Coricka White is making history as the first Black woman manager of Baltimore’s Domino Sugar in its near 100-year-history, The Baltimore Sun reports.
White holds a degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia and a master’s of business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology. She first got her start with the company almost two decades ago. She began her career as a process engineer in 2003, working her way up through senior positions, including assistant manager of ASR Group’s Chalmette Refinery in Louisiana and then assistant manager of the Baltimore office. The plan is owned by the American Sugar Refining Inc., a member of the ASR Group. Now, she has been promoted to refinery manager at Domino Sugar’s Baltimore facility, making history as the first Black woman manager to lead the facility since it opened 99 years ago.
“I’m looking at myself as being a trailblazer and hope that I can pave the way for folks like myself to follow. I definitely stand on the shoulders of some very strong folks here, and I’d like to think of my success as the success of the Domino family. It speaks to how progressive our organization is,” said White.
This past April, the refinery’s raw sugar shed burned down on the property, forcing operations to shut down for a week. The rebuilding of the shed will be led by the former manager, Tim Noud, who is now serving as senior director of plant operations and modernization.
“That’s manufacturing; you know what I mean? You encounter some challenges, and you overcome those challenges and move on to the next day,” White said of the shed’s destruction.
She will oversee the $20 million installations of newly refined sugar silos in her new role, providing more than 14 million pounds of storage capacity. The plant employs more than 500 people, produces over 40 products, and has the power to refine more than 885,000 tons of raw sugar a year.
“That is huge for a refinery of our size that is doing more than 6 million pounds a day. That gives us the capability to run our operations a little bit differently than what we’ve done in the past… We’re not only investing, but we are embracing technology so that we can continue to move the refinery forward,” White said.
Kelly DeAngelo, vice president of ASR Group’s North America operations, spoke about the importance of White’s extensive knowledge, operational leadership skills, and experience in making her an excellent fit for her new role.
“She is a trusted, results-oriented leader who brings out the best in her colleagues. The Baltimore refinery has a bright future and is in excellent hands with Coricka,” DeAngelo said.
White’s focus is building rapport with the refinery employees, keeping the lines of communication open, and being fully transparent, especially in times of crisis. She feels like those are the things that make the work easier.
Since the announcement of her new appointment, White said so many family and friends had asked the same questions, “Are you the first woman to do it? The first Black woman?”
“I’m proud to say yes and happy to be the first and definitely don’t want to be the last,” she said.
Photo Courtesy of Kenneth K. Lam/The Baltimore Sun