Women in woodworking honored with 2023 Women MAKE America awards

Women in the wood products industry are making an impact whether they work in the C-suite or on the production floor. Recently, efforts by two leaders in the wood products arena were honored with the 2023 Women MAKE America awards presented by the Manufacturing Institute.

Christine Marvin of Marvin Windows and Doors and Leigh Ann Richardson of Koppers, an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals, and carbon compounds, were two of 127 other women across the country in receiving this distinction.

The Women MAKE Awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies top talent in the manufacturing industry and further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue modern manufacturing careers. Click here to read Richardson’s profile on the MAKE Award website.

Marvin windows and doors
Christine Marvin, chief marketing and experience officer at Marvin, a premium manufacturer of windows and doors, was named a winner of the 2023 Women MAKE America Awards, a national honor that identifies top female talent in the manufacturing industry.

The award recognizes a select group of women nationwide in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their organizations. 

For years, the company said, Christine [Marvin] has immersed herself in the practice of people-centered design and innovation, applying her expertise to establish an innovation incubator at the company that was the impetus for two first-to-market innovations, the Marvin Skycove and Marvin Awaken Skylight. Designed to help people live better and make space for what matters at home, these products have collectively won more than 20 industry and consumer awards to date. The practice of people-centered design has also influenced her direction overseeing the renovation of numerous Marvin workspaces, both in office and manufacturing environments, including Marvin’s Warroad-based headquarters buildings.   

“Christine’s leadership is a guiding light at Marvin,” said Paul Marvin, CEO of Marvin. “Her dedication and commitment to people-centered design has brought us into new and creative product territories that have been paramount to our success as a company. Her natural ability to help people identify and pursue their professional passions has also been critical to not only rallying a phenomenal team of female leaders across the enterprise but has also helped us foster a culture that inspires us all to dream big and thrive together.”

One of Christine’s other notable contributions includes setting the conditions to ensure the successful launch of a first-of-its-kind mechatronics education program, the Advanced Resource Center (ARC), in underserved northwestern Minnesota. Developed in partnership with Northland Community & Technical College, the new program offers students a flexible learning environment and the ability to earn up to a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree or any number of certificates within the 60-credit curriculum, supporting the future of skilled labor in the region. 

“I’m humbled to receive this honor from the Manufacturing Institute and grateful to my colleagues for everything we’ve accomplished together,” said Christine Marvin. “The past few years have brought new challenges to navigate, but through collaboration and a shared vision to achieve great things together, we’ve leveraged technology in new and innovative ways to create products that will have a real and lasting impact on the well-being of homeowners for years to come.”  


Leigh Ann Richardson
Leigh Ann Richardson

Leigh Ann Richardson, senior manager of regulatory affairs, at Koppers was also honored with The Manufacturing Institute's 2023 Women MAKE Award.

Richardson joined Koppers in 2015 to support the safe, effective manufacture of pesticidal and non-pesticidal chemical products. In her role, she is responsible for regulatory activities, such as managing all U.S. and Canadian pesticide registrations, developing Safety Data Sheets and product labels, and providing regulatory guidance to internal and external customers.

Richardson is a site representative for Koppers LINKwomen employee resource group and is committed to professional mentorship, particularly of fellow female employees. Within her community, she serves as local chapter leader of She RUNS This Town, a free-running organization for women, and is involved in various charities related to childhood cancer, breast cancer and Down syndrome, among many others.

“Leigh Ann’s work is critical in furthering our company’s mission to create safe and responsible solutions for our customers,” said Koppers President and CEO Leroy Ball.  “An exemplary contributor to our organization and to her community, we are proud that her positive impact is being celebrated in this way.  On behalf of the entire Koppers team, we congratulate Leigh Ann on this well-deserved recognition.”



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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).