One of the reasons that manufacturing faces a skills gap is that women are underrepresented in the industry. In 2012, the Manufacturing Institute launched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) awards to celebrate and honor women who have succeeded in this field and to inspire the next generation. When the 2014 STEP Awards were presented on Feb. 6 in Washington, D.C., four Ingersoll women were among honorees from 110 companies.
“These honorees serve as role models not only to professionals currently in the manufacturing industry, but also to young women who will one day enter the workforce,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand.
The 2014 STEP Award winners are:
Katie Boor, a program manager at Ingersoll Rand’s Thermo King sector, based in Minneapolis is responsible for new product development and design and improving existing products. She is credited with leading teams that used lean principals to revolutionize the way Thermo King developed two new products to replace existing products on the market. She did this on time, under budget and with no disruption of supply to the customer. In fact, the improved features of the product allowed Thermo King to win back customers who had gone to competitors. The company estimates that Boor’s work will result in $25 million in incremental revenue over a 36-month period and improve the value proposition for the customer.
Since joining Ingersoll Rand in 2004, Katie has relocated numerous times as she advanced in her career. A graduate of Purdue University, she has been an active member of the Ingersoll Rand-Purdue campus recruiting team and also volunteers at organizations that help increase young girls’ interest in science, math and engineering.
Lycinda (Cyndi) McDaniel, plant manager at the Trane Plant in Pueblo, Colo. McDaniel is being recognized for accomplishments in her previous position as plant manager of Ingersoll Rand’s Thermo King facility in Hastings, Neb. During her three years there, she grew the business by 63 percent and increased employment at the plant by about 50 percent. This growth came at the end of the U.S. recession, which hit the trucking industry – and therefore the plant’s customers – particularly hard. The company’s leaders had so much confidence in McDaniel’s abilities that they moved additional product lines into the plant – and recently promoted her to her current position at the Trane plant in Colorado, which makes some of the largest commercial air conditioning systems used in buildings.
McDaniel started her career at Takahashi Works USA as a design and manufacturing engineer. She joined Ingersoll Rand in 1997 in Macon, Ga., where she was part of a team that increased plant utilization by 50 percent. While at Hastings she was on the board of the Hastings Economic Development Corp., a board member and vice president of the Hastings Area Manufacturing Association, and on the board of the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce.
Sheila Tierney, vice president Global Procurement, is
responsible for leading more than $7 billion of purchases globally,
developing a supplier development team to manage 7,000 direct material
suppliers and leading the global logistics and compliance execution
team. In support of the company’s growth plan, Tierney, who joined
Ingersoll Rand in 2010, is focusing her management and strategic
efforts on three key areas: new product development, functional
expertise, and supplier innovation. Across all three, the emphasis is
on promoting a diverse, inclusive culture that generates results in
growth and operational excellence.
Tierney credits her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland, with instilling the quality of perseverance and laying the groundwork that education is the key to success in America. She worked her way through college at the University of Illinois, and as a result of her performance with Navistar, an early employer, her MBA at Northwestern University was sponsored. She feels fortunate to have had good mentors and coaches throughout her manufacturing career who have demonstrated the positive impact a leader can have on employee morale and engagement; and, ultimately, on the bottom line.
Tierney contributes her leadership skills to community efforts that are close to her heart. For the past 15 years, she has been a team leader for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Great Strides Walk, where she has helped raise more than $120,000. She is also a member of Be the Miracle, an organization of 100 women focused on improving the quality of life for families in Iredell County, her home community in North Carolina.
As Director of Operations for Club Car, Stephanie Davis is responsible for all aspects of the manufacturing process at the company’s Augusta, Ga., facility. Here she led an 18-month lean transformation, which eliminated the chances for quality errors by standardizing and streamlining the manufacturing process. Her leadership resulted in a 20 percent improvement year-over-year in productivity and increased on-time delivery and quality performance. This lean transformation better equipped the Club Car team to deliver high-quality vehicles that increased customer satisfaction.
Throughout her career, Davis has gained experience in all facets of the manufacturing world, including quality, engineering and product design. Since joining Ingersoll Rand in 2007, she has held positions of increasing responsibility. For example, she successfully led a plant consolidation as Ingersoll Rand relocated product lines from multiple facilities into its North Carolina facility. She has served as an adjunct instructor at a technical college teaching computer skills, and volunteers with the Special Olympics, elementary schools and local churches.
The STEP Awards are part of a larger initiative begun in 2012 by the Manufacturing Institute to examine and promote the role of women in science, technology, engineering and production. According to its figures, women make up approximately 50 percent of the total labor force; but only 24 percent of the manufacturing labor force.