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Thirty Years Later, Global Business Manager Still Feels Pull of York College of Pennsylvania Community

Headshot of Carol Eicher

Carol S. Eicher MBA ’90 got her start in business at York College. Now, she’s giving back to help the next generation of York College graduates.

For Carol S. Eicher MBA ’90, York is like a magnet—its invisible force tugs at her heart no matter where she goes.

While Eicher’s decades-long career as a CEO and business executive has taken her all over the world, it’s the community of York and York College of Pennsylvania, where she earned her MBA and got her start, that calls to her.

Now the benefactor of a new scholarship program for women in STEM and the secretary of the Board of Trustees at York College, she’s helping nurture that community she holds so dear.

Seeing it through

Eicher earned her degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, but she always knew her future was in business. For her MBA, she turned to York College. “There was a very strong connection to the community for me,” Eicher says, “and there still is.”

That connection started with Eicher’s mother, Doris E. Cohen MBA ’79, who was in the first graduating class for the MBA program at York College.

Eicher started her career working at DuPont and chipped away at her MBA requirements over 10 years, with a four-year hiatus while she lived in North Carolina. Graduating from York College and earning her MBA in 1990 was a proud moment—one that served as a springboard for the rest of her career.

Raising her hand

Eicher didn’t have any grand plan to become a CEO. What she did have was a strong work ethic, a talent to lead, and a drive to move up the ranks and increase her responsibilities.

When there was a new project to work on or a problem to be solved, Eicher was the first to volunteer. “I constantly had my hand up in the air,” she says.

And she got the job done. She could look at a project and figure out what was important, what wasn’t, and show people how they could work together.

“I truly like being the boss; I like being in charge,” she says. “I think what I enjoy about work is the ability to lead a team and to get people focused on a set of goals and objectives or achieve a strategic vision.”

Those skills carried her through as she advanced in the chemical industry, eventually landing as Business President at Dow Chemical and then as the President and CEO at Innocor, Inc., where she retired in 2018.

Flipping the narrative

As a female executive in a STEM field, Eicher had her fair share of negative experiences. However, she doesn’t dwell on them. She wants to flip the narrative, focusing on how she can make things more positive for women today.

That’s why she started a new scholarship specifically for women in STEM at York College. “I want to continue to support women who want to pursue careers in the scientific field,” she says. “What would it look like if it was different for the generations of women behind me?”

She was lucky to have had several great male mentors over the years, but she hopes her scholarship can help more women move into those critical role-model positions.

It’s been years since Eicher lived in York, but giving back to the community where she got her start is still important to her. “I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve, and my education at York was a key part of that,” she says.

Giving back

Eicher calls York College “the best kept secret this side of the Mississippi River.” She donates not only her money, but her time and expertise, as Secretary on the Board of Trustees at York College.

“There’s that sentimental attachment that I have to the York community, and I feel that the College is a cornerstone of that community,” she says.

The magnetic pull of Eicher’s history with York drives her to use her talents to help make York College the best it can be. “I can make a difference at York College,” she says. “And I think York College can make a difference for students and for the York community.”