Through our Supplier Diversity Program, Unilever is committed to working with suppliers that share our purpose and values, and that are intentional about the impact their operations have on society. In recognition of Black History Month, we sat down with President and CEO of Cedar Concepts, Linda McGill Boasmond. Boasmond oversees the manufacturing process for hundreds chemical and surfactant formulations, many of which are used in Unilever products. Cedar Concepts is both an African American-owned and women-owned business.
Q: When did the chemicals industry become your calling & what did your first experiences in the field teach you?
Growing up my goal was to become a doctor, but upon entering college and taking courses in chemistry, my love for the subject grew and the hands-on approach was appealing to me. In my mid-20’s, I was working at a fortune 500 company on the plant floor and had to supervise several people. That experience taught me the importance of forming an allegiance to foster collaboration.
Q: Who would you consider your role model?
My grandmother, she grew up in the late 1800’s. This was a time when opportunities were not presented to her and yet she still managed to consistently persevere. The go-getter, never-give-up attitude and mindset are something that lives within my family today. My grandmother is a constant source of inspiration.
Q: Share your experiences leading a woman- and minority-owned business.
The chemical manufacturing industry is male-dominated. The discouragement amongst female chemical entrepreneurs and being a woman in the male-dominated manufacturing world has shown me how to be my own hero.
For myself and for Cedar Concepts, I continue to strive to knock on doors to build my network and demonstrate our position as a strong player in the field. You could say this is where perseverance comes into play, but I find that challenges are just opportunities in disguise. I am proud to be the first and only African American woman in the United States to own and operate chemical manufacturing plants and believe Cedar Concepts inspires to spread the importance of diverse manufacturers in the industry.