March 13/Milwaukee/Business Wire -- Sensient Technologies Corporation announced its board of directors has appointed Dr. Elaine R. Wedral to the newly created position of lead director. Wedral joined Sensient’s board in 2006 and will continue to serve on the board's finance and scientific advisory committees.

Sensient also announced that, beginning in December 2014, 100% of the equity grants to company officers under its long-term equity incentive compensation plan, as outlined in the 2007 Stock Plan, will be performance-based in accordance with performance requirements established by the board’s compensation and development committee. Previously, 50% of equity grants were performance-based.

“Today’s actions are important additional steps in our ongoing efforts to enhance our corporate governance practices,” said Kenneth P. Manning, chairman of the board. “We are pleased to appoint Wedral, a valuable contributor to the board with diverse, relevant experience, to the important new role of independent lead director. In addition, the changes we are making to our pay practices create an industry-leading long-term incentive compensation plan and further align the interests of our officers with our shareholders and the long-term success of the company.”

Commenting on her appointment, Wedral said, “I am pleased to be taking on this additional role while continuing to work with the board and management team to achieve the company’s strategic goals and deliver sustainable long-term value to shareholders.”

In her new role, Wedral will, among other responsibilities, coordinate the activities of the independent and non-management directors, serve as principal liaison between the chairman and the independent directors and review all information sent to the board.

Wedral has served as pesident of the International Life Sciences Institute-North America, an organization that provides a forum for academic, government and industry scientists to identify important nutrition and food safety issues and work toward solutions. From 1972-2006, Wedral served in key R&D capacities with the Nestle Company, including as president of Nestle R&D Center Inc. and director of Nestle R&D Food Service Systems Worldwide from 2000 to 2006 and as president of all Nestle U.S. R&D Centers from 1988 to 1999. Wedral holds over 38 U.S. and European patents in food science, chemistry and foodservice systems to deliver foods and beverages, most related to food flavors and colors and food fortifications. She has a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Purdue University, where she graduated with honors, and an M.S. degree in Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Food Chemistry, both from Cornell University.