Donna Willis
Plant Manager, Brown-Forman Distillery
Louisville, KY

“Follow your dreams and aspirations. Enter into the world of manufacturing with your eyes wide open and take notice of all the possibilities that are out there. In manufacturing you can be successful in so many different areas and have the opportunity to showcase your talents to the world.”

Donna has demonstrated exceptional skill and commitment over the past three years as a production manager.  She has leveraged her experience both in the manufacturing setting and within R&D to trouble shoot and resolve reduced yield on a product. She collaborated with scientists to design experiments, and then compared results to previous yield data to determine when the step changed occurred. This allowed the team to pinpoint a date in time and enabled them to eliminate the contamination.  In her new role as plant manager, Donna will use both her technical and leadership skills to drive business objectives.  
Donna began her career in Research and Development as a college intern. She was drawn to the daily challenges that a manufacturing environment can provide. Each progressively responsible career step she has taken has offered her the opportunity to improve her skill set and develop leadership tools. 
Donna has an enormous drive to succeed, which is rivaled only by desire for team success above her own individual success. She is extremely high energy and has a positive personality that impacts all she works with.  Her commitment to getting the work done is exemplary.  Donna engages well throughout all levels of the organization; she transitions easily from the leadership team to working with a mechanic on the production floor. She collaborates well with corporate critical experts to achieve the best production results. She knows when, where, and how to accomplish tasks to keep the workforce motivated and functioning at a very high level.

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