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Brunswick Corporation : Three Brunswick Employees Recognized for Excellence in Manufacturing

Manufacturing Institute Announces Fifth Annual
Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Awards

LAKE FOREST, Ill. March 1, 2017 - Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) today announced that three employees have been selected among 130 recipients to receive the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award from the Manufacturing Institute for 2016.  Brunswick is among a handful of companies to have three recipients chosen for the prestigious award this year.

The STEP Ahead Awards honor 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.  Selected from Brunswick were the following:

  • Jan Morton, vice president - supply chain, Brunswick Boat Group,
  • Katelyn Vara, project engineer, Mercury Marine, and
  • Marcea Weiss, plant operation manager, Mercury Marine.

Morton is based in Merritt Island, Fla., while Vara and Weiss work in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Morton and Weiss are among 100 women chosen as honorees of the STEP Ahead Award, while Vara was among 30 women designated as an "emerging leader."

"We are extremely honored to have three of our colleagues chosen for this highly selective award," said Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Schwabero.  "They are truly a source of pride for Brunswick.  It speaks to the quality of our workforce and their dedication as well as the ultimate purpose of this recognition - to promote careers in manufacturing.

"Manufacturers face the growing challenge of finding, engaging and advancing talent.  STEP Ahead raises awareness of these issues by showcasing opportunities and role models that can speak to the transformation of the industry - role models like Jan, Katelyn and Marcea," Schwabero continued.  "STEP Ahead celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding leaders in manufacturing, inspiring the future generations of women leaders to consider full, enriching careers in manufacturing."

Jan Morton began her career with Brunswick in 1984, working in the lamination department at the Company's sport boat manufacturing facility in Tennessee. Through the years, Morton was promoted throughout various functions in warehouse operations, purchasing, plant operations and sourcing.  Recently, Morton led a small team of sourcing professionals delivering several million dollars in cost savings.

Katelyn Vara, an engineer, recently led a core team of about 12 engineers as well as coordinated with numerous other departments throughout Mercury and client boat companies to test and validate portions of Mercury Marine's totally new sterndrive marine engines.  A former college All-America volleyball player, Vara volunteers as an assistant coach at nearby University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.

Recently promoted to plant operations manager, Marcea Weiss continues to be a significant contributor to the overall success of Mercury Marine through her skills and participation and leadership in the Company's Lean Six Sigma (LSS) efforts worldwide.  Weiss is a certified Master Black Belt, one of the highest levels of certification, and led Brunswick's enterprise-wide Black Belt Council.  Weiss is also the commander and pilot for a MEDEVAC unit in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, where she flies UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.  With her background, she has been a strong advocate of both Mercury's Veterans' and Women's Network.

"These women exemplify the path an exciting career in manufacturing can take," said Heidi Alderman, 2017 Chair of STEP Ahead and senior vice president of Intermediates North America, BASF Corporation. "STEP Ahead recognizes women nationwide for their significant achievements to the field of manufacturing, and the positive impact on their companies and the industry as a whole."

The STEP Ahead 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 leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

A recent survey from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute found that six out of ten open skilled production positions are unfilled due to the talent shortage. Part of closing the skills gap means closing the gender gap, Alderman points out.

On April 20, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C.  The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree's story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

About Brunswick
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation's  leading consumer brands include Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea, Kellogg Marine, Payne's Marine and BLA parts and accessories distributors; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Brunswick Commercial and Government Products, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Lowe, Lund, Meridian, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group  and SCIFIT fitness equipment; InMovement products and services for productive well-being; and Brunswick billiards tables, accessories and game room furniture. For more information, visit

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. For more information, please visit

Contact: Dan Kubera, Director - Media Relations and Corporate Communications
Phone: 847-735-4617