Karen M. Albertson
Lean Six Sigma Director, 3M Industrial Business Group
St. Paul, MN

“A career in manufacturing offers a wonderful opportunity to take theory and put it into practice to provide value in our communities. My advice for someone starting off on a manufacturing career is to 'lean into' the opportunity and take the time to learn from the many people working in the industry.” 

Karen is both a builder of business and developer of people.  In her role as vice president, International Business Development for one of 3M's Health Care divisions, Karen demonstrated an exceptional ability to grow the business while focusing on customer success.  On each occasion, she emerged as an inspired business leader with superior manufacturing expertise complemented by a unique ability to work with diverse cross-functional teams, energizing them to produce outstanding business results. Karen's love for working with customers and sharp business mind allowed her to transition professionally over time as she learned she could be a bridge between the worlds of manufacturing and business development.
Karen is an outgoing risk-taker who excels at bringing out the best in her team.  She relishes her role as a mentor and coach, and is quick to recognize coworkers for their accomplishments.  She has received many awards throughout her career including a Professional Progress in Engineering Award, and later a Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering from Iowa State University in 2012.  Karen is truly a global citizen: volunteering, developing and leading industry groups, creating professional organizations, and championing the need for more women in industry and STEM careers.

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