U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Announces New Manufacturing Council Members

Council Advises Commerce Secretary on Policies to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of 30 private sector leaders to the Manufacturing Council (the Council) for the 2015-2016 charter term. The Council was established in 2004 to serve as the principal private sector advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing industry. 

“Support for U.S. manufacturing is a top priority for the Obama Administration, and for the Department of Commerce in particular," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The U.S. has now added 786,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 58 months, the strongest growth since the 1990s. The strength of U.S. manufacturing is critical to our nation's economy and our competitiveness on the global stage.  

“The Department of Commerce continues to make investments that will keep our manufacturing sector on the cutting edge of innovation, including two new Commerce-led National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institutes, proposed in the President's fiscal year 2016 budget. I look forward to working together with the new and returning Manufacturing Council members, whose unique expertise and perspective will be integral to our efforts to boost the economy and create U.S. jobs.” 

The Manufacturing Council and its sub-committees work to ensure regular communication between government and the manufacturing sector and provide a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems. Council members advise the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturing and recommend ways to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing across the globe. 

For the first time in more than a decade, both manufacturing output and employment are growing. In the last four years, manufacturing exports have grown by 11 percent a year on average. Since February 2010, the manufacturing sector has created nearly 800,000 new jobs – the first sustained job growth in the sector in more than 20 years. Overall, upwards of 17 million Americans go to work each day in a well-paying job supported by manufacturing and its supply chains. For every dollar invested in manufacturing, the sector generates $1.32 for the U.S. economy. 

The Council membership reflects a balanced cross-section of U.S. manufacturing industry sectors, including entities from various geographic locations and businesses of varying size. The Secretary of Commerce serves as the chair of the Council, and the Secretaries of Labor, Energy, and Treasury serve as ex officio members to ensure better collaboration on cross-cutting issues the Council works to address. 

The newly-appointed Manufacturing Council members are:

  • Jan Allman – President, Chief Executive Officer & General Manager, Marinette Marine Corporation; Marinette, Wis.
  • *Christie Wong Barrett – Chief Executive Officer, Mac Arthur Corporation; Grand Blanc, Mich.
  • *Steve Braig – President & Chief Executive Officer, Trexel; Wilmington, Mass.
  • Carol Craig – Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Craig Technologies; Cape Canaveral, Fla.
  • Bradley Crews – Chief Operating Officer, NAFTA, CNH Industrial; Racine, Wis.
  • Robert Degeneff – President, Utility Systems Technologies; Watervliet, N.Y.
  • Craig Freedman – President & Chief Executive Officer, Freedman Seating Company; Chicago, Ill.
  • Rob Friedland – President & Chief Executive Officer, Proton OnSite; Wallingford, Conn.
  • *Cody Friesen – Founder, Fluidic Energy; Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • *Hiroyuki Fujita – Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer, Quality Electrodynamics; Mayfield Village, Ohio.
  • *Albert Green – Chief Executive Officer, Kent Displays; Kent, Ohio.
  • Dawn Grove – Corporate Counsel, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation; Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Kevin Hancock – President & Chief Executive Officer, Hancock Lumber; Casco, Maine.
  • Jenny Houston – Executive Vice President, Warwick Mills; New Ipswich, N.H.
  • *Eric Kelly – Chief Executive Officer, Overland Storage; San Jose, Calif.
  • James Keppler – Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain & Quality, North America, Whirlpool; Benton Harbor, Mich.
  • *Claudine Martinez – President & General Counsel, MCT Industries; Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Zach Mottl – Chief Alignment Officer, Atlas Tool and Die Works; Lyons, Ill.
  • Roger Nielsen – Chief Operating Officer, Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler; Fort Mill, S.C.
  • Timothy O’Meara – President, GEMCITY Engineering & Manufacturing; Dayton, Ohio.
  • *Shirish Pareek – Founder, President & Chief Executive, Hydraulex Global; Chesterfield, Mich.
  • *Andra Rush – Chief Executive Officer, The Rush Group; Detroit, Mich.
  • Marsha Serlin – Founder & Chief Executive Officer, United Scrap Metal; Cicero, Ill.
  • Irwin Shur – Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Snap-on; Kenosha, Wis.
  • *Susan Smyth – Director of Manufacturing Systems Research, Global Chief Scientist for Manufacturing, General Motors; Warren, Mich.
  • Joseph Sylvestro – Vice President, Manufacturing Operations, Pratt & Whitney; East Hartford, Conn.
  • *Jeffrey Wilcox – Vice President, Engineering, Lockheed Martin; Bethesda, Md.
  • *Ludwig Willisch – President & Chief Executive Officer of North America, BMW Group; Westwood, N.J.
  • Ray Yeager – President & Chief Executive Officer, DMI Companies; Charleroi, Pa.
  • *Bill Yeargin – President & Chief Executive Officer, Correct Craft; Orlando, Fla.

*reappointed member 

Manufacturing is a key component of the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda” and the department’s focus on strengthening American innovation. The Department has worked to connect manufacturers with the resources they need to grow and thrive, ensure workers have the skills to get today’s high-tech manufacturing jobs, and develop a network of institutes designed to enhance the global competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector. 

For more information about the Manufacturing Council and to see the members’ biographies, visit www.trade.gov/manufacturingcouncil

Last updated: 2015-02-27 13:26

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