Michelle Ross

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Director of Supply Chain, Commercial & Off-Highway
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

I started my career in manufacturing, working for a small automotive supplier. I loved being able to see how something came together from the nuts and bolts into a very tangible product. And as an Industrial Engineer, I will always appreciate that manufacturing is process-oriented and data-driven.

Michelle is an energetic supply chain leader and team builder who embraces inclusive people-driven processes to drive results. At Goodyear, she has led several initiatives to sustainably improve overall business performance and profitability. For example, when U.S. military budget cuts eased, Goodyear Aviation experienced an increase in orders and had difficulties keeping up with requests. Michelle led a cross-functional team to increase equipment capacity with minimal investment by refurbishing a piece of equipment in a warehouse. This led to an increase in military sales volume of 12 percent and helped the business exceed its earnings target. Customer service improved and backorders reduced significantly. Michelle used the results to recognize other team members, nominating her colleagues for Goodyear Chairman Equity Awards.

Michelle has served as president of the Goodyear Women’s Network (GWN), whose mission is to attract, develop, motivate and retain women at Goodyear. She also created an additional advocacy committee to complement GWN’s standard programs. Under Michelle’s leadership, the committee conducted research and benchmarking of best organizational practices to support women in the workplace and gathered feedback on workplace engagement with an emphasis on working parents. Michelle’s team packaged their findings into a management presentation and provided recommendations. As a result, several improvements to Goodyear’s policies were made.

Michelle led an initiative to develop a scholarship fund for local female high-school students entering STEM careers. To do so, she worked with a small team to create a 501(c)3 non-profit Fostering Young Women in Excellence Scholarship Fund (FYWESF). Five scholarships have been awarded since the fund’s inception and each year the winners are invited to Goodyear’s campus for mentoring. Michelle has also been involved with Goodyear’s STEM Career Day programming for high school and middle school students. She attended the event when she was in high school and credited it with inspiring her to pursue a degree in Industrial Engineering.