The entirety of 2020 feels a lot like Leap Day. It’s been rare, it’s been memorable, and it’s been one for the record books. Along that same line, never before in the history of Influential Women in Manufacturing have we had two honorees in the same year come from the same company. That was, until this year.
General Mills has the honor of being home to two 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing Honorees.
Lisa Zasada is the Director of Global Reliability for General Mills. Similar to her colleague and fellow IWIM honoree, Christy Thompson, Lisa is an engineer focused on improving the plant operations of one of the country’s leading food companies.
Lisa joined the General Mills corporate engineering team in 2013 and led the External Supply Chain Engineering team and the company’s Corporate Project Management group. For the last two years, she has led an engineering transformation initiative to leverage new technology to provide the company’s businesses with faster, and cheaper solutions. She began her role as Director of Global Reliability in March of this year.
The engineering transformation initiative she’s leading is called #EngineerDifferently, which seeks to transform the way that food systems are designed, built and improved through the use of new technology and processes. Over the last two years, #EngineerDifferently has allowed General Mills to commercialize new products faster, with less expensive and more flexible manufacturing solutions. The initiative has been a competitive advantage for General Mills and has already delivered millions of dollars in value.
Lisa’s work ethic, creativity and a positive attitude are just one of the things that stood out to the person who nominated her for this award. In addition to her passion and creativity, she holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
That passion and positive attitude at General Mills does not stop with Lisa. “General Mills has many incredible women in manufacturing,” she says. “They are strong, passionate leaders that are committed to Making Food the World loves.”
Lisa’s commitment to coaching and mentoring women has spanned throughout her career. She has held leadership roles within General Mills’ Women in Supply Chain Team, a diversity network that strives to empower and advocate for women leaders in operations, engineering, logistics and sourcing. She currently leads a Mentoring Circle of Supply Chain Women that is focused on mentoring and supporting female participants. She also enjoys formally mentoring many young female engineers in their roles and helping them develop the skills to successfully progress through their careers.
Learn what advice Lisa has for her fellow females entering manufacturing careers. Download your copy of the 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing E-Book.