11:37 AM

Women MAKE Awards Recognize Excellence in Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Institute Honors Pella Corporation Culture & Communications Leader, Karmen Gardner

Pella_ Karmen Gardner Headshot

Pella Corporation is proud to announce that Karmen Gardner, Director of Culture, DEI, Engagement and Corporate Communications for Pella has been recognized as a 2024 Women MAKE Awards Honoree by The Manufacturing Institute (MI). MI is the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. The annual national awards program honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.

“Karmen is a builder of culture, teams, and talent. She approaches work every day with the higher purpose to serve, inspire and engage our people, the business, and the community,” said John Bollman, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resource Officer. “Her efforts go beyond building a thriving and inclusive culture at Pella to demonstrating for future generations that there are rewarding and meaningful career opportunities in manufacturing. We are so proud to see her receive this recognition.”

As Director of Culture, DEI, Engagement, and Corporate Communications at Pella, Karmen leads many initiatives that define, develop, and differentiate Pella’s culture and contribute to the organization’s ongoing growth and success. Most recently, her efforts in developing a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategic roadmap, establishing a DEI Council, and introducing the company’s new listening and engagement strategy have led to creating a workplace that values continuous improvement and inclusion.

Driven by her passion for the people at Pella, Karmen invests in talent development and mentoring. She has built strong relationships with and grown the confidence of women who are now in broader leadership roles both within and outside of Pella Corporation. She encourages STEM careers for women, and she’s often sought out as a trusted advisor by those who have chosen that path.

In her role as Executive Director of the Pella Rolscreen Foundation, Pella’s philanthropic arm, Karmen ensures the Foundation makes a positive impact through its focus on childcare, healthcare, food insecurity, STEM education and scholarships. The Foundation has invested millions of dollars in hospital expansions, nature trails, library renovations, food pantry support and beyond across the 19 communities where Pella has manufacturing facilities.

By applying the experience and knowledge she’s gained throughout her career in manufacturing—in areas ranging from product management, marketing, sales and human resources—Karmen fills a unique, groundbreaking and critical leadership role at Pella.

The Women MAKE Awards are part of the MI’s Women MAKE America initiative, which is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Women MAKE America aims to build the 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the industry.

On April 18, the MI will recognize 130 recipients of the Women MAKE Awards in Washington, D.C. The evening will highlight the story of each Honoree and Emerging Leader, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

About Pella Corporation

Pella has been creating a brighter future for its customers, communities, and team members since 1925. Recognized as an industry leader in innovation, Pella Corporation designs and manufactures windows and doors for residential homes and commercial applications. The company is headquartered in Pella, Iowa, and employs more than 10,000 team members across 20 manufacturing locations and 250 showrooms across the country. For more information, visit pella.com and to learn more about careers are Pella visit pella.com/about/careers.