Global Leadership Award
Deere & Company
For forward-thinking leadership grounded in technical excellence; for a career spent creating ways for others to excel; and for lighting new paths to sustainable community growth.
Rebecca Guinn is the first female factory manager in the 103-year history of John Deere Waterloo Works. In this role, she manages foundry, drivetrain, and tractor and cab assembly operations, aligning local teams to deliver key business results of safety, quality, delivery, and efficiency. With more than 5,500 employees, John Deere is the largest employer in Iowa’s Cedar Valley and one of the most important locations for Deere and Company, producing its largest horsepower tractors for customers around the world.
Guinn joined John Deere in 1992, in Waterloo, Iowa, gaining expertise in manufacturing, engineering, supply management, quality, and operations. Over the next 10 years, she took on global leadership roles across the Agricultural Division (Ag). While serving as global director of manufacturing services for the Ag and Turf Division (A&T), she was responsible for establishing the global strategic direction for division manufacturing engineering and operations units.
In 2011, she and her family relocated to Germany, where she served as the A&T global director for operator station. In this position, she was responsible for the global design, development, production, and support of operator station environments and operator experience.
Next, as seeding and tillage global product line director, Guinn’s responsibilities included leading the overall business strategy and global manufacturing footprint across nine locations for planters, air seeders, and tillage equipment. In 2019, she returned to Waterloo Works as factory manager.
She has an established reputation for identifying and mentoring talented women and men at all levels in the business, wherever she has worked. Her efforts to build talent have had a major impact on John Deere’s global persona. For example, while at the Bruchsal facility in Germany, Guinn participated actively in the European Team Enrichment Council, where she engaged factory managers across Europe in discussions related to diversity. Before she came to Bruchsal, there were no women in operations leadership. After she left, the Bruchsal factory became a leader in diversity as the only manufacturing unit with women in a variety of leadership roles.
Guinn actively leads diversity and inclusion councils; is a leadership sponsor for SWE; a member of John Deere’s SWE Executive Leadership Council since 2017; and an executive sponsor for the company’s Women in Operations Network.
She deeply believes in lifting up the communities where we live and work, and engages with local community leadership around economic development, talent development, and volunteerism to enable sustainable growth. She is a member of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, a Greater Cedar Valley board member and vice-chair of its commerce chamber, and a member of the Waterloo Development Commission.
Guinn holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA from Drake University. She, her husband, Dustin, and their two children live in Bettendorf, Iowa.