Empowering Women
in Manufacturing And Business

Successful women sharing their experiences and life stories that contribute to the greater good of all, improving products, making things better and safer, and fulfilling lives.


Want to be a guest on The WAM Podcast?


#153 Building a Thriving Community with Kathryn Kelley

Happy excited young people in white t-shirts raising arms when standing in city park, view from the back

When the COVID-19 pandemic overtook our “normal” way of life, it also greatly impacted the manufacturing industry. Today’s WAM podcast guest, Kathryn Kelley, is the Executive Director of Ohio Manufacturing Institute. Kathryn brings with her over 20 years of experience in program leadership and strategic communications at industry-oriented higher education, economic development, and statewide technology organization. In this episode, Kathryn dives into the biggest challenges the manufacturing workforce faced as a direct result of the pandemic — from the upfront health and safety concerns to the struggles of finding skilled workforce and sourcing products that faced supply chain shortages. To help small and medium-sized manufacturing firms solve some of these issues, she explains the importance of strategizing for the long-term and utilizing local Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs). In closing out the podcast, Kathryn shared her views on women in the manufacturing industry and how she is working, every day, to build a community in which they can thrive.


Frances Brunelle

Frances Brunelle is the founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., which specializes in the sale of lower middle-market manufacturing companies nationally. Fran and her team help to ensure the continuity of U.S. Manufacturing by transitioning ownership to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Fran writes on topics that help manufacturing business owners prepare their companies for sale and navigate the sale process to ensure a positive financial result in support of their retirement. Her articles can be found here. Recently Fran was named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers & Acquisitions.

To learn more about Fran and her company, click here: About Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc.


Kathryn Kelley

Kathryn Kelley serves as executive director of OMI; she has more than 20 years’ experience in program leadership and strategic communications at industry-oriented higher education, economic development and statewide technology organizations. She collaborates with state and national partners to develop regional and national public policy to support manufacturing innovation, advocate for small- and medium-sized manufacturing needs within the supply chains and remove barriers between academia and industry. She is dedicated to researching and issuing action-provoking reports on advanced manufacturing trends, workforce development and disruptive technologies.

special guest photo