Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Brunner named STEP Ahead Award honoree

March 3, 2020 — This week, the Manufacturing Institute announced that Senior Director of Customer Logistics & Operations Kim Brunner will be honored as a recipient of the Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. She is one of 130 women in the manufacturing industry to receive this honor for their demonstrated leadership and excellence in their careers. She will receive the award in a formal ceremony on April 30 in Washington, D.C.

“Manufacturing brings to life quality products enjoyed by consumers around the world. They are critical to our economy by employing and training millions of people,” Kim said in an interview with the Manufacturing Institute. “Manufacturing works with all functions of the organization. I personally enjoy the challenge of continuous improvement and waste reduction which is part of the everyday life in manufacturing.”

Celebrating its eighth year, the STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative launched to promote the role of women in manufacturing through recognition and research. The stories of these women and the leadership they show will help inspire next generation female leaders in manufacturing and support current female talent within the industry.

In Kim’s nomination form, career highlights and contributions from her 13 years at Schwan’s Company included the following:

Kim plays a vital role as a global supply chain and manufacturing liaison to the club commercialization and sales team. She led crucial cost-savings projects to simplify raw materials and packaging on the company’s multi-serve pizza portfolio across retail and food-service businesses. This team was credited with saving the company more than $100 million.

Over the years, Kim has maintained several formal and informal mentoring relationships. With a passion for coaching and training others, she has helped many reach their goals within the organization. By formalizing a mentoring circle program specific to women, Kim has helped foster relationships throughout Schwan’s Company while strengthening learning and networking experiences. Kim is also an advocate and volunteer for the Network of Executive Women (NEW) Twin Cities regional committee, an organization with a mission to advance women, grow business and transform workplaces.

Kim deeply believes in the power of building community and providing continuous learning opportunities to employees. Her broad experiences, knowledge, relationships and skill set are a benefit to the organization, but her attitude is an accelerator to her experience. Through mentorship, education and the community, Kim is dedicated to giving back in all aspects of her life.

The Manufacturing Institute, the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, is dedicated to supporting the manufacturing workforce of today and growing the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. It does so through a variety of programs designed to excite, educate and empower with a focus in four key areas: women, veterans, youth and skills training.

The Institute also serves as the leading authority on data and research for the industry through its Center for Manufacturing Research, closely examining issues of importance to manufacturers both to help understand them and illuminate what needs to be done to solve them.

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