Lehigh alumna wins STEP Ahead Award

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Since her college years, Schenectady, New York, native Regan Gallo has had a successful career with the manufacturing company Saint-Gobain. Gallo, who majored in chemical engineering at Lafayette College and received her MBA from Lehigh, was awarded the STEP Ahead Award, which recognizes women in the manufacturing business who have embodied great leadership and excellence within their companies.

Her 18-year-long career at Saint-Gobain has seen great success in the many positions she has held during her time there. She said the company provided financial support in obtaining her MBA from Lehigh through one of the many programs the company has to encourage higher education of its employees.

When she first joined the company, Regan Gallo worked as a process engineer, which allowed her to develop and implement processes of producing plastic building materials for Saint-Gobain.

Today, she the director of operations for the company’s roofing division. This is not a small role, as Saint-Gobain is North America’s largest manufacturer of building materials.

“When I was an undergrad, I always knew I wanted to do something within the manufacturing industry,” Regan Gallo said. “I just stuck with it and I have been able to have success doing what I love.”

Nicole Zea, one of Regan Gallo’s close friends and colleagues within the company, is the plant manager for the business and one of the three female employees in the plant.

Zea met Regan Gallo around eight years ago, when she was starting at the company and was prompted to pick a mentor to help her out. Zea picked Regan Gallo.

“We never met physically for the first couple of years because she didn’t work in the same business unit as me,” Zea said. “She was, during that time and still is, an incredible resource, both as a friend and colleague.”

Zea said she admires how dedicated Regan Gallo is to ensuring other women have success in the industry. Zea spoke of a rough patch she had during her early days with the company and highlighted the fact that Regan Gallo was able to be there for her as a friend, but still was there to bring her focus back in and keep her thinking about what is next for her career.

“I am happy that she has been a role model to me,” Zea said, “and that has led me to want to be a role model for other women that are in this company and this industry as a whole.”

Vinny Gallo, Regan’s husband of 13 years, also spoke highly of his wife’s strength and dedication to what she does. He met Regan at the company and has since opted to be a stay-at-home father so he can be more involved with their children.

Vinny Gallo said his decision to do this for his family was because he wanted to take care of his kids himself, as opposed to having them spend their time with a nanny because Regan travels often for work.

“Of course she wants to be here with us, but she handles it very well and makes those sacrifices for me and the kids, and it’s very admirable,” Vinny Gallo said.

“I am extremely proud of her … She has worked very hard to get where she is.”

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