Even in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s still the team that counts.
It is a pleasure to write this note. Like all organizations and businesses, a year ago we were rocked literally overnight by the onslaught of a global pandemic and crashing of our business. In those first months of the most serious crisis in the company’s history, we also saw the departure of two key members of the Manufacturer's Edge team. Many companies and many people would have been discouraged, but the remaining members of our team rose to the challenge. As one of our team members said, “we thought about it all for a hot minute, then we put it behind us and went back to doing our jobs.” As we all know, it is the people you are surrounded by that determine your success or failure. With that in mind, I want to thank the team for stepping up to the challenge over the past 10 months and introduce the people and job changes we are making to ensure the continued success of Manufacturer’s Edge.
Michelle Griffith, who has been with Manufacturer's Edge for more than 10 years (and throughout my almost 9 years with the company), has been promoted to Director of Program Operations. Michelle is a rock who keeps the wheels turning and earned this promotion with her laser focus on customers, delivery, and the MEP mission.
Ann Marie Younce, a relative newcomer to the company, has been promoted to the role of Director of Client Services. Ann Marie stepped in immediately to fill the void left by one of the aforementioned departures and, as was said to me, “Ann Marie got more done in the last 4 months than others have in the last 4 years.” We’re lucky to have her driving the delivery team and charting the course of our future services.
We are fortunate to also add a new Regional Director, Deborah Kerrigan. Deborah is a seasoned professional in the economic development world. With her work ethic, intelligence, and energy, Deborah is a great addition to the team. We look forward to her success with Manufacturer’s Edge.
Finally, we have named Jennifer Hagan-Dier as the Manufacturer's Edge Chief Operating Officer. Jennifer served as the Center Director of the Tennessee MEP for over six years and brings a deep understanding of the MEP National Network and center operations to our team. By adding Jennifer, we now have an experienced executive who can manage every aspect of our operations and also help us implement a new strategic plan.
Each of these people is part of a great team we have built over the last few years, and I am proud to be one of them. A year ago we looked at the turmoil as a chance to improve. We are now stronger, more capable, and better positioned for the future. I know we will look back on this year and the storm we have weathered (and prospered from) and be proud that in the midst of the biggest challenge our country has faced in our lifetimes, we met it head-on and came out stronger. Kudos to you all.