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November 1, 2001
Source: The National Association of Manufacturers

Baldrige Award-Winner Will Stress Importance of Manufacturing Leadership During Turbulent Times and Capital Formation Policies to Promote Long-Term Growth

Arthur D. "Don" Wainwright, chairman and CEO of Wainwright Industries, was elected chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers at the group’s semi-annual Board of Directors Meeting Oct. 30-31. Wainwright will advocate capital formation and other policies that promote strong, long-term economic growth. He also will focus on encouraging corporate leaders to demonstrate economic and societal leadership.

Said Wainwright upon accepting the NAM chairmanship, "This is a time when we need leadership in America as never before, and manufacturers are some of the finest leaders in the country. Let us lead by doing what we do – working hard, providing jobs and making the things that make a difference."

Wainwright, who succeeds W.R. "Tim" Timken, Jr. of The Timken Company, will serve a one-year term as chief spokesperson and leader of the nation’s largest and oldest industrial trade group, founded in 1895. The NAM – 18 million people who make things in America – represents 14,000 member companies (including 10,000 small and mid-sized manufacturers) and 350 member associations serving manufacturers and employees in every industrial sector and all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C, the NAM has 10 additional offices across the country.

On the economic front, Wainwright will lead the NAM as its shifts from a focus on the near-term economic stimulus package made necessary by the terrorist attacks to its traditional broader focus on policies that will lead to durable long-term growth.

Specifically, Wainwright and the NAM will advocate: making permanent the temporary faster write-off provision for new investments in the House-passed stimulus package; enhancing the capital-cost recovery system and moving it toward one that allows expensing of capital equipment in the tax year it was purchased; and improving access to financing, among other top priorities.

"Capital formation and other policies that promote investment are the best ways to truly restore business and consumer confidence and get the economy back on the growth track we’ve experienced over the past 20 years," Wainwright noted. "In fact, investment spending is critical to the long-term prosperity of our nation. The more the private sector invests, the faster productivity accelerates, which, in turn enhances the competitiveness of American industry and raises the living standards of American workers."

Based in St. Peters, Missouri, Wainwright Industries, Inc. is a 53 year-old, family-owned manufacturing company for the automotive, aerospace, home security and information processing industries. The company generates $30 million in annual sales revenues and employs approximately 200 people. Wainwright Industries was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1994, was named in Industry Week’s "Ten Best Plants in America in 1996 and was the recipient of the Missouri Industry of the Year award in 1999.

Prior to joining the family business, Wainwright spent five years at Westvaco Corporation in Covington, VA. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri and received an honorary Ph.D. from the National Graduate School of Quality Management.

To arrange an interview with NAM Chairman Wainwright throughout 2001-2002 on the economy, technology and a broad range of public policy issues affecting manufacturers and their employees, contact Laura Narvaiz (202/637-3087) or Kerry Lynn Schmit (202/637-3089) in the NAM’s Communications & Media Relations Department.