John Deeres Mary Pat Tubb thrives in her factory manager role

John Deere's Mary Pat Tubb thrives in her factory manager role

 August 31, 2022

Imagine a thriving customer-focused career, leading and supporting teams of committed colleagues to produce their very best each day.

Meet Mary Pat Tubb, a Factory Manager for John Deere's Construction & Forestry factory at the company's Davenport Works in Iowa, USA.

Mary Pat is a very authentic, committed, and fun-loving colleague who truly enjoys solving problems and getting things done. That's completely what makes her tick.

From an engineering background to project management and leadership

To move into her current role, Mary Pat firstly studied engineering then started out in product development/design. Eventually, Mary Pat made her way to the factory and realized that this was absolutely where she belonged. From there, Mary Pat worked in several quality, manufacturing engineering, operations, and project management roles - and ultimately her factory management position.

A strong focus on team work

Mary Pat says her role is "like playing sports as it takes a team to win" and that it all takes effort. "We have formidable competitors, we keep score, you know every hour of every day how your work contributes/matters to the customer and to the bottom line, sometimes we get sweaty," she explains. "There is an opportunity to win every day. If you like sports, you’ll like manufacturing. Turning raw sheet steel into massive earth-moving machines is also just an incredible thing to watch."

Some of the key strengths that Mary Pat regularly draws upon in her role include optimism, resilience, and teamwork. "It's not easy every day," say Mary Pat. "In the last three years, it has been anything but predictable. You chase perfection every day, but there are so many things that can go wrong that you rarely actually get there. You have to have a certain amount of optimism to continue the pursuit every day. When things do go wrong, you have to see it as a challenge and find another way to keep going forward. I thrive in teamwork settings, and it is impossible to be successful in manufacturing if you try to do things on your own," she explains.

Making things better for customers

Mary Pat's favorite projects she works on for John Deere are the ones where she and her colleagues are helping customers and also gaining market share for the company. "It's great bringing in a new product that makes things better for our customers, and even better if it means we pull customers away from the competition," she comments. 

Mary Pat truly enjoys working for John Deere, especially due to the people. "We have incredible people here that work really hard and are committed to our customers and each other. After 20 years, they are like family. Our Customers are also key. I have a real kinship with my customers because we face many of the same challenges. John Deere's mission is compelling – to help our customers “leap forward” not just in making their business more successful, but to help them help their own customers, and do it in a sustainable way. With our core values of quality, commitment, innovation and integrity - especially integrity - they are the real deal here."

Women's leadership is key

When asked how the industry can attract more women into manufacturing and leadership roles, Mary Pat says: “We need to tell them that we notice when they are leading, see their capabilities, and encourage them to go for it. Help them understand they are good at it, and we need them as leaders in our organizations. Tell them how their leadership styles will benefit the team and the organization. In my experience, women are not as inherently motivated to move up as our male counterparts. In my case, I needed an external push and to learn that leadership is about helping a team succeed, not chasing promotions.”

Mary Pat encourages any women considering a potential career pathway with John Deere to visit the company's website, and especially read the sustainability report as there is a wealth of information and detail reinforcing what the company is all about. "If John Deere's focus and capability resonates, I hope talented women might check out our company's latest job postings. They're always invited to reach out to someone on Linked In who works for John Deere, and make contact." 

Enjoying the downtime

When Mary Pat is not working, she enjoys spending her free time watching her kids do their own things, plus she thoroughly enjoys an outside lifestyle with running, hiking, and camping as her key passions.

John Deere attracts many talented women leaders

John Deere offers women many leadership career options.

Research the type of jobs John Deere recruits for and apply for a rewarding next chapter.


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