College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Laura Brooks Maxwell receives Cyclone Engineering’s Professional Citation in Engineering for outstanding career accomplishments

Laura Maxwell
Laura Maxwell

Throughout an exceptional career in business leadership, Laura Brooks Maxwell (’89 industrial engineering) has demonstrated success in roles across diverse units at PepsiCo, the world’s leading food and beverage company. Maxwell is currently the senior vice president of supply chain at PepsiCo Foods North America, leading $21 billion of Frito-Lay and Quaker business. Her leadership spans over 65,000 employees between the two sectors of the business.

After graduating from Iowa State, Maxwell started her career as a project engineer at PepsiCo in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She rose through the leadership ranks to management roles in product innovation, marketing, supply chain, operations, service and distribution, where she was a key driver of growth, performance and change.

Maxwell recently successfully led supply chain operations during the challenging pandemic period, generating new ways of working in all areas of manufacturing and ensuring that technology and automation projects advanced. She has also spearheaded Frito-Lay’s sustainability efforts, making important progress in climate and water protection and in the use of electric and compressed natural gas for transportation. Maxwell’s significant contributions were recognized with a PepsiCo Global Steve Reinemund Leadership Legacy Award.

As a female leader in a male-dominated field of manufacturing, Maxwell has worked to inspire and encourage diversity and inclusion in numerous presentations, her service to the Texas Women’s Foundation Board, and as executive sponsor for Frito-Lay employee resource groups and PepSWE, a chapter of Society of Women Engineers. Maxwell has been named a Frito-Lay Inspiring Woman and to the Power 50 by Texas Diversity Magazine.

Laura and her husband Marty have two daughters, Molly and Maddy (Ronnie).