Theresha “Nikki” Taylor

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Business Unit Leader
Philip Morris USA

Manufacturing has a major impact on the economy.  This field allows the opportunity to supply the needs and wants to consumers all over the world.  This drives my passion for manufacturing.

Nikki has earned the respect of her colleagues at every stage in her career at Philip Morris, distinguishing herself as a leader of the quality department after first proving herself on the production floor. She is fully versed on all aspects of the manufacturing process, so whenever a quality issue arises in production, Nikki shares her knowledge and knows the right people to talk to in order to correct the problem. Recently she led the effort to coordinate Certified Quality Auditor training with the American Society for Quality for her department, recognizing that by securing the training for her colleagues and not just for herself, the entire business would benefit. As a result, many employees are now certified, creating opportunities for them as well as value for the company.

Nikki is an excellent role model for women in manufacturing and believes in helping everyone achieve their goals. As someone who rose from an hourly production position to a salaried analyst role, she knows the importance of paying it forward and does everything she can to advance her colleagues’ careers, including arranging trainings that can increase their skills and help them rise through the ranks.

In addition to volunteering at a women’s shelter, Nikki is an active member of Altria’s Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Employee Resource Group, which focuses on community outreach. This year she suggested that the group partner with Housing Families First, a non-profit program that offers homeless families the tools and support to sustain a long-term housing solution. Nikki took the lead to engage with the non-profit and learned what their biggest needs were. She then coordinated with her fellow WiM members on a donation drive to collect food items and led efforts to fill snack bags for the children in the program. For this, Nikki’s leadership included working the assembly line throughout all three shifts.