Cascade Engineering Female Leaders Recognized for Excellence in Manufacturing

Jo-Anne Perkins receives Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award in D.C.

The Manufacturing Institute Honors Jo-Anne Perkins and Caitlin Townsend Lamb with STEP Ahead Awards

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 8, 2015 – The Manufacturing Institute presented its coveted Women in Manufacturing STEP Award to two of Cascade Engineering’s female leaders; Jo-Anne Perkins receiving the STEP Ahead Award and Caitlin Townsend Lamb receiving the first STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award. STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers, and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C-suite.

“We were honored to have Jo-Anne and Caitlin represent Cascade Engineering at the STEP Awards event,” said Mark Miller, President and CEO of Cascade Engineering. “Both women have exhibited a tremendous track record of performance and collaboration in helping Cascade continue its mission of encouraging sustainability, diversity, and triple bottom line results.”

The STEP Awards are part of a larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry focused on the attraction, development, advancement, and retention of high potential female talent. Wrapping up Women’s History Month on a celebratory note, The Manufacturing Institute recognized a total of 130 women honorees from across the country during this year’s award reception late March in Washington, D.C.

“These women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”

Both award recipients exemplify Cascade’s Equal Opportunity culture and brand of inclusion, encouraging employees to know they are respected and valued within the Cascade Family of Companies. As Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Cascade Cart Solutions business, Perkins has initiated impactful projects including an internal Women’s Networking Group and The Pink Cart program for breast cancer awareness. In her role as Senior Manager of Cascade’s Enterprise System, Townsend Lamb leads all lean activities driving continuous improvement throughout the entire Cascade Engineering corporation, core to the entire business’ operating philosophy, while also serving as a member of Cascade’s Diversity Coordinating Council and Yong Professionals of Color Conference.

A recent study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that 80 percent of U.S. manufacturing companies report a moderate to severe shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions. Currently, women represent 51 percent of the total potential workforce, but only 25 percent are in manufacturing.

STEP Ahead is designed to help improve the retention of existing female talent and highlight role models that can help raise awareness about careers for women in manufacturing.

About Cascade Engineering

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cascade Engineering is a global manufacturing company whose 11 business units support a diversity of strategic markets, including transportation, environmental services, commercial products, material handling, polymer compounding, RFID, water filtration and renewable energy.

The Company is defined by its core competency in large-scale plastic injection molding and national leadership in advancing sustainable business practices that simultaneously build financial, social and environmental capital. With more than 1,600 employees located throughout North America and Europe, Cascade Engineering is one of the largest companies to receive B Corp. certification – reflecting its deep commitment to using the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems – and is both an Anti-Racism Company and Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information, visit

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c) (3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit

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Amanda Passage
Lambert, Edwards & Associates


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