Meghan Gallagher*

Illinois Tool Works, Inc.

Plant Manager

The manufacturing industry is ever-changing. With customer demand constantly evolving, the industry demands adaptation, innovation and continuous improvement that leads to an environment of collaboration that I enjoy. When I look to the future, the endless possibilities with technological advancement are exciting challenges I look forward to undertaking.”

Meghan stepped into her new stretch role as Plant Manager for Illinois Tool Works’ (ITW) GTU Libertyville facility in 2017. To overcome issues with productivity, quality, and morale within the plant, Meghan provided clear expectations to supervisors and team leaders and engaged all assembly teams in problem-solving techniques. She then led multiple improvement projects that resulted in significant operational improvements. Through techniques such as multiple visual performance boards, monthly meetings to share overall performance metrics, and a recognition program to honor team performance and allow peers to recognize one another’s work, Meghan’s efforts have yielded a 5.5 percent output in overall productivity and a more than 50 percent reduction in end-of-line defects for two primary assembly lines in 2018.

Meghan is the co-founder of the Illinois Tool Works’ Young Professional Network (YPN), where she has served as Strategic Planning and Programs Chair. She has also been a mentor for ITW’s Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP) over the past two years. Meghan brings this passion for leader development into her everyday work at ITW as well. When her position as Process Engineer was filled by a female engineer who was just starting her engineering career, Meghan took the time to mentor her informally. This engineer is thriving at ITW today, with the help of Meghan’s early and ongoing support.

Meghan has provided strong local support to the community through United Way and Junior Achievement. As a committee member for United Way’s ITW Global Tool Unit, she has provided leadership and personal labor, including painting and landscaping local grade schools and participating in the sponsorship of multiple families to help supply children with Christmas presents. For Junior Achievement, Meghan has taught elementary students at multiple locations for three straight years, creating hope for them to break out of generational patterns that might otherwise restrict their success.