ABB’s Myla Petree named 2019 STEP Ahead Honoree
April 11, 2019
The Manufacturing Institute has announced the 2019 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders. These women have accomplished success within their companies and have proven to be leaders in the industry as a whole. This year, the Institute has also chosen to recognize a select few for the Emerging Leaders category – representing young women who are the future of the industry and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments at just the beginning of their careers.
Throughout her career with ABB, Myla has played a key role in the success of numerous company initiatives. For example, Myla championed the creation and business-unit wide implementation of ABB’s Corporate Quality Excellence Program, for which she received the Arkansas State Governor’s Quality Award for improving key quality metrics by over 30 percent. As a result of her efforts and the program, ABB experienced $13M in savings over a three-year period. Myla also established ABB’s internal Apollo Program with the mission to expedite savings across multiple manufacturing plants and product lines. The related projects generated $55M in cumulative savings within 2.5 years. As Plant Manager of ABB’s facility in Westville, OK, Myla is the first female in the 125-year history of her business unit to hold her position. In this role, Myla leads a plant that produces approximately 600K industrial electric motors per year valued at $100M. Under her direction, the plant improved throughput by over 10 percent from March 2018 to June 2018.
“Manufacturing is amazing by allowing me to be a part of a process that sells, designs and then builds whatever our customers need, but my passion for manufacturing comes from knowing what a difference our business makes to both our people and our community.”
Myla continually blazes new trails and drives diversity and inclusion at ABB, while forging a path for the next generation of women in manufacturing. Her mentorship has been invaluable to numerous employees, including Chelsea Becker, who was recognized as a 2016 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader. Through Myla’s ongoing guidance and support, Chelsea advanced quickly in her career and expanded her unique skills sets and accomplishments within ABB.
Outside of ABB, Myla is deeply involved in her community. In addition to serving as the treasurer of her family’s church, Myla volunteers her time and service to the Baptist Health-Fort Smith Community Advisory Board in Arkansas. Myla also served as the 2018 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence (AIPE), where she directed the Quality program for the Arkansas Governor’s Baldrige Quality Award. Additionally, she served as Treasurer on the AIPE Board of Directors in 2016 and 2017.
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