Special Distinction Companies

A number of Minnesota companies have taken a leadership role in incorporating talented women into their corporate governance structure, moving beyond the lone woman director or token woman executive officer.

The three companies that have achieved 30 percent or more women directors and women executive officers are profiled below.

CyberOptics Corporation

CyberOptics logoCyberOptics Corporation supplies industry-leading optical sensors and inspection systems for the worldwide electronics assembly equipment market. The company’s products enable electronics manufacturers to deliver the highest value to their customers by providing process control that increases productivity and product quality.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, CyberOptics has 153 employees worldwide and conducts operations in North America, Asia, and Europe. Its 2008 revenues were $45.5 million. Half of the company’s executive offices are held by women, and women make up 33 percent of its six-member board of directors. President and Chief Executive Officer Kathleen P. Iverson was named chair of the board of directors in 2009, having served on the board since 1998, and Irene M. Qualters, former senior vice president of products at Silicon Graphics, Inc., has served on the board since 1999.

MTS Systems Corporation

MTS logoMTS Systems Corporation is a leading global supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors. The company’s testing hardware and software solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures.

MTS had 1,660 employees and revenue of $461 million for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2008. Three of the seven members of its board of directors 43 percent) are women. Laura B. Hamilton, president and chief executive officer, was appointed chair of the board in September 2008 after serving as a board director since 2007. Lois M. Martin, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Capella Education Company, has served on the board since 2006. Barb J. Samardzich, vice president of Ford Motor Company and vice president of Powertrain Engineering, has served on the board since 2001.

MTS Systems also has three women executive officers (60 percent) out of a total of five executive officer positions: Laura B. Hamilton, president and chief executive officer; Susan E. Knight, chief financial officer and vice president; and Kathleen M. Staby, vice president, human resources.

Target Corporation

Target logoThe nation’s second largest retail discount chain, Target Corporation defines the upscale discount sector by providing high-quality, on-trend merchandise at attractive prices in clean, spacious, and guest-friendly stores.

With 1,743 Target stores in 49 states, as well as Target.com, the company ranks No. 29 on the Fortune 500 list and third in The Minnesota Census sample of the state’s 100 largest public companies. In fiscal 2008, sales were $62.9 billion.

As of this report, Target’s 12-member board of directors includes four women (33 percent): Roxanne Austin, president of Austin Investment Advisors (who chairs the audit committee); Mary N. Dillon, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, McDonald’s Corporation; Mary E. Minnick, partner, Lion Capital; and Anne M. Mulcahy, chair of the board and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation (who chairs the finance committee and serves on the nominating committee of the board).

Three of Target’s 10 executive officers of the corporation are women: Jodeen A. Kozlak, executive vice president, human resources; Kathryn A. Tesija, executive vice president, merchandising; and Beth Jacob, senior vice president and chief information officer.