Coricka White is First Black Woman to Run Baltimore’s Domino Sugar Refinery in Its 99-Year History

Coricka White is the first Black woman refinery manager to run Domino Sugar’s 99-year-old Baltimore facility. She is pictured at the company’s Inner Harbor site on June 10, 2021 (Kenneth K. Lam)

Coricka White’s promotion to refinery manager at Domino Sugar’s Baltimore facility came at a hectic time in the nearly century-old plant’s history.

As the waterfront refinery replaced its giant, neon rooftop sign — its highest-profile asset and a staple on the harbor skyline — a roaring, three-alarm fire burned down the cavernous raw sugar shed on the property in April, forcing the company to halt the plant’s operations for more than a week.

“That’s manufacturing, you know what I mean?” White said in an interview. “You encounter some challenges, and you overcome those challenges and move on to the next day.”

But May 17, 2021 was a different day for Domino.

For the first time in its 99 years in Locust Point, the sugar refinery was being run by a woman — a Black woman. The significance of that achievement isn’t lost on White.

“I’m looking at myself as being a trailblazer and hope that I can pave the way for folks like myself to follow,” she said. “I definitely stand on the shoulders of some very strong folks here, and I’d like to think of my success as the success of the Domino family. It speaks to how progressive our organization is.”

White, who holds a chemistry degree from the University of Virginia and a masters of business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology, has been in the business nearly 20 years.

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SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun, Colin Campbell