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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Celebrates 130th Anniversary, Honors CSL Behring as Manufacturer of the Year During 2023 Annual Luncheon

By December 6, 2023December 10th, 2023No Comments

December 8, 2023

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Celebrates 130th Anniversary, Honors CSL Behring as Manufacturer of the Year During 2023 Annual Luncheon

CHICAGO – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) will commemorate the 130th anniversary of its founding with industry leaders and companies from across the state during its 2023 annual luncheon on Friday. The event will celebrate the state’s diverse manufacturing industry, which develops innovative products that save lives, powers our homes and businesses, feeds the world, and transports people and products around the globe. Manufacturing is the state’s largest industry, supporting nearly a third of all jobs in Illinois and contributing more than $580 billion to the state’s economy each year.

During the luncheon, CSL Behring will be presented with the 2023 Barry L. MacLean Manufacturer of the Year Award. A global biotherapeutics company located in Kankakee, CSL Behring develops and delivers high-quality medicines that treat people with rare and serious diseases and life-threatening conditions, helping patients live better and fuller lives. The company has developed many life-saving therapies in the areas of immunology, hematology, cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory and transplant therapeutics. As a leader in medical innovation, the company has had a lasting impact on human health around the world, delivering lifesaving therapies to people in more than 100 countries.

“I’m excited to honor CSL Behring as the 2023 Manufacturer of the Year in Illinois for their remarkable achievements in the field of biosciences. Their innovation and leadership in developing advanced treatments have saved the lives of countless people across the world,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Their unrelenting drive and commitment to producing groundbreaking treatments for patients makes them an important part of the global healthcare community, and we are proud to recognize them as the very best of Illinois’ manufacturing sector.”

The award is presented each year in recognition of a company’s leadership in advocating for the manufacturing industry at the local and national level; excellence in creating a lasting impact on stakeholders, companies, and markets; commitment to innovation, research and development or technological advancement; workforce development and diversity; long-term commitment to charitable and philanthropic efforts; and support for sustainable methods of production in their operations.

“Thank you for the tremendous honor of being named 2023 Manufacturer of the Year,” said Abner Garcia-Delgado, VP of Manufacturing and Kankakee Site Head. “We are proud of the work we do to save lives and this recognition reinforces the impact we have locally and for our patients around the world.”

A new award introduced this year is the Janice M. Christiansen Leadership Award, which will be presented posthumously to Christiansen, a longtime member of the IMA Board of Directors who was elected as the IMA’s first female Board Chair in 2010. Christiansen was a trailblazer, mentor and manufacturing icon popularly known as the “Flag Lady” for her legacy of work at long-time family-owned and operated flag and banner manufacturing company, Flag Source/J.C Schultz Enterprises. Her achievements included installing the largest embroidery machine in the world to make the star fields for U.S. flags and adding direct-to-fabric digital printers for other items. Christiansen passed away in March from brain cancer and was beloved and respected by manufacturers across the state for her contributions to strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois.

The keynote address at this year’s luncheon will be delivered by Peter Zeihan, geopolitical strategist and Founder of Zeihan on Geopolitics. Zeihan helps people understand how the world works by combining an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to help clients best prepare for an uncertain future. His uncommon insights and irreverent approach transform topics that are normally unclear into accessible, relevant takeaways for his audiences. Over the course of his career, Zeihan worked for the U.S. State Department in Australia, the DC think tank community, and helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. He is the author of several books including “The Accidental Superpower” and “The Absent Superpower,” as well as “Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World” and “The End of the World Is Just the Beginning.”

About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, please visit

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