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CRBJ: Female executives: Business acumen fostered at early age

August 26, 2022

South Carolina female CEOs and entrepreneurs were interviewed on stage by S.C. Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette in a casual conversation to discuss their roles, passion and drive during the Inspiring Women Leaders Luncheon in conjunction with the SC Biz News North Charleston Business Expo.

Evette — a female executive herself who founded payroll, human resources and benefits services accounting firm Quality Business Solutions Inc. — welcomed Lou Kennedy, owner and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, which will add a plant to make Nitrile gloves in the next few weeks.

Starting girls early learning STEM subjects, business and logistics was a topic among the female executives.

“We’ve got to get earlier in the grade level and education system and try to inspire children to pick jobs like supply chain, microbiology, chemistry or cybersecurity and tell them about what we have to offer earlier than past generations,” Kennedy said. “I think most parents and most children don’t understand that manufacturing is not like the turn-of-the-century manufacturing or even from the 1950s and 1960s; we have cool buildings with hip robotics and we’re more like a tech firm.”

Kennedy said Nephron Pharmaceuticals hired a person specifically to arrange school field trips to the plant in West Columbia to inspire the next generation.

“We’ve had 40-50 field trips since she started, kids of all ages — little kids, older kids — and we built a glass viewing corridor, a showcase, to make it student friendly.”

Kennedy said valuable degrees are in supply chain, including shipping, logistics, purchasing and banking and she touted the state’s higher education institutions with offering quality business programs.

Read the Charleston Regional Business Report's full story.