Kim Odell

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Technical Services Manager
Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Manufacturing – specifically the energy industry – creates millions of jobs for hard working employees, drives nearly every other sector of the economy and produces affordable products that make everyday life possible. I am proud to work for a company, like Marathon, that respects and protects the environment, supports local communities and values its employees. We provide a cost-effective source of energy that elevates lives across the globe. We drive innovation through engineering, and we are inspired by the idea that what we do today can create a better tomorrow.

Kim has spent her entire career at Marathon’s refinery in Garyville, Louisiana, where she currently leads a group of 70 process, controls and project engineers. During her 26 years, she has had a hand in many growth projects and played a key role in initiating, justifying and implementing a nearly $4B expansion that doubled the refinery’s capacity. Since Marathon merged with Andeavor in 2018, Kim has shared her experiences and practices with new sites to drive project development across the larger 16-plant organization. As a manager, Kim consistently sets high expectations and motivates employees to achieve high results. At the same time, she is known as someone who listens to her employees and encourages them to try innovative solutions.

As a sponsor of Garyville’s Women’s Employee Network, Kim advocates for young female leaders. She also promotes discussions of women’s issues in the refining industry, both through the network and personally, and has acted as a champion for women’s issues as a member of the refinery’s leadership team. Young women find Kim both inspiring and easy to relate to, and frequently seek her out for advice and encouragement. In 2019, she was part of a panel on Women in Industry at the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers summit.

Kim, an LSU graduate, stays connected with her alma mater, serving on an advisory committee for the LSU Chemical Engineering department that is critical to maintaining its accreditation. She has also given lectures and has participated in LSU’s XCITE Camp, which promotes females in STEM fields. Kim has contributed to many community activities over the years, but the ones that mean the most to her are the ones that take her into local schools – Kim says if she hadn’t gone into engineering, she would have been a teacher.