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Champion For Industry - Class of 2020

The manufacturing industry continues to be among the most innovative, advanced, productive, and successful sectors of any across the world. But that doesn’t happen by accident — it’s the result of some incredibly talented and driven leaders who go above and beyond every day. At Thomas, we’re recognizing the achievements of these amazing manufacturing professionals.

Q1 2020 - Navin Persaud

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As the lead facilities analyst at Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) and vice president of the Institute of Supply Chain Management's (ISM) New York chapter, Navin focuses on increasing diversity within procurement through education and inclusion. He finds awarding diverse supplier contracts very rewarding on a personal level; he wants to see diverse vendors succeed. Learn more about Navin >

Q2 2020 - Vanessa Li

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Despite having limited exposure to STEM at a young age and being told by professors that she wouldn't be a good fit for a career in engineering, Li has established herself as an engineering force to be reckoned with as a metallurgical specialist and technical manager. She has made it her personal and professional mission to encourage students - especially young girls - to pursue careers in STEM and supports them in their efforts to learn more about industry.  Learn more about Vanessa >

Q3 2020 - Michael Bell

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Bell launched his company Synbyo in November 2019 with a plan to become the "WeWork of industry,"  but after COVID-19 made shared workspaces practically impossible he pivoted his business to become a systems integrator for a variety of needs for industrial businesses, including prototype manufacturing, smart manufacturing, and workforce development. Through his work with SME, Bell is also developing an apprenticeship/certification program scheduled to launch in 2021. Learn more about Michael >

Q4 2020 - Terry Iverson

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Nearly 40 years ago, Iverson was given the opportunity to join his family's business. Since then, he has risen to become president of Iverson & Company. His interest in industry and manufacturing has also continued to grow into a passion; he recently published Finding America's Next Champion in 2018, a book in which he interviews key players in both manufacturing and the general public to challenge their perceptions of the manufacturing industry. Learn more about Terry > 


Champions For Industry drive their teams, their companies, and the manufacturing industry itself forward. If you know a Champion, let us get to know them too.