• 2019 GMiS Luminary •

Carina E.

R&D Innovation Program Manager
KPC North America Wiping Business
Kimberly-Clark Corporation

By now Carina E. Garcia is used to the jokes about her belonging to Kimberly-Clark’s Professional North America Wiping Team. The laughs, however, mask the serious research and engineering background required for a role in which she delivers new product solutions, fueling growth and implementing manufacturing optimization and brand maintenance programs for the personal care company.

The innovation pipeline that Ms. Garcia has developed and managed is valued at over $400 million. Her most recent efforts have led to the development of a new product line for an industrial segment that will help propel sales past the company’s half billion-dollar growth goal. 

Ms. Garcia has taken active leadership roles in several employee resource organizations, including the Latin American Network for Diversity and the Women’s Inclusion Network. She also extends these efforts outside the workplace as a mentor to students at a local charter school through the SHPE professional chapter, and she volunteers and fundraises for non-profits like the United Way and Drake house (Women’s Shelter). 

Born in Argentina, Ms. Garcia began studying English when she was 8-years-old and first visited the United States as an exchange student when she was just 17. Returning to her home country, she earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry at Universidad Nacional de San Luis with magna cum laude honors.

The Argentina Chemical Association named Ms. Garcia the top Chemistry graduate in the country for 1997, something that contributed to her acceptance to the Ph.D. program at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. A family emergency forced her to return home just before completing her studies, but that led to her first position at Kimberly-Clark in Argentina, where she advanced rapidly. Though her Ph.D. plans had been interrupted, she decided to return to the Universidad Nacional de San Luis to earn a second B.S. degree in Pharmacy, graduating again with honors.

In 2014, Ms. Garcia was invited by senior management to move to Roswell, Georgia and take a role as Latin America Operations and Mexico and Asia Pacific Liaison & Program Leader for Global Nonwovens. She was promoted to her current position in 2018.