Michelle Wilson

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Quality Engineering Manager
Shaw Industries Group, Inc.

Manufacturing allows me to combine my passions for developing people and streamlining processes to achieve bottom-line results. I love helping remove obstacles for our people to ensure they have what is necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively. The fast-paced environment and constant change stimulates learning and growth.

The outstanding leadership abilities Michelle demonstrated in her early work at Shaw led to her promotion to the position of quality engineering manager at the age of 24. She continues to make significant contributions, including efforts that have led to impressive savings for the company. In one 2018 instance, her work-encompassing two high-volume product speed-ups to maximize asset utilization generated $.75M in productivity savings. Another instance involved Michelle leading extrusion trial efforts and in-plant management for a raw material conversion that saved $2M annually.  Michelle’s skills do not stop with process assessment; she has also led the development of three new commercialized extrusion products, allowing Shaw to meet customer needs at a higher level.

In her role as quality engineering manager, Michelle has transformed her department by bringing out the best in people. For instance, her ability to build trusting relationships has turned several underperformers into motivated, meaningful contributors.

As a member of Shaw’s Mid-Level Leadership Development program, Michelle has spent significant time coaching associates, one of whom said he learned more from her in only four months than he had learned in nineteen years with the company.

Michelle is always looking for opportunities to interest and encourage young women in the STEM fields. As a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), she has participated in “Women in Engineering” panels at University of South Carolina and at the University of Tennessee. Also, for the past three years she’s spent most of her free time coaching girls’ youth volleyball, and she enjoys turning that work into an opportunity to share her love of science, working math and physics concepts into practices. This led to a high compliment from one of the players, who told Michelle, “We learn more from you than we do at school!”