October 20, 2015


Great American Ball Park


163 tickets


Ray Attiyah


The future of manufacturing resides in the bold, frontline leaders of today.   The Fearless Frontline Leader Awards celebrate the day in day out contributions of the frontline leaders who fuel the manufacturing industry.

Nominations for the 2015 Class of Fearless Frontline Leaders are being accepted now through September 15th and will be honored at an awards banquet on October 20, 2015.

Nominations will be reviewed by our panel judges and recognized at the banquet.  The top three Honorees will receive travel and hotel accommodations for themselves and a guest, as well as a personalized gift basket valued at $500, and an engraved trophy to mark this prestigious award.

The top twenty Finalists will be recognized at the banquet and will also receive a plaque to mark their commitment to excellence at work and beyond.

The Fearless Frontline Leader Awards Banquet is a ticketed event open to the public.  Attendees will be encouraged by the stories of the night’s honorees and remarks from Emcee Ray Attiyah, Founder of Definity Partners and Author of Run Improve Grow: Your Roadmap From Firefighting to Bold Business Growth.  Guests will also have the opportunity to “play ball” in the Cincinnati Reds batting cages and will be able to actually go down on the field!

The Fearless Frontline Leader Awards are proudly sponsored by Definity Partners.


Nominees for the Fearless Frontline Leader Award should exhibit excellence, empathy, respect, and humility both at work and at home.  They must be working in the field of manufacturing in a frontline role.  If you know of a candidate who should be recognized as a Fearless Frontline Leader please complete the nomination form before September 15, 2015.

Watch the 2014 Video


Nominee has filled a frontline leader role in a manufacturing firm by:

  • Directly leading a team OR
  • Indirectly leading through area team leaders
  • Working at a manufacturing operation anywhere in America

The frontline leaders will be evaluated based on these primary criteria: composure, empathy, respect, humility, open-mindedness, caring, excellence and leads by example.

Selection Criteria

  1. Nominee has demonstrated caring leadership that has inspired team members to achieve things they didn’t previously believe were possible.
  2. Nominee exhibits a high level of commitment, dedication and integrity in their leadership behaviors.
  3. Nominee and his/her team have achieved outstanding business results.


Nominations will be evaluated against the provided criteria by a panel of Definity Partner team members and 3rd party representatives from other manufacturing facilities.



For questions about the Event contact Harmony Hensley at harmony@rebelpilgrim.com

For information about Event Sponsorships contact Robynn Anton at ranton@definitypartners.com

For questions about the Fearless Frontline Leader Award contact Rich Cary at rcary@definitypartners.com


Ray Aatiyah

Founder – Definity Partners
Author – Run, Improve, Grow

Ray Attiyah is an entrepreneur, innovator, author, and founder of Definity Partners. A dedicated life-long learner, Ray is perpetually curious and firmly believes anything is possible–including simplicity. Ray has started, acquired, or invested in multiple companies with a vision of engineering the perfect growth, improvement, and talent system for today’s organizations. Ray, often called a serial entrepreneur, is always looking for what’s next.

With a commitment to improving companies while inspiring the performance of frontline employees, Ray has pioneered the integration of business excellence and talent development, creating a community of leaders and generating exceptional levels of performance among all client organizations. Considered a trainer’s trainer, Ray’s motivation lies in his ability to remove obstacles or barriers to breakthrough growth to achieve quick, visible and high-impact results.

Ray’s career has been fueled by a passion to learn, teach, and help teams and entrepreneurs achieve break-through improvements they never dreamed possible. He and his team at Definity Partners have conducted over 500,000+ hours of hands-on training with hundreds of companies, from small start-ups to Fortune 50 enterprises. From their collective work and his own experiences and expertise in engineering and operations, Ray developed the Run-Improve-Grow® business model to inspire the best leaders to reach for higher-hanging fruit.  One of his most recent successes was acquiring Upside Innovations, a small, start-up company focused on building modular ramps.  By implementing the Run Improve Grow® business model, Upside is expanding its operations and growing beyond expectations.

Run Improve Grow: Your Roadmap from Firefighting to Bold Business Growth, his first book on the subject, is inspiring leaders across all industries and is recommended reading for anyone interested in getting out of the “run” (the day-to-day firefighting of running a business) and focusing on improving and growing their organization. For entrepreneurs, RIG helps you understand your role and develop a growth path that will lead you to bold, innovative growth right from the start.

Before founding Definity Partners (formerly Midwest Manufacturing Solutions) in 1996, Ray served as Operations Director for Johnson & Hardin. Previously, he also worked for Johnson & Johnson as both a process engineer and an operations supervisor. Ray earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from Xavier University.


The Fearless Frontline Leader Awards were initially created to celebrate the memory of Mike Stilwell.  Stilwell was a veteran of the manufacturing industry, leading a team at Norris Screen and Manufacturing before his tragic and untimely death due to a four-wheeler accident in 2014.  To honor the Fearless Spirit that Mike embodied both on the frontline and with his family the Fearless Frontline Leader Award was established

2014 Honorees / Fearless Frontline Leaders

Richey Johnson, Southeastern Mills 

“The High Expectations Leader” 

Richey Johnson is a model example of a fearless leader who inspires his team with high expectations and accountability. On the forefront of changing an entire company culture embedded with years of traditional management practices, he jumped in without hesitation or fear. Johnson led his team to continuously out-perform some of their own highest targets and expectations by interacting in a fair, caring, yet challenging manner.



Greg Bartley, Value Added Packaging 

“The Wise Frontline Lead Operator”

Only wanting to bide his time until retirement, Greg Bartley quickly realized he had the gift of leadership when he joined the team at Value Added Packaging. This realization changed his views entirely. His humbleness and integrity transformed him into an exceptional frontline supervisor. Nicknamed “Big Daddy G” by the VAP team members, Bartley leads and inspires his frontline to excellence by sharing his 30 years of manufacturing experience, knowledge, and strong work ethic.

2014 FINALISTS / Fearless Frontline Leaders of Note

Tammy Faulkner, Aero Fulfillment

Tammy Faulkner, Aero Fulfillment 

“The Culture Changer”

Tammy Faulkner leads her team with cultural change in mind. She constantly asks herself what she could do better to increase customer satisfaction, increase profitability, and increase employee happiness while at work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do, and Faulkner is a change leader focusing on exactly that. The tools and information she provides her team help them become more self-sufficient, disciplined, and motivated. Her strong work ethic and desire to make Aero Fulfillment Services a better place to work has encouraged others to step up as frontline leaders too.

Dave Earls, Cast-Fab

“The Pit Crew Leader”Dave_Earls_2014

After it became clear that Cast-Fab Technologies, Inc.’s maintenance group
needed a cultural change, Dave Earls stepped up and developed a “Pit Crew” mentality for his team. His strategic approach and way of thinking allowed him to create a more responsive team, increased service levels, and improved machine uptime. Earls doubled the amount of hourly employees working under him by also implementing the “Pit Crew” strategy on a second department at Cast-Fab. His desire to lead and change the culture has awarded him tremendous responsibility and strengthened his leadership skills immensely.



Larry Wells, Cast-Fab

“The Empowering Leader” Larry Wells_2014

During a sufferable 2013 when the capital goods markets suffered a downtown, Larry Wells stepped up and empowered his team to take ownership. By giving his frontline the confidence, tools, and support they needed to run their individual areas like their very own business, Wells increased efficiencies and financial performance. By giving the team a sense of ownership and accountability, he was able to excel in his leadership role and set company records. Wells is the epitome of a fearless frontline leader through his ability to empower his frontline and his strong refusal to ever give up, even in times of adversity.