The Manufacturing Institute has named two associates of Shaw Industries Group, Inc. as STEP Ahead Award winners. Michelle Wilson, Quality Engineering Manager, and Tracy Corbin, Director of Customer Service, were named as an Emerging Leader and Honoree, respectively, for the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards. This national honor identifies high-achieving women in manufacturing who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their companies and communities.

Emerging Leader award recipient Michelle Wilson is honored for her significant contributions to Shaw, including her team leadership, process innovations, and efforts that led to impressive savings for the company. Wilson led extrusion trial efforts and in-plant management for a raw material conversion, and was integral in the development of three new commercialized products to meet customer needs. Additionally, Wilson has spent significant time coaching associates in her latest role as quality manager, and utilizes her natural and developed leadership skills as a member of Shaw’s Mid-Level Leadership Development program. Wilson has also participated in volunteer opportunities through the United Way, through a partnership with City Park Elementary School, and served as a girls volleyball coach. Wilson’s participation with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has further enabled her to inspire, mentor, and engage young women. She re-founded the SWE division at the University of South Carolina as a student and has participated in “Women in Engineering” panels there and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Honoree award recipient Tracy Corbin has been a foundational leader for Shaw Industries. She has helped shape a “customer first” culture that to this day is a cornerstone for customer experience at Shaw, and currently leads Shaw’s domestic, international, hospitality, and support teams for customer service, which spans six locations across three states. Corbin is passionate about Shaw’s connection with the customer and its associates and uses her position and influence to help both. Recently, she led the team tasked with aligning Shaw’s supply chain to focus on a centralized customer metric, resulting in enhanced service, reduced customer calls of over 15% and a significant reduction in overall spend on service and service recovery. Throughout her career, Corbin has long recognized the value of creating positive outlets and connecting women. Through her tenure as a mentor in the Women’s Innovation Network (WiN), Shaw’s associate resource group, Corbin has counseled women from customer service, sourcing and production planning. Corbin, along with other leaders in Shaw’s Women’s Innovation Network, saw the need to create a mentorship program for young women in the local community. This led to the development of a program for high school girls that attended the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), which included one-on-one mentorships with junior or senior students as well as planned activities around innovation, STEM and professional development.

To honor this year’s recipients, a gala will take place on April 30, 2020, in Washington D.C. Recipients will be celebrated for their many achievements and contributions to the manufacturing sector. Created in 2012, the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead initiative has honored 802 women and continues to encourage women to mentor the next generation of female talent. 

Since the inception of the STEP Ahead Awards, 15 Shaw associates have been recognized through the program. For more information about The Manufacturing Institute, visit