COLUMBUS — The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) announced today that Dale Laws, Whirlpool Corporation’s vice president of manufacturing operations, has been elected chairman of the association by the OMA board of directors.
Laws, who will serve a two-year term as chair, has been on the OMA board since March 2016.
Currently, Laws oversees manufacturing operations for Whirlpool’s North American laundry, dishwasher, and small appliance production operations. Since joining Whirlpool in 1993, Laws has held a variety of manufacturing leadership roles, including plant leader at Whirlpool’s KitchenAid plant in Greenville, Ohio and plant leader at Whirlpool’s dishwasher plant in Findlay, Ohio. Whirlpool employs approximately 9,600 Ohioans.
Laws holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University and an MBA in production management from the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama.
“Dale is extremely qualified to lead our association,” said OMA President Ryan Augsburger. “His extensive experience in manufacturing in the Buckeye State — including his understanding of supply chain challenges — as well as his longtime involvement with the OMA will ensure strong leadership for Ohio manufacturers.”
Laws assumes the OMA chairmanship at a critical time for the organization of more than 1,300 manufacturers statewide. Priority OMA activities include ongoing COVID-19 communications that affect manufacturing operations, numerous workforce development initiatives, an intensified focus on reshoring opportunities, and new efforts to provide manufacturers with tools to recruit from populations that traditionally have been underrepresented in the industry.
Laws succeeds Jane Neal, senior vice president of Cambridge-based AMG Vanadium LLC, following her two-year term as the organization’s top elected officer. Neal remains on the OMA board as immediate past chair. Jeff Oravitz, CEO of Seal For Life Industries and Arsenal Capital Partners, has been elected first vice-chairman.
“The OMA expresses its deep gratitude to Jane Neal for steering the organization through a global health crisis and a major scandal at the Statehouse involving energy legislation, both of which significantly affected our industry,” said Augsburger. “She provided a steady hand through the pandemic, while leading the organization through its first change in presidents in more than three decades.”