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The SMU NexGen Leadership Award 2021 - sponsored by SMA, recognizes and celebrates the excellence of emerging leaders within the greater steel community.

The SMU NexGen Leadership Award, sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association is awarded to an individual working in manufacturing or fabrication companies that utilize mild carbon or automotive grade steels in their products, steel distributors (service centers or wholesalers), steel mills, trading companies or toll processors.

The award recognizes those 35 years or younger who exemplify the best the industry has to offer. Candidates for this year’s award will be those were able to excel in spite of the pandemic. The NexGen Leadership Award will be bestowed on the candidate whose emerging leadership with his or her company sets a standard for the rest of the industry.

Time is running out for you to nominate yourself, or colleague for the SMU NexGen Leadership Award, sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association.

The Final Three nominees will receive free tickets to the 2021 SMU Steel Summit Conference and their airfare (coach) and hotel costs (these will reimbursed if already paid).

Nominee criteria:

  • Candidates for the SMU NexGen Award will be no more than 35 years of age as of August 1, 2021
  • The candidates must work within the greater steel community
  • This includes manufacturing or fabrication companies that utilize mild carbon or automotive grade steels in their products, steel distributors (service centers or wholesalers), steel mills, trading companies or toll processors
  • There is no minimum time within the industry requirement, however the nominee should still be employed by the company recognizing the nominee’s talents 

    Hear from a past winner:


    What makes a good nomination?

    Nominations should give clear examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence and leadership. All nominations will be judged on the following criteria and only those nominations which give solid examples of the below will be considered "Qualifying Nominations": 

    I
    nnovation:

    • Identified ways to improve processes or service delivery
    • Implemented change in a creative manner

      Leadership:
    • Inspired and encouraged professional and personal development in self and others
    • Contributed to the success of an initiative that benefited those outside his/her own department
    • Assisted in attracting other young people into the industry

      Rising Star: 
    • Recognized by peers as a positive force within the company
    • Outstanding contributions toward completing a successful project and/or a change management program

    See the Winning Entry for Meredith Meade of Tempel Steel

    The Award:
    The NexGen Leadership Award will be bestowed on the candidate whose emerging leadership within his or her company sets a standard for the rest of the industry. The award will include the following:

    • A mentorship day with a leading industry CEO
    • 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 (no registration fee)
    • An invitation to the 2022 SMU Steel Summit Conference with registration fees waived
    • A video of the award being presented
    • Recognition in the form of a trophy or plaque which can be proudly displayed on your desk or office area

    Please note:
    • Those on the short list will be notified by August 9, 2021      
    • The award will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts selected by Steel Market Update and the CRU Group
    • The winner and finalists will be chosen before the 2021 SMU Steel Summit Conference
    • Judges will be selected by Steel Market Update and the CRU Group and will be announced within the next 30 days 


    The SMU NexGen Leadership Award is sponsored by:

                              



      CMC CEO Barbara Smith to Mentor 2021 NexGen Leadership Award Winner

    Steel Market Update is pleased to announce that one of the top woman steel mill executives in North America will mentor the 2021 SMU NexGen Leadership Award recipient.

    Barbara Smith is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Metals Company. Barbara joined CMC in June 2011 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She was then promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and to CEO in September 2017.

    Prior to joining CMC, Barbara was the Chief Financial Officer for Gerdau Ameristeel and FARO Technologies. Her career also includes more than 20 years of service with Alcoa Inc. where she held a variety of leadership positions across various businesses within Alcoa.

    In addition to her role at CMC, Barbara serves on the Board of Directors for Comerica Incorporated. She previously served on the Board of Directors at Minerals Technologies Inc. from May 2011 through July 2017. Barbara has been actively involved in various community organizations including serving on the Dallas and Tampa Boards of the American Heart Association.

    Barbara was the recipient of the 2019 Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Steelmaker of the Year Award. She is also a member of the G100 Network.Barbara is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in accounting and is also a certified public accountant. In 2013, she was recognized as a Purdue University Old Masters distinguished alumnus.

     

    Past winners



    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 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: