Program Director, Sustainability Council I: Strategy and Implementation, and Sustainability Council II: Innovation & Growth
The Conference Board
Laurie Zelnio is Program Director for Sustainability Council I - Strategy and Implementation - and Sustainability Council ll - Innovation & Growth. Laurie became familiar with the breadth of The Conference Board Member benefits, thought leadership, and peer networking as a Member and Executive Committee Chair of the Chiefs EHS Council. She was involved in the spin-off and development of the two Sustainability Councils from the Chiefs EHS Council in that role.
Prior to her current Program Director role, Laurie provided global leadership, strategy and governance as Global Director for John Deere’s* Environment, Health, Safety, Engineering Standards and Sustainability functions. She led initiatives and programs to assure the company’s products and global operations were in company and regulatory compliance and focused on safeguarding John Deere’s customers, employees, and the environment while also reducing the company’s use of natural resources. In this position Laurie led a transformation of the environment, health and safety functions for the company developing a regional structure that provided technical oversight, professional development, and programs aligned with country and cultural differences.
Additionally, she held positions in research and development, manufacturing and materials engineering. Her early materials engineering work led to an innovative approach to recycling machine cutting fluids improving the workplace for John Deere employees and reducing both cost and waste from the combine harvesting factory. Her later research work provided the foundation for use of more sustainable non-chrome corrosion preventive materials that are used globally today at John Deere. She was known for her enthusiasm and passion in developing employees and mentoring others and willingness to volunteer and lead activities outside her area of responsibility. Laurie retired from Deere & Company in April 2017.
She is currently a member of the University of Iowa College of Public Health Advisory Board - and a former College of Engineering Advisory Board. She is engaged with several volunteer activities in both her home locations of Door County, Wisconsin and Ft Myers, Florida. During her career, Laurie Zelnio was also active in leadership roles with United Way, Junior Achievement, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Deere Credit Union Board, Quad City Convention Center Board, and U.S. National Safety Council.
She received a BA in Biochemistry at the University of Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration at St. Ambrose University.