MAST Annual Meeting Recognizes Women in Manufacturing

Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

With a special recognition for the role of women in manufacturing careers, the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier held its Annual Meeting Thursday at Artone, 1089 Allen Street. Young women who are students at the Jamestown Community College Manufacturing Technology Institute were recognized, and a special national award was presented to a local woman in manufacturing.

Lori Jafarjian, Senior HR Generalist at Cummins, Inc., was honored with a STEP Ahead Award, presented by the Manufacturing Institute. Recognizing that women make up 47 percent of the labor force, but just 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce, the Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead initiative in 2012 to celebrate women in manufacturing who are making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion, and leadership. The annual STEP Ahead Awards highlight the achievements of women and celebrate their accomplishments. To date, the Institute has honored 672 women in manufacturing. The award to Ms. Jafarjian was presented locally by Jehuu Caulcrick, Director of Industrial Services for MAST and the Chautauqua County Coordinator for Dream It Do It Western New York.

During the presentation Mark Shafer, President of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier noted the importance of women in manufacturing and recognized the significant economic contribution of manufacturing to the region, stating, “Manufacturers from Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua County are responsible for $7.5 billion in shipments per year and $836.6 million in payroll. Manufacturers play an incredibly important role in our economy. We import new dollars into the region. Those new dollars are redistributed through payroll, benefits, the purchase of goods and services and through our contributions to the tax base. The multiplier effect on our regional economy far exceeds all other economic sectors. A study by the University of Maryland estimated that a dollar’s worth of final demand manufacturing generates $1.92 into the economy. That is nearly double the base value of manufacturing output. There is no other sector that generates that kind of economic growth which drives higher living standards for people in our region.”

Keynote speaker for the evening was Ken Pokalsky, Vice President of Government Affairs with The Business Council of New York State. Mr. Pokalsky is responsible for the Council’s lobbying on economic development and taxation issues. He has served on a number of state advisory panels and is currently a member of the state’s Business Taxpayer Advisory Committee.
MAST Board officers elected are: President, Mark Shafer, Heidenhain; Senior Vice President, Mike Abbate, Cummins; Vice President, John Stahley, Dresser-Rand; Treasurer, Eric Livengood, Ulrich Planfiling; and Immediate Past President, John Zabrodsky, Advanced Manufacturing Technology. Returning Board members are: Kevin Brombacher, M &T Bank; Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College; Dale Gier, Producto Corporation; Rhonda Johnson, Weber Knapp; John Mulryan, Scott Rotary Seals; Chris Napoleon, Napoleon Engineering; Herman Ruhlman, Rand Machine; Rick Turner, Blackstone Advanced Technologies; and Paul Zebraski, Nestle Purina PetCare. One new Board Member was elected, Chase Churchill of Jamestown Electro-Plating, who is replacing his father, John Churchill, in that role. John “Jay” Churchill was recognized for his years of service to MAST.

The MAST Annual Meeting was sponsored by Artone, LLC; Buffamante, Whipple, Buttafaro, PC; Enchanted Mountain Spirits; Lumsden & McCormick, LLP; OBSERVER; Southern Tier Brewing Company; Star Media Group; and The Post-Journal. Enchanted Mountain Spirits provided spirits tasting throughout the evening.