RMI kicks off its manufacturing image campaign

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December 1, 2016 – Baltimore County.  “What a great night last night!,” said Eric Molinaro, Director of Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Sustainability for Cloverland Farms Dairy.  “In one word, it was AWESOME,” he said.  Cloverland was nominated in the “creating a positive culture of change management category.”  Champions were called to the stage for recognition and each received an award print from the yearbook cover with their company name inscribed on it.

STEM Student Photo

STEM Student Photo

Over 450 manufacturing stakeholders gathered together on November 30 at Martin’s West to honor the 2016 Champions of Maryland Manufacturing.  Over 145 champions were recognized, with representation from every county and Baltimore City in Maryland, for creating a positive image of manufacturing in the following seven nomination categories: accelerating product or process innovation; increasing growth through visionary leadership; contributing to communities; creating products that improve our lives; creating a positive culture of change management; attracting and engaging STEM students to manufacturing; and employing an inclusive workforce.

With great enthusiasm, RMI Chairman Aris Melissaratos opened the evening ceremony, welcoming the champions and encouraging them to reach out and tell their great stories as part of RMI’s image campaign.

Visionary Leadership Champions

Visionary Leadership Champions

Attendees all received copies of the newly published RMI 2016 Champions of Maryland Manufacturing Yearbook, highlighting the champions in each nomination category, from every county across the state of Maryland. RMI President Mike Galiazzo announced the Yearbook’s publishing kicks off RMI’s manufacturing image campaign geared towards helping correct misconceptions about manufacturing by reaching out legislators, the media and educators to showcase these grant champion models of the industry.

STEM Group

STEM Group Champions

A great backdrop for the evening was provided by student robotic teams, all keenly interested in potential manufacturing careers, that demonstrated their robots in front of the stage at Martins West.  Student groups from Hereford High School Engineering/Robotics Baltimore Robotics Center, Sparks 4H Robotics, CUBIX A3 “WORLD CHAMPIONS”, Robo-Lions, Green Machine Reloaded and L.I.F.E. all demonstrated their robots.  Executives tried their own hand working some of the fun robotics and soon realized how advanced the kids were in their technology pursuits.

Vocalist Joe DiCara opened the evening with the National Anthem, followed by a special “God Bless America” tribute to the late Congresswoman Helen D. Bentley where the entire audience held hands and sang.

Congresswoman Helen D. Bentley Tribute - God Bless America

Congresswoman Helen D. Bentley Tribute – God Bless America

The audience heard an outstanding presentation from Secretary Kelly M. Schulz of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation who in her words and actions demonstrated her commitment to the manufacturers in the room.  She stayed the entire evening and paid tribute to champions and reminded them of their role in helping the image of manufacturing and growing the future of manufacturing.

Giving Back to Community Photo

Giving Back to Community Photo

Other speakers included Steve Pennington, Managing Director, Industry Sector Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce, the dinner’s premier sponsor.   He highlighted Maryland’s recent rise in manufacturing employment ranking to #6 in the U.S. and the importance of manufacturing for jobs to the State’s economy.

Maryland MEP Director Brian Sweeney requested a call to action to the Champions that they each reach out their stakeholders and become active as part of the RMI-MEP Maryland manufacturing image campaign movement.

For more information on how to participate in RMI’s Maryland manufacturing image campaign contact Peter Gourlay at or call 443-275-2489.