H/WISE Forum Distinguished Panelist: Megan McGovern

WISE Forum Distinguished Panelist: Megan McGovern

Quality Business Team Leader, Cab Over Product, Mack Trucks Inc.

After high school, Megan McGovern decided that she wasn’t ready for another long stint in formal education so she went to work full time. A couple of her experiences were within industrial environments, but for the most part she stuck to the service industry because it had the most flexibility and allowed her to work pretty much anywhere she wanted to live. Megan spent a few years bouncing around North Carolina before deciding it was time to focus on her future and enlisting in the United States Air Force. 

The 6 years Megan spent serving her country was a game changer for her. In boot camp, when it came time to select career paths, her only question was, “Which one of the options on my list is the hardest to get in to?” To be an Egress Systems Specialist, you needed to deadlift 165 lbs. – at the time she only weighed about 155 lbs. She didn’t even put down a second choice – she was simply going to do it. That set the tone for the rest of Megan’s military career as an Egress professional. She was the only female in her career field at every base she was stationed at and she thrived in the rank and structure that the military provided. Megan was promoted ahead of schedule, earned multiple accolades, and completed 2 undergraduate degrees while on active duty. After an unfortunate injury changed her trajectory, she opted to come home at the end of her first tour and pursue a civilian career.

Megan’s GI Bill provided her with an opportunity to adjust to civilian life as a full time graduate student. She worked at the Department of Justice’s local DEA office while she earned her next degree. In 2014, she completed a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, completing enough additional courses to qualify for a post-baccalaureate ISOM certificate. That’s when she joined the Volvo Group’s International Graduate Program. Participants spend 12 months traveling the world studying diverse business cultures and benchmarking world class manufacturing operations. The experience was rewarding in a number of different ways. Not only did Megan gain a lot of personal growth from getting to experience new cultures firsthand, but she was able to build a wide network across the global organization, which has been a key part of her success within the company ever since.

After the Graduate Program concluded, Megan spent 3 years working in the regional quality organization providing an interface between the internal manufacturing quality groups and the service managers out in the field with customers. This built up her knowledge base around how customers experience products and what types of issues impact them and their perception of value the most. In 2017, when she was offered an opportunity to relocate to one of their manufacturing sites, Megan was able to take that experience with her to help guide the local team at Mack Trucks. Over the next few years, she went from continuing her work as a field quality liaison to overseeing a portion of the final department as a production manager, and is now back in the quality group as the Quality Manager for the entire Cab Over product line.

As a Quality Business Team Leader, Megan’s team monitors the production performance via assembly technician feedback, post-assembly performance testing, sample auditing, and cumulative feedback from the dealers and customers in the field. Her team uses this information to build a working picture of the overall quality, performs root cause analysis on all high impact issues, evaluates processes for improvement opportunities on systemic issues, and provides direct support to the production team. Since 2018, the team has worked hard to reduce the average number of defects per truck found in the field by 60% – an incredible achievement!

Since Megan’s time in the Air Force, she has enjoyed being an active volunteer in programs supporting her peers. From coordinating volunteers on base and running booster programs, to helping get internal networking programs off the ground at multiple sites, Megan enjoys seeing people working hard to make their own experience and that of their peers better.


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