Nominations Open for Michigan's Annual MFG Excellence Awards, Recognizing the Best of Manufacturing

The 2020 MFG Excellence Awards will honor individuals and companies across a variety of categories, including:

  • John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year — now celebrating its 40th year, the award honors the important, positive and tangible contributions made by individuals and companies to their employees, customers and communities and carries the memory of MMA’s longest-serving President, whose lifetime of service is one that all deserving manufacturers strive to duplicate
  • MFG Lifetime Achievement — honors an individual who has excelled in the industry and inspires their peers, emerging leaders, lawmakers and educators to strive to make significant contributions to their company, industry and community
  • MFG Woman of the Year — honors the roles women play in manufacturing as well as their significant achievements in the industry and positive impacts within their company and communities
  • MFG Emerging Leader — awarded for noteworthy contributions to the industry and the potential for future accomplishments within Michigan manufacturing (eligible to those with less than 10 years in industry)
  • MFG Talent Champion — brings focus to the critical need to attract Michigan’s next generation workforce to the industry’s variety of career options
  • MFG Community Impact — recognizes a manufacturing company that has shown exemplary leadership in serving its community or state, and is an example of the involved and giving nature of manufacturers
  • MFG Innovation Excellence — showcases a company that not only has brought an innovative concept to market, but has developed and maintained a culture focused on engaging the workforce to bring new ideas to life
  • “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” People’s Choice Award — awarded by online public vote to the manufacturer behind the product that most exemplifies the cool, innovative and eye-opening creations being made every day in Michigan (special nomination process is required; see below)


To nominate a product for the “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” Award, nominators may go to until Friday, 8/21/20. After nominations close, online voting begins Monday, 8/31/20. Votes will be cast first to narrow nominations down to a list of 10 finalists before a second round of voting determines the overall winner. The winning company and its product will be revealed at the 2020 MFG Excellence Awards.

“I’m excited to see what products Michigan will nominate and who is going to ultimately win this award,” said Walsh. “The idea of what’s ‘cool’ is different for everybody. I want to see people nominating the big and exciting products and also all of the things Michigan makes that you never hear about. When the people of Michigan see all of these cool and unique creations side-by-side, it’s going to be interesting to see how they cast their vote.”

Nominate online at Winners will be determined by teams of independent judges and based on the content and quality of the nominations. Criteria may include, but is not limited to:

  • How the individual or company has strengthened the manufacturing industry
  • Example of their dedication to the manufacturing community
  • Service to professional organizations in pursuit of exemplifying the best of the industry
  • Demonstrated examples of leadership, community engagement or innovation


Self-nominations are encouraged and MMA membership is not required. Nominations for all awards close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 8/21/20.

For more information on the 2020 MFG Excellence Awards, or to schedule a call with MMA President & CEO John Walsh, contact MMA’s Delaney McKinley at 517-487-8530 or

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Contact Delaney McKinley

Delaney McKinleyVice President of Membership, Marketing & Events
Call 517-487-8530