Hall of Distinction Class of 2009-2010

Sharon Cole was born on July 4, 1958 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering in June 1981. Cole is a 1976 graduate and valedictorian from Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge and received her Executive Education degree in 1997 from the Babson University School of Business.

Cole began her engineering career in 1981 as a production engineer for Dow Chemical Company in Plaquemine, Louisiana, where she implemented operational and engineering improvements in Dow’s Chlor Alkali II, Chlorine, and Brine Mining and Storage facilities. She was also the manufacturing representative on the Global Manufacturing Information System
Architecture Team, providing manufacturing perspective for design of work processes and IT platforms. In 1993, Cole served as production superintendent for Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) Plant at Dow in Plaquemine and was responsible for the safe and reliable operation of an integrated Ethylene Dichloride and Vinyl Chloride plant. From 1998 to 2002, Cole moved to Freeport, Texas as the technology center manager for Ethylene Dichloride/ Vinyl Chloride Monomer (EDC/ VCM), where she provided technical leadership for the global EDC/VCM business. She was also responsible for capital and expense projects focused on plant improvements globally, as well as leadership for the project engineers and Technology Center personnel.

In 2003, Cole was promoted as technology and research director for Dow Light Hydrocarbons, Aromatics, Butadiene, and Alpha Olefins in Freeport. She provided leadership for major expansions and plant upgrades in Dow’s global hydrocarbons plants; including technology selection for new plants and mega projects as well as refurbishment of existing plants. Cole focused technology efforts on emerging technologies, alternative feed stocks, and mega project initiatives, and led the development of the Gulf Coast Hydrocarbon Manufacturing Asset Strategy. She was also a member of Dow’s Coal to Chemical Project Team charged with delivery of a key technology component and integrated process design. In addition, she supported significant operational improvements and projects in Dow’s Joint Venture plants in Malaysia, Thailand, and Kuwait. In 2007, Cole returned to Louisiana as site director for Dow Plaquemine, LA and business manufacturing leader for the Chlor Vinyl Business. Her current responsibilities include providing site leadership and direction for one of Dow's largest integrated manufacturing sites with approximately 3,000 employees and contractors producing 50 products in 23 production units. As business manufacturing leader for Dow's EDC/Vinyl assets, she exhibits manufacturing responsibility (safety, cost, reliability, capital projects, and people development) for Dow's EDC and VCM plants globally.

Through the years Cole has been active in supporting the
University, serving on the College of Engineering Diversity Advisory Board, being a featured speaker for the Gordon A. & Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering Centennial Celebration in 2008, and as the LSU campus recruiter for Dow Chemical from 1986 to 1997.

Cole is a member of the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA)
Board of Directors, serving as vice president on the Executive Board. She is Governor Jindal's Appointee for the Louisiana Innovation Council. Cole is also a member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) Board of Directors; Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) Board of Directors and Executive Board; and serves on the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Board of Directors.

In addition to serving on many advisory boards, Cole has been
recognized with numerous awards and professional honors. In 2009, she was a recipient of the Louisiana Chemical Association Joe MacKenzie Most Valuable Player Award, was recognized as a Baton Rouge Business Report Influential Woman in Business, had an executive feature in BIC Publishing's Industry Achievers Publication, and was a LSU Distinguished Speaker for the Energy Leadership Speaker Series. For the third year in a row, Cole has been a featured executive in Baton Rouge's "The Advocate" New Year Economic

Cole and her husband, Stan, currently reside in Brusly, LA. Her step son, Brian Cole, is a resident of Freeport, TX. Her mother, sister and nephew reside in Baton Rouge. When she is not working, Cole enjoys gardening, cooking and fishing.