Metal Industry News

SMU Creates Award for Young Industry Leader

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Steel Market Update, with the support and sponsorship of the Steel Manufacturers Association, will celebrate young emerging leaders in the steel and manufacturing industries by honoring a deserving individual with the inaugural SMU NexGen Leadership Award. SMU is currently accepting nominations for the recognition, which will be awarded during SMU’s 2019 Steel Summit Conference, set for Aug. 26-28 in Atlanta.

Candidates for the SMU NexGen Leadership Award must be no more than 35 years of age as of Aug. 1, and must be employed within the greater steel community. This includes manufacturing or fabrication companies that utilize mild carbon or automotive grade steels in their products, steel distributors (service centers or wholesalers), steel mills, trading companies or toll processors.

“As an information provider and sponsor of various conferences and training events, we feel it is an important part of our mission to help steel companies attract, educate and retain the next generation of leaders,” said John Packard, SMU president and CEO.

Steel Manufacturers Association President Philip Bell said, “Our industry is full of remarkable young men and women who are achieving success daily, not just in their careers, but also as leaders in our industry and in their communities. The SMU NexGen Leadership Award seeks to further develop and fully engage future leaders in the steel profession. The SMA is proud to be a cosponsor and supporter of this initiative.”

The NexGen Leadership Award will be bestowed on the candidate whose emerging leadership within his or her company sets a standard for the rest of the industry. The award includes:

•    A mentorship day with Mark Millett, president and CEO of Steel Dynamics Inc.
•    Free admission to one of the SMU Steel 101 or SMU Steel 201 workshops in 2019 or 2020.
•    An invitation to the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference with registration fees waived.
•    Recognition in the Steel Market Update newsletter and SMU/CRU websites.

Candidates may be nominated by their company, by a manager or colleague or may self-nominate. Nominations must be submitted no later than Aug. 1 here. To submit a nomination, provide a brief statement (no more than 1,000 words) clearly defining the traits that distinguish the nominee as a NexGen leader. Be sure to include name, company name, phone and email address for follow-up. For more guidance on how to make a nomination, send an email to

Suggested nomination criteria include: Innovation (identified new and creative ways to improve processes or service delivery); Leadership (contributed to the success of an initiative that benefited those inside and outside his/her own department); Rising Star (recognized by peers as a positive force within the company who inspires and encourages professional and personal development in others).

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