Meet Shane Mears: Helping Cherokee Federal support the warfighter
Shane Mears worked with a defense contractor at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in New Boston, Texas, for ten years. When the company closed its operation in 2010, Shane knew he wanted to continue working in the defense industry.
That same year, Cherokee Nation Red Wing (CNRW), a Cherokee Federal company, opened its own facility at RRAD. It just so happened the company had an opportunity that was a perfect fit for Shane. He joined the company as a program manager for its field artillery launcher operations.
“I held positions that ranged from a heavy-equipment mechanic to a quality control specialist and eventually worked my way into management,” Shane recalls. “I had industry knowledge and relationships in the defense industry. I knew I could use these assets to benefit Cherokee.”
After accepting employment with Cherokee Federal, he quickly discovered several advantages to working for the company.
“Cherokee goes far above other companies in terms of the benefits they offer,” Shane explains. “Employees are not just a number like at larger businesses. I speak frequently with my operations general manager. He is always receptive to questions and makes sure my team and I use our vacation for the year.”
As a program manager, Shane leads a team of six and oversees a 120,000 square-foot warehouse on the army depot’s premises. There, they support PMSTORM – Program Management Strategic Operations for Rockets and Missiles – located at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
“Shane is highly respected by his peers and coworkers,” says Gary Eldridge, operations general manager at Cherokee Federal. “He demonstrates strong leadership skills, and his initiative has helped improve technical and administrative performance for Cherokee Nation Red Wing.”
Shane and his team house, secure, inspect and repair wheeled and tracked launchers for the U.S. Army. Shane’s team has successfully inspected, repaired and maintained more than 500 high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and M270A1 launchers and more than 700 pieces of launcher support equipment.
“Shane has built a strong relationship with our customer that has grown our Cherokee footprint with numerous contracts,” Gary says. “Under his leadership — even throughout the pandemic — his team has maintained critical assets and never missed a beat for the customer.”
The team has received "Excellent" Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPARs) for the past three consecutive years of Cherokee’s current contract, and Shane received a “Job Well Done” from Cherokee’s RRAD government customer for his steadfast dedication.
Despite this recognition, Shane continues to lead his team with a sense of humility. He focuses on working hard and doing his job with excellence.
“I’m just a normal guy trying to do the best I can to support the warfighter and help make Cherokee a success at this facility.”
Who We Are
Cherokee Nation Red Wing is part of Cherokee Federal’s engineering and manufacturing business line. CNRW is a HUBZone-certified military service company that supports warfighters. With a focus on aviation weapon systems life-cycle support, the company maintains a presence at key commodity commands to provide critical sustainment, reset and repair services.