2012 Leader Under 40: Benjamin Tanner, 33
Director of Continuous Improvement, Dean Foods, Dallas
Benjamin Tanner, 33
“Benjamin has been instrumental in improving the capability of the plants he supports,” said Craig McCutcheon, vice president of continuous improvement at Dean Foods. “His intellect and insight allow him to skillfully improve results in safety, quality, and productivity. He has improved existing processes and developed new ones with great success. His technical expertise is exceptional and his problem-solving skills are unparalleled among his high-performing peer group. However, it is important to recognize a more important characteristic: Ben doesn’t drive improvement by his hands alone. He patiently teaches peers and operators—developing their capabilities and enabling improvement exponentially. Ben sets a high bar and helps others exceed their expectations.”
Why a career in manufacturing?
“I chose a career in manufacturing because creating and building products gives me pride in what I do. Many people believe that the U.S. economy has shifted entirely to a service economy, but our economy is still largely dependent on manufacturing and building products for Americans. Being in manufacturing enables me to show my children how I contribute not only to our life, but to the lives in our community. I'm proud that my young children will one day be able to point to a product and say, ‘My dad made that!’”
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey