NMMA salutes 2022 STEP Ahead honorees

STEP Ahead Awards

To kick off Women’s History Month, NMMA congratulated Allison Lemasters of Malibu Boats, LLC, Nicole McDonald and Brenna Preisser of Brunswick Corporation, and Wendy Scholler of Mercury Marine on receiving the Manufacturing Institute’s 2022 STEP Ahead Awards. From the factory floor to the C-suite, the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, Production) Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers across all levels of the manufacturing industry.

On April 28, the Manufacturing Institute (MI) will honor 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at an in-person gala in Washington, D.C., highlighting each Honoree and Emerging Leader’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. Here are excerpts from MI on the recreational boating industry’s deserving honorees:

Allison Lemasters, Director of Continuous Improvement, Malibu Boats, LLC

Allison has dedicated her career to making manufacturing more efficient, accurate and safe. Over the years, she has been a process engineer, a quality control manager and a vice president of operations. One of her recent accomplishments was serving as enterprise resource planning project manager across the entire Malibu Boats company. Because of her extensive experience and leadership ability, she was chosen to spearhead the multi-company, multi-year effort through the selection process, design and implementation. She established the project charter with the executive team and led her team to a solution that will enable Malibu Boats to continue to grow as a world-class organization.

Nicole McDonald, Senior Director of Operations, Brunswick Corporation

Nicole is shaping the future of women in manufacturing by being a trusted mentor to emerging female talents. She serves as a mentor to new hires and strives to ensure that her company supports a culture of diversity and inclusion by actively developing female talent and assisting with the development of internal leadership training. She’s also active in the local chapter of Women in Manufacturing and most recently joined Brunswick’s Women on Water employee resource group.

Brenna Preisser, Executive Vice President and President, Business Acceleration, Brunswick Corporation

During her nearly two decades with Brunswick, Brenna has been a transformative leader and consistently demonstrated three values: a passion for Brunswick’s customers and employees, especially those team members on the shop floor, the courage to “do the right thing,” fostering innovation and inclusiveness and accountability for results. Brenna’s efforts to spark cultural change within the recreational marine industry have led to Forbes naming Brunswick a best employer for diversity, veterans, women and American manufacturing.

Wendy Scholler, Ergonomics Specialist, Mercury Marine

At Mercury, Wendy mentors interns and routinely engages with women on the production floor to help them develop skills that allow them to safely perform their tasks. Job assessments allow her to understand challenges women may face in the workplace and identify physical work barriers that might limit their options in manufacturing. By addressing these barriers, Wendy has helped create an environment where women can be equally engaged as men. Wendy also is committed to lifelong learning. She has certifications in strength and conditioning and triathlon coaching. She also recently completed coursework toward her graduate degree in human factors and engineering, setting a great example for women at mid-career level.

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