2004 Distinguished Service Award: Cynthia Berigan

// Industrial & Systems Engineering

Tags: alumni, Cynthia Berigan, Engineers' Day, ISyE E-Day

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berigan_cynthia2004Cynthia B. Berigan
Director, Systems Strategy
Kraft Foods
BSISyE ’83

Imagine the flow of data and information necessary for a company with 103,000 employees working in 68 countries to provide 18 billion pounds of product to customers in 150 countries. Managing this complex information network requires a diverse set of business processes and tools. Whether it is a cross-company networked personal computer, hand-held device, telephone with voice mail, warehouse or manufacturing technology, order-tracking system, or supplier- or customer-interaction application, Cynthia Berigan leverages a diverse set of business processes and tools for the benefit of her company, Kraft Foods.

After announcing a new global organizational structure in January 2004, Kraft named Berigan director of strategy for global information systems in February. In this new role, she is responsible for developing a global long-range plan and managing the company’s portfolio of investments in information systems and technologies that help it excel worldwide.

During her 13-year tenure at Kraft, Berigan has served in a variety of roles, including director of external manufacturing, director of the company’s productivity challenge group, and operations business manager for the Meals division and Foodservice division. She was a founding member of Kraft’s Women in Operations Diversity Council, an organization that improves retention, development and advancement of women in technical positions. She spent four years on the council’s leadership team and remains active behind the scenes.

Berigan volunteers for Junior Achievement, a national not-for-profit organization that partners businesses and schools to provide K-12 students with activities that educate them about business and economics and prepare them for fulfilling careers. She also is a member of the Department of Industrial Engineering Visiting Committee.

Berigan, who earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from UW-Madison in 1983, has an MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago. She began her career with General Electric, holding engineering and supervisory positions with a variety of the company’s businesses before becoming a senior consultant with Price Waterhouse’s strategic consulting group in Chicago.

She and her husband, Jamie, a UW-Madison education alumnus (now a full-time dad), have three daughters: Deirdre, 11; Maggie, 6; and Laura, 3. Their hobbies revolve mainly around their children’s activities, which include sports, music and Irish dancing with the Trinity Academy.