The 2017 Manufacturing Awards

Presenting Sponsors
Signature Sponsor
Bar Sponsor
Valet Sponsor

Minnesota's manufacturing industry has a long history of excellence. Each year, Minnesota Business magazine recognizes the outstanding achievements of this vital, though often behind-the-scenes industry and its leaders. Winners and finalists will be honored in the feature story of an all-manufacturing issue of Minnesota Business and celebrated at an awards event.

About the process
Nominations were collected over a two-month period and reviewed by an external judging panel consisting of industry experts across all professional platforms. The panel of judges chose these finalists from an outstanding pool of manufacturing companies and executives — and many did not make the cut!

Manufacturing Awards 2017 Finalists

Best In Class – Micro

Laser 1 Technologies
Mercury Mosaics

Best In Class – Small

Hydra-Flex, Inc.
Lake Engineering Inc.

Best In Class – Mid-size

Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Best In Class – Large

Renewal by Andersen LLC
Teamvantage LLC
Uponor North America

Sustainability / Sustainable Product

Alakef Coffee Roasters 
Environmental Tillage Systems, Inc.
Hydra-Flex, Inc.

Best New Product – Food & Beverage

K-Mama Sauce, LLC
Maud Borup Inc.
Smude Enterprises

Best New Product Design

APG Cash Drawer, LLC
Hydra-Flex, Inc.
Marvin Windows and Doors

Workforce Development

Alliance Machine, Inc.
Midwest Industrial Tool Grinding, Inc.
Miller Ingenuity

Executive of the Year

Jaime Harris, Hydra-Flex, Inc.
Craig Kruckeberg,  Minimizer
David Lenzmeier,  Milk Specialties Global

Emerging Leader

Jaci Dukowitz, Ultra Machining Company
Beth Nielsen, aspectLED
Tessa Webber, Tess+Tricia

Lifetime Achievement

Wayne Dirkman, Quality Circuits Inc.



Meet the judges

Kathy Burnham, Senior Vice President, Padilla

Kathy oversees teams that plan and execute successful thought-leadership communications programs for PadillaCRT business-to-business (B2B) clients, particularly manufacturers and members of the supply chain. 


Tom Chacon, Vice Chair, MPMA Board of Directors

Tom started in manufacturing over 40 years ago. After moving to Minnesota, he purchased Boring Machine Corp. in 2001 which he sold in 2016. He now serves on the Board of Directors for the MPMA.


Brooks Chandler, Owner, Canvasback Inc.

Brooks chandler is the owner of Canvasback, Inc located in Spring Park.  The company manufactures interior vehicle protection for most SUV’s, Wagons, Trucks and Crossovers. Her company was the recipient of the MN manufacturing “Emerging Player” award in 2013 and was a finalist in 2016. 

Don Craighead, CEO, DHC Enterprises Inc. 


Marni Hockenberg, Executive Career Coach, Hockenberg Search




Christine Lantinen, President & Owner, Maud Borup Inc.

Christine purchased Maud Borup in 2005 and transformed the company from a retail-focused business model to a leading wholesale candy, confections, and food gift company selling direct to specialty and mass retailers.


Brian Rome, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, EOS Integrator

Brian is the COO/EOS Integrator at MinMor Industries.  He is an instructor of Lean for the Manufacturers Alliance and the University of St. Thomas. 


Apoorva Shah, Chief Operating Officer, SAM HPRP Chemicals

Brought up in his family’s paints and coating manufacturing firm, Apoorva understand the complexities of the manufacturing sector. Armed with this knowledge, Apoorva has served 120 global manufacturers over the last 14 years. 


Kirby Sneen, Vice President, Manufacturers Alliance




Lori Tapani, Co-President, Wyoming Machine

Lori joined the Wyoming Machine in 1994 and is responsible for overseeing the company’s finance, administration, human resources, purchasing, and marketing functions.