, Cigna Corporation, CDW and The
Duchossois Group, and previously served on the board of The Jones Group. Ms. Zarcone is also
civically engaged, serving on the boards of The Economic Club of Chicago and the Polsky
Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Ms. Zarcone holds a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a
bachelor's degree in accounting from Illinois State University.