Katy Conrad Maynor isn't just a rising star—she's a rock star, says nominator David Allen. A superb negotiator and born leader, Maynor displays a special flair for uniting people with conflicting goals, guiding them toward solutions that pay off for all. Among her many achievements at Shell Oil since 2008: She devised a new approach to one supplier relationship that yielded big savings across half that vendor's portfolio; built a regional sourcing strategy for Shell's business-to-business (B2B) products; and co-led the creation of a successful new contracting model.
Maynor was a business major at Ohio State, headed for a marketing career, when an on-campus talk by a member of the Limited Brands' logistics team gave her a look at life on the supply side. "Getting the product to the end consumer, and matching demand to what is available, sounded like a fascinating challenge," she says. Later, a 12-week internship at Shell sold her on the supply chain, and especially on procurement. One big draw was the chance to make a direct impact on the bottom line. "If businesses can get this right—an optimized supply chain with constructive relationships—it can be a source of competitive advantage," she says. "It's exciting to be part of that effort."
Maynor negotiates contracts and manages suppliers for Shell's Global Commercial business. "I also work with our businesses to help make our supply chain run more smoothly and gain efficiencies," she says. It's a global role that Maynor usually fills from Houston. But in 2014, Shell sent her on special assignment to London, where she focused particularly on European suppliers. She also started tackling new duties, procuring services for a team that develops long-term strategies for Shell.
"I love working with smart engineering and business professionals," says Maynor. "They challenge me. They make me sharper." She also loves solving tough problems—for instance, balancing the pros and cons of different sourcing options, uncovering hidden costs and risk factors, to reach the best possible solution. "The rewarding part is when we make a real change that improves our business, and makes our team stronger as a result," she says.
"Katy has a passion for connecting new professionals with experienced supply chain practitioners," says Allen. That's why, as part of the ISM-Houston affiliate, she took a lead role in creating the organization's first Emerging Professional's Group (EPG), building a network of 250 members. "We want to encourage a constant pipeline of new talent coming into ISM and into the supply chain management discipline," Maynor says. The Houston group now serves as a role model for other ISM affiliates.
Maynor enjoys time with family and friends. She also loves to travel, indulging her curiosity about various world cultures. She mentors college business majors, and in her downtime she relaxes with mysteries and biographies, and takes Pilates. A figure skater growing up, she also continues to enjoy that sport.
"Lead from wherever you are," Maynor recommends. That's her own modus operandi. Whether she's the designated leader, or simply a member of the team, Maynor knows how to influence a group to achieve its best. That often takes courage. "When something doesn't look right, or you have to deliver a message that is the right message but isn't popular, you need to communicate it respectfully and stand behind it," she says.
"Take risks. Being willing to move to a new city or country, or take on a challenge I've never faced before, has led to some of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of my life."
HOMETOWN: Columbus, Ohio
ALMA MATER: The Ohio State University
CURRENT POSITION: Category Manager, Finished Lubricants/B2B, Shell Oil, London, U.K.
NOMINATED BY: David Allen, Operational Excellence—Functional Excellence Lead, Shell Oil
To continue growing as a supply chain professional, and learning from inspirational leaders so I can be more effective within teams and as a leader.
Yes. The chance to make a direct impact on the bottom line is rewarding.