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EACC Behind the Scenes: Attending the Fearless Frontline Leader Awards 2017

Last Thursday night, Todd and I had the pleasure of attending the Fearless Frontline Leader Award celebration sponsored by EACC President’s Circle member Definity Partners
The event, first held in 2014 and hosted at Great American Ballpark, was an opportunity to celebrate and recognize frontline leaders in manufacturing that are the backbone of the industry (see video below). In fact, did you know that 80% of the manufacturing workforce reports to a frontline leader? 
Over the course of the inspirational program, nearly 40 Frontline Leader finalists were recognized from 14 companies, including three EACC member companies: Perfetti Van Melle, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, and VEGA Americas, Inc.  Additional companies include: Allegion, Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Elliot Tool Technologies, GE Appliances – a Haier company, Giben America, Inc., Gorilla Glue Company, Honeymoon Paper Products, JTM Food Group, OMI Industries,  Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc., and Vista Packaging and Logistics. 

The evening kicked off with Tara Amis, Director of Education Planning & Training at Definity Partners, and Rich Cary, Director of Education Development at Definity Partners, welcoming guests. After the formal welcome, it was time to meet the Frontline Leaders!
Frontline Leader finalists recognized from EACC member companies include:
  • Jeff Adkins, Production Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Augustis (Gus) Combs, Line Leader – AM D Shift Final, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Teresa Durham, Line Leader, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Charlis Edwards, Team Leader, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Bob Farmer, Team Leader, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Jim Fogle, Aftermarket Scheduler Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Robin (Rob) Gates, Line Leader, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Abigail Kramer, Supervisor, Master Planning, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Matt Lovins, Supervisor, Perfetti Van Melle
  • Johnny Payne, Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Rick Reed, Production Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Jorge Sanchez, Team Leader, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Dennis Stamper, Production Lead, Perfetti Van Melle
  • Joe Taylor, Production Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
  • Nickie White, RIG Program Champion, VEGA Americas, Inc.
  • Rebecca Williams, Training & Development Specialist, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America
Recognized leaders were introduced by: Derek Brooks, a 2015 Fearless Frontline Leader Award winner and a Team Leader with Allegion; Dave Mills, Transformational Leader at Definity Partners and an EACC Board Member; Fabian Schmahl, President & CEO of thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America; Ray Attiyah, Definity Partners founder and Chief Innovation Officer; Dora Anim, COO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; and James Biro, VP for Supply Chain at Perfetti Van Melle NA.

The event also offered special recognition to four winners: Donella Armstrong, Team Leader with GE Appliances – a Haier Company; Joe Taylor, Production Supervisor, thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America; Nancy Abris, Production Supervisor, Allegion; and Denise Ruffin, the Gorilla Glue Company. It was exceptional to see the strong presence of women among this year’s finalists and winners! 

The Fearless Frontline Leaders were selected by the 2017 Fearless Frontline Leader Award Selection Committee, which included Anne Cappel, a successful executive with extensive experience in international business and economic development and founding member of the EACC; Cindy Farrer, VP Global Supply Chain Management, Allegion; and Phil Wiseman, founder of Analytics That Profit. 
The award’s focus is on the qualities (calm, empathy, nonjudgement, respect, excellence, humility, caring and leading by example) that set apart the best Frontline Leaders and make them effective in their most critical responsibility: developing their people.
Interested in nominating a candidate in 2018? See below for more information on who should participate:
  • Manufacturing organizations: Forward-thinking managers in HR and operations are always looking for ways to provide meaningful recognition to their top performers. This event is also an excellent opportunity for you to invest in your emerging leaders. Show you are investing in their growth by attending together, exposing them to the highest standards of leadership and a vision of what they too could achieve.
  • Community and political leaders who care about manufacturing: Join the movement and let the world know that you care about manufacturing in North America AND about the leaders who are driving it.
Please visit for more information on the award and 2018 nominations (opening soon!). Nominating a Frontline Leader is a special way for leaders in the EACC network to recognize and celebrate their top performers, while also raising the profile of EACC members in the region.

Congratulations to all the Frontline Leaders (and their companies) recognized this year, and a special congratulations to the recognized members of the EACC network! 

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