Connie Henderson has spent decades at KMC building a reputation as a sherpa of manufacturing to her adoring colleagues. Over the course of a nearly 40-year career with Elbit Systems of America, KMC’s parent company, Henderson has solidified herself as the go-to helping hand for KMC employees old and new.
Henderson has spent 29 years helping KMC supply life-saving medical equipment to its customers after a 10-year stint in Elbit’s defense technologies division. A long-time methods specialist, Henderson takes pleasure in guiding her fellow employees through the challenges of making medical devices.
The Oracle of Knowledge
“I commonly refer to her as the ‘Oracle of Knowledge,’” said Peter Hagearty, who heads the Technical Operations division of KMC. He and his team rely on Henderson’s understanding of the company and its products past and present.
“Whenever we need to know something, whether it’s past history or information, I use her as a reference,” Hagearty said.
As a methods specialist, Henderson works to identify and correct problems in the process of manufacturing products.
“She’s probably the guru of process change requests,” said Scott Hastings, a senior technician who has been with KMC for six years.
Those process change requests, or “PCR’s” as they are known on the production floor, allow Henderson to help improve the manufacturing process for the KMC projects in her care.
One of those projects is an instrument that tests patient samples for COVID-19. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, Henderson’s boss sent her a video of a television news story that featured the instrument she helps build.
“It’s just really awesome that it actually is working,” Henderson said.
Henderson is also a crucial player in the training of new members of the production team, instructing them in the assembly steps of each instrument. Hastings said Henderson even helped him through the battery of training sessions and seminars he completed when he arrived.
“She’s a staple to this company,” Hastings said. “There’s nothing that I can point out that’s negative. She’s always cheerful, always bubbly, always happy.”
Yet KMC’s fresh recruits are not the only beneficiaries of Henderson’s wisdom. Brian Berube, a manufacturing manager who oversees four different projects, said that he models his own treatment of colleagues on Henderson.
“No matter how busy she is or how crazy the day may be on any particular day, she’s always one that’s willing to help,” Berube said. “I try to embody that same thought process and help anybody that needs help.”
Henderson’s work ethic has won the respect of her boss, who insists that her colleagues would be “a little bit lost” without her. He said her contributions over the years have made the company better.
“She’s always willing to go the extra mile,” Hagearty said. “She’ll stay late. She’ll come in early. She’ll get it done over the weekend. She’ll do it at home and send it back.
“She’s really very supportive of the entire team.”