Jackie Daprato Hamel, ’91 - Business
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Whoever first asserted that "It's a man's world” had obviously never met Jackie Daprato Hamel. Jackie is almost an urban legend – both to her former IWA classmates and to her colleagues at the Anheuser-Busch breweries around the country. In her professional life, Jackie has managed to repudiate the notion that gender is destiny, to walk where no woman has walked before, to open doors to women who will follow after her, and to exemplify excellence through performance. Her professional path began at Incarnate Word Academy where she and classmate/BFF Angie Koeper convinced themselves that Reese's Peanut Butter cups were necessary "brain food” for an excellent performance on each and every Trig test. While that hypothesis may or may not have been correct, Jackie nevertheless attributes much of her career success to the critical thinking skills she learned at IWA. While she says that it is difficult to pinpoint one particular teacher who inspired her (all of them, she says, were gifted and dedicated men and women), she does attribute her life-long love of problem-solving to Sister Mary Kay. "While I no longer use direct applications of my high school math, Sister Mary Kay laid the foundation for my critical thinking skills. I use these skills daily (hourly) in my position at Anheuser-Busch.” Jackie grew up in St. Louis and was always intrigued by the Anheuser Busch Brewery. A self-described beer connoisseur, she enjoyed nights out with friends, toasting good times with tried-and-true Anheuser products as well as new and exciting beer styles. After receiving her degree in chemical engineering from Mizzou, Jackie integrated her professional and personal predilections when she joined Anheuser-Busch's brewing operation, where she served her apprenticeship and ultimately became one of only two female brewmasters in Anheuser's long history. At the St. Louis brewery, Jackie served as brewmaster in the main brewery before moving to the company's experimental brewery, where she and her team developed special beers. While producing Michelob Pale Ale and Michelob Celebrate Chocolate (oh! those Reese's cups), Jackie's pride and joy as a brewmaster was Redbridge sorghum beer (developed for those allergic to wheat or gluten). Jackie became the only female Operations Manager in the AB organization at the time when she transferred to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack, NH. As if that "first” weren't enough, Jackie was recently promoted to the position of general manager – the first woman ever to hold that position in the AB organization. Jackie and her husband, Mike, have two small daughters, Kate and Maggie, who Jackie says are the best things that have ever happened to her. As if being a wife, mother, and business executive all rolled into one isn't enough, Jackie is keeping herself even busier by pursuing her MBA at Babson College in New Hampshire, which she will complete by March 2011. Looking back from where she has journeyed in her life and her career, Jackie says it was events like her junior year ring ceremony and Rose and Candle that made her realize that "Incarnate Word represented a community and a tradition much larger than me and my classmates.” She cherishes the years she spent at IWA and the friendships she made. "Never before and never since have I been surrounded by so many gifted women at one time. The circle of teachers and friends I made at IWA taught me how to use my personal strengths and those of the people around me.”