Proven food manufacturing industry people leader Nick Turnbull joined me for S4E11. Over his 10+ year career, Nick’s scope has grown from supervising production teams to plant manager for one of the country’s premier food producers who’s products are in your refrigerator! He has been praised for his attention to quality while driving improvement in savings, efficiency and KPI delivery – all while leaving a wake of employee promotions and developing other leaders. He’s joining us today to walk through some of his learnings and best practices from managing teams, departments, facilities and locations. You’ll hear him talk about what he’s learned regarding the impact of his decisions on his staff, and he shares some of the differences between what was taught in his MBA and real-life hands-on manufacturing plant experiences.
I’ve invited Nick to the ManagerMirror because I wanted to share people-leadership perspective from the manufacturing world with this audience, and Nick has a broad mix of education, labor, production, leadership, and strategy in his professional experiences! Nick has a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and he made his first attempts at leading people by running a summer residential painting business during college. He followed his undergrad by working as a Plant Reliability Engineer for TransCanada, and then he co-founded TurtleCell – a consumer electronics manufacturer – and spent 4 years leading Quality and Operations before he accepted his first role with Kraft Heinz in 2016. At Kraft Heinz, Nick has held roles as Maintenance Supervisor, Production Manager, and Head of NA Manufacturing Execution working to improve performance across US network of plants. As a people-leader, Nick is known for his obsessive support for employee and co-worker growth. He earned respect and subject matter expertise by learning the details of the manufacturing process and participating hands-on along the way. Nick finished his MBA last year at Northwestern University and this strong mix of education and practical application fuels Nick’s ability to develop diverse backgrounds in his employees. Now in his 7th year at Kraft Heinz, Nick is the Plant Manager for the Largest cream cheese factory in the world! Located in Lowville, NY, Nick’s plant produces hundreds of millions in revenue, and he’s responsible for developing other managers and hundreds of employees. Follow Nick on LinkedIn to continue to see his leadership content and visit his mgodao website if you’d like to learn more about his passion project helping U of M athletes.