ASU business school honors Gore executive for ‘innate capabilities, presence’

Terri Kelly, who has worked for the global materials science company perhaps best known for its GORE-TEX fabrics products, will be awarded the 2018 Executive of the Year Award by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. 

The award honors business leaders who have created and sustained superior organization performance and whose presence exemplifies a model for future business leaders, according to a release announcing the honor.

Terri Kelly

In recognition of her performance as president and CEO of W. L. Gore & Associates Inc., the school will honor her Thursday, April 12, at a luncheon at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort. 

“It’s an honor to recognize Terri Kelly as this year’s Executive of the Year,” W. P. Carey School of Business dean Amy Hillman stated in the release. “Gore’s distinct culture and non-hierarchical leadership model speaks volumes about her innate capabilities and presence, but also reveals how she has been able to lead Gore to a position of great strength and innovation in the market. I’m really looking forward to hearing her insights.”

Ms. Kelly started at Gore as an associate in 1983 after graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in mechanical engineering. She became CEO in 2005 after 22 years with the company.

Ms. Kelly’s leadership abilities have driven her success at Gore, known for its entrepreneurial spirit and team-based work environment, the release stated. Leadership roles at Gore are influenced by associate feedback, and peer assessments help determine compensation. The company employs approximately 9,500 associates in more than 20 countries. Gore has maintained a significant presence in Arizona for more than 50 years with operations in Flagstaff and Phoenix.

In her early years with the company, Ms. Kelly gained experience as a product specialist with the military fabrics business – a unit she eventually led, helping it grow from a small start-up venture into a leading producer of protective apparel products for the global armed forces.

Ms. Kelly, who recently announced her retirement from Gore, lives in Delaware with her husband and four children. She will continue to serve on the company’s board through July.

Ms. Kelly is the 35th Executive of the Year chosen by the Dean’s Council, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business.

The event honoring her starts at 11:30 a.m. and is part of the annual Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. 

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