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2024 Award Nominations Are Open

June 1, 2024 - July 15, 2024

The Manufacturer & Manufacturing Employee of the Year & the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Awards focus attention on the important contributions manufacturers and industry make to their employees, customers, and communities, and the impacts of exceptional manufacturing employees and executives on their companies and communities. These awards showcase the entrepreneurial spirit, community and enterprise leadership, and good citizenship of Kentucky’s top manufacturers and employees that enhance the prosperity of communities across the Commonwealth. 

The 2024 recipients will be announced at the 2024 Awards Luncheon on October 30 during the KY Industry Conference at Louisville Marriott Downtown.

Manufacturer of the Year Criteria:

One award for each of the three size categories: Small (1-100 employees), Mid-size (101-300 employees), Large (301+ employees)

Company must have a location in Kentucky, but does not have to be headquartered in the state. If not the HQ, please provide information specific to the Kentucky location.

Criteria:  

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership (50%) in regard to products, production methods, or services. Describe on-site production of innovative, award-winning, “world-class” products and/or services; safety programs; unique product designs and/or processes; sustainability efforts; or recognized characteristics such as high-quality products, low defect rates, etc. Emphasis will be placed on Kentucky-driven innovations
 
  • Corporate Citizenship (30%) providing leadership in making a key contribution to the quality of life in the Commonwealth and/or local community. Include the economic impact of the initiative. Describe and list the enterprise’s “corporate citizenship” and monetary, in-kind, or volunteer support efforts provided by the company. Examples include charitable projects focused on schools, parks, health care, or non-profit organizations
 
  • Advocacy (20%) in promoting the advancement of manufacturing and industry in Kentucky. List leadership roles held by company employees in local chambers of commerce, industry or trade associations, and other groups that advance manufacturing and industry in Kentucky and/or the United States. Specify the advancement or accomplishment to which the company’s team members contributed.
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Manufacturing Employee of the Year Criteria:

One award for a non-executive level employee.

Employee must work at a location in Kentucky, but the company does not have to be headquartered in the state. Please provide information specific to the employee and the Kentucky location.

Criteria:

  • Innovation (25%) accomplished by the nominee in the workplace. Include descriptions of the nominee’s suggestions and recommendations that have led to, for example, improved productivity, profitability, safety, or sustainability.
 
  • Teamwork (25%) demonstrated by the nominee by, for example, his/her participation in group or team projects, consideration for the needs of teammates or of the enterprise in a selfless manner. Using specific examples, describe the nominee’s impact on the workplace by his/her teamwork.
 
  • Community Service (25%) as demonstrated by the nominee giving back to the greater community. Describe how, outside of work, the nominee engages in the community through his/her volunteer efforts, for example, on behalf of schools, charities, youth sports, public service, or other civic activities.
 
  • Leadership (25%) by the nominee as a positive role model, demonstrating high integrity, ethical behavior, exceptional work performance, and strong character.
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Manufacturing Executive Leadership Award Criteria:

One award for an executive level employee.

Must hold CEO, President, Owner, C-suite, Plant Manager, or other executive level (vice president and above) title at one or more manufacturing locations in Kentucky, but company does not have to be headquartered in the state. If not the HQ, please provide information specific to the Kentucky location(s).

Criteria:

  • Execution of Company’s Mission and Vision (20%) by the nominee in the workplace. Provide examples of how the nominee achieved objectives, overcame challenges, or contributed to the development, growth, or accomplishment of the vision of the company in Kentucky.
 
  • Innovation (20%) accomplished by the nominee in the workplace. Include descriptions of the nominee’s contributions that have led to, for example, improved productivity, safety, profitability, or other enhancements.
 
  • Community Partnerships (20%) as demonstrated by the nominee giving back to the greater community. Describe how, outside of work, the nominee engages in the community through his/her volunteer efforts, for example, on behalf of schools, charities, youth, or other public service or civic activities.
 
  • Productivity (20%) gains that are attributable to the nominee in regard to, for example, physical capital, human capital, resources, or technology. Specify the contributions by the nominee to efficiency or effectiveness that created quantifiable benefits to the company. Please specify the relevant metrics of the productivity improvements.
 
  • Leadership (20%) by the nominee as a positive role model, demonstrating high integrity, ethical behavior, exceptional work performance, strong character, and/or workforce improvements. Give specific examples of the nominee’s impact and influence on employees. How have his/her leadership contributions to the enterprise become apparent?
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Previous Winners:

Manufacturer of the Year

2023
Novelis, Large Manufacturer
voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer
Skilcraft LLC, Small Manufacturer

2022
Toyotetsu America, Inc., Large Manufacturer
Evonik Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer
Hallway Feeds, Small Manufacturer

2019 
Alltech, Large Manufacturer
Stelised Inc., Small Manufacturer

2018
Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky, Large Manufacturer
Wacker Chemical Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer
Huff Technologies, Small Manufacturer

2017
Dorman Products, Large Manufacturer
Novolex Duro Bag, Large Manufacturer
Pegasus Industries & Packaging, Midsize Manufacturer
Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC, Small Manufacturer

2016
Domtar Paper Company, LLC, Large Manufacturer
LINAK U.S., Midsize Manufacturer
Ferm Solutions and Wilderness Trail Distillery, Small Manufacturer

2015 
GE Appliances, Large Manufacturer
Holley Performance Products, Midsize Manufacturer
Hahn Automation, Small Manufacturer 

2014
Ford Motor Company, Large Manufacturer
CLARK Material Handling Company, Midsize Manufacturer 
Kentucky BioProcessing, Inc., Small Manufacturer 

2013
General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant, Large Manufacturer
American Printing House for the Blind, Midsize Manufacturer 
Lectrodryer, LLC, Small Manufacturer

2012
Catlettsburg Refining, LLC, Large Manufacturer   
Denyo Manufacturing Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer 
Universal Woods, Inc., Small Manufacturer 

2011
Emerson Industrial Automation, Large Manufacturer
Calgon Carbon Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer 
Sekisui S-Lec America, Small Manufacturer

2010
Brown-Forman, Large Manufacturer 
Big Ass Fans, Midsize Manufacturer 
Kentucky Trailer, Small Manufacturer

2009
Raytheon, Large Manufacturer 
Atkins & Pierce, Midsize Manufacturer 
Simpak, Small Manufacturer

2008
Gallatin Steel, Large Manufacturer
Whip Mix Corporation, Midsize Manufacturer 
I.B. Moore Company, Small Manufacturer 

2007
Cox Interiors LLC, Large Manufacturer
LINAK U.S. Inc., Midsize Manufacturer 
Wagstaff Inc., Small Manufacturer 

2005
Alltech, Large Manufacturer 
Blendex Inc., Midsize Manufacturer 
Blue Moon Artworks, Small Manufacturer
Lectodryer, Small Manufacturer

 2004
LG&E Energy, Large Manufacturer 
McCoy & McCoy Laboratories, Midsize Manufacturer
LSI Graphic Solutions Plus, Small Manufacturer

2003  
Webasto Roof Systems, Large Manufacturer 
Modine Manufacturing Company, Midsize Manufacturer 
OnLine Printing, Small Manufacturer   

2002
American Electric Power/Kentucky Power, Large Manufacturer   
Boneal Inc., Midsize Manufacturer 
Clark Publishing Inc., Small Manufacturer

2001  
Griffin Industries, Large Manufacturer   
Shelby Industries, Small Manufacturer

Manufacturing Employee of the Year

2023
Margo Williams, voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation

2022
Tammy Jesse, Pegasus Industries and Packaging

2019 
Dennis Dio Parker, Toyota Motor North America

2018 
Kevin Diamond, Wacker Chemical Corportion

2017
Brad Levi, Marathon Petroleum Corporation 

2016
Tami Hatfield, Ford Motor Company

2015
Danette Wilder, SealingLife, Inc.      

2014
Larry Dean, White Drive Products      

2013
Dale Budke, Moulding and Millwork

2012
Larry Combs, Brown-Forman Corporation

2011
James Myers, Whip Mix Corporation      

2010
Ray Leathers, Roll Forming Corporation      

2009
Wayne Allen, Shelby Industries      

2008
Danuta Hatcher, Unilever Foods

2007
Scotty Lippert, Clopay Corporation