2017 Manufacturers’ Appreciation and Awards Dinner

Nearly one hundred and fifty business, government and community leaders from all across Southwest Virginia gathered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on Thursday, October 5th, to celebrate manufacturing and its achievements over the past year.  At its fourth annual Manufacturers’ Appreciation and Awards Dinner, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing hosted this event, in connection with National Manufacturing Day.

This year SVAM invited Dr. Alexander Leonessa, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, to join us for the evening as our keynote speaker.  Dr. Leonessa’s address was entitled “The Future of Robotics in Manufacturing”. “Funny” and “engaging” were words guests used to describe the methods Dr. Leonessa used to show the audience how robots have impacted both our lives and the world of manufacturing and how they will continue to do so. He explained how robots in manufacturing doesn’t mean a loss of jobs, but a creation of new job opportunities such as the job of robot operator/programmer.

During the dinner, 3 certificates were presented to graduating students of the Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence’s Siemens Level 2 Course – the only accelerated Level 2 program in the world.

The focal point of the dinner was to award manufacturers – providing recognition to their success and the various ways they positively impact the community. Five manufacturers from all across Southwest Virginia received awards. The Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to Tempur Production USA of Duffield, Virginia; The Innovations in Manufacturing Award was presented to Electro Mechanical Corporation of Bristol, Virginia; The Excellence in Safety Award was presented to Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products of Wytheville, Virginia; The Community Involvement award was presented to West River Conveyors of Oakwood, Virginia; and the Manufacturer of the Year award was presented to Scholle IPN Packaging of Chilhowie, Virginia. The 2017 Outstanding Woman in Manufacturing Award winner, Mary Myers of The PBE Group, was also recognized during the evening.

Virginia Laser, located in Abingdon, Virginia created and donated laser cut bookmarks in the shape of a robot arm to serve as favors for the dinner.

SVAM would like to thank its sponsors for this event: The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center , Virginia Economic Development Partnership, United Way of Southwest Virginia, The Manufacturing Technology Center, and The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council.