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Manufacturing Institute Gives National STEP Award to Liz O’Grady of Thomas & Betts

Women in Manufacturing STEP Awards Recognize Excellence and Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Production

MEMPHIS, Tenn., January 20, 2014 – Thomas & Betts (T&B), a member of the ABB Group, announced on Jan. 7 that National Sales Manager Liz O’Grady is among the winners of The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Awards. The Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will recognize O’Grady with the “Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award,” which honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C suite. 


O’Grady is known for her support on behalf of women in the electrical industry. Her achievements over the course of her 30-year career include pioneering the idea of the Women in Industry Group for female members of The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), which earned her the 2010 NAED Trailblazer Award. O’Grady also received the 2012 NAED Associate Service Award in recognition of her involvement in the NAED Women in Industry Forum and other leadership roles that support the goals of the organization.

“We are so pleased that Liz's career in our industry and her professional achievements have been recognized by as prestigious an organization as The Manufacturing Institute,” said Brian Herington, president – U.S./Latin America Electrical Division at Thomas & Betts and regional division manager – Low Voltage Products, North America Region at ABB. “Liz’s reputation in the electrical industry is impeccable. She is the consummate professional: very knowledgeable of our products and services, passionate about her clients’ success and focused on providing sustainable solutions to T&B customers.”

O’Grady’s career began in 1978 with Wesco Distribution in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she held positions in both inside and outside sales. She joined IDEAL Industries in 1986 as an area sales manager, was promoted several times and ultimately became a national account manager in 1997. O’Grady joined Lamson & Sessions, Carlon Division, in 2005 as a key account manager and was promoted to national sales manager shortly thereafter. After Thomas & Betts acquired Lamson & Sessions in 2007, O’Grady took over responsibility for maintaining the relationship with Graybar, one of T&B’s distributor partners.  

“Manufacturing is a primary driver for job creation in our country,” O’Grady said.  “At T&B, we have been innovating and manufacturing high-quality electrical products for more than 100 years. It is extremely gratifying to be part of team making a difference in an industry I am so passionate about.” 

The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and best practices for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent. 

“These 160 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.” 

On Feb. 6, NAM and the Manufacturing Institute recognized 160 recipients of the STEP Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program highlighted each honoree’s story, including his or her leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. 

About Thomas & Betts (   Thomas & Betts Corporation, a member of the ABB Group, is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of essential components used to manage the connection, distribution, transmission and reliability of electrical power in utility, industrial, commercial, and residential applications. With a portfolio of more than 200,000 products marketed under more than 45 premium brand names, Thomas & Betts products are found wherever electricity is used. Thomas & Betts’ headquarters are in Memphis, Tenn.

About The Manufacturing Institute (   The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent.