BOONE — Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business will host the 63rd Boyles Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, March 17 at the Holmes Convocation Center.
The 2 p.m. conference will feature Pamela Mars Wright, former chairman and chief executive of Mars Inc., which governs the $40 billion Mars family-owned business. His talk will focus on lessons learned and successful strategies for family businesses.
Mars Inc. is the maker of famous confectionery brands like Snickers, Mars Bars, Milky Way, Twix, and M&M’s, among others, and the organization has a broader portfolio that includes pet care products, Banfield Pet Hospitals, diner brands and drink vending machines.
The one-hour event is free and open to the public.
Pamela Mars Wright’s business experience spans from operations to governance during her 35 years at Mars Inc. Her roles and focus blended her affinity for technical matters, the satisfaction of getting things done, and her concern for people. . She is a former chair and director of the board of Mars, which governs the $40 billion company owned by the Mars family. She retired from Mars in 2021, but continues to serve on the technical committee.
Mars Wright began her career at Ted Bates Advertising as an account executive.
When Mars Wright joined Mars Inc., she changed direction and immersed herself in operations and supply chain. His first job was as an operations supervisor at what was then Masterfoods USA in Hacketstown, New Jersey. From there, she learned the multi-faceted elements of operations, from analysis to team supervision and from engineering to sales, becoming plant manager in 1989. Over the years, she worked on the continents and Mars’ confectionery and pet care businesses, eventually serving as Vice President of Manufacturing for Mars Petcare.
In the latter part of her career, Mars Wright focused her energy as a Mars ambassador to associates of acquired companies. She has been instrumental in successful integrations and the merging of cultures, particularly as the company expanded its presence in healthcare and veterinary services, transforming its traditionally more consumer goods portfolio. Mars Wright has also served as a director on the board of Banfield, a network of veterinary hospitals that is part of Mars’ Petcare.
Mars Wright served as Chair of the Mars Board of Trustees for four years and 16 years as Director, retiring from the Board in 2017. She was also a long-term member of the Mars Science Advisory Board. In these governance roles, Mars Wright’s extensive experience, knowledge of procurement and natural curiosity have been invaluable assets.
Mars Wright officially retired from the Mars business in 2021 but remains a member of the Mars Technical Committee. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Moffitt Cancer Research Center and of the supervisory boards of Heineken NV and SHV, a Dutch family business, as well as a member of the Honorary Senate of Nobel Laureates of the Lindau Foundation.
Mars Wright previously served on the board of trustees at Potomac School in McLean, Va., and served on the board of trustees at Foxcroft School for 12 years, chairing the board of trustees.
She is a graduate of Potomac School and Foxcroft School as well as Vassar College.
For more than a century, Mars Inc. has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow begins with the way we do business today. This idea is central to what the company has always been as a global family business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm its commitment to having a positive impact on the world.
Across its diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionary foods and pet care products and services, Mars employs 133,000 dedicated associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With annual sales of $40 billion, Mars produces some of the world’s most beloved brands, including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, CACAOVIA® and 5™; and cares for half of the world’s pets through its nutrition, health and services businesses, including AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus and VCA™.
Mars’ Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its associates to take action every day to help create a world of tomorrow in which the planet, its people and its pets can thrive. For more information on Mars, visit www.mars.com.
About the Boyles Distinguished Lecture Series
The Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture Series began in 1988 and is named after the late North Carolina State Treasurer Harlan E. Boyles. Treasurer Boyles was a model of industry, hard work and integrity. View the full list of past speakers.