Gilster-Mary Lee to receive Illinois Manufacturer of the Year award

The private food manufacturer will be presented with the honor on Friday, December 10 at the...
The private food manufacturer will be presented with the honor on Friday, December 10 at the IMA 2021 Annual Luncheon in Chicago.(KFVS)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 4:32 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2021 at 10:46 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHESTER, Ill. - Gilster-Mary Lee, headquartered in Chester, will be receiving the 2021 Barry L. MacLean Manufacturer of the Year award from the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

The private food manufacturer will be presented with the honor on Friday, December 3 at the IMA 2021 Annual Luncheon in Chicago.

According to the IMA, Gilster-Mary Lee will be given the annual award for their leadership in the following six core areas: manufacturing advocacy, operational excellence, innovation and technology, workforce development and diversity, community engagement and sustainability.

“We value our partnership with the IMA and offer our thanks for this recognition as well their continued efforts to advocate, promote and strengthen the manufacturing industry in Illinois,” said Gilster-Mary Lee President Tom Welge. “The pandemic has proven to be one of the most challenging periods in our company’s history, but by working together manufacturers are investing in our communities and leading our state and nation forward.”

Gilster-Mary Lee produces private label brands for stores across the country, making more than 8,000 items from cereal and cake mix to pasta and popcorn.

In a released statement, IMA said the manufacturer employees more than 3,000 at 13 facilities in three state. Many of the employees are from the Heartland with the plants in Chester and Perryville, Missouri.

The company also partners with Autism Workforce, which works with businesses to successfully hire, train and retain employees with autism.

“Gilster-Mary Lee embodies the best of the best in American manufacturing with its focus on workforce opportunities and community safety. I’m so proud to recognize Gilster-Mary Lee as the 2021 Barry L. MacLean Manufacturer of the Year in Illinois,” said IMA President and CEO Mark Denzler. “Gilster-Mary Lee’s innovation, integrity, and investment in Illinois’ communities is making our state, nation, and the world a better place every single day.”

IMA states the manufacturing industry in Illinois generates $304.8 billion in economic output each year and employees 592,200 women and men with an average salary of $88,691.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.