2016 Outstanding Women in Manufacturing



2016 Outstanding Women in Manufacturing

Beginning in February, SVAM accepted nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Manufacturing Award. SVAM asked manufacturers from across the region to nominate one woman within their company they felt rises about the rest. This is the third year that SVAM has given this award.

The purpose of the award is to show the significant role that women play in manufacturing. This award highlights women, at all levels, who have demonstrated excellence in manufacturing. It encourages women who work in the manufacturing environment to continue to strive for excellence and also helps to showcase a different side of manufacturing, which can often be seen as a male-dominated field. Nominations were scored based on company impact, personal drive, adapting to change, teamwork, and leadership.


The Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Manufacturing Award is


Vicky Kiser, Chief Financial Officer at Bristol Compressors in Bristol, Virginia.


Vicky has worked for over 20 years in manufacturing, takes on projects of her own initiative, has great leadership and teamwork skills, displays quick adaptation to change, is proactive in solving problems, and is the “go-to” person for information for Bristol Compressors employees.

Her nominator, Edward Gniewek, President and CEO of Bristol Compressors stated, “Ms. Kiser is an exceptional example as an accomplished woman in manufacturing reaching the pinnacle of her financial profession, CFO of a major international manufacturing company. The Bristol Executive Team is an accomplished group and Ms. Kiser stands out amongst them. She has been integral to the success and growth of the company.”

Vicky was presented with her award in front of her peers during a leadership meeting at Bristol Compressors.


The Finalists for This Year’s Award Were:


Vicky Wade, Mill Scheduler at Hollingsworth and Vose Company in Floyd, Virginia.


Vicky Wade

Vicky has worked for 30 years in manufacturing, has faced many changes head-on, has great personal drive, exemplifies great leadership skills, and is a go-to employee for Hollingsworth and Vose. Her nominator, Donnie Sutphin, said, “I have worked with Vicky for over 20 years in different capacities and she has proven to be reliable, trustworthy, and driven with an excellent work ethic. She works long hours to fulfill special requests from all departments in addition to her normal job duties. She never complains, shows great determination and resolve to help others, and completes jobs with efficiency and accuracy. She is very independent by also works well on teams and definitely strengthens any team she is a part of. Vicky’s dedication to her role at H&V, her commitments outside of work, and her ability to balance both make her an ideal candidate for this award.”



Tabetha Church, Human Resources Manager at Tempur-Sealy in Duffield, Virginia.


Tabetha Church


Tabetha has worked for over 10 years in manufacturing, is highly focused on continuous improvement, has faced many changes head-on, has great personal drive, exemplifies excellent teamwork skills with both the management team and hourly staff, and is seen as an advocate for the Tempur workforce.


Her nominator, Alex Lupi, said, “She is driven, self-motivated, and committed to personal and company excellence. She is very thorough and works well both independently and in a team environment.”




Shelly Wiseman, Materials Manager at Strongwell in Bristol, Virginia.


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Her nominator, Dennis Martin, said “All of Strongwell’s employees follow the credo of “Exceeding Expectations.” This nominee lives this out through her contagious optimism, energy, and enthusiasm to learn. Her extensive manufacturing experience has given Strongwell a diverse perspective because her background allows her to challenge members of her team and management to reach outside of their comfort zones. Her ability to lead, understanding fundamentals, and passion for results keeps progress moving forward. She is the perfect testimonial illustrating how a progressive individual who has spent almost two decades building friendships, understanding the business model, and caring for the environment can develop and redefine Strongwell as a model in the composites industry.”



Tina Clevinger, Purchasing/Office Manager at West River Conveyors in Oakwood, Virginia



Her nominator, Jessica Savage, said, “She has positively impacted the company through her integrity, character, work ethic, and positive thinking. If you think something can’t be done, don’t tell Tina! She will find a way to make it happen and because of her ambition and leadership, West River has been able to do things that they otherwise may not have been able to do. Her personal drive to make West River a better place to work and a more profitable business is indescribable. She’s a shining example of how every employee should be. She is on time and works hard. With Tina at the helm of running the office, there’s nothing that slips through the cracks. Her leadership is second to none.”



Dawn Archer, Director of Production Planning and Control and Aerostructures Operations Manager
at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in Marion, VA


Dawn Archer pic 1

Dawn has worked for over 35 years in manufacturing, has seen many changes at her company, displays flexibility and determination, is detail oriented, has great personal drive, and is a valued member of the General Dynamics team.

Her nominator, Jamie Maas, said “Dawn leads by example in every facet of the business. She is keenly aware that she has a role as a manufacturing leader on the shop floor as well as a role as a manufacturing leader among the entire site leadership. She strives to build an effective rapport with everyone she meets and has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues. Additionally, Dawn goes the extra mile to utilize her influence to recognize and encourage the personal and professional growth of women at GD-OTS Marion Operations.”