Innovation Program Specialist

Kent Corporation

Muscatine, IA Scientific / Manufacturing & Industrial
Kent Corporation Enterprise Innovation in Muscatine, Iowa is looking for an Innovation Program Specialist. This role will provide and help improve operations, project management, as well as program support for the Enterprise Innovation Group to advance ideas more rapidly through the evaluation process while achieving targeted growth goals.  This includes, but is not limited to the management of data and documentation, of information and action items obtained during meetings, ideation and opportunity process coordination, stage and gate process work for ideas, in addition to opportunity projects.

The individual will work collaboratively with the Innovation Team, Advisory Group, the Kent Executive Committee, Kent Project Managers and all departments in our business.

Manage the documentation and task management for new ideas, opportunities, and projects, to ensure completion of all work on time to drive revenue generation.
•    Is highly proficient in the Microsoft Teams work environment and Office 365. Is able to leverage Teams for meeting and work documentation (OneNote), for task management (Planner and Project) and for effective storage of both legal and stage/gate work files (SharePoint) to support department efficiency and task management.
•    Manages the individual and team schedules to prepare the team for collaboration meetings, to organize logistics and itineraries by outside visitors, to coordinate internal project meetings and agendas and ensure appropriate follow up is taking place for all interactions. Works with team members to support travel arrangements and advance preparation for travel to business opportunities and conferences.
•    Works with team members to document and track action items and their progress that result from any meetings related to ideas, opportunities and projects.
•    Provides remote support for Kent Innovation Center in Ames Iowa. Includes making contacts and setting up meetings with Iowa State professors or Ames leaders, supporting Center Manager in following up on actions and commitments to allow Center Manager to be effective and efficient in their work.
•    Catalogs and ensures all legal documentation is completed with outside companies including Non-Disclosure Agreements, Letters of Intent, Leases, Contract Research, and other legal agreements, etc.
•    Develops presentations for various purposes including meeting management, telling the Kent story, communicating innovation updates, etc.
•    Helps to draft the monthly Innovation update and field questions from internal staff.
•    Provides assistance and back-up to the department market specialist to ensure ideas are posted into eMerge and actions are taken to make progress to the next steps.
•    Develops and supports ways to share information about Innovation with the organization at the level of transparency that is appropriate to the work.
•    Works with Innovation Team to find new ways to engage the organization in a culture of innovation, including engaging the organization in reviewing, contributing and refining ideas.
•    Support the eMerge software system as an Admin, helping both internal and external audiences to navigate the system or troubleshoot issues.
• The above statements cover what are generally believed to be the principal and essential functions of this job. Specific circumstances may allow or require some people assigned to the job to perform a somewhat different combination of duties.

•    Deals with ambiguity
•    Organizing
•    Creativity
•    Time Management
•    Written Communications
•    Presentation skills
•    Juggles many tasks and is able to keep multiple work plans advancing simultaneously
•    Ability to use technology and learn new technology fairly quickly
• Is collaborative within the team and across the organization

•    Bachelor’s Degree required in any field, a background or degree in biology or chemistry is preferred
•    Personal maturity to evaluate and manage uncertainty and stress effectively
•    Exceptional organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously and work with others to accomplish their work according to commitments
•    Excellent oral and written communications
•    Able to collaborate and engage others respectfully to build strong relationships and be part of a highly functioning team
•    Has a strong commitment to personal learning, development and growth
• High proficiency in software tools, including Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint along with ability to quickly learn new tools such as Microsoft Teams (Office 365), and the company ideation software (by Wazoku).

•    Minimum of five years’ experience working in an environment developing organizational skills, building relationships, and proactively supporting a collaboration
•    Experience in a science field, specifically biology is a plus
•    Experience in either a food ingredient, consumer goods, or animal nutrition field is a plus
•    Experience in a variety of functional areas is a plus
•    Ability to project manage small projects, experience handling multiple tasks that may not be clearly defined, has proven ability to be highly organized.
•    Has used Microsoft Office products with high level of proficiency and is quick to pick up new technology and software
•    Has shown the ability to remain calm in high stress and fast paced situations
• Ability to influence others without direct authority and build collaboration with other departments and groups both within Kent and with external organizations

Role is located in Muscatine, Iowa at Kent Corporation's corporate headquarters. Less than 20% travel to the Kent Innovation Center in Ames or other locations, in addition to conferences or industry meetings.

This new role will allow the individual the ability to contribute and help define processes and programs within the Enterprise Innovation Team, a new business unit at Kent Corporation, formed in 2017 to focus on growth opportunities, enterprise-wide, that leverage Kent Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries research, products, markets, capabilities, and talent.

Job ID: 69665

Posted 26 days ago

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