The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers—announced it will recognize Laura Smith, director of SIOP (Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning) at Shaw, as a STEP Ahead Award Honoree at its annual awards ceremony in April. STEP works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumni to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. The STEP Ahead Awards honor exceptional women in manufacturing and motivate them to mentor the next generation through an annual awards gala and alumnae programs.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from an organization that is closing the gender gap in manufacturing and helping prepare the next generation of female leaders,” shares Smith. “As a mother of daughters, it’s especially meaningful to be recognized along with this prestigious group of women.”
With Smith’s extensive business acumen, specifically as it relates to supply chain and manufacturing, she has been a driving force for change and innovation within the company. In her former position as director of hard surface planning, Smith led a holistic outsourced supply chain re-engineering project to connect and improve the outsourced supply chain for Shaw’s hard surface business. Through her leadership of more than 10 workstreams related to the project, Smith added significant savings to Shaw’s bottom line and ensured solid service on Shaw’s hard surface products.
“Laura has dedicated her entire career to learning every aspect of Shaw and the flooring industry, while empowering her peers to do the same,” shares Scot Davis, vice president of corporate planning and inventory management. “She lives Shaw’s mission to create a better future for our associates, customers and communities and shares these skills so that others can do the same. Laura has excelled in her career, while earning two master’s degrees, being a mother and actively participating in numerous community programs. She is more than deserving of this recognition, and I am inspired to work alongside her.”
On April 28, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards, including Shaw’s Smith, at a gala in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including her leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. To view a complete list of the 2022 recipients, click here