When conducting climate change research in Greenland, most scientists never figure their career path will lead them to a position as a senior vice-president with a manufacturing company in Missoula, Montana. However, that is exactly what happened to Dr. Frances Gilman. While at one time using her PhD to discover the various ways microorganisms were related to climate change, Dr. Gilman eventually found her way back to Montana and a position as a microbiologist with Blue Marble Biomaterials. However, when the company was acquired by Socati, her role with the company became not only consulting microbiologist, but also business executive.
As the company made the transition from one that dealt with producing specialty compounds for such sectors as fragrances, cosmetics, and various foods, Dr. Gilman started to put a variety of skills to good use. Along with her continued work in areas of research and development, she also began to use her excellent communication and interpersonal skills to lead her team into a new era. Since most of the original team from Blue Marble stayed on after the acquisition was completed, this made it much easier for her to keep a sense of continuity within the manufacturing and research process.
Though never expecting to find herself in a position as a business executive, Dr. Frances Gilman knew that if Socati were to succeed, it would take a true team effort. Because of this, she focused much of her efforts on learning about the various types of expertise other staff members possessed, then placing them in positions where they could use their abilities in the best possible manner. In doing so, she was not only able to increase manufacturing productivity, but also help team members feel valued and appreciated, something that is critical to the success of any company.
Though Blue Marble was successful in its previous manufacturing areas, Socati chose to take the company in a new direction, focusing on aspects of health and wellness, and customer demand, growing scientific evidence and a broad spectrum of quality ingredients in need of proper manufacturing. Now focusing primarily on hemp extraction and how this can be used within the CBD industry, including THC-free and non-detectable THC, the company has benefited from Dr. Gilman being able to improve the company’s Good Manufacturing Practices as well as its Safe Quality Food Program. As a result, an infrastructure now exists within the company that allows for the creation of products that are safe, consistent, and of the highest quality.
While demonstrating a high level of success in the business world, Dr. Gilman realizes there are still many women in the fields of science and business who still struggle to gain the best possible career opportunities. Because of this, she has also taken a very active role as a business leader, and can often be found speaking to women’s business groups in Montana and across the country. Determined to remind women that they too can be both scientists and executives, Dr. Gilman has established herself as an individual whose advice is constantly sought out by those in business as well as research and development.
As the CBD industry as well as hemp extraction continue to be in high demand, Dr. Frances Gilman expects great things for her company in the coming years. With more and more consumers now focusing on purchasing products that are environmentally friendly, water soluble, and made using safe manufacturing processes, she believes her company can deliver products that will be very popular in such areas as personal care products and nutraceuticals. However, as the hemp and CBD industry-related products, especially water-soluble CBD, as well as THC-free and non-detectable THC, become more popular, they are also becoming more regulated. Thus, to ensure all goes well, Dr. Gilman will not only continue to lead as an executive, but also put her skills as a microbiologist to excellent use, as she oversees a broad spectrum of health and wellness products, including the cannabinoid class of diverse chemical compounds, where ingredients from hemp-derived products like CBG, CBC, CBN are incorporated in ways customers are wanting from the industry.