Jennifer Onofray
General Manager
Illinois Tool Works  

“Manufacturing is the realization of all of our creativity through problem solving using trial and error and scientific principles. In a manufacturing environment, you can see and feel how a theory may be demonstrated in the real world, and you will be inspired by the hard working and talented people.”

Throughout her career with Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Jennifer’s leadership has been crucial to a number of company initiatives. As an engineer, she strengthened alignment between commercial teams and manufacturing facilities, which resulted in greater team collaboration and ingenuity to solve technical issues for the customer. As General Manager of a growing automotive manufacturing business within the company, she restructured a leadership team to provide intentional focus on capacity constraints, model factory implementation and technology capabilities. She has challenged her leadership team and all leaders in the organization to develop their knowledge of the ITW toolbox, which includes strong lean management principles such as the 80/20 Principle. Further, a front-to-back initiative that Jennifer led at one of ITW’s most critical facilities—which is now deemed the company’s “model factory”—provided more direct and transparent alignment of customer needs and facility processes to ensure ITW investments would yield the greatest return.

Jennifer displays a calm and purposeful demeanor that elevates the thoughts and actions of other employees. Known for her exceptional communication and listening skills, Jennifer is often sought out by her colleagues for guidance and has participated in a formal mentoring initiative at ITW. She recently assumed a leadership position within the southern region for the ITW Women’s Network where she hosted an event to provide women with career development sessions and networking opportunities.

Jennifer’s passion to contribute and make a difference in the communities in which she has lived can be seen through her involvement in several initiatives. She has supported a team of Detroit-area engineering students to innovate and compete in national events, is an active member of the Summer County United Way Board of Directors, and is currently working with her human resource partner to create a job shadowing program for local high school students.  

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