Jacqueline McEntire Clark to be recognized at STEP Ahead Awards
The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead initiative to bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women and to help improve the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations. The Institute champions diversity and works to empower women leaders. Since 2013, it has annually awarded the STEP Ahead Award to honor women who demonstrate excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry.
STEP Ahead Award winners come from across the United States and make a pledge to both promote the opportunities for and importance of women in manufacturing and continue to make an impact in their companies and communities through their role as manufacturers.
One of those 130 women is Missouri’s own Jacqueline McEntire Clark. As the Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs, Jacqueline leads the federal, state and local government relations team at Ash Grove Cement Company, the largest U.S.-owned cement manufacturer. As the first woman in charge of both its government relations and communications strategy, she has been a driving force behind several critical initiatives.
“Those of us that know Jackie understand why she deserves this honor,” said Ray McCarty, president/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM). “She has the drive and personality to get things done in the Missouri Capitol and, I’m sure, in every other state capitol in which she operates. She is a tireless advocate for Ash Grove Cement and I am proud to call her a friend as well as a great fellow advocate.”
Her government relations and communications programs have prevented manufacturing plants from closing, preserved hundreds of jobs and ensured millions of dollars in sales revenue. Moreover, her ability to lead Ash Grove to successfully address a wide range of governmental issues across the U.S., in the male-dominated cement manufacturing industry, is a testament to her unmatched expertise and drive. From successfully amending the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, to enacting a Kansas property tax legislation that resulted in a total savings of $30 million in five years, and $50 million over ten years—Jacqueline’s leadership in governmental initiatives has been critical throughout her 10 years with the company.
Jacqueline is a driven community leader having served as a board member at Missouri’s Hope House and on Lee’s Summit R-7 School Board of Education where she’s actively engaged in developing opportunities for STEM students at the district’s Missouri Innovation Campus. As a founding member of the University of Missouri’s alumni association Griffiths Women’s Leadership Society, she also mentors female students at Mizzou to help them identify career paths in business and manufacturing.