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Smithfield Foods’ Russ Named Recipient Of 2022 STEP Ahead Award

Tammy Russ

Smithfield, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced Tammy Russ, senior operations manager of the company’s Tar Heel facility in North Carolina, has been named a 2022 STEP Ahead honoree by The Manufacturing Institute.

The institute is the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers and seeks to build and inspire the next generation of female leaders in manufacturing – from the factory floor to the C-suite – through its STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Ahead Awards. The program annually recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of industry women demonstrating leadership in their companies and communities.

Russ began working at Smithfield’s Tar Heel facility more than two decades ago as a single mother. She has since achieved numerous promotions and in her current position, oversees the case ready, marination and blending departments at her home facility.

“I’m humbled to be recognized among female leaders who are as passionate about manufacturing as I am,” Russ said. “As leaders in our industry, it’s important we remember that equipment and machinery don’t matter nearly as much as the people working them. We also have a responsibility to support one another in our careers, and especially other women.”

Russ was recognized during the 2022 STEP Ahead Awards ceremony hosted April 27-28 in Washington, D.C.

“Tammy’s hands-on, compassionate leadership style is a huge asset to Smithfield. We are so proud to have her on our team,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods and a 2016 STEP Ahead Award honoree. “Female leaders like Tammy are safeguarding the future of our industry by developing and advocating for the next generation of leaders who will follow in our footsteps.”

To learn more about Russ’ story, click here.

Smithfield Foods Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. With more than 60,000 jobs globally, it serves as one of the leading vertically integrated protein companies. Smithfield has a portfolio of high-quality brands, such as Smithfield, Eckrich and Nathan’s Famous.

For more information, visit smithfieldfoods.com.

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