November 6, 2014 by Jasmine Agnor
OMEP was honored to attend Portland Business Journal’s Oregon Manufacturing Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 30. Sitting with clients Miles Fiberglass and Bridgetown Natural Foods, we listened to a fascinating panel discussion with Tamara Lundgren, CEO of Schnitzer Steel and Corey Yraguen, President of Oregon Iron Works.
Next, the awards portion of the morning began!
OMEP client Miles Fiberglass was a finalist for the small company category of Product Innovation Awards. Their below ground vehicle maintenance bays are all fiberglass composite structure, designed to stop oil leaking into concrete, creating a cleaner, safer lubrication system environment for technicians.
Winner of Manufacturing Excellence Overall in the medium manufacturer category went to Bridgetown Natural Foods, who has worked with OMEP since 2010. OMEP assisted Bridgetown Natural Foods in transitioning to their new facilities, and has continued the working relationship since that time. Upon receiving his award, Bridgetown President Dan Klock remarked, “our success is as testament to our people, and a result of the commitment of our team!” With revenue increasing from 3 million to 75 million in a 4-year time span, this natural and organic food company is on the track to success!
Zaps Technology won the product innovation technology for small manufacturers with their real-time water reading device.
Stumptown Coffee won in the medium category for their delicious cold drink concoction.
Diamler Trucks North America won in the large company category of product innovation for their ultra efficient truck, which inspired Hollywood to create the Optimus Prime transformer. As the lead engineer accepted the award, he joked, “It took some work to make a fuel efficient truck not shaped like a jelly bean!”
Nu Scale Power was the small business winner for Manufacturing Excellence Overall. This 290-employee firm has created a nuclear powered cooling system.
This year, the Portland Business Journal added an excellence in training category, which went to Boyd Coffee.
Finally, in the large company category for Excellence Overall, Greenbriar took home the prize. With the shale revolution driving their rapid growth, Greenbriar has expanded their product line to include all types of rail cars and continues to bring in record revenues.
To quote Valley Machine President Tony Spiering, “things have changed in the last ten years. Today’s manufactures are stronger and more efficient than they were before.” We agree! Throughout their acceptance speeches, many leaders cited the importance of continuous improvement initiatives in their successes. OMEP is proud to have interacted with all of these award winners on a variety of levels and to bring lean principles to their corporations.
It is a privilege to work alongside Oregon manufacturers as they continue their journey towards growth and success, fostering our proud traditions of innovation. When it comes to making things, Oregon is a great place to be.