MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Three manufacturing leaders who demonstrated the ability to thrive in times of rapid change and turned global competitive challenges into growth opportunities were recognized this week with top honors in the ninth annual Manufacturing Leadership 100 (ML100) Awards, presented by the Manufacturing Leadership Community, part of Frost & Sullivan.

At a gala awards ceremony at the Breakers Hotel attended by winners of the ML100 Awards, Diana Tremblay, vice president for North American Manufacturing at General Motors, was named Manufacturing Leader of the Year. This recognition is a result of her role in returning the company to firm financial footing and revamping GM’s plants ability to respond quickly as customers increasingly migrate to smaller, more fuel-efficient, and alternative-energy vehicles.

Also receiving top honors were Nicolet Plastics Inc. and Ford Motor Company. Both companies were recognized for having carried out the most transformative projects reviewed this year by the ML100 distinguished panel of industry judges. Nicolet was selected as the top overall project from among all 2013 ML100 Award winners with annual revenues of under $1 billion. Ford’s Enterprise Bill of Process initiative was selected as the top overall project from among all 2013 ML100 Award winners with annual revenues of more than $1 billion.

Seven winners of ML100 High Achiever Awards and three winners of the ML100 Editors’ Choice Awards were also announced. The High Achiever Awards are presented to a select group of ML100 Award-winning projects announced earlier this year. High Achievers received the most votes from the judges in each of the seven ML100 Award categories. Winners of the Editors’ Choice Awards were selected by members of the Manufacturing Executive editorial staff which found them to be projects that represented great potential and captured the spirit of the ML100 Awards.

Also honored were winners of the ML100 Technology Partner Awards, President’s Awards, and President Awards Platinum Club, that played key roles in helping ML100 Award winners to achieve outstanding performance.

“Our heartiest congratulations go out to Diana Tremblay, Nicolet Plastics, the Ford Motor Company, and all of the top ML100 Award winners, ” said David R. Brousell, global vice president, research, and editorial director of the Manufacturing Leadership Community, whose businesses include the ML100 Awards program, the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, the Manufacturing Leadership Journal, and the Manufacturing Leadership Council. “These manufacturing innovators have shown us all how manufacturing leaders can survive challenging times while excelling to create competitive advantage.”

“As we all know it’s a leadership award, but it takes a whole team of people,” said Tremblay of GM after receiving the top award. “On behalf of them I’d like to thank them for all the hard work they do.”

Nicolet Plastics was selected as the Small Manufacturer of the Year for its success in reinventing itself as an ultra-responsive provider of low- and moderate-volume parts in the face of rising global competition using a system called Quick Response Manufacturing to improve every part of the company.

“On behalf of all the employees of Nicolet Plastics who helped win this award, thank you,” said Bob Macintosh, the company’s president and CEO.

Ford Motor Company was honored as the Large Manufacturer of the Year for its Enterprise Bill of Process initiative which has transformed the way the company plans and executes its vehicle programs digitally on a global scale.

“I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of Ford Motors, and thank the Siemens and Ford teams for their work on this project,” said John Fleming, Ford’s executive vice president, global manufacturing and labor affairs. “I’d like to accept this award on behalf of all the Ford employees who make this happen.”