5th STEP Ahead awards recognize women for excellence in manufacturing


The Manufacturing Institute honors Wanda Cartrette of Ashley Furniture Industries


The Manufacturing Institute presented Wanda Cartrette of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Ahead Award on Thursday, April 20, in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry. Cartrette started at Ashley Furniture in April 1991 as an assembly line worker building night stands. Her passion for manufacturing and process improvement has led to her current role — as the Wisconsin Upholstery Lean Six Sigma manager and Corporate Idea Network manager for all U.S. facilities.

“I am very proud of Wanda Cartrette for receiving this prestigious award,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. “Throughout the years, Wanda has played an integral role in the overall success of our business by improving operational processes to reduce the overall cost for our Ashley customers.”

“These women exemplify the path an exciting career in manufacturing can take,” said Heidi Alderman, 2017 chair of STEP Ahead and Senior Vice President of Intermediates North America, BASF Corporation. “STEP Ahead recognizes women nationwide for their significant achievements to the field of manufacturing, and the positive impact on their companies and the industry as a whole.”

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., (Ashley) leaders feel that every person deserves more value for their money. Established in 1945, Ashley is one of the largest manufacturers of home furnishings in the world. From design through fulfillment, Ashley is committed to delivering the world’s best home furnishing values, selection and service, and earning the loyalty and trust of its customers every day. Visit Ashley online at www.ashleyfurniture.com.

Ashley HomeStore is committed to being a trusted partner and style leader for the home. This commitment has made Ashley HomeStore the number one furniture retailer in the U.S. and one of the world’s best-selling furniture store brands with more than 700 locations in 36 countries.

Start designing your dream home today. Visit Ashley HomeStore online at www.ashleyhomestore.com. “Like” Ashley HomeStore on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and Instagram, or see its design-focused boards on Pinterest.


About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.


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