Getting to Know… Holly Sheffield

Tell us about yourself…

Holly Sheffield
Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, The Cooper Companies

My family is from Randolph, New York – a little town about 60 miles south of Buffalo. My dad ran a small cooperative insurance company for farmers, and my world-class mom also started her own agency. You could be everything there – I was the captain of the cheerleading squad and a Dr. Who-loving nerd. Summers were spent picking wild blackberries and strawberries for making jam with my grandmother and sister.

While attending Cornell University, my focus turned from pre-med to accounting. Time was filled with interning for the Office of Alumni Affairs, being active in my sorority (Kappa Delta), and serving as Doc Alpin’s teaching assistant. After graduating, I moved to New York City to pursue a career on Wall Street, which lasted 25 years until I joined The Cooper Companies. I began my career at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, which was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2001, then went to UBS in 2010, which was my only employer move since my Columbia MBA. Over the course of my investment banking years, my clients have included Medtronic, Baxter, Bayer, Philips, Bausch + Lomb/Warburg Pincus, and many others.

In parallel, I’ve grown my personal commitment to supporting sustainable economic development, especially in emerging African nations. I’m an enthusiastic champion of the SMART Program at Cornell where I am also on the Dyson School Dean’s Advisory Council.

How long have you been with The Cooper Companies?

While I’ve been an employee since June 2018, my relationship with The Cooper Companies began more than ten years ago, when I had significant involvement in a debt financing transaction. A lot of strategic and mergers and acquisition work followed, including the Origio deal in 2012. Over the course of several years, I’ve had the opportunity to work across the organization’s leadership teams and was thrilled to join as we chart the next phase of growth for our businesses.

I am also a customer! I switched to MyDay lenses from Proclear more than a year ago and “look forward” to when I need multifocals. From a CooperSurgical perspective, like many families, I have been touched by the miracle of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and I’m a proud aunt to twin nephews. We’re already a recognized market leader in both contact lenses and women’s health. It’s incredible to think about how much more we can do.

What does your current role entail?

As EVP and Chief Strategy Officer for The Cooper Companies, I wear two hats.

One is Human Resources, thinking about how we take an already strong center of excellence and scaling that for even more success. It’s a question of how we can use our competitive advantage of human capital and our amazing culture to drive our leading positions, since it’s our people who are ultimately the foundation of success.

On the strategy front, it’s working with Al White, Dan McBride and Dr. Bob Auerbach to identify global opportunities that enhance our growth profile and drive sustainable profitability. It’s also being mindful of potential blind spots and addressing competitive threats. We must continue to hone our execution excellence, invest internally in our capabilities and people, and be smart about how we deploy our acquisition capital.

15 Things You May Not Know About Me

1 – Adventure travel is my thing, having climbed Machu Picchu, Kilimanjaro, and Everest Base Camp.

2 – Sci-Fi is my genre of choice.

3 – I’m a SoulCycle enthusiast.

4 – My music preference may surprise people – it’s EDM (electronic dance music).

5 – A friend recently ran an ultra-marathon across Turkey for charity, and I joined him for a portion.

6 – I like trying new restaurants, checking “all of the above” when it comes to cuisine. Bring on the hot sauce and spicy foods.

7 – But raw tomatoes? You can leave those out; I don’t like them at all.

8 – When it comes to cooking, I’m great at supplying ingredients and helping clean up .

9 – High heels fill my closet – I love them.

10 – I consider myself a professional aunt.

11 – Perpetual summer is my thing, and California is a great fit.

12 – My taste in wine tilts European, but I’m working on it and open to any Napa connections!

13 – I’m a New Yorker at heart. I’d rather walk, love to connect with folks, and talk fast.

14 – People should watch out for me in the parking lot – my driving is often cause for teasing from friends. See the New Yorker fact above…I’m working on it.

15 – Snakes. Not a fan.


CooperConnect serves as CooperVision’s global, companywide employee magazine. CooperConnect is an avenue for sharing and learning as well as an internal communications tool to connect and engage employees worldwide.

If you have any news or ideas for future issues of CooperConnect, we’d like to hear from you!

Lynne Tran
Internal Communications Director
or (925) 460-3643

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