FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 15th, 2021
The Manufacturing Institute has recognized Julie Martin of 89 North as an Honoree in their ninth annual STEP Ahead Awards, and will celebrate her achievements, along with other honorees, at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry. The award follows Julie’s recent promotion to Vice President.
“I’m honored — and honestly, humbled — to be recognized in this way,” said Julie Martin. “Throughout my career I’ve enjoyed a great deal of support from so many people. It’s a privilege to have the platform this award provides to inspire and engage with young women who might be considering careers in manufacturing; I’m truly honored .”
“The biggest challenge facing manufacturers continues to be our growing workforce crisis—the shortage of skilled talent to fill open positions” said Manufacturing Institute’s Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “We’ve calculated that we can close the skills gap by 50% by simply bringing 10% more women into the industry. While women account for about half of the U.S. labor force, they represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. We’re looking to celebrate talented professionals like Julie, who are making an impact.”
The STEP Women’s Initiative, who hosts the awards, is the nation’s marquee program looking to close the gender gap in manufacturing. STEP works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by actively supporting women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring the next generation.
Janette Bombardier, who serves as COO/CTO of 89 North’s parent company Chroma Technology, said “This is both a wonderful recognition for Julie, and an important opportunity for young women in our area to see a role model so worthy of this impressive national recognition. There are so many different types of opportunities for women in manufacturing — this is a great chance to spread that news.”
Martin will be fêted during a gala in Washington, D.C. on November 4th. The program will highlight each honoree’s story, including her leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. The goal is to help inspire the next generation of female leaders in the field of manufacturing and to support female talent already in place within the industry.
About 89 North:
89 North is an award winning optical engineering design and manufacturing firm residing in the Burlington Vermont area. Originally focused on products for the laboratory sciences market, the firm is now assisting an ever-expanding number of firms deploy optical engineering solutions across their industries. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chroma Technology.
About the Manufacturing Institute:
The Manufacturing Institute grows and supports the manufacturing industry’s skilled workers for the advancement of modern manufacturing. The Manufacturing Institute’s diverse initiatives support all American workers, including women, veterans and students, through skills training programs, community building and the advancement of their career in manufacturing. As the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, The Manufacturing Institute is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with resources necessary to solve the industry’s toughest challenges.
Williston VT — July 15th, 2021
89 North, an optical engineering design and manufacturing firm, has recently promoted Julie Martin to the role of Vice President from her previous role as General Manager. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chroma Technology, a leading manufacturer in optical filters using thin film coating technology. The two firms work closely together in developing tools and technologies that allow scientific & industrial customers to harness the unique attributes of light.
Martin has been with 89 North since its inception in 2009, when the firm began as a spin-off to Chroma’s precision optical filter business. At the time, Chroma was looking to create an in-house microscopy solutions offering that could straddle both the light illumination and light filtration aspects of fluorescence microscopy, and sell them on to the world’s most advanced scientific laboratories.
Since that time, and under Martin’s capable guidance, 89 North has created diverse microscopy solutions, including the LDI line of laser diode illumination solutions, PhotoFluor, and Heliophor products — the lattermost of which won the prestigious SPIE Prism Award. This prize is granted in recognition of photonics products that ‘make a difference, solve problems, and improve life’. It was an honor well suited to a firm that is known for its uniquely progressive, employee empowered culture.
“Julie has a unique set of skills that have served our firm well” commented Newell Lessell, CEO of Chroma Technology. Every day she demonstrates not only her ability to lead the creation of industry-pioneering and award-winning optical engineering solutions for a varied and demanding client base, but she accomplishes this with a selfless leadership style that is team focused and empathetic.”
Martin has directed the day-to-day operations of light source equipment development and manufacturing, and has recently supervised an expansion of the firm’s purview from a narrow focus on scientific microscopy solutions to a broader emphasis on industrial applications and OEM manufacturing solutions. Her promotion recognizes the success of these efforts, and the opportunities that the firm is now increasingly embracing, in fields as diverse as high content bioanalytical analysis, automotive manufacturing, and industrial quality control.
About 89 North
89 North is an award winning optical engineering design and manufacturing firm residing in the Burlington Vermont area. Originally focused on products for the laboratory sciences market, the firm is now assisting an ever-expanding number of firms deploy optical engineering solutions across their industries.
About Chroma Technology
Chroma Technology is a leading manufacturer and OEM supplier of highly precise optical filters using thin-film coating technology. The firm provides solutions for industries ranging from the life sciences and agriculture to manufacturing, inspection, security and aerospace. The firm, which was recently awarded the Outstanding Vermont Business Award, was founded in 1991 as a 100% employee-owned company, and has recently completed a $22 million expansion of its facilities in Bellows Falls Vermont.
89 North and its sister company, Chroma Technology, were honored to be among the top medium-sized businesses in this year’s “Best Places to Work in Vermont” ranking. This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Vermont, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses.
“We pride ourselves in having built a uniquely employee-led culture. The passion with which the employees participate in management and the way in which we engage in our communities are both core aspects of our culture. We’re happy to receive this award as a validation of these values,” said Julie Martin, Vice President of 89 North.