PITTSBURGH — In recognition of their leadership and contributions to the manufacturing industry, Covestro LLC employees Susan Dadd, Katherine Hoerner and Stephanie Strazisar were selected as recipients of the Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Awards, presented by The Manufacturing Institute. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women and their achievements at all levels of the manufacturing industry – from the factory floor to the c-suite.
The Covestro employees were among 130 women nationally to receive the honor, which is part of the larger STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead initiative. Launched in 2012, the initiative examines and promotes the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership to help attract and retain strong female talent.
“Susan, Katherine and Stephanie have impacted our business, communities and industry in countless ways, inspiring not just our own employees, but the next generation of manufacturing talent as well,” said Jerry MacCleary, Chairman and CEO of Covestro LLC. “We’re incredibly proud to see their efforts highlighted at the national level, alongside other deserving leaders, all of whom reinforce the critical role that women play in shaping the future of our industry.”
Dadd is the turnaround lead for Covestro’s largest North American manufacturing site in Baytown, Texas, where she coordinates complex turnarounds to sustain long-term reliability and efficiency at the site. In 2018, the company recognized Dadd for her efforts in developing an innovative process for cleaning large storage tanks, reducing time, cost and environmental impact. Her leadership also extends into the community, where Dadd donates her time as an active church volunteer and STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) mentor.
As the Elastomers Technical Manager at Covestro, Strazisar supports the polyurethane elastomers business in North America with strategic technical development – a role that involves collaborating with hundreds of customers to optimize how they use and process Covestro products. Her problem-solving skills have led to innovative solutions, while helping pave the way for new business opportunities. An active volunteer with Covestro’s i3 STEM team, Strazisar also brings hands-on science learning to Pittsburgh-area classrooms.
Hoerner, recognized as an Emerging Leader, serves as a Project Manager in Covestro’s Polycarbonates business unit in Baytown. She played a key role in a number of high-profile projects at the site, generating significant efficiency improvements and cost savings. Hoerner is so passionate about giving back to the community that she took on a role to help others give back, too. As Secretary and Treasurer for Covestro’s Outreach Council in Baytown, Hoerner coordinates and manages volunteer activities for 250-plus employees across the site.
“The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead awards — which provide today’s female leaders in manufacturing the recognition they deserve while simultaneously elevating role models that can inspire future generations to join them — are an important element of our commitment to helping foster a 21st century manufacturing workforce by developing current leaders and engaging future ones,” said Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute
Covestro LLC is a leading producer of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business.