Cooper Tire, Goodyear employees receive STEP Ahead Award

Updated May 15, 2019

Kathleen Slocum, senior manager, corporate quality, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, and Goodyear Engineer Associate Ali Ogburn have been named 2019 STEP Ahead honorees by The Manufacturing Institute (MI). The STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Ahead Awards recognize women in manufacturing who have demonstrated leadership skills and excellence in their careers and communities.

“Kathleen is a hands-on leader who has made meaningful contributions to Cooper. She has dedicated her career to manufacturing and works directly with our plants to implement important quality initiatives. Her extensive technical experience, particularly in the field of tire uniformity, supports Cooper’s commitment to high quality products,” says Brad Hughes, Cooper president CEO.

Slocum joined Cooper in 2016 with nearly 20 years of experience in manufacturing, with specialization in tire uniformity. She is responsible for ensuring consistent quality by developing and implementing global manufacturing quality systems and leading continuous improvement activities related to variation reduction and quality improvement.

Chris Helsel, Goodyear chief technology officer, says, “In receiving this award, Ali joins the ranks of the top women in manufacturing, and we are proud for her to represent Goodyear,” says. “This year marks the fourth consecutive year Goodyear associates have been honored with STEP Ahead Awards, a testament to our commitment to attracting and developing talent in STEM-related fields.”

As a mechanical engineer at Goodyear’s Proving Grounds in San Angelo, Texas, Ogburn manages a variety of capital and continuous improvement projects and serves as a test engineering liaison between the San Angelo facility and the Goodyear Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Luxembourg.

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