Missoula Woman Honored With Highly Selective National Manufacturing Institute Award


Mrs. Wendy Koster, General Manager of Missoula based Diversified Plastics, Inc., has been awarded the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, Production) Ahead Award celebrating women in the manufacturing industry making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion and leadership. A special gala presentation ceremony has been scheduled for April 11, 2019 and will take place fittingly at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Koster will be one of only 100 women selected from throughout the U.S. to receive the special recognition.

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“Needless to say, we are exceptionally proud of Wendy’s accomplishment and for this special recognition of her hard work, dedication and leadership within the Diversified Plastics organization,” said Brad Reid, President. “I’d have to claim to be Wendy’s biggest cheerleader and am pleased to do all the boasting for her. If you knew her, you would realize that she is quite humble and self-effacing.” Wendy started with Diversified Plastics in May of 2008, as the HR Director, rejoining the workforce after 15 years of fulfilling her decision to be a stay-at-home mother for her four children. Within a few years of effective and dedicated hard work, she was asked by Brad Reid to accept the position of General Manager of Diversified Plastics, Inc. Her co-workers have wholeheartedly agreed with his decision. For instance, Jasmine Rusnell, HR Coordinator, has worked for Wendy for the past five years. She says, “Wendy has truly been a role model and mentor to me. She continues to inspire me both professionally and personally.”

The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP initiative and recognition program in 2012 with the purpose of bringing attention to what manufacturers are calling the skills-gap workforce crisis and to what women can do to help fill the gap and lead the manufacturing industry solidly forward in the 21st century. According to Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute, “STEP Ahead focuses on honoring the best of the best female leaders in the manufacturing industry now and arms them with the tools needed to pay it forward and inspire, engage and mentor the next generation of women entering the workforce.”