July 29 2021 10:48 AM

The award honors women who demonstrate excellence and leadership in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Institute, Washington, D.C., named Trasa Coffil, business process analyst at Stihl Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, as the recipient of a Step Ahead Award. The recognition honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry from the factory floor to the C-suite.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Manufacturing Institute for this award,” says Coffil. “I am driven by the principles of excellence and Stihl empowers me to make an impact on the manufacturing industry through both my work in the office and mentoring opportunities with young people. It’s a win-win.”

“Trasa not only exemplifies Stihl excellence through critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork,” says Lorraine Holder, Stihl vice president of manufacturing and former Step Ahead Award recipient. “She also applies those skills to mentoring the next generation of talent through our annual Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp making her an invaluable asset to the Stihl team.”

“Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again after the pandemic began, leading our industry in innovation and progress. We will honor these manufacturing leaders with the Step Ahead Awards, elevating their success and granting them a platform to inspire the next generation of women manufacturing leaders,” says Carolyn Lee, MI executive director. “The skills gap persisted throughout the pandemic, but our Step Ahead honorees will help us fight it. They’ll play a crucial role in bringing more talented, motivated women into manufacturing. We’re confident these honorees will serve as living proof that women can dare to dream of a fulfilling, rewarding career in the industry.”

Step works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. The Step Ahead Awards honor exceptional women in manufacturing and motivate them to mentor the next generation through an annual awards gala and alumnae programs. The stories of these women and the leadership they show will help inspire next-generation female leaders in manufacturing and support female talent already within the industry. In the program’s first five years, Step Ahead Award winners impacted more than 300,000 individuals from peers in the industry to school-age children.

The MI will recognize 130 recipients of the Step Ahead Awards at a gala November 4 in Washington, D.C. The Step Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including her leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.