Kelly Zhu

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Manager, Supply Chain Management
BorgWarner Inc.

Manufacturing is full of challenges and freshness in daily work. We need continuous improvement with rapidly changing technologies, costs and customer preference to stay competitive. Here we always meet diverse people and learn from each other to be better each day.

Kelly began her career as a warehouse supervisor in BorgWarner’s plant in Ningbo City, Zhejiang, China. Since then she has taken on roles with increasing responsibilities in multiple functions. Kelly’s hard work and energy motivate everyone around her, which led to her being selected as a certified trainer in an internal program called Shop Floor Intelligence Institute – Front Line Leadership Development. Team leaders use this 14-course platform to learn the skills needed to direct and drive 5S activities, and Kelly helps train them. Kelly’s role was critical as she helped to engage different levels of people to learn from each other and apply cross-functional ideas to their current roles. At the same time as she was doing this, Kelly also completed her MBA studies at Zhejiang University.

Kelly is an exceptional role model to employees across the organization because of her strong business skills, confidence and inspirational personal story. Highly respected for her straightforward way of communicating, she is an active member of BorgWarner’s internal training program, where she focuses on providing people with training and certifications that will prepare them for careers in the automotive and manufacturing industries. Kelly is always available to mentor and is passionate about helping women, particularly young working mothers. With her words and actions, she strives to inspire and support them in balancing the demands of working and being a mother.

Kelly volunteers with a Junior Achievement program in collaboration with her plant in Ningbo. Through this program, the business and education sectors deliver innovative business and economics programs in schools from the elementary to the university level. The programs focus on three areas: work readiness, principled entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Kelly’s special interest is teaching elementary school children, and thanks to her patience and skills as a storyteller, she has inspired hundreds of young people.