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Jacqueline Heard, 2024 Women in Business Honoree

A seasoned agri-food industry leader motivated by the need for sustainable change in the sector, Jacqueline Heard currently leads Enko Chem Inc. in its work to design safe and sustainable solutions to crop-destroying problems by applying drug discovery approaches from pharma to agriculture.

As CEO, Heard draws from deep experience as an entrepreneur, investor and global business executive.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments?

I’m passionate about the need for agricultural sustainability. Since spearheading the launch of Enko in 2017, I’ve grown a team of 50 to create crop protection solutions that address a $70 billion core market.

I’ve also raised $150 million from investors and cultivated critical industry relationships and ongoing research and development collaborations.

What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

I look forward to when our products are actively transforming the agricultural industry, enabling all regions to solve large-scale crop problems and respond quickly to new ones by protecting crops from pests and disease, and to increase farm productivity and food security around the world safely.

What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

Systemic change is never easy. Working with investors, industry partners, regulators and the scientific community to address the need for a new era of safer, more sustainable chemicals for the ag industry is an ongoing effort. I’ve found that active listening, open collaboration and science-backed passion are the keys to success.

How are you involved in the community?

I try to be an active voice for industry change by speaking at events and serving on boards of directors and scientific advisory boards. I’ve also been involved in MIT’s Sloan Women in Management and Women in Bio.

Locally, we’ve begun working with UConn to give students hands-on ag R&D experience.

Check out the rest of the 2024 Women in Business Honorees

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