Kay Granger says women are making their mark in defense industry

03/19/2014 3:32 PM

03/19/2014 4:37 PM

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger has a theory about why Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has made progress fixing problems in its F-35 program: There are now some women in charge.

In an opinion piece she wrote for time.com, the national magazine’s website, the former Fort Worth mayor — who is now vice-chair of the House Defense Appropriations committee in Washington — points to the work of Marillyn Hewson, who took over as Lockheed’s CEO last year, and Lorraine Martin, who she appointed as the F-35’s program manager in Fort Worth, in repairing damaged relations with the Pentagon over cost and technical issues.

“There was a real lack of partnering that changed almost immediately when Marillyn took over,” Granger wrote. “The conversation changed, as did the attitude. Decisions were made that had been delayed for months.

“Women tend to be problem solvers by nature. In many cases, that trait becomes more important than having a particular title, their name on the door or the highest salary.”

Granger noted that since Hewson and Martin took over, “criticism of the program has been significantly reduced. These women achieved this outcome by bringing authenticity to the table and rebuilding the program’s credibility. Rather than tucking away the company’s previous errors, they acknowledged them.”

Pentagon officials, who were critical of Lockheed’s management in past years, have voiced optimism in recent months, but there are still problems to overcome. Most recently, ground testing of the Marine Corps version of the multi-force fighter jet was halted after inspectors found cracks forming in the bulkheads.

Granger’s piece, titled “How Women are Reshaping the Defense Industry,” notes that General Dynamics and BAE Systems now also have female CEOs, and that women leaders are “melting away the defense industry’s male-dominated image.”

She also singled out Della Williams, who founded Williams Pyro (now Williams R.D.M.) with her husband in the 1960s and took over the manufacturer after his death in 1996, for overcoming preconceptions about her gender. — Steve Kaskovich

Pam Minick honored for work promoting Fort Worth

Fort Worth rodeo legend Pam Minick may once have been named Miss Rodeo America, but on Wednesday she was all about Fort Worth.

Minick was presented the 2013 Dateline Award by the American Advertising Federation-Fort Worth chapter. The professional advertising and marketing organization annually honors a person or organization that has brought positive attention to the local community.

Minick, who retired last year as the longtime marketing director of Billy Bob’s Texas in the Stockyards, was honored for her decades of tirelessly promoting the city, the group said.

“From Willie Nelson to the Super Bowl Committee, Pam has made sure that each entertainer, dignitary and visitor left with an indelible impression of our city,” said AAF-Fort Worth President Rene Murphy. “There is no one more deserving of this award.”

Minick was credited with helping to bring about international attention to the Fort Worth Herd, the Texas longhorn cattle drive in the Stockyards.

“We couldn’t do our job without her,” said Kristin Jaworski, the Fort Worth Herd’s trail boss. “Everything the Herd has, Pam has had her hand on it.”

Among her accolades, Minick is a former Womens’ World Championship calf roper and has competed in the Womens’ National Finals Rodeo as a team roper. She’s in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and serves as a host on RFD-TV.

Mitch Whitten, vice president of marketing and communications for the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “Pam is one of our greatest cowgirls, but one of our greatest marketers.”

“When I see Pam, I see Fort Worth,” added Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, in a note read at the luncheon.

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