WiM Member Spotlight - Sunshine Galliher

Member Spotlights,
Getting to know WiM member...
Sunshine Galliher

General Manager of North Vernon Plant

Affiliated with WiM Indiana Chapter

Please share some background about your company, position and what your company produces.

Martinrea International is a global leader in the design, development and production of lightweight structures and propulsion systems that address the automotive industry’s current and future solutions. Martinrea’s success is globally shown through its core sustainable culture. Focused on entrepreneurship, lean manufacturing principles and the Golden Rule philosophy, Martinrea believes in dignity and respect for its people, communities, customers and investors. The vision statement, “Making lives better by being the best supplier we can be in the products we make and the services we provide,” rests at the core of Martinrea, embracing characteristics of encouragement and trust as a team. Providing propulsion systems, primarily fuel fillers, is our core business at our North Vernon facility where I currently serve as the HR Manager. Like so many other Martinrea employees, I was promoted from within the company supporting my personal and professional growth.

What do you like most about being a member of WiM?

Having been involved in the manufacturing world for more than two decades, I love being part of a collaborative group of women who share common interests, experiences and challenges. It helps remind me that we are part of something bigger.

What do you enjoy most about the manufacturing industry?

It may sound strange to admit, but I really enjoy the challenge and chaos of the industry. I am the type of person that thrives on a challenge and gets bored easily, so I love that every day presents a new challenge. Don't get me wrong, there are those overwhelming days, when I question myself and my life choices, but in my heart, I know that this is where I belong.

Have you attended any WiM programs or events? If so, which ones?

I have attended a couple different sessions of the Virtual Learning Series as well as a town hall. The most recent virtual event regarding bridging the generational gap was very insightful. And I am registered to attend the 2024 Summer Leadership Conference.

What woman in history has inspired you and why?

As a rule, I avoid discussions of a political nature, but one woman of historical note that inspires me is Michelle Obama. While she strongly stood beside her husband, she wasn't willing to just stand in the background. She recognized that she had an opportunity to make a difference in what she believed in, and she did something about it. Today, my daughter is my biggest inspiration. The world she has grown up in is so different and despite her fears, she has an amazing ability to adapt and be flexible. She has a giving spirit and the passion to see beyond any temporary barriers that may stand in her way. She coaches me these days as much or more than I mentor her.

What passion or purpose gets you up in the morning?

I would say that making a difference is what drives me. I am passionate about helping others. I try to live my life with purpose, knowing that I was put here for a reason. Some days, the impact is small, maybe just a smile or a kind word to someone who really needs it. Other days, I want to know that I am doing my part as a responsible contributing member of society to help make the world a better place.

How do you stay motivated in your personal and professional life?

I stay motivated by reminding myself that I have an obligation to do something. I love Matthew West's song "Do Something" and it has become somewhat of a personal anthem for me. I know that it won't do me or anyone else any good to sit back and watch, or stand by idly, and I'm not patient enough to wait for someone else, so I make a choice to be a doer. And only I can make myself do something. The "something" varies every day. Some days, self-care is my priority and my version of doing something might look more like doing nothing, but you can rest assured that I'm doing it with intent.

What's your biggest professional accomplishment to date?

Wow, identifying the biggest professional accomplishment to date is tough. One of the things I am most proud of is a lifetime grant achievement of $175k (and growing) in training grants. Too often, when budgets get tight, training and development gets cut making it really hard to continue to invest and grow your people. Obtaining grants to reimburse a company for making that investment is a great way to keep professional development on the books and a smart way to do business.

What's the best piece of business advice that you've ever received?

The bigger the challenge, the bigger adjustment period! This one has really stuck with me as I've progressed through my career. The further outside your comfort zone you push yourself, the more you have to remember to give yourself time. Big leaps can often lead to giant rewards personally and professionally, but they don't come easy. It's important to be patient with yourself and remember that true growth takes time and practice.

Do you have any tips or advice for new WiM members?

My advice would be to take action! Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Do your best to focus on what you can do to move the needle, whether you're talking about a grand vision or a small task you have been avoiding. Learning how to effectively set goals will help you tremendously, both personally and professionally, because it will help you learn to take the next step. Setting and working towards goals is the difference between having a dream and achieving a vision! Another big one that I have to constantly remind myself is to not let perfection get in the way of progress. Just keep moving forward!

What is Martinrea doing to create an inclusive atmosphere or support women in the industry?

Our company is helping to raise the bar for inclusivity! Our corporate team has set an amazing example and provided tools for each location to raise awareness and encourage our employees to take an active role in diversity, equity and inclusion. For example, after serving as a member on a corporate Women at Martinrea committee on skills development, as an HR Manager, I was able to work with my local team to initiate local employee resource groups. Our local Women at Martinrea North Vernon chapter is growing each month. In April, we even participated in one of the WiM virtual events together as a team!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

My favorite hobby is to spend time with my family. I love hanging out with my husband, our grown children and our grandchildren! Whether we are working around the house or lounging on the back porch, we just love to be together and to be home. 

What's your go-to comfort food?

Tacos! Let's be real, tacos and margaritas make the world a better place!

What is the best trip you have ever been on and why?

My favorite trip so far was a family vacation to the western US. I love the mountains but had never seen the Rocky Mountains. My husband and two kids, who were both teenagers at the time, and I flew to Las Vegas. We stayed there for 2 days, then drove to the Hoover Dam, continuing on our travels to watch the sunrise over the grand canyon! The rest of the trip was totally spontaneous, which is out of character for me. I think that’s what made it so fun.  We stopped when and where we wanted and just soaked up all the sites of Bryce Canyon and the Utah scenery. Eventually, we made our way to Salt Lake City and flew home from there.