This article appeared in the November 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
Making great products is a primary goal of every manufacturer. If your products are able to transform lives and industries, even better. Accomplish both, while also filling a critical role in the health and vitality of your community, and you’ve truly hit the manufacturing trifecta.
Such is the case with Dow, the global material science company, based in Midland — part of the Great Lakes Bay Region. And Mary Beth Heydrick, Vice Presdient of Manufacturing, is proud of Dow’s track record on all three fronts.
“Dow and Midland are the birthplace of the silicones industry,” says Heydrick. But today, Dow is much more than that. “Our ambition is to become the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company,” she added.
And Dow is making good on that ambition, serving such diverse industries as Health & Beauty Care, Chemical Intermediates, Coatings, Packaging and more with truly innovative solutions.
In fact, Dow recently won five R&D 100 Awards from R&D Magazine. “It’s designed to identify and celebrate the top 100 revolutionary technologies introduced during the past year,” said Heydrick. “This is our ninth consecutive year appearing in the R&D 100 list and the seventh consecutive year receiving more awards than any other company.”
Dow was also recently named to Forbes JUST 100 list as the top scoring chemical company in the workers category. Forbes and JUST Capital publish this list annually to showcase companies doing right by all their stakeholders — employees, customers, communities, the environment and shareholders.
Which is a good segue into another area near and dear to Heydrick’s heart: Dow’s commitment to serving its communities.
“The best part of my job is working with diverse teams that are solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” says Heydrick. And 2020 has certainly presented more than its share of challenges.
According to Heydrick, “When COVID-19 hit, we responded quickly by providing a $3M global commitment with an additional $500,000 in philanthropic donations to the Great Lakes Bay Region for immediate needs. In addition, our engineers and scientists retooled our operations in Michigan and around the world to produce hand sanitizer, which we distributed to hospitals and first responders across the state and in the region. And we partnered with other companies to produce and donate much-needed personal protective equipment, including face shields and medical gowns for those serving on the front lines of the pandemic.”
However, for those living in the Midland area, the pandemic was just one of two devastating problems to manage.
“This past May, after days of heavy rainfall, two dams breached just north of our global headquarters in Midland,” recounts Heydrick. “It brought catastrophic flooding to area homes and businesses.”
Again, Dow rallied to help its local community. “We partnered with United Way of Midland County to turn our corporate aviation hangar at MBS Inter-national Airport into a distribution center for critical aid — including food, water, cleaning supplies and more,” said Heydrick.
“Our team connected with our network of global partners, suppliers and customers to source donations,” she added. “… the hangar, known for transporting Team Dow all over the world, was used to bring the world’s generosity to our community.”
Game changing products. Plus, life changing reinvestments back into its local and regional communities. It’s a blueprint for manufacturing success on a global scale, right here in the heart of Michigan.