A plaque with Sylvia Stoesser’s portrait hangs on the wall in the newly renovated Sylvia Stoesser Center on the Global Dow Campus in Midland, Mich. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 (Riley Yuan| MLive.com)
Dow’s first female chemist was Sylvia Stoesser
Stoesser’s colleagues considered her “the finest woman chemist since Marie Curie,” and during her time at Dow, she earned 29 patents. Her work included laying the groundwork for polystyrene to become the most widely used plastic in the world.
On Monday, Jan. 13, Dow officials unveiled the Sylvia Stoesser Center to media, Dow employees, Dow leaders and other members of the community.
Stoesser’s work at Dow encouraged leaders to honor her name on the new corporate building that aims to foster innovation and collaboration.
“It’s a great way to honor her,” said Jim Fitterling, chief executive officer of Dow. “It’s a great way to honor our female researchers and female employees. But the enormous legacy that she left for us, it’s inspiring I think to hear stories like that.”
Inside a digital operations studio at the newly renovated Sylvia Stoesser Center on the Global Dow Campus in Midland, Mich. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Riley Yuan| MLive.com)
The Sylvia Stoesser Center not only offers a modern and vibrant work space, but also a wellness center and Studio 20/20, Dow’s video and photo studios.
The fitness center, located in the ground level of the SSC, is equipped with weights, workout machines and showers. The center is open to employees 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Studio 20/20, a full-service, in-house, multimedia production service, can be used to connect with other Dow offices, hold news interviews and webcasts and communicate globally, according to Dow officials.
A focus carrel in the newly renovated Sylvia Stoesser Center on the Global Dow Campus in Midland, Mich. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Riley Yuan|MLive.com)
A modern work space
The new Sylvia Stoesser Center, located on the Willard H. Dow Campus at its Midland headquarters, houses 350 Dow employees who work in information technology, human resources, public affairs and more. The 93,000-square-foot facility features a variety of seating space, meeting rooms, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, treadmill desks and a quiet area.
The center was the formerly known as the Employee Development Center.
Fitterling said the space modernizes the way Dow employees work.
“You’re going to see a lot of collaborative spaces, and that is meant to attract the best and brightest minds up here and give them the kind of atmosphere they want to work in, because that’s the generation that’s going to keep this going for the future,” Fitterling said.
The Global Dow Campus seen in Midland, Mich. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Riley Yuan| MLive.com)
Dow’s commitment to sustainability
The Global Dow Center, which opened in 2017, has achieved LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement used in more than 167 countries.
As part of Dow’s 2025 sustainability goal, the company is committed to pursuing efficient operations. The Global Dow Center building is one of several Dow facilities built over the last decade that were designed to LEED standards.
“The way we work at Dow is changing. So are our workspaces,” said Paul Barbeau, global facilities director for Dow. “We are creating workspaces that are vibrant, healthy and connected so our employees enjoy coming to work every day. Through building design, we can.”
The headquarters is the third Dow building in Midland to achieve LEED certification, joining the East End building and the Business Process Service Center.
Howard Ungerleider (center), President & CFO, speaks at a panel introducing the newly renovated Sylvia Stoesser Center on the Global Dow Campus in Midland, Mich. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Riley Yuan | MLive.com)
Dow in mid-Michigan
The renovated SSC is the final major addition planned for Dow’s Midland headquarters campus, which currently houses approximately 2,000 Dow employees. The Great Lakes Bay Region is home to approximately 5,500 Dow employees, according to Dow officials.
In addition to the Global Dow Center, Midland is also home to the SSC and Ben Branch Center, which are both connected to the headquarters by a walkway. The Michigan Operations and East End are also located in Midland.
The I-Park, also based in Midland, is home to integrated manufacturing and research and development. In addition to Dow, tenants include DuPont, Corteva, Trinseo, Cabot and SK Americas. The I-Park includes 2,600 acres of land, 50 miles of roads, 100 miles of distribution pipeline for industrial gases and liquids, and 46 miles of railway.
Uptown Bay City houses a Dow corporate office building and the Dow Central Campus, located in Auburn, is a research and development center for silicones.
Dow operates 113 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,000 people, according to the company.