Coricka White makes history as 1st Black woman to run Domino Sugar refinery

“I’m proud to say yes and happy to be the first and definitely don’t want to be the last,” Coricka White told a local news outlet

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A Black woman is making history with a big promotion in Baltimore. 

Coricka White was recently promoted to refinery manager at Domino Sugar’s Baltimore refinery, becoming the first Black woman to serve in this role in the 99-year-old history of the facility, according to The Baltimore Sun.

“I’m proud to say yes and happy to be the first,” White told The Baltimore Sun. “And definitely don’t want to be the last.”

White stepped into this new role in May.

Coricka White thegrio.com
Coricka White makes history as 1st Black woman to run Domino Sugar refinery (Credit: ASR Group)

“I’m looking at myself as being a trailblazer and hope that I can pave the way for folks like myself to follow,” she told The Baltimore Sun. “I definitely stand on the shoulders of some very strong folks here, and I’d like to think of my success as the success of the Domino family. It speaks to how progressive our organization is.”

ASR Group shared the following statement about White’s new promotion: 

“We are pleased to announce that Coricka White has been promoted to Refinery Manager of the Domino Sugar Baltimore Refinery. She brings nearly two decades of experience, knowledge and leadership to her new role, through which she will keep driving operational excellence and continuous improvement at our 510-person refinery. Please join us in congratulating Coricka!”

On a separate LinkedIn post sharing the exciting news of White’s transition, people shared congratulatory messages.

“Congrats on making history! I wish you well in this new role,” one person wrote.

In White’s new role as refinery manager, she will be responsible for overseeing a $20 million installation including new silos that will have storage capacity for 14 million additional pounds with more than 500 employees at the plant, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“That is huge for a refinery of our size that is doing more than 6 million pounds a day,” White told The Baltimore Sun. “That gives us the capability to run our operations a little bit differently than what we’ve done in the past. … We’re not only investing, but we are embracing technology so that we can continue to move the refinery forward.”

White was initially hired as a process engineer in 2003 and worked her way up to several roles, including assistant manager of ASR Group’s Chalmette Refinery in Louisiana and assistant manager of the Baltimore facility, The Baltimore Sun reported.

According to White’s LinkedIn profile, she studied at the University of Virginia, where she obtained a degree in chemical engineering and later earned a master’s in business administration from Florida Institute of Technology. 

White is already applying her years of experience to the job as she navigates these unprecedented times with the pandemic. According to The Baltimore Sun, the refinery is emphasizing that employees get COVID-19 vaccines and recently hosted a free vaccination clinic. White told them communication is key.

“That’s definitely one of the key things that I feel is the responsibility of my job here, engaging and communicating with the folks that work in the refinery,” White told The Baltimore Sun. “When you do that well, when you keep folks abreast of, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on,’ ‘This is what we need to keep focused on,’ it makes the job a bit easier.” 

Kelly DeAngelo, who serves as ASR Group’s vice president of North America operations, told The Baltimore Sun that White’s knowledge and experience makes her the perfect candidate for the position.

“She is a trusted, results-oriented leader who brings out the best in her colleagues,” DeAngelo told The Baltimore Sun. “The Baltimore refinery has a bright future and is in excellent hands with Coricka.”

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