Kate Gauntner
Operations Manager
The Sherwin-Williams Company

“There is a tangible pulse to a manufacturing environment; you can sense it and feel it when you step out on the floor every minute of every day. Connecting with this pulse feeds creativity and curiosity, and provides constant opportunity to drive positive change in people and processes.”

Kate is an innovative, influential and emotionally intelligent operations leader who excels at mentoring and leading teams, developing lean systems and standardizing work to drive consistent bottom-line improvements. Throughout her tenure with Sherwin-Williams, Kate has eagerly sought out and accepted new challenges. After beginning her career in technical and product development, Kate earned a Technical Achievement Award for her role in new colorant development, as well as a 2011 EPA Green Chemistry Award for her role in developing Water-Based Acrylic Alkyd. She has since led numerous continuous improvements across various roles, resulting in more than $6.15 million in cost reduction for the company.

As Operations Manager of Sherwin-Williams’ largest manufacturing facility in North America, Kate oversees more than 290 employees. Having actively trained and engaged her workforce with continuous improvement tools, Kate’s site leads the division in integration of lean manufacturing systems. She has mentored a number of individuals within the company, establishing a proven track record of helping her direct reports realize career advancement and promotions. Likewise, she consistently coaches participants of Sherwin William’s Accelerated Development Program, a one-year leadership development program for recent college graduates.

Kate has made many great contributions to communities over the years, particularly by supporting STEM curriculum and activities at local schools in Cleveland, Ohio and Portland, Oregon. Additionally, Kate enjoys lending her time to local food banks, Adopt-A-Highway, area lake clean-ups and various walks including the Susan G. Komen Race for Cure. Her commitment to the community also extends to her team, where she requires operations trainees to coordinate at least one community service event on their own while going through the trainee program. Further, by leading a zero-to-landfill facility, Kate actively promotes sustainable behaviors which allow her plant to have a positive impact on the environment. 

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