The fifth annual STEP Ahead Awards are taking place Thursday, April 20, in Washington, D.C. and will honor the best and most inspiring women in manufacturing.

STEP stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Production. These awards recognize the exemplary women in manufacturing leading by example. STEP Ahead is a national honor that not only identifies the most inspiring women of today, but also encourages the most inspiring women of the future to press onward. 

This year’s theme is IMPACT, of how women have made an impact on their companies, communities, and even themselves. Through industry advocacy, mentoring youth, leading the way as a manufacturing education ambassador, or a variety of other initiatives, these women “IMPACT” the world around us.

Congratulations to the chosen 2017 STEP Ahead Award winners. This year, The Manufacturing Institute will honor 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders who have demonstrated leadership and excellence. Click on their names to hear their stories.

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

 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
Corning Incorporated

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

2017 STEP Ahead Awards Agenda

April 19, 2017 JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 

5:30 p.m.   STEP Ahead Welcome Reception (2017 Honorees & Emerging Leaders only)

7:30 p.m.   Moonlight Bus Tour (optional – STEP Ahead Award winners only)

April 20, 2017 JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.   Networking Breakfast (STEP Ahead Award winners only)

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.   STEP Ahead Development and Leadership Program (STEP Ahead Award winners only)  

April 20, 2017 Reception and Gala Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20004 

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.   STEP Ahead Awards Reception 

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.   STEP Ahead Awards Dinner Gala

9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.  STEP Ahead Awards After Party (Penn Avenue Terrace at the JW Marriott Hotel)

April 21, 2017 JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Family Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. IMPACT Session and Personal Commitment (STEP Ahead Award winners only)


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