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|Brenda Smith Sanborn (front row, fourth from left) visited with female student leaders after her 2009 Keystone Leaders-in-Residence campus lecture.|
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Brenda Arnette Smith Sanborn, a 1968 Auburn University graduate who ultimately directed Pfizer's national pharmaceutical sales operations, has been named by the College of Education as its 2009 Keystone Leader-in-Residence.
Sanborn holds a bachelor's degree in secondary biology education with a minor in English and spent nine years as a high school educator prior to her pharmaceuticals career. Sanborn will spend Thursday, Jan. 22 visiting with Education students, faculty, staff and administrators.
The highlight of her Keystone Leader visit will be a campus-wide lecture at 11 a.m. in Thach 112. The lecture — open to the campus community — will feature Sanborn's insights on leadership, cultural and gender issues in corporate America, and challenges in academia.
The College of Education's Keystone Leader-in-Residence program, established in 2003, introduces students to proven leaders in education, human services, health services, community services and the public sector. The program emphasizes that education — like the keystone of an arch — serves a central, supporting role in society.
The college strives to develop competent, committed and reflective professionals who utilize education in building better futures for all. After graduating from Auburn, Sanborn, an Albertville, Ala., native, earned a master's degree in physiology and anatomy at Purdue University, and completed an assistantship in animal science in 1970. Her nine years of high school teaching that followed included schools in Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Her last appointment on the faculty of Washington Junior High School in Naperville, Ill., included service as science department chair. Sanborn began her 25-year career with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 1981 at a time when female executives in the industry — much less corporate America — were uncommon. Her career spanned five states and included experience as a sales representative, assistant regional manager and district manager.
She retired in 2006 as senior director and group leader of Pfizer's national Sales Operations office based in the company's New York City headquarters. Sanborn remains an active business woman.
Now residing in Greensboro, Ga., she co-owns and serves as vice president of Kusillo Gallery. Her civic and association service includes the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Oconee Regional Humane Society, Rotary Club of Greensboro, Reynolds Plantation Chorus, and Plantation Ladies Club. Sanborn is the college's seventh Keystone Leader. Recipients include a range of professionals in healthcare, public administration, banking, government communications and religion.
Last Updated: May 16, 2011