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ShawLife: Leigh Williams

Get to know Leigh Williams, Quality Manager at Plant 15.

Shaw Industries

Tell us about your journey at Shaw.  
I started my Shaw career at Plant 12 as a Creeler and progressed to Tufting Operator and Production Coordinator. I then moved on to work in Customer Service in the samples and contract departments at Plant 62. Next, I had the opportunity to join the non-standard product (NSP) sample/spec team at Plant 94 where I gained knowledge of the background information that goes into producing a product. Later, I became a member of the market support services group and helped complete requests for information, proposals and questionnaires. The need to spend more time with my children brought me back to Plant 94 where I became a project administrator. Later, a production planner position opened at Plant 13 and I happily pursued the chance to rejoin the manufacturing division. This position helped me to discover my true passion in quality. Once an opening presented itself, I took a chance and applied for a quality process engineer position. To my surprise and delight, I was awarded the position and I haven’t looked back since. My current position is Quality Manager at Plant 15. 

During my tenure at Shaw, I have obtained a bachelor’s degree and most recently an MBA from Kennesaw State University. While working full-time, raising children and going to school can be tough to juggle, my journey was eased by the support and encouragement I received from my management team and coworkers. Shaw’s tuition assistance program was a great incentive for me to further my education and demonstrates the company’s commitment to invest in their employees’ futures. 

What helped you along your journey to your current role, Quality Manager at Plant 15?
My diverse experience with Shaw has enabled me to make big picture decisions that are mutually beneficial to the customer as well as the company in my current role.

The person who has had the most impact on my career is Melida Archer. She was so much more than a manager to me. She pushed me out of my comfort zone because she saw ability in me that I had yet to recognize. She continued to challenge me as I advanced in my career and was always there to celebrate my victories with the biggest hugs. 

Some classes I have found to be beneficial to my career have been the Leadership Academy series, Green Belt and Black Belt Training. 

What is the most rewarding part of working at Shaw? 
The most rewarding part of working at Shaw is the company’s commitment to giving back. I have been a mentor with the local school system for four years and have been very fortunate to have the same student each year. The look on his face each time he sees me makes any sacrifice in my schedule worthwhile. Providing a bit of stability in an otherwise chaotic life can be just what a child needs to be successful. 

What are you interested in outside of work? 
In my free time I like to travel, hang out with my children and attend concerts and sporting events. I am a huge basketball (Go Blue Devils!!) and football fan.

What advice would you give other associates seeking to grow within the company? 
Never be discouraged when situations do not create your desired results. Use every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Find an area that sparks your interest and research the skills necessary to excel.

Also, get involved! Join one or many of Shaw’s associate resource groups (ARGs). These groups present numerous ways for you to network and learn about Shaw’s very diverse workforce.