Manufacturing Excellence Awards Unveiled by MMA

As Michigan Manufacturing Week draws to a close, the excitement in the industry is soaring, and the increasing recognition of the importance of manufacturing to the Michigan economy is helping pave the way towards filling the skilled trades gap in the Great Lakes State.

As part of the week’s observations, the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) has announced the award recipients for their annual MFG Excellence Awards, the state’s top statewide event recognizing the inspiring stories, people, companies and products that make up the manufacturing industry.

The MFG Excellence Awards is a black-tie optional gala event slated to be held on Thursday, November 7th at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

Chuck Hadden is President & CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. He says,  “Manufacturers do more than just make a product. They create something out of nothing, innovate, inspire, employ our people and invest in our communities.” Hadden reminds everyone, “Michigan would be a far less exciting place without manufacturers, and the MFG Excellence Awards is our chance to thank them, to celebrate them and to honor the hard work they do every day.”

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MMA cordially invites supporters of the industry to join them on that night to honor the following one-of-a-kind individuals and well-known brands:

  • MFG Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Tammy Bernier of Duperon Corporation (Saginaw)
  • MFG Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Mark Marcucci of Gerdau Special Steel North America (Jackson)
  • MFG Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Al Thieme of Amigo Mobility International (Bridgeport)
  • John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award (large tier)
    • Jim Wolf of Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing, Inc. (Alma)
  • John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award (small tier)
    • John Sammut of Firstronic LLC (Grand Rapids)
  • MFG Woman of the Year Award
    • Donna Russell-Kuhr of PTM Corporation (Ira)
  • MFG Emerging Leader Award
    • Chelsie Stehouwer of Continental Dairy Facilities (Coopersville)
  • MFG Talent Champion Award
    • Erika Nielsen of MAGMA/BorgWarner (Auburn Hills)
  • MFG Innovation Excellence Award
    • KMS Designs Inc. (Portage)
  • MFG Community Impact Award
    • DeWys Manufacturing Inc. (Marne)
  • MMA Legislative Excellence Award
    • Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (Clarklake)

Those who go will also be able to watch as the winner of the 2019 “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” People’s Choice Award is announced live on-stage.

Hadden says, “From start to finish, the list of award recipients this year is astounding,” and adds, “Whether it is those that have spent a lifetime getting the industry to where it is today or those who are picking up that torch to lead Michigan manufacturing into the future, every one of these men and women is an example of what manufacturing is all about.”

You can learn more about the MFG Excellence Awards online at You can register online or contact MMA’s Sarah Martin at 517-487-8521 or

For more than 115 years, the MMA has been serving Michigan manufacturers and related industries by providing effective representation at Michigan’s Capitol, timely educational seminars; quality and competitive-rate insurance programs, informational e-newsletters and a monthly magazine. You can visit online at for more information.