Dynamic business leader Lynn Utter will deliver Montgomery County Community College’s 2015 Commencement address on May 21 at 7 p.m. in Blue Bell.
Utter most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Knoll, Inc.—headquartered locally in Montgomery County, but recognized worldwide as a leading designer and manufacturer of branded furniture and textiles. Much like the company’s iconic designs transformed the way people furnish their homes and offices, Utter, and visionary leaders like her, are transforming the role workforce development plays in building vibrant communities.
“Education and industry are critical pieces of a community’s comprehensive workforce development strategy. Such a strategy builds multiple pathways with multiple access points: high school to college; college to transfer or employment; employment to retraining, and all of the many steps in between,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president. “As illustrated by her outreach efforts at Knoll, Ms. Utter values an educated and engaged workforce that is part of the larger community.
Through Utter’s outreach, MCCC and Knoll partnered on several diverse initiatives. Both organizations were early partners with the PerkUp Workforce Consortium, a unique collaboration of business and industry leaders, government officials and educators working together to develop a 21st century workforce for the Upper Perkiomen Valley. In 2011, Utter gave the keynote address at the Foundation’s Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience, which supports women’s scholarships and programming through the College’s Foundation. And, in 2012, the College hosted an art exhibition featuring the architecture and design work of Florence Knoll Bassett.
“Thanks to Lynn Utter, Montgomery County Community College has an innovative partner in Knoll—a great connection and resource for our students right here in Montgomery County!”
Before coming to Knoll Inc. in 2008, Utter worked in a variety of operating and strategic positions at Coors and Frito-Lay, as well as with Strategic Planning Associates in Washington D.C. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and has held leadership roles with a number of organizations that support the advancement of women in the workplace.
Currently, Utter serves as a director for WESCO International and on the Internal Audit Committee for The University of Texas. She has also served on several non-profit boards, including Stanford Graduate School of Business, The University of Texas and the United Way.
Among her many accolades, Utter has received the 2015 Paradigm Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She has been inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame and recognized as an Outstanding Young Texas Executive. In addition, she received the John Gardner Award for Service, as well as the Award of Merit from Stanford.
Utter earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Utter and her husband Ward reside in Devon, Pa., with their two children.
~ by Alana J. Mauger