1st Annual Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Recognition Luncheon


1st Annual Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Recognition Luncheon

Williamsburg, VA – The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) held the 1st Annual Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Recognition Luncheon on November 14th at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The luncheon was held in conjunction with the Virginia Competitiveness Forum and recognized eighteen outstanding women leaders who have been nominated for a 2019 National STEP Ahead Award or Emerging Leaders Award.  The VMA is the newest state chapter of the STEP Ahead Program which was launched by The Manufacturing Institute in 2012.  The programs purpose is to combat the gender gap in manufacturing and showcase the impact of women in science, technology, engineering and production (STEP) careers. The STEP Ahead Awards highlight the achievements of real women in manufacturing who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their companies and communities.

“It was honor to be a part of this groundbreaking event to recognize 18 outstanding women leaders. We know there are many more outstanding women in the Commonwealth of Virginia doing great things and this is one way to recognize their achievements. Hopefully, more companies will participate next year to recognize the accomplishments of women leaders in their organizations,” said Tanya Cook, VMA Vice Chairman.

The following nominees where recognized at the luncheon.

STEP Ahead Nominees

Ranae Anderson – Universal Fibers

Sudharshana Apte – ALCS (Altria)

Cynthia Cunningham – Nu Mark (Altria)

Jane Day – Newport News Shipbuilding

Lynn Fraser – Newport News Shipbuilding

Cindy Forbes – Eaton

Paula Hill – Newport News Shipbuilding

Melissa Harrison – Strongwell

Allison Ortigosa – Merck & Co. Inc.

Stephanie Leitch – Nu Mark (Altria)

Pamela Setterholm – Newport News Shipbuilding

Keisha Pexton – Newport News Shipbuilding

Vera Wintink – Newport News Shipbuilding

Rebecca Spencer – Newport News Shipbuilding

Emerging Leader Nominees

Emmaleen De-Vera – ABB

Priyanka Joshi – Lockheed Martin

Chantiny Reese – Philip Morris USA (Altria)

Trudy Stewart – Newport News Shipbuilding


The Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Program is a national initiative that includes an annual awards gala which will be held on April 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

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