Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Inductees

Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Inductees
Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Inductees

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) has inducted 15 women into its inaugural Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame. These women have not only made extraordinary contributions to the manufacturing industry but also paved the way for other women to do the same.

“[When I found out I had been inducted into the hall of fame,] I was stunned; I was thrilled,” said inductee Jd Marhevko, who is the VP of Quality and Warranty Systems at Delphi Technologies. “These ladies are amazing.” In her role at Delphi Technologies, Marhevko is responsible for quality and warranty systems across 26 facilities in 11 countries.

Unexpected beginnings: Marsha Serlin, Founder and CEO of United Scrap Metal

In the mid-1970s, Marsha Serlin, another WiM Hall of Fame inductee, found herself balancing working 16-hour days at three jobs and raising two small children alone. “My husband left, and I had no money,” she said. “It was imperative that I figure out how to take care of myself and my children.” Serlin founded United Scrap Metal in 1978 with just $200 and a rental truck. She collected scrap from alleys and facilities and worked relentlessly to sell it. Eventually, in 1981, she was able to purchase a small footprint in Cicero, Ill.

Today, United Scrap Metal is an award-winning provider of innovative recycling solutions with more than 600 employees and six locations. “I didn’t see limitations,” Serlin said. “Too many women think they can’t do something because it looks too hard or complicated. You have to get out of your head and say, ‘You know what? I think I can do that.’”

About the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame

The professionals welcomed into the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame “include women who are dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry” in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Personally contributed to the advancement of women in the field.

  2. Established programs designed to encourage young women to join the manufacturing industry.

  3. Assisted other women to move forward in their manufacturing careers.

  4. Invented or spearheaded innovations in manufacturing that increased competitiveness.

“The 15 honorees who will make up our inaugural class are a prestigious group, each of whom has made significant, lasting contributions to our industry,” said WiM President Allison Grealis. “They are true trailblazers whose work has created opportunities for countless other women. We are thrilled and honored to recognize them in this special way.”

Making a Difference: Jd Marhevko, VP Of Quality and Warranty Systems

Originally, Marhevko chose engineering as a career because she knew she would make a good living and be able to support herself. “As I got into engineering, I realized it was a lot of fun because I could make a difference,” she said. “We have taken bankrupt facilities and turned them around so that people could remain employed, and to me, that’s huge.”

Before joining Delphi Technologies, Marhevko worked in leadership capacities at SAF-Holland Inc. and Accuride Corporation. Marhevko, who is one of the only 650 ASQ Fellows in the world, became the 10th of only 11 people to ever receive the Shainin medal from ASQ, an international honor named for Dorian Shainin for making an improvement in quality or reliability.

She considers herself honored to serve on Gibbs Industries board of directors. “Only about one in five board members [of publicly-traded companies] are women,” she said. She has co-authored several texts on Quality Management and Lean Sigma and speaks at conferences several times per year. In addition to her career achievements, she and her husband have also raised two children aged 20 and 22. "I’m so proud of both my children,” she said, “and I have a wonderful husband.”

“During my career, I’ve had so many people help me in so many fantastic ways; this is an amazing and humbling experience,” Marhevko said. Now, she is returning the favor. “I volunteer professionally and serve as a mentor in several organizations, including the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). I also mentor the women who work with me.”

The Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame Inductees

The following women have been welcomed into the 2020 Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame:

  • Kim Beardsley, John Deere (retired)

  • Sandra Bouckley, SME

  • Dianne Chong, Boeing (retired)

  • Melanie Cook, GE Appliances, a Haier Company

  • Nadine Crauwels, Sandvik Coromant

  • Susan Elkington, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky

  • Laurie Harbour, Harbour Results Inc.

  • Kim Humphreys, Avery Dennison (retired)

  • Vanessa Li, Novelis

  • Sonita Lontoh, HP

  • Jd Marhevko, Delphi Technologies

  • Cecilia Render, Nordson Corporation Foundation

  • Kate Rome, Rome Grinding Solutions

  • Marsha Serlin, United Scrap Metal

  • Gretchen Zierick, Zierick Manufacturing Corporation

The inductees will be honored on Oct. 1 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (EDT) during a virtual ceremony. Though registration is free, attendees are welcome to support the Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation.

Promoting women: Sandra Bouckley, CEO and Executive Director of SME

Inductee Sandra Bouckley is CEO and Executive Director of SME, an association known for promoting advanced manufacturing technology, providing resources for manufacturers, and working to develop a skilled workforce. Bouckley earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in the late ‘70s, when fewer than about 3% of engineers were women. She later obtained two master’s degrees as well—a master’s in manufacturing management and an MBA. She began her career in product engineering at General Motors but eventually developed an interest in manufacturing. She soon landed a position in manufacturing at Chrylser, where she became the first woman to run an assembly plant.

“I believe that manufacturing is the beating heart of America,” Bouckley said. “We are able to build great careers for people and grow wealth within our country.”

At SME, Bouckley is responsible for overseeing and directing the operations and strategies of the association. She has always worked to help others move forward. “It was always important to bring people with me rather than stepping on them on my way up the ladder,” she said.

Early in her career, Bouckley served as a mentor with the Society of Women Engineers, and at General Motors, she worked on organizational design, striving to usher people with diverse backgrounds into open positions. At Chrysler, she helped established the Chrysler Women’s Forum (CWF), a space where women could discuss not only technical issues but also challenges they faced as a woman in a traditionally male profession.

It’s about the people

“You can’t build a company without the people,” Marsha Serlin said. Marsha’s son Brad Serlin, who grew up watching his mom start and run the business, is now the President of United Scrap Metal and works alongside Marsha. “This is a family business,” she explained. “My son and I don’t always agree, but we can agree to disagree. It’s great to be able to run questions by each other and our executive team.”

Bouckley, too, greatly values the relationships she has built during her career. “Looking back on my career, it would be hard to choose one bright shining light unless I said, ‘the people,’” she explained. “I’m proud to say I’m still close friends with people I mentored back in the ‘80s. I have worked throughout my career to create a culture where people helped each other.”

Marsha Serlin decided to inspire her employees to follow their own dreams in a very tangible way. On the 40th anniversary of the company, she wrote a book about her experience launching United Scrap Metal, detailing her struggles and small beginnings with just $200 and a rental truck. Then, she gave each of her 600 employees a copy of the book and $200 with instructions to make their own dreams a reality. “I thought if only $200 could bring me here, it could bring anybody their dream,” she said. She spoke with some employees individually and learned that one wanted to be a NASA astronaut, several wanted to be farmers, and many of them really did take that $200 and go out to do something they’d always wanted to do.

Representing women in the manufacturing industry

“The creation of this first-ever Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame and the induction of this tremendous group of women is another step in our mission to ensure that women are well represented and strongly supported in the manufacturing industry,” said WiM Board Chair Lynn Kier, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Diebold Nixdorf. “Together, we are creating a world in which women are recognized for their legacy of leadership in our industry.”

“I feel very honored and blessed to be recognized for working in this industry, because for many decades, people haven’t looked up to women in manufacturing,” Marsha Serlin said. “It’s not just a good ol’ boys club anymore.”

Bouckley said she is delighted and humbled to be inducted into the WiM Hall of Fame. “I think it’s fabulous,” she said. “It’s very important to set up women as role models for girls and young women.”

Marhevko had a few words of advice for other women either considering a career in manufacturing or just beginning their careers in the field. “Don’t be afraid to show and exercise your intelligence. You only have one or two opportunities to make an impression. Have fun and be true to yourself. There’s no shame in being smart and celebrating who you are.”

About The Author

Melissa Landon is the content editor at automation.com.

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