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5th Annual STEP Ahead Awards Recognize Women for Excellence in Manufacturing

By March 2, 2017January 4th, 2023No Comments

5th Annual STEP Ahead Awards Recognize Women for Excellence in Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Institute Will Honor 130 Women with STEP Ahead Awards

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2017: The Manufacturing Institute announced they will award 130 women with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C suite.

For the fifth year anniversary, the STEP Ahead theme is “IMPACT.” STEP Ahead women all across the U.S. have made a pledge to promote the importance of women in manufacturing, and have made an impact on their companies and communities. New research by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS Supply Chain Council found that compared to others participating in a women in manufacturing survey, STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leaders have been promoted more often, have a clearer vision of their career path and aspirations, and are committed to encouraging future generation of women to pursue a career in manufacturing. The full report will be released at the 2017 STEP Ahead Awards, and will include data on the impact of women in manufacturing, as well as the impact STEP Ahead has had on the industry.

“Congratulations to these outstanding leaders. These women are making huge strides in this industry and are demonstrating what modern manufacturing careers entail – rewarding and fulfilling careers with limitless opportunity for growth. Today’s manufacturing employees are building and designing the future, and the 130 women being awarded are the ambassadors to move this industry forward,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers.

The STEP Ahead Awards, part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

In the Skills Gap: 2015 and Beyond study, The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 80 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers, and less than a third of the manufacturing workforce are women. And, according to new women in manufacturing research conducted by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS Supply Chain Council, less than 10 percent of women chose traditional manufacturing industries as the best in attracting and retraining women. Closing the skills gap includes closing the gender gap.

On April 20, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

“These women exemplify the path an exciting career in manufacturing can take,” said Heidi Alderman, 2017 Chair of STEP Ahead and Senior Vice President of Intermediates North America, BASF Corporation and STEP Ahead Chair. “STEP Ahead recognizes women nationwide for their significant achievements to the field of manufacturing, and the positive impact on their companies and the industry as a whole.”

Learn more about The Manufacturing Institute’s continued leadership on women in manufacturing here.

MEDIA RSVP: Members of the media interested in covering or attending the awards gala should contact Cristina Crawford at To learn more about the 2017 STEP Ahead Awards, click here.


2017 STEP Ahead Award Honorees & Emerging Leaders*

Kristen Actis-Grande
Ingersoll Rand
Reka Aczel
Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Francisca Kokui Adesokan*
Pratt & Whitney
Taylor Amponin*
Newport News Shipbuilding
Brigit Anthony
Cooper Standard Automotive
Nora Arellano
Toyota Technical Center (TTC)
 Laura Basara
Kimberley Benca
LORD Corporation
Erica Benisch
Intel Corporation
Mary Bergstrom
John Deere
Jennifer Biggs*
The Procter & Gamble Company
Shannan Billings
Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Mary Blair
Accuride Corporation
Roselle Bleile
The Dow Chemical Company
Nicki Bonczyk
JR Automation Technologies, LLC
Connie Bradley
Marathon Petroleum Company, LP
Michele Broekemeier
Behlen Mfg. Co.
Laura Brown
Kris Carroll
Grady-White Boats, Inc.
Kendra Carter
INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA
Wanda Cartrette
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
Frankie Casanas
John Middleton Co
Cynthia Casmay*
Merck & Co., Inc.
Sandra Chen*
Luisa Chinchilla*
Jennifer Kaye Cisneros
Bio-Microbics, Incorporated
Carol Click
Owens-Illinois, Inc.
Valerie Coffman
Xometry, Inc.
Rachael Conrad
Rockwell Automation
Amanda Corder*
LORD Corporation
Erin Culver*
BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc.
Madisen Dahl*
JD Machine Corp
Debbie Dalley
BASF Corporation
Stephanie Dean*
Christine Dooley
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.
Skotti Fietsam
BorgWarner Inc.
Laura Fisher*
BASF Corporation
Barbara Fochtman
FMC Corporation
Sue Franz
Gentex Corporation
Ankur Ganguli
General Motors
Michele Garigliano
Dover Corporation, K&L Microwave Inc.
Thomya Goode
Elizabeth Gubrud-Howe
Dover Corporation
Jerrika Hall*
The Dow Chemical Company
Brooke Hamilton
Lynn Hancock
USG Corporation
Emily Hardie
AGCO Corporation
Stephanie Hayes
Casey Hedlund*
LORD Corporation
Gentry Hoffman
LORD Corporation
Amber Holland
Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Vicki Holt
Proto Labs
Kimberly Howard
Owens Corning Sales, LLC
Lori Jafarjian
Cummins – Jamestown Engine Plant
Mary Jo (MJ) Jerome
Stroud Safety
Jeanette Johnson
Dana Incorporated
Monica Jung
Cindy Jurgens
The Toro Company
Sarah Kaffenbarger
Laura Kay Kappler-Roberts
Kappler, Inc.
Paige Kassalen*
Covestro, LLC
Danielle Lancianese*
Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Susanne Lauda
AGCO Corporation
Lisa Lawrence
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK)
Christine Linder
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Rebecca Lucore
Covestro, LLC
Romy Ludwig
The Dow Chemical Company
Rochelle Maciejewski
Johnson Controls
Stacy Malecki
Pratt & Whitney
Kalyani Mallela
Philips Healthcare
Dana Manderfield
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Laurie Markoe
Colleen Meagher*
Kathryn Miller
HST Materials, Inc.
Ashley Mohns*
Eastman Chemical Company
Regina Molisee
BASF Corporation
Natalie Monroe
Janet E. Morton
Brunswick Boat Group
Aneesa Muthana
Pioneer Service Inc.
Misti Nehus
Sealed Air Corporation
Delia Noblecilla
Molson Coors
Kristin Okhuysen
The Procter & Gamble Company
Merry Parisotto
Terex Corporation
Mbeke Perez*
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Diana Peters
Symbol Tool, Inc.
Jessica Phillips
Eli Lilly and Company
Mary Kate Phillips
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Amber Pratt-Lum *
The Raymond Corporation
Stacie Rampe
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Anita Rebarchak
Pratt & Whitney
Caroline Richardson*
Abbott Point of Care
Hope Riggs
Ball Corporation
Heather Robinson
Kara Roeder
The Procter & Gamble Company
Jessica Rogers
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas
Melissa Ross
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Laura Ruiz-Santamaria
Caterpillar Inc.
Sharon Ruppel
Elizabeth (Binky) Sargent
Christi Saunders*
Eli Lilly and Company
Nancy Seleski
Lena Siegel*
Tammie Siracusa
Jennifer Slater
Johnson Controls Power Solutions
Rebecca Stehle*
MSA Safety
Janet Stephens
Pierrette Swan*
Huntington Ingalls Industries
Lori Tapani
Wyoming Machine Inc.
Joanne Tetsill
UTC Areospace Systems
Ashley Thompson*
BASF Corporation
Robin Tindall
Hypertherm Inc.
Amanda Tolhurst
Whirlpool Corporation
Yulia Tyukhova*
Acuity Brands
Karla Valdes
Commerical Vehicle Group, Inc.
Carolee Vanicek
TimkenSteel Corporation
Katelyn Vara*
Mercury Marine/Brunswick Corporation
Sharon Vasher
The Sherwin-Williams Company
Caroline Villa*
Johnson Controls International
Nitya Vittal
Jabil Circuit, Inc,
Kari Warberg Block
Marcea Weiss
Mercury Marine/Brunswick Corporation
Kelsey Wensink*
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Carol Wheeler
Code Blue Corporation
Swee Har Wilcox
Armstrong Flooring, Inc.
Diane Wilhelm
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Melsha Winchester
Bishop-Wisecarver Group
MaryAnn Winsemius*
Owens-Illinois, Inc.
Carla Yancy
Kohler Power Systems
Cindy Yielding
BP America Inc.

*Asterisk indicates an Emerging Leader

RED indicates IMA Member Company