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The SMU NexGen Leadership Award 2020 - sponsored by SMA, recognized and celebrated the excellence of emerging leaders within the greater steel community.

The recipient of the second SMU NexGen Leadership Award was Stephen Serling of Quality Metals Stamping. Mr. Serling was announced as the winner during the live virtual conference by John Packard, President & CEO of Steel Market Update and Steel Manufacturers Association CEO Philip Bell.  SMA sponsored this year’s award, which attracted 24 highly qualified nominees from 18 companies. The finalists for the award were Stephen Serling, Amy Craychee of Leeco Steel, Eric Daniel of MetalWest LLC, Lance Zeller of Oscar Winski Company and Kevin Udolph of Great Dane.

Mr Serling will receive a commemorative plaque as well a mentorship day with SSAB Americas CEO, Chuck Schmitt, complimentary attendance at an SMU workshop, complimentary invitation to the 2021 SMU Steel Summit, and wide recognition by SMU, CRU and SMA.

Stephen started his career with QMS in 2010 in the company’s corporate headquarters in Rockville Centre, NY.  His energy for the business and competitive passion led him to a Strategic Development role to help build out and execute on a vision for growth for the organization, including investing in the company's people and building a presence in the local community.

In 2016, he was promoted to the Vice President of Operations and was an integral part of cultivating a world class team and culture. Under Stephen’s leadership, QMS continues to invest in a diversified portfolio of innovative technology and manufacturing capabilities to serve their customers.  In addition to his focus on driving the future of QMS, Stephen demonstrates his industry leadership on the National Board of Directors of the Precision Metal-Forming Association (PMA). His passion for promoting American Manufacturing to the next generation work force is unparalleled. 

The judging panel responsible for the selection of an award winner from the outstanding group of nominees included Philip K. Bell, Steel Manufacturers Association; Mark D. Millett of Steel Dynamics, Chuck Schmitt of SSAB Americas, Edward Lehner of Ryerson Holding Corp. and Lenore Trammel of Big River Steel.

The NexGen Leadership Award is bestowed on the candidate whose emerging leadership within his or her company sets a standard for the rest of the industry. The award for 2020 includes the following:
  • A mentorship day with Chuck Schmitt, President of SSAB Americas
  • Recognition in the Steel Market Update newsletter and SMU/CRU websites
  • Invitation to attend one of the SMU Steel 101 or SMU Steel 201 workshops in late 2020 or during 2021 (no registration fee)
  • An invitation to the 2021 SMU Steel Summit Virtual Conference with registration fees waived
  • Recognition in the form of a trophy or plaque which can be proudly displayed on your desk or office area


The SMU NexGen Award is proudly sponsored by:



 The SMU NexGen Leadership Award 2019 - sponsored by SMA, recognized and celebrated the excellence of emerging leaders within the greater steel community.

The recipient of the first SMU NexGen Leadership Award was Meredith Meade at Tempel Steel Company. Ms. Meade was presented her award by Steel Manufacturers Association CEO Philip Bell. SMA sponsored this year’s award, which attracted 21 highly qualified nominees from 18 companies. The finalists for the award were Ms. Meade, Viv Helwig at Vested Metals, and Kristin Boyle at Big River Steel.

Ms. Meade received a commemorative plaque as well a mentorship day with Steel Dynamics CEO Mark Millett, complimentary attendance at an SMU workshop, complimentary invitation to the 2020 SMU Steel Summit, and wide recognition by SMU, CRU and SMA.

Meredith Meade is NAFTA Steel Purchasing Manager at Tempel Steel Company. She is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

During her 10 years at Tempel, Meredith has demonstrated a unique ability to develop supplier relationships, successfully implement change, manage information systems, apply automation to improve workflow and mentor others. As a result of her supply chain savviness, Meredith’s efforts in the last year alone have resulted in roughly $3 million in annual cost savings, and contributed to nearly $50 million in new business revenue for the company in Canada and Mexico. The new business has directly resulted in expanding the manufacturing space at Tempel Burlington (Canada) along with hiring 75 additional employees to accommodate the new demand. It has also supported Tempel’s creation of a new Automotive Focus Factory in Tempel de Mexico that will focus on complex electric vehicle and hybrid laminations, which will open later this year. She is also a member of the Association of Women in the Metals Industry.

The judging panel responsible for the selection of an award winner from the outstanding group of nominees included Philip Bell, Steel Manufacturers Association; Jack Bellissimo, Hubbel, Inc.; Edward Lehner, Ryerson Holding Corp.; and Lenore Trammel, Big River Steel.


Hear from the 2019 Winner: