Andrea Baker

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Quality Lab Manager
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

I am passionate about manufacturing because of the opportunities it gives. Manufacturing offers many different elements that are intriguing to people with different backgrounds of experience. It is amazing to see so many different departments and commodities go into a process and a great quality product come out. In a manufacturing environment you have the availability to learn and grow beyond your current role.

Andrea began her career with Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. as a part-time cycle count auditor 20 years ago. Her hard work and accomplishments led her to transfer into the quality lab team, where she led the start-up function revolving around Flammability Testing Programs. In this role, she wrote the rules and standards for Ashley Furniture to conform with California’s TB117 regulations. Today, Andrea oversees Ashley’s quality control laboratories in four locations across the country. She is also working with Ashley quality teams worldwide to develop global laboratory quality team standards and practices—a massive task encompassing more than 21 million square feet of global manufacturing capacity and over 30 million pieces of furniture shipped in 2019.

Andrea is passionate about her work and the contributions she and her teams have made to raise quality standards for all of Ashley’s products. She has traveled to many of Ashley’s suppliers, creating standards and processes through audits, testing procedures and quality standards training, ultimately making her suppliers’ product better and improving quality within her organization.

Throughout her two decades with the company, Andrea has trained and mentored several women in quality labs across the country. She works daily with each one, teaching not only about quality, but about opportunities for growth within the company. Andrea’s high drive and ongoing commitment to excellence also led her to receive Ashley Furniture’s Silver Award in 2019—further exemplifying her leadership and positive impact.

Andrea is active in her community, serving as the treasurer of her church as well as chair of their budget committee. Through participation in a mission trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, she helped set up a facility to give out food, hygiene products, clothes, shoes, first-aid items and more to the homeless—a testament to her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.