W⁴V STEM Role Models/Advocates
Wise Wonderful Women of West Virginia
Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc.
Buffalo, West Virginia
Leah Curry is the President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) in Buffalo, West Virginia. Curry’s responsibilities include overseeing all manufacturing and administrative functions of the manufacturing plant. Established in 1996, TMMWV manufactures 4-cylinder engines for the Corolla and V6 engines for the Highlander, Sienna and Lexus RX350. In addition, TMMWV manufactures 8-speed automatic transmissions for the Avalon, Lexus ES, Camry and Highlander. TMMWV has the capacity to produce more than one million engines and transmissions yearly.
Curry joined Toyota as a team leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia in 1997. During her more than 20-year career at Toyota, she has served as held several manufacturing management positions, including general manager of Assembly and management positions in Body Weld, Stamping, Maintenance, Production Engineering and New Model launch at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind. Prior to her current position, Curry served as vice president of Manufacturing at TMMI, where she oversaw all manufacturing operations at the plant that produces the Highlander, Sienna and Sequoia.
In alignment with Toyota’s values of respect for people and continuous improvement, Curry believes in demonstrating servant leadership every day. Additionally, she is a proponent of encouraging females to consider STEM-based career paths and is involved in various community initiatives geared toward Pre-K through 12th grade students.
Curry studied Industrial Electronics at the University of Evansville and Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville, Ind. She holds a TPC Certification in Industrial Electronics. Nationally, Leah serves on the National Board of Directors of the Manufacturing Institute and Women in Manufacturing Institute. Locally, she is a board member of The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and The Education Alliance, a private, non-profit organization that advocates for public school student achievement in West Virginia. Curry was named as one of the Automotive News’ 2015 “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry,” a National Manufacturing Institute’s Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award Recipient in 2013, and honored as a Who’s Who in West Virginia in 2018 by The State Journal.
Dr. Jan R. Taylor
West Virginia Science & Research (WVSR), a division of West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Charleston, West Virginia
Director of West Virginia Science & Research (WVSR), a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and project manager for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
Taylor’s responsibilities with WVSR include research programs, competitions, education and human resources projects, and program evaluation. She joined West Virginia EPSCoR as deputy director and senior research fellow in 2003. Prior to that, Taylor served as vice president and project director of the National Institute for Chemical Studies. She also worked in the environmental quality field for the state of West Virginia and served on the faculty of Marshall University.
Over years of extensive program management, Taylor has received awards from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. She has also managed sub-awards to counties, states, universities and other jurisdictions nationally.
Taylor holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences from Marshall University and a doctorate in biology and systems science from the University of Louisville.