Honor Sheard Recognized as 2020 MFG Woman of the Year by Michigan Manufacturing Association

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Honor Sheard
Honor Sheard // Photo courtesy of Marathon Petroleum Co.

Honor Sheard, manager of environment, safety, and security at Marathon Petroleum Co.’s Detroit refinery, is receiving statewide recognition as the 2020 MFG Woman of the Year by the Michigan Manufacturing Association in Lansing. Marathon is based in Ohio.

The MFG Excellence Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates the contributions that Michigan manufactures make to their workforces, communities, the economy, and the industry. The MMA honored all the winners of the MFG Excellence Awards program during a virtual ceremony in January.

“(Sheard) is essential in helping drive the culture and commitment to operational excellence at the Detroit refinery,” says Dave Leaver, general manager. “She spends a lot of time out in the field working with the team that keeps things running daily.”

Sheard was the first female manager the Detroit refinery had appointed in more than 15 years. She has assisted five other women in navigating their first supervisory positions by supporting them professionally.

“As a female leader in a male-dominated industry, everything I do is magnified,” says Sheard. “My words and actions are used strategically to create the expectations for future female leaders.”

Sheard works to offer women throughout the organization the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. She also worked to create the refinery’s first Women’s Unity Network as the leadership sponsor. The network educates women on how to shake off “imposter syndrome,” which causes them to feel less competent despite ongoing success. Sheard hosts discussions on articles, pay practices, philanthropy, and diversity seminars that can assist women at the refinery to establish and achieve their career goals.

“As a female who transitioned from one predominately male profession to another, Honor is a role model, mentor, and supporter of females,” says Whitney Walton, security coordinator and member of the Women’s Unity Network. “She is a sponsor and advocate of our Women’s Network at the refinery and a personal champion for me.”

Sheard leads several environmental and safety initiatives at the refinery. In her role, she considers environmental advocacy to be central, which aligns with Marathon’s commitment to produce petroleum-based products with minimal environmental impact and within the parameters of all state and federal regulations.

In the 20 years Sheard has worked for MPC, the company has seen a nearly 80 percent reduction in emissions. She played a critical role in the refinery’s accomplishment of one full year without either an employee or contractor OSHA recordable injury. Her team has also implemented an easy-to-use QR code system that allows employees and contractors to report Near Miss Events, potential hazards detected and corrected before anyone is harmed. The system immediately notifies supervision and area owners so they can quickly alleviate potential hazards. The program created a safe work environment and empowers employees at all levels to speak up when they notice issues.

The Michigan Manufactures Association an advocate focused on securing a prosperous future for Michigan manufacturers through effective advocacy, meaningful education, and strategic business services. It was established in 1902.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is a leading, integrated energy company that operates the nation’s largest refining system. Its branded locations across the United States include Speedway and MPLX, a midstream company that owns and operates gathering, processing, fractionation assets, and more.

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