Women in Construction

Laura Lyke and Nancy Richards Farese join Hall of Fame, Women in Manufacturing

August 25, 2023
By Anthony Capkun Avatar photo
Presented by:
Electrical Business Magazine

August 25, 2023 – The Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation (WiMEF) announced the names of 10 leaders who will comprise the 2023 class of Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame inductees.

Some prominent electrical industry members are included:

• Laura Lyke, ICC International (awarded posthumously)
• Nancy Richards Farese, Southwire Company

“These exceptional women have forged new pathways for future generations in manufacturing careers,” said WiMEF’s Gretchen Moore. “We look forward to celebrating these leaders, their unwavering dedication, and their invaluable contributions to the sector.”

ICC is a manufacturer of commutators and slip rings for industrial applications. During her 20-year tenure as president & CEO, Laura noted: “It never occurred to me that I could or could not do something because I’m a woman.”

As for being a female in a male-dominated manufacturing industry, ICC’s CFO and general manager, Tracy Queen, shared:

“Laura would often say ‘We have 20 seconds of shock value, then we have to show we deserve a seat at the table—or even be in the room’.”

She passed away in December 2022 following a sudden cardiac event. Laura is the first posthumous Hall of Fame inductee, notes ICC, “signifying industry-wide peer recognition of her legacy”.

“Laura felt that her most important job was showing our daughters how to be strong women who could achieve anything with hard work, passion and kindness,” said Shawn, her husband. “This prestigious award truly recognizes her ideals. She would have been so honoured and proud to receive it.”

Nancy is a board member and shareholder of Southwire Company LLC, and is the daughter of company founder, Roy Richards Sr.

“This is such a great honour for Nancy, and our Southwire team is proud to celebrate this recognition,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire president & CEO. “Nancy champions and challenges our team to continuously advocate for gender equity and partnership. She understands that for a company to remain generationally sustainable, it must emphasize a culture that cares about its impact on its people and its community.”

Inductees were nominated by their colleagues and industry peers, and selected by a judging panel of WiMEF board members and staff. The inductees were chosen based on their lifetime contributions to the advancement of women in manufacturing.

The honorees will be officially welcomed into the Hall of Fame with a ceremony and gala as part of WiM’s 13th Annual Summit next month.