Company: iRobot Corporation, Bedford, MA
Entry Submitted By: Fleishman-Hillard
Company Description: MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Helen Greiner and Dr. Rodney Brooks founded iRobot in 1990 to make practical robots a reality. In 2008 iRobot generated over $307 million in revenue and employed over 400 of the robot industry’s top professionals. The global leader, iRobot makes robots for consumers and government to tackle household chores, excite imagination and protect people.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive – Service Businesses – up to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Nancy Dussault Smith, Vice President, Marketing Communications
1. Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
Nancy Dussault Smith, iRobot’s vice president of marketing communications , has
responsibilities that encompass the home robot and government & institution sides
of the business. While she holds a marketing title, Nancy is involved in virtually
every aspect of the organization, and even holds a patent for Scooba, iRobot’s
What Nancy shares with the 400 leading roboticists at iRobot is a strong sense of
ingenuity; a commitment to making a meaningful difference, at work and in life. In
this role, which frequently puts her in contact with consumers, media and other
influential women, she has the opportunity to meet and work alongside others who
bring a similar sensibility to life. The humor, generosity and innate ingenuity of
these women inspired Nancy to conceive the That’s iNGENIOUS Challenge.
In early 2009, Nancy was determined to connect the dots between iRobot’s
mission of making a meaningful difference and the thousands of women who do
just that every day, in ways large and small. Partnering with nine influential,
female bloggers, Nancy brought the That’s iNGENIOUS Challenge – a contest based on
collaboration among leading women bloggers and their communities, turning the
creative problem solving of everyday life into a search for the best ideas. Think
battle of the blogs, but with the collaborative, communal spirit.
The program has already inspired communities of women to channel their creativity
and intellect. Anointed by CEO Colin Angle as iRobot’s Chief Difference Maker,
Nancy’s role has expanded from leader to cheerleader, using her blog to encourage
and empower Challenge participants. The participating communities collaborate
online, forming a network of support that will pay forward innovation – the winning
community gets $10,000 donated in its name to Donors Choose, an organization
that gives to schools in need. The bloggers and their communities choose what
projects to fund. The Challenge launched August 11 and ends September 1, 2009.
Nancy also leads the charge for iRobot’s SPARK program – the Starter Program
for the Advancement of Robotics Knowledge. The program’s focus is to inspire kids
K-12 a love of learning for science, technology, engineering and math through
robots. Nancy has spent hours in local classrooms with iRobot robots and has
seen first-hand the power of robots to engage, excite and embolden kids. She and
iRobot CEO Colin Angle, have identified STEM as a priority for the organization,
not simply from a future workforce perspective, but because it’s the right thing to do.
The SPARK microsite, a portal for in-school resources and activities, will launch
September 1. What differentiates the program is its innovatively inclusive spirit.
Rather than focus on kids who already demonstrate aptitude, SPARK uses robots
as the proverbial Trojan Horse, engaging kids across subjects to instill curiosity
With nearly two decades of leadership in the robot industry, iRobot remains
committed to providing platforms for invention and discovery, developing key
partnerships to foster technological exploration. The That’s iNGENIOUS! Challenge
and SPARK programs further and expand this mission by engaging a broader
group in iRobot’s educational and exploratory pursuits.
2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 100 words):
Nancy Dussault Smith is the Vice President of Marketing Communications for
iRobot Corporation. She spearheaded the most successful product launch of a
home robot in America, introducing the iRobot Roomba Vacuuming Robot to the
world in 2002. Ms. Smith currently oversees all of the PR and Branding efforts at
iRobot, from promoting acceptance of military robotics to tweeting with mommy
bloggers about home products. She was a National Merit Scholar and holds a
BS/BA in Marketing and Advertising from Merrimack College. She passionately
believes emerging technologies, such as robotics, can make a meaningful
difference in people’s lives. In her spare time Ms. Dussault is an avid athlete and
enjoys spending time with her family and dog, Lola.