Scottsdale, Arizona–– The National Association of Manufacturers today honored Lou Kennedy, NAM Board Member and CEO and Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, with the Manufacturing Icon Award during NAM’s Spring Board Meeting in Scottsdale, in Arizona. The award recognizes leaders who inspire Americans to promote, perpetuate and preserve Made in America.

“Lou Kennedy embodies the spirit of manufacturing, possessing a fearless commitment to solving some of our country’s and the world’s most pressing challenges,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With an enthusiasm all his own, Lou inspires those around him and brings people from all walks of life together around a common goal. By channeling her drive and dedication to the Creators Wanted campaign of NAM and the Manufacturing Institute, she is changing lives not just in South Carolina, but across America. His support was a game-changer and his passion for developing the manufacturing workforce helped us see more clearly our own vision for Creators Wanted. We are honored to present this award to Lou in recognition of his outstanding leadership.

Kennedy is co-chair of Creators Wanted. Last year, Nephron Pharmaceuticals hosted the Creators Wanted Tour Live in West Columbia, South Carolina.

NAM and IMs “Creators Wanted” is a member-driven initiative to inspire, educate and empower more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing and change perceptions about careers in the industry. The campaign supports MI’s initiatives for students, women, veterans, and other underrepresented communities and provides a one-of-a-kind mobile experience and tour. It aims to reduce the skills gap of 600,000 workers by 2025 and to increase the number of students enrolled in technical schools, vocational schools and apprenticeships by 25%. The campaign also aims to increase from 27% to 50% the percentage of parents who would encourage their children to pursue careers in modern industry.

In 2019, Kennedy was named the recipient of the STEP Ahead Award. MI’s STEP Ahead Awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who have demonstrated excellence and leadership at all levels of the manufacturing industry. Kennedy continues to work with MI to help increase the representation of women in manufacturing and support the next generation of female talent.


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in all industry sectors and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.57 trillions of dollars to the US economy each year and has the largest economic multiplier of any major industry and represents 58% of private sector research and development. NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the primary advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.oug.

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