The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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First Female African-American MIE Graduate Lectures Here on April 12

Cheryl Snead, the first African-American woman to graduate with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst, will give a public lecture on April 12 on the 10th floor of the Campus Center from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Ms. Snead is the founder, president, and CEO of Banneker Industries of Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Indianapolis, Indiana. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Small Business Leader of the Year as presented by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Woman of Courage Emerging Business Award from the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners, the Labor and Enterprise Award from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the New England Minority Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Rhode Island Business and Professional Women’s “Women Mean Business” Award.

She also holds an MBA degree from Purdue University and an honorary doctorate from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

“I am extremely proud to lead a very talented and gifted group called ‘Team Banneker,’” says Ms. Snead. “Our ability to listen to our customers and exceed their expectations by executing a variety of supply chain management solutions is what drives me. In two words…customer success!”

Ms. Snead originally established Banneker Industries in1991 as a machine shop specializing in the precision machining of defense oriented components. At the time, the company concentrated on projects such as Patriot Missile components for Operation Desert Storm, as well as other aircraft and aerospace hardware. Later Banneker diversified into other manufacturing facets, including assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution services.

Ms. Snead also serves many roles in the community, including motivational speaker, business executive, and mentor to women who own businesses. (April 2012)