Sue Franz
Vice President of Chemistry
Gentex Corporation

"I am passionate about manufacturing because it brings organic growth by converting the dream of scientists and engineers into reality. It employs and promotes innovations through science and technology for better quality products and faster throughput. Manufacturing creates jobs and makes our life better."

Sue is a shining example of modern of leadership.  Her competence as a Ph.D. analytical chemist has distinguished her career in a company that built its reputation on the innovative synergy between electronics, glass, and chemistry. Sue’s contributions as a technical and business expert are numerous, accomplishing exceptional results in unique settings, but her character is what truly differentiates her from the rest.  She is a tenacious problem solver with the ability to temper her determination for data-driven results with a sincere and caring approach.
 
Sue joined Gentex Corporation - an electrochromic mirror and window manufacturer in Zeeland Michigan - in 1997, and has held many positions with increased responsibilities prior to her current role. She narrows the gap of research and production by incorporating chemistry to solve production issues and control the quality of chemicals. Sue serves on the Leadership Team at Gentex, bringing the voice of the rank-and-file into every Leadership meeting. She does not see boundaries when she engages with people, instead she sees opportunities. Sue advocates for diversity at the most fundamental level, and is an advocate for those around her who may not have immediate access.
 
Sue is committed to mentoring her team and people surrounding her, pursuing additional courses at the onset of her career so that she could be as effective as possible in the role.  She continually gives feedback and develops performance, and helps build self-esteem and confidence with each interaction.
 
At the core, in and out of the workplace, Sue affects people’s hearts. Committed to international adoption after adopting two girls from China, Sue and her family have established The Franz Family Scholarship, an endowed fund for students who have been touched by international adoption. Sue is an advocate and an advisory committee member for Kids Food Basket, a volunteer organization that provides meals for local school children. As a member of Rotary International, Sue is actively involved in service projects in local and international communities. She faces personal and professional challenges with grace, and inspires every life she touches.
 
Sue was born and raised in China. She received her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Analytical Chemistry from Jilin University in Changchun, China. Arriving in the United States in 1985 on full scholarships, she completed her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1989. She also earned her Master’s degree in Management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2002 and Six Sigma black belt certification from Villanova University in 2011.

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