Michele (Shelly) Farro

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Project Engineering Senior Manager, Operations
Lockheed Martin Corporation

The manufacturing field is continuously emerging in both thought and technology which permits continuous learning and application to benefit production operations. This allows me to listen directly to the teams whom are closest to the process and merge new technologies with their ideas to facilitate an environment of continuous improvement.

In addition to being responsible for oversight and strategic direction for the production and material management systems and processes of a $7 billion enterprise, Shelly does so much more. As just one example, she recently led the implementation of Systems Applications and Products (SAP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems across 14 Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) factory locations, each with unique configurations, while maintaining strict MMAS and governance requirements and supporting the 99.95 percent on-time delivery of nearly 200,000 end item deliverables.

Shelly also volunteered to lead the implementation of Operations Excellence Teams (OETs) at RMS. There are now 130 of these self-directed work teams across all factory locations. Not only have they strengthened employee engagement, they have been the single biggest driver of improved quality, delivery and financial performance in the past two years.

Beyond leading the OET implementation effort, Shelly has gladly provided career advice to the new OET leads, most of whom are female. In fact, she is a go-to mentor for women throughout Lockheed Martin RMS. She currently has formal mentoring relationships with three women, and many others reach out on an informal basis to get guidance on leadership, technical issues and the like. Shelly is now helping to coordinate a small group of career-oriented mothers, where they can discuss the challenges and strategies of managing priorities both at home and in the workplace.

Shelly’s passion outside of work is encouraging girls to build teamwork skills, character and confidence  by competing in sports. For several years now, she has coached Girls 10U-16U Softball in the Binghamton, New York area. In additional to keeping up with a demanding schedule of practices, games and weekly tournaments, Shelly is on the board of the Binghamton Area Girls Softball Association, where she acts as an ambassador of the sport across the region.