The Best in Technology, Talent and Lifetime Achievement

April 4, 2016
Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, Jim & Anne Davis of New Balance and Bob Chapman of Barry-Wehmiller recognized for leadership in manufacturing.

With manufacturing heading into what many say is the 4th industrial revolution, manufacturing leaders are rushing to reinvent their businesses. The myriad challenges they face can seem endless, demanding excellence in any number of functional leadership areas.

But two stand out: Technology and Talent.

IndustryWeek is taking on the challenge of helping manufacturing leaders identify the leading trends, ideas, strategies and best practices within these two areas. We're doubling down with a deeper commitment to covering how companies develop and deploy talent and technology to achieve revolutionary leadership practices, business models, production systems, and products.

As part of that coverage, we've created a new awards program, the IW Industry Excellence Awards, which recognizes leaders who are at the forefront of technology and talent transformation.

We'll also recognize an industry executive who has done a masterful job in steering a course through a lifetime of leadership that both influences others and positions his or her company for future success. 

Together with the IndustryWeek Best Plants Award program, these new corporate-level award winners exemplify what it means—and what it takes—to be a world-class manufacturer.

Introducing the 2016 Inaugural IndustryWeek Industry Excellence Award Recipients

IndustryWeek Manufacturing Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim and Anne Davis of New Balance This award celebrates the contribution of an individual, or in this case, partnership, whose leadership and tireless commitment to excellence has had a transformative effect on their organization and American manufacturing.As founders and leaders of New Balance, together, Jim and Anne shepherded the company through some of the most difficult years for U.S. manufacturers and achieved astounding success. In doing so, they represent the best of U.S. manufacturing leadership, with their commitment to delivering innovative, quality products; leveraging lean and continuous improvement; valuing factory associates; and, of course, supporting U.S. domestic manufacturing.
IndustryWeek Manufacturing Technology Leadership Award – Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics This award celebrates an individual who has made outstanding contributions to manufacturing technology and innovation that has had significant impact on manufacturing.As founder, chairman, and CTO of Rethink Robotics, and with the introduction and popularization of collaborative robotics, Rodney has pioneered the next-generation of manufacturing automation. Further, he has made it possible for a much broader use of cobots in small and mid-size manufacturers.
IndustryWeek Manufacturing Talent Leadership Award – Bob Chapman of Barry-Wehmiller This award celebrates an individual who has made outstanding contributions to manufacturing talent innovation that has had significant impact on manufacturing.

With Bob’s dedication to executing and communicating Truly Human Leadership, through example and outreach to the business community via his books, speaking engagements, and university, he is setting the standard for how to leverage talent to succeed as a U.S. manufacturing business.

Each winner will be recognized at our annual event, the IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference and Expo, which will be held May 3-5, 2016, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, Ill.

Look for profiles of each award winner next week at

About the Author

Patricia Panchak | Patricia Panchak, Former Editor-in-Chief

Focus: Competitiveness & Public Policy

Call: 216-931-9252

Follow on Twitter: @PPanchakIW

In her commentary and reporting for IndustryWeek, Editor-in-Chief Patricia Panchak covers world-class manufacturing industry strategies, best practices and public policy issues that affect manufacturers’ competitiveness. She delivers news and analysis—and reports the trends--in tax, trade and labor policy; federal, state and local government agencies and programs; and judicial, executive and legislative actions. As well, she shares case studies about how manufacturing executives can capitalize on the latest best practices to cut costs, boost productivity and increase profits.

As editor, she directs the strategic development of all IW editorial products, including the magazine,, research and information products, and executive conferences.

An award-winning editor, Panchak received the 2004 Jesse H. Neal Business Journalism Award for Signed Commentary and helped her staff earn the 2004 Neal Award for Subject-Related Series. She also has earned the American Business Media’s Midwest Award for Editorial Courage and Integrity.

Patricia holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and English from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She lives in Cleveland Hts., Ohio, with her family.  

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