2017 Faces of Manufacturing Nominees
Faces of Manufacturing wants your votes to pick the top Faces for 2017.
Here's how it will work:
Every couple of weeks a new nomination will be added to this site and announced through social media. Once a new nominee is announced, you will have 1 week to like their post on Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn to get them to the final round. The top 10 nominees will face off during the Final votes August 17-25. During the week of October 3 the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing will be announced.
Good luck to all nominees!
Vice President of Manufacturing Operations, YKK AP America Inc.
Like Greg's social media posts by March 29th to help him get into the final round!
Greg Hultquist has always been focused. From a young age he would accompany his dad to work at a manufacturing plant during his summers. After college, he starting working at that same plant, gaining experience on how systems and people work together to manufacture a product.
“I’ve worked in manufacturing a long-time and I’ve been exposed to different cultures and different people. I’ve even lived in four different states during my career,” Greg said.
For the past 12 years Greg has worked at YKK AP America, Inc. in Dublin, Georgia, as the Vice President of Manufacturing Operations. Although he manages a 1 million square foot facility, a team member said, “Greg makes it a point to personally know everyone on the plant floor and build a positive culture of engagement.”
Another team member said, “Greg has a tireless approach to his enormous responsibilities and takes that same energy and commitment to his personal life.”
An avid P90X® user, Greg maintains a six-day a week regiment, stating, “I am never too old to challenge myself – both personally and professionally. Pushing myself to the limits allows me to continue to grow.”
For his determination and his inclusiveness with his team, Greg Hultquist has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
STEM Coordinator, Mount Paran Christian School
Like Brad's social media posts by March 22nd to help him get into the final round!
For Brad Smith, there’s nothing better than teaching science and engineering to high school students. He said, “I majored in Physics and then pursued a seminary degree, and was offered a temporary position teaching high school.” He continued, “That ‘short-term assignment’ was in 1992 and I haven’t left the classroom since.”
“My earliest memories were playing with engineering toys and games and constructing structures. Now I get to bring those interests in to the classroom.”
Over the past 24 years, Brad has exposed his students to real-world application opportunities, such as touring local manufacturing plants and participating in the Mousetrap Vehicle Tournaments, Design Thinking Camps, and machining contests. He’s also led a competitive robotics team for the past 14 years.
“I’m incredibly proud of my students. I have students interning at Georgia Tech and former students working in engineering fields across the world,” he said.
“Today, I’m teaching two sophomores who developed an RFID device that carries a patients’ medical history and hospital charts in a wristband. If this is what they are doing at 15, imagine what they’ll do in a few years.”
Brad added, “I’m honored to play a small role in each of my students’ successes.”
For his dedication to his students and STEM education, Brad Smith has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain, Textron Specialized Vehicles
Like Jason's social media posts by March 15th to help him get into the final round!
An introvert, Jason Alford’s love of books and movie quotes has helped him break down social barriers and motivate others.
Beginning his career in finance, Jason developed a knack for tying manufacturing processes together, and is now Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain for Textron Specialized Vehicles. His high-level knowledge of the organization, and his granular view of business processes, gives him a unique perspective of the company.
But where Jason excels is his understanding of people. Described as an ‘observer and thinker’, Jason teaches others to listen and understand. “He is in tune with our needs and challenges us to think smarter, work differently, and be on the cutting edge,” one employee said.
“He is one of the most inspirational people within Textron,” his team member said of Jason, who has been wheelchair-bound since a motorcycle accident only days into his Textron career. Overcoming his personal circumstances fed Jason’s desire to help others, leading him to partner with the Richmond County School System to develop a program to give at-risk high school students a pathway to learn manufacturing while earning their diploma.
“Jason is sarcastic and jokes around, but holds his team to a very high standard. He is well-respected and is sought after from all levels of the organization for his sound business advice.”
For his ability to lead and motivate his team, Jason Alford has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Joel Iverson, Jonathan Baker, and Jeff Heck
Co-Founders, Monday Night Brewing
Like Joel, Jonathan, and Jeff's social media posts by March 8th to help them get into the final round!
“Eleven years ago we were three guys working our day jobs and attending a weekly Bible Study group,” said Joel Iverson, Monday Night Brewing co-founder. They wanted to start hanging out more, so Joel’s wife bought him a home beer brewing kit and one Monday evening they brewed their first batch.
Joel said, “I joke around that the beer kit became the most expensive gift she’s ever given me.”
The guys got together every Monday night and while making their next batch, were taste testing previous ones. They soon had too much beer to consume themselves, so they invited neighbors and friends over and starting blogging about their experience.
“It took us five years to take the leap and open our own brewery, but once we did, Monday Night Brewing allowed us to build a company our way,” Joel said.
Each has their own role: Jeff is financially-focused, Joel manages production, and Jonathan heads up sales and marketing, but each of them focus on the people, stating they are the team’s greatest reward.
Joel continued, “Every day we get to create a product that we make with our own hands in Atlanta and that is the epitome of cool”.
For their focus on manufacturing and creating jobs in Georgia, Joel Iverson, Jonathan Baker, and Jeff Heck have been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Public Relations Director, Kia Motors
Like Corinne's social media posts by March 1st to help her get into the final round!
“We have a rule at our house. If you say Kia, you get a kiss,” said Corinne Hodges, Senior Manager, Head of Department Public Relations for Kia Motors. As a young girl, Corinne worked for her family’s trucking company, expediting the freight needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and their suppliers. Corinne said, “When I got the job offer from Kia, it was like I was getting back to my roots.”
“I’ve loved getting my hands in so many things over the past seven years. One of the first lessons I learned at Kia was to eliminate ‘can’t’ from my vocabulary.” She continued, “From that, I’ve realized my limitless potential and the capabilities of our team”.
She’s taken that to heart and keeps pushing herself, serving as a board member for THINC College and Career Academy, helping to educate elementary and middle school students on STEM programs to create a future qualified workforce.
One of her team members said, “Corrine has two sides – the side the community knows as the serious spokeswoman for Kia, and the one in the office – laid back, but always willing to roll her sleeves up and assist her team in anything.”
For her dedication, determination, and tenacity, Corinne Hodges has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Manufacturing Manager, Koyo Bearings
Like Bobby's social media posts by February 22nd to help him get into the final round!
"I began working in agriculture and then turned to manufacturing due to an interest in innovation and driving improvements in producing products," Bobby Jones, manufacturing manager at Koyo Bearings, said. “I love the challenges and opportunities manufacturing has afforded me. I’m proud to be part of this family for 27 years.”
Bobby credits manufacturing to his personal and professional growth and desire to help others. He’s involved with Georgia Southern University’s engineering advisory program, Ogeechee Technical College’s Board of Directors, and a regional industrial group working to resolve manufacturing needs, which helped identify a need for industrial maintenance workers. Bobby’s influence advanced partnerships between local industries, Development Authorities, and Ogeechee Technical College to create an industrial maintenance lab, from grant funding, so employees could gain skills to advance their career. He and colleagues also provide technical sponsorships and tours to educate middle schoolers about manufacturing.
Bobby said, “Helping others is important to me. My wife and I own a certified therapy dog. We visit Assisted Living residents, Special Olympics, library reading programs, and school children bringing them comfort and enjoyment.”
With his innate nature to help others and love for manufacturing, Bobby Jones has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Product Creator, Jetaire Flight Systems
Like Mike's social media posts by February 15th to help him get into the final round!
Since 1984 Mike Williams has enhanced the safety of commercial and military aircraft through innovative technologies. In South Florida, Mike founded Jetaire Flight Systems, a manufacturer of high-reliability electronic hardware and systems. In 1998, he moved the company to Atlanta to be closer to family and establish a closer working relationship with the FAA regional office.
Mike said, “Over the years we’ve progressed as an organization. We started out in product development, then established the ability to design and manufacture our prototypes in-house. Having full production capabilities allows turnkey and cost-efficient services for our customers.” He continued, “We designed and manufactured a smoke detection and fire suppression system for large passenger aircraft that is less expensive and can be manufactured in half the time of other products.”
For Mike, aviation has always been a passion and he is passing his love of airplanes onto his family. He said, “My two daughters now work for Jetaire and in my free time I take my grandson on small plane rides out of our local airports.”
For his inventiveness and his dedication to aviation manufacturing, Mike Williams has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Vice President of Operations, KaMin
Like Jason's social media posts by February 8th to help him get into the final round!
“I graduated with a chemical engineering degree and have been in manufacturing for 18 years,” Jason Maxwell said. Thirteen years ago, Jason joined KaMin, a kaolin clay manufacturer, has worked in many roles at the company, and today is the vice president of operations.
Jason’s boss and the president of KaMin, Harlan Archer, said, “He came in as one of the youngest supervisors and has done a great job – he constantly energizes his team and pushes them forward.” He continued, “He is a decision maker and a leader, and has helped our newly acquired Brazil plant feel linked to the company and culture.”
His ability to make decisions has worked to his advantage also in his personal life. Jason said, “Shortly after I started, one of our long-time team members set me up with her daughter. Three weeks later, we got married and are still going strong!”
Jason also volunteers his time, chairing two boards for his alma mater, and has been nominated for county and industry leadership awards. “I strive for excellence – it makes me a better leader within my company, my family, and my community,” Jason said.
With his ability to lead his team, Jason Maxwell has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
General Manager, I. Technical Services
“My father started I. Technical Services (ITS), an electronics manufacturing services company in 2001, and I’ve been working at the company ever since,” Lauren Thompson said. “We are a family and I would do anything for my team as a leader, caretaker, and friend”.
Lauren has held many positions at ITS and today is the general manager, where she focuses on process improvement efforts and managing the administrative functions. “I’ve learned through hands-on experience and find it incredibly rewarding to manufacture products from design through production that provide our customers with Georgia-made quality products,” she said.
For someone who once planned to be a pharmacist, Lauren is a proponent of educating local youth about manufacturing careers. “We’ve hosted Girl Scout troops and robotics clubs to expose kids to real-world robotics applications. I love seeing their expressions when they see the connection with what they are doing in their clubs to the technology in our facility,” Thompson commented.
As for working for the family business, Thompson couldn’t be happier with her choice. “I’ve been lucky to be part of ITS, and I’ve never looked back,” she said.
With her loyalty to her team, her community, and her family’s manufacturing business, Lauren Thompson has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
Owner, Sweet Grass Dairy
“I met my wife in college and quickly became fascinated with her family’s dairy farm,” Jeremy Little, owner of Sweet Grass Dairy, said.
With a desire to change others’ perspectives on quality food, Little took an opportunity with a cheese manufacturer in South Georgia, and a few years later, he and his wife purchased the business. His wife Jessica said, “Jeremy learned the art of cheese making from my mother and then honed his skills working closely with a French cheesemaker. However it wasn’t always easy – Jeremy didn’t speak French and he didn’t speak English, so a lot of trial and error occurred.”
Little and his team utilize agricultural products that are sustainably farmed and humanely raised for their ingredients. Additionally he blends art and science to create unique, high quality, hand-crafted artisan cheeses and has won more than 20 domestic and international awards.
“My in-laws work hard to produce the highest possible quality of milk. My goal is to incorporate that same level of standards within the products we produce,” Little said.
With his commitment to socially responsible ingredients and his pledge to manufacture superior products, Jeremy Little has been nominated for the 2017 Faces of Manufacturing award in Georgia.
2016 and 2015 Faces of Manufacturing can be found at www.facesofmanufacturing.com
Questions? Contact Katie Takacs at firstname.lastname@example.org.