We are extremely honored to have received the 2017 Manufacturing Excellence Award! Presented each year by the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the award recognizes a Maine company that demonstrates leadership, vision, and manufacturing excellence. We were told this is the 13th such award, so we’re pleased to be included in this outstanding baker’s dozen.
Muriel Mosher, President of the Maine MEP, and Carl Spang, Chair of the Maine MEP, present the Manufacturing Excellence Award to Kathie Leonard, CEO of Auburn Manufacturing and the AMI team.
We work closely with the Maine MEP, a program that offers coaching and business programs to help companies like ours improve productivity, profitability, and competitiveness, so this award is particularly meaningful to the AMI team.
MEP is one of Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s programs, and is an affiliate of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the US Department of Commerce.
The award was presented at our Auburn facility on National Manufacturing Day, October 6th, 2017. Guests included keynote speaker, Beth Colbert, NIST MEP Regional Manager. Colbert represents nine states including Maine for NIST MEP, and has a background in engineering. In her remarks, she noted the importance of AMI – a woman-owned company – receiving this award.
“When I started in engineering, women weren’t allowed in the plant,” said Colbert. “We need to embrace diversity.”
Muriel Mosher, President of Maine MEP, presided over the program. “Maine MEP recognizes the long-term commitment to excellence at AMI and its contributions to the Maine manufacturing community,” said Mosher.
Mosher introduced George Gervais, the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Auburn Manufacturing is an outstanding success story and we are delighted to publicly recognize its success,” said Gervais.
Representatives from the offices of Maine’s Congressional delegation presented and read letters to AMI CEO Kathie Leonard. Sen. Susan Collins’ letter congratulated AMI and noted the strong leadership of Leonard. Sen. Angus King’s letter commended AMI for its determination in fighting unfair trade practices. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s letter praised AMI for its commitment to customers and its willingness to take risks to make a product that saves lives. And Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s letter thanked AMI for its investment in the industry and in making the region more vibrant and prosperous.
Following the national delegation, Maine state legislators representing Auburn and the mayor of Auburn took the podium to congratulate Leonard and the AMI team for the award and for their commitment to Maine.
Carl Spang presented the award to Kathie Leonard. Spang is the chair of the Maine MEP as well as the recipient of the Maine Manufacturing Excellence Award during his tenure as founder and owner of neighboring company, Falcon Footwear. “AMI is world-class manufacturing company, and demonstrates strong commitment to its employees,” said Spang.
CEO Kathie Leonard took the podium to thank guests and share her gratitude to the Maine MEP. “Maine MEP introduced us to LEAN manufacturing, helped us implement our first quality management system, and helped us institute a strategic plan,” said Leonard. “MEP lends a helping hand to US manufacturers, and that’s very different from the handouts our Chinese competitors get – up to 27 of them – when they export to the US. But even when up against a stacked deck, American manufacturers can win!”
Leonard accepted the award on behalf of the entire AMI team, which she noted is the true backbone of the company.
We thank Maine MEP for recognizing AMI and honoring us with this award. We thank everyone who attended this ceremony and celebrated our success. We thank our customers who continue to choose our high-performance textiles. And we thank our entire team for its hard work and commitment. This one’s for you!