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Denise Johnson to Chair 2024 Women MAKE Awards, Recognizing Excellence in Manufacturing

by Anna

The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education arm of the National Association of Manufacturers, has appointed Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group President of Resource Industries, as the chair of the 2024 Women MAKE Awards. The Women MAKE Awards celebrate women across all levels of the manufacturing sector, acknowledging their outstanding contributions and leadership—from the factory floor to the executive suite. The honorees, including 100 women and 30 Emerging Leaders under 30, are selected by their peers based on excellence in their careers, impact on their companies and communities, and commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent.

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Denise Johnson brings extensive manufacturing leadership experience to her role as chair, having been with Caterpillar since 2011. She has ascended through various leadership positions and currently serves as the Group President of Resource Industries. In this role, she oversees Caterpillar’s Integrated Components and Solutions Division, RI Operations and Products Division, Strategic Procurement & Planning Division, and the RI Sales, Services, and Technology Division. Johnson’s background at General Motors has also contributed to her deep expertise in operations and product management.

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As a member of the Executive Committee of the NAM Board of Directors, Denise Johnson plays a vital role in shaping the manufacturing industry’s trajectory. She is actively involved in numerous outside boards, including the National Mining Association, ABB, MIT Leaders for Global Operations, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Women MAKE Awards are part of the broader Women MAKE America initiative, which aims to address the gender gap in manufacturing. The 35×30 Campaign, a central component of the initiative, strives to achieve 35% representation of women in manufacturing by 2030. This industry-wide effort includes a female-to-female mentoring program, employer resources, tools, case studies, and an expanded personal and professional development framework for women in manufacturing, students, and those considering a career in the sector.

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