2012 Leader Under 40: Cody Rhodes-Dawson, 31

Assistant Plant Manager, Waupaca Foundry Inc. (Plant 5), Tell City, Ind.

09/11/2012


Cody Rhodes-Dawson, Assistant Plant Manager, Waupaca Foundry Inc. (Plant 5), Tell City, Ind.Cody Rhodes-Dawson, 31

Assistant Plant Manager, Waupaca Foundry Inc. (Plant 5), Tell City, Ind.

Years at Waupaca Foundry Inc.: 8

Education: BS Metallurgical Engineering, Missouri University of Science & Technology; MBA, University of Tennessee

Cody’s contributions

“Due to advanced education, and stellar analytical and organizational skills, it was quickly recognized that Cody had an advanced capability and she was promoted to quality manager for the Etowah Plant,” said Bruce Tesch, plant manager at the Waupaca Foundry plant in Tell City, Ind. (Plant 5). “Her leadership skill was very apparent upon arrival at the Tell City plant and she has fast-tracked through the managerial ranks since—holding positions of increasing influence as quality manager, production manager of ductile operations, manager of gray ductile operations, and assistant plant manager. Cody has been a key component in reducing quality costs by half and helping lead a 30% increase in overall productivity. Cody has proven capable of further advancements in the near future.”

Why a career in manufacturing?

“I chose a career in manufacturing because there are many opportunities to develop into multiple paths with an engineering background. Starting with an engineering degree, I was able to get my foot in the door to Waupaca Foundry as a metallurgical engineer, but was then transferred into production roles and now to management. Manufacturing provides an environment where you are able to work with a diverse group of people and actually try out your ideas on the floor in real time, versus imagining and not being able to see the outcome. I hope to continue down the manufacturing path!”



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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

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