Three Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. associates will be honored at the fourth annual Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards on April 21 in Washington, D.C. At the event, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize Aditi Saran with a STEP Ahead Award, and will present STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Awards to Anna Klein and Katelyn Riha.
“The STEP Ahead Awards present us with an opportunity to formally recognize the achievements of some of the outstanding women in our manufacturing organization,” said Stephen McClellan, president, Goodyear Americas. “These awards have been well-earned. Aditi, Anna and Katelyn have demonstrated a proven ability to lead teams and manage projects, mentor their peers and make a positive impact in the community.”
McClellan added, “We are extremely proud to have these three women represent Goodyear at this year’s STEP Ahead Awards.”
Saran is a technology team leader and leads the New Product Industrialization team at Goodyear’s Fayetteville, North Carolina, tire plant. She is being recognized with a STEP Ahead Award after leading teams that reduced waste and enhanced quality. Saran joined Goodyear in 2004 at the Akron Innovation Center and has since held many other roles. She has contributed to the Akron community as a volunteer at the Greater Akron Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity, and also participates in the company’s Women in Engineering program for high school and middle school girls.
Klein, a continuous improvement leader at Goodyear’s chemical plant in Houston, was selected for a STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award after leading the full implementation of Power Steering, the company’s Web platform for managing improvement projects across the Chemical Operations division.
Joining Goodyear in 2012, Klein also led a Six Sigma team that introduced a process to continue to improve product quality. She is active in the Goodyear Employee Activities Committee and has helped lead collections programs for school supplies and winter coats for Houston-area children.
Riha, who also has been named a STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award winner, has contributed greatly to the success of the Goodyear Topeka, Kansas, plant since joining the company in 2013. Among her contributions was the development of a new repeatable, ergonomic cutting system used in the production of 63-inch earthmover tires. The “Katie Cutter,” as it is now known, has improved quality and safety and allows the plant to better serve its customers. In addition to being active in several charity pursuits, in her spare time Riha drives a Super Comp drag racer in NHRA national and divisional events, where she takes pride in serving as a role model to young fans, especially girls.
The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched by The Manufacturing Institute to examine and promote the role of women in manufacturing through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent. The Manufacturing Institute is an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.
“These women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, Manufacturing Institute executive director. “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.”