PPG announced that employees Rachel Harris and Kristin Nuzzio received 2021 STEP Ahead Awards from the Manufacturing Institute for their exemplary leadership and industry achievements.

“PPG is incredibly proud of the contributions that Rachel and Kristin have made to PPG and the larger manufacturing industry,” said David Bem, PPG chief technology officer and vice president, science and technology (S&T). “Rachel has made significant and notable impacts at PPG, and we are proud that she is part of our global team. She is a respected colleague across all businesses and regions and an example of a true leader and collaborator. Her commitment to excellence also extends to her involvement in the community, where she volunteers and mentors others.”

He continued, “Kristin is a natural leader who continuously is making positive impacts on the S&T team and the larger PPG organization. She also advocates for and spends her time mentoring others within PPG and the community. Her passion for creating and developing the next generation of innovators is admirable.”

The Manufacturing Institute, which is the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, created the STEP Ahead Awards to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding female leadership in manufacturing. The institute vets and scores candidates in two key areas – their contributions to their company, and how they have mentored and volunteered in their community.

Since joining PPG in 2017, Harris’ technical expertise has pioneered visualization technology for the company across all global markets and led to the development of two analytical test methods. The visualization technology tool easily facilitates digital communication and renderings between PPG and its customers, increasing productivity and improving processes. Harris is currently PPG’s technical lead for digital color visualization, and she oversees the optical methods used to create a digital twin of physical paint.

Harris has been an active participant and leader in numerous nonprofit science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) organizations as part of her personal commitment to sparking interest in STEM among young women. She is the onboarding chair of PPG’s R&D Diversity Council, where she helped to develop an onboarding program for all R&D groups that ensures new employees acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviors that lead to success at PPG. She is also a member of the Northwestern University recruiting team and was previously the outreach coordinator for the Greater Pittsburgh Area Women Chemists Committee and the co-president of the University of Pittsburgh chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Since 2015, Nuzzio has served in research and management roles that have contributed to many PPG innovation projects. She began as a research chemist in the analytical department focusing on the characterization of industrial and aerospace coatings before leading raw material and regulatory analysis. From there, she managed several teams in the analytical department, prior to moving to a specialized team developing a Laboratory Information Management System. She currently leads a group of formulation scientists that analyze the chemistry behind how coatings cure for low temperature applications.

Nuzzio has been a long-standing and active member of the American Chemical Society National Younger Chemists Committee, which advocates for, develops, and supports early-career chemists to advance their careers and the future of chemistry, and was named chair in 2020 and 2021. She has coordinated externship programs, laboratory tours, and partnerships with the Carnegie Science Center as co-chair of PPG’s Science Education Council, oftentimes recruiting others within the organization to participate in these programs. Nuzzio also is an active member of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign technical recruiting team and the R&D Diversity Council career development subcommittee. Nuzzio volunteers as a science fair judge, e-mentor and contributes to the American Chemical Society “Industry Matters” newsletter.

About the Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a nonpartisan 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. To learn more, visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

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