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Smithfield Foods' Megan Supan Recognized at 8th Annual STEP Ahead Awards for Excellence in Manufacturing

Published 09-25-20

Submitted by Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is proud to announce that Megan Supan, operations development manager, in its Wichita, Kansas facility, has been named an emerging leader as part of The Manufacturing Institute's annual STEP Ahead Awards. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry.

"I am thrilled to be recognized as an emerging leader among so many talented women in the industry and am thankful for the opportunity to continue to innovate as part of the Smithfield Foods family,” said Supan. "I look forward to working with other STEP honorees to continue empowering future generations of female manufacturing leaders, including those within our company."

The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit arm of the National Association of Manufacturers, launched the awards program in 2012 as part of its efforts to promote the role of women in manufacturing through its STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead initiative. According to The Manufacturing Institute, women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Manufacturers can close the skills gap by 50% simply through bringing 10% more women into the industry. To reach this goal, STEP Ahead engages industry leaders to advocate for the manufacturing industry, mentor young women interested in the field, promote personal development and collaborate with one another to share ideas and best practices.

The Manufacturing Institute selected Supan, in part, due to her ability to engage all aspects of business and facilitate effective, innovative projects that propel operations forward. She has worked at various Smithfield locations and continues to be a valuable team player in several company-led community functions. She actively involves herself in volunteer efforts through her church and other organizations that have a long-lasting impact on her community. Additionally, in her role at Smithfield, she leads by example to help individuals understand project processes in multiple areas from operations to business and all supporting roles. She remains patient and willing to explain each step of a task to any individual, helping them better understand the importance of the project and what that person’s role is toward reaching broader goals.  

“We are excited to honor Megan and her significant contributions to her team and our company. She is a role model for other young professionals at Smithfield and our industry at-large, embodying our core guiding principles of Responsibility, Operational Excellence and Innovation in her everyday work,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods and former STEP Ahead Awards Chair. “The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead initiative is an incredible program that recognizes the achievements of women in manufacturing who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their companies and communities, and I look forward to its continued success in bringing more diversity to the field.”

The Manufacturing Institute recognized Supan and other honorees at a virtual 2020 STEP Ahead Awards ceremony on September 24, 2020.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and have made us one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


Lisa Martin
+1 (757) 365-1980
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
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Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly's®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

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