Catherine "Katie" Farris
General Foreman
Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News, VA

“My passion for manufacturing is fueled by my desire to work in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment. Manufacturing allows me to use my knowledge and abilities while collaborating with a diverse workforce to build complex products. Manufacturing’s future is bright, with new technologies increasing the art of the possible.”

Katie has been a change agent throughout her 14-year career at the 129-year-old Newport News Shipbuilding, a company that builds nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy. A highlight of Katie's career is her successful leadership of a cross functional team to design and implement a new build strategy for the Ford Class aircraft carriers that would enhance efficiencies, create a safer environment, and reduce costs.
 
Katie is a highly effective leader who focuses on collaboration to accomplish business results. She routinely takes on challenging management situations and, through careful assessment of both people and processes, is able to identify gaps, define areas for improvement, and deliver exceptional results. She fosters an environment of commitment and success that is recognized throughout the organization.
 
She is also committed to growing staff through training and mentoring.  She designed and implemented the Leadership, Engagement and Diversity program – established as a best practice -  to provide leadership coaching to trades managers, including tools to strengthen their work teams while increasing productivity and employee engagement.  She participates as both a mentor and mentee, and encourages colleagues to continually develop personally and professionally through these relationships and through continuing education.
 
Katie also shares her passion with her local community. She has made a significant impact by working with many organizations including Habitat for Humanity, The Newport News Green Foundation and the St Paul’s Episcopal Soup Kitchen. She brings skills she’s developed on the job to lead efforts and manage projects that benefit others.

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