Holly Hillberg ’92 (M.S., electrical engineering) has long had a passion for engineering and has sought to use that enthusiasm to enhance her own professional career and to help make the world a better place.
Professionally, Hillberg is a leader in the imaging and health care industry and serves as chief technology officer of Carestream Health Inc., the Rochester-based company that spun off from Eastman Kodak Co. in 2007. In that capacity, she oversees more than 800 staff in 13 sites worldwide and has authority over the company’s research and development, product development, regulatory affairs and clinical affairs divisions. She has also played a key role in the establishment of Carestream as an independent company and has led the introduction of more than 40 new products over the last two years.
“The transition from being a component of a multi-national corporation to being an independent business has been both challenging and extremely rewarding,” Hillberg says. “We were given a fabulous legacy from Kodak and have been working to transform those initial resources into our own identity as a major medical and dental imaging provider.”
Prior to joining Carestream, Hillberg spent 24 years at Kodak rising up through the ranks to ultimately serve as vice president of research and development and chief technology officer of Kodak Health Imaging.
On top of her professional endeavors, Hillberg has also worked to give back to the community and to her alma mater. She has been active in youth ministry for over a decade, conducting multiple missions around the globe and service projects here in Rochester. She has traveled to the Amazon River on five occasions with Project Amazon, which seeks to improve living and medical conditions, build training facilities and to serve the people of the region.
At RIT, she sits on the board of the Women in Engineering Program (WE@RIT) and is heavily involved in broader efforts by the Kate Gleason College of Engineering to increase diversity among students and faculty.
“I truly love being an engineer and have always felt the profession gave me the skills to excel in a wide variety of jobs,” she says. “I hope by enhancing engineering opportunities for women and minorities I can help others find the same professional enjoyment and success.”
For her significant success in her career and in service to the community, Hillberg was honored as the 2009 recipient of the Rochester Athena Award, which recognizes professional excellence, community service and the enhancement of women in society.
While the Athena Award provides significant validation for all of her accomplishments, Hillberg sees the award as more important for providing inspiration and motivation to future engineers to follow in her footsteps.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award, particularly because I was nominated by my colleagues at Carestream,” she adds. “But the true value of this recognition is that it shows current engineering students, particularly women, that the profession can be incredibly rewarding at all levels.”
Will Dube ’09