Why I Celebrate Manufacturing

Why Cathy Olig celebrates manufacturing

It’s October and along with everything Halloween and Pumpkin Spice, it’s also time to celebrate Manufacturing Month in our great state. 

Did you know that Wisconsin is among the top ten states for manufacturing? We’re home to 17 major manufacturing companies including Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls, Kohler, Menasha Corp., Oshkosh Corp., Quad, Rockwell, and SC Johnson.

Our own Greater Milwaukee area has the most manufacturing jobs in the state and within Waukesha County, my hometown of Menomonee Falls has the third highest manufacturing real estate assessed value of any community in Wisconsin.

At $59.05 billion in 2017, Wisconsin manufacturers account for over 18% of our state’s total output. They also employ nearly 16% of our workforce. In 2018, there were over 475,000 manufacturing employees with an average annual compensation of over $71,000 in 2017. That’s a big impact.

It’s About Family

Manufacturing has always had a big impact on my life. My grandfather and father were both tool & die makers in the Fox Valley, working for American Can Company (later acquired by James River Corp.).

I think they both gave me an appreciation for how products are designed and produced. I love seeing an idea come to life in a physical form. I even ended up marrying an engineer who works in manufacturing!

It’s Building A Career

Cathy Olig during her Japan Central Railway internship
Cathy Olig as an intern for Japan Central Railway in Tokyo.

All of my own professional experiences have revolved around manufacturing too. I remember a fascinating tour of the Toyota factory and the lessons I learned during my summer internship with Japan Central Railway. Another internship was spent conducting plastic packaging market research for Pechiney Packaging.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, I landed a role in field sales and marketing at Ford Motor Company. I coordinated local marketing efforts and worked directly with Lincoln-Mercury dealers, picking up a few dealership marketing tips along the way.

From there I moved to corporate marketing at electrical wholesaler WESCO Distribution, where I honed my target marketing skills as I planned and communicated joint sales and marketing efforts.

At Generac Power Systems, I worked in channel marketing, aligning sales and marketing efforts to launch re-designed automatic home standby generators and new portable generators to retailers like The Home Depot, Menards, Northern Tool + Equipment, and W.W. Grainger.

It’s Helping Business Grow

Today, I am proud to provide marketing support to manufacturing clients in the electrical equipment and fluid pump industries, and other companies who support manufacturing operations. I enjoy bringing the right people together to build a team that supports better business planning, effective communications, and solid digital marketing programs.

Interested in learning more?

Contact Appeal Marketing for a free consultation today!