Smithfield Foods’ Vice President of IT Applications Honored at STEP Ahead Awards for Excellence in Manufacturing

November 4, 2021 - Washington, DC, USA: National Association of Manufacturer’s Manufacturing Institute hosts STEP Ahead. Photo By Ian Wagreich

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that Jona Smith, vice president of IT applications services, received a 2021 STEP Ahead Honoree award from The Manufacturing Institute.

The institute, which is the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, seeks to build and inspire the next generation of female leaders in manufacturing – from the factory floor to the C-suite – through its STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards. The program annually recognizes outstanding accomplishments of women who are making significant contributions to the manufacturing industry and are demonstrating leadership in their companies and communities.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by an initiative that is doing such impactful work to empower women in our industry,” said Smith. “I’m proud to represent Smithfield and to advocate for women in technology. I can’t name another industry with the amount of opportunity manufacturing has; it has limitless possibilities and a place for everyone.”

Smith leads Smithfield’s Information and Technology Application Systems & Services and was honored for her commitment to helping women in technology succeed in the agricultural and manufacturing professions. She recently celebrated her 40-year anniversary with the company in June. In addition to her work for Smithfield, Smith is an active supporter of Shriners Hospitals for Children and has held numerous board positions in her Shriners’ women’s group.

“We’re delighted that Jona has been recognized for her amazing contributions to support women in our Smithfield Family and beyond,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods. “The inclusion of women is critical to the future of our industry and we are proud to support The Manufacturing Institute’s work to continue to close the gender gap while developing and advocating for the next generation of women who will inherit our legacy.”

The Manufacturing Institute honored Smith and other honorees at a gala in Washington D.C. on Nov. 4.

The Manufacturing Institute’s 2021 study with Deloitte found that nearly 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030. The cost of those missing jobs could total as much as $1 trillion in 2030 alone.

Smithfield is hiring for a variety of full-time career opportunities in its manufacturing, farm and distribution operations and is committed to ensuring the diversity, equity and inclusion of its workforce. For more information visit

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made Smithfield one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.