Melissa Aguilar-Southard joins KAM as Member Relations Director

Melissa Aguilar-Southard joins KAM as Member Relations Director

Aguilar-Southard brings years of manufacturing and workforce development experience to KAM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 1, 2021) – On Thursday the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) announced Melissa Aguilar-Southard joined its staff as the Member Relations Director.

“We’re excited to welcome Melissa to KAM’s small but mighty team,” said KAM Executive Director Lee Lingo. “Her time in public service displayed her expertise at creating relationships, pooling resources, and building the bridge between industry, education, and government. We look forward to working with Melissa to better assist Kentucky manufacturers in developing and growing their businesses.”

Melissa Aguilar-Southard’s career has involved being an industry profiler and trainer working within multiple industries, including manufacturing. Her experience allowed her to join teams daily on the production floor of companies analyzing processes and streamlining employee efficiency, a process which she has thoroughly enjoyed.

“As the sole manufacturing-focused trade association in Kentucky, KAM has proven to be a crucial voice for manufacturers across Kentucky. I’m proud to join this team to further support one of Kentucky’s largest industry sectors and job providers. I look forward to meeting with manufacturers across the state to help share their stories and connect the dots to better utilize available resources.”

Later in her career Aguilar-Southard served in multiple administrations throughout several states. Aguilar-Southard has consulted for multiple organizations and companies, focusing on measurable, successful solutions. Most recently, she served in the Workforce and Education Cabinet as the executive director of the Kentucky Workforce and Innovation Board (KWIB) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Collaborative where she helped create the Commonwealth’s newest strategic plan for the workforce development system.

Since 1911, KAM has served as the leading advocate for the manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. Manufacturing is the economic engine of Kentucky, representing over $34 billion in annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 250,000 employees.


Learn more about KAM’s mission to serve Kentucky manufacturers at

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