SMDI Honors Steel Innovators with 3rd Annual Men and Women of Steel Awards

The vehicles we drive each day are created using steel, and the steel industry’s goal is to aid its customers in achieving the highest value and performance in their products. The men and women within the industry exemplify this with their innovative applications and work with steel.

Starting in 2015, SMDI has annually recognized leaders in the industry who are accelerating innovation by conferring the “Men and Women of Steel” awards at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Men and Women of Steel awards include the Industry Innovator Award, which recognizes automotive designers or engineers who showcase superior innovation in their use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS), and the Community Hero Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations whose work using steel impacts the quality of life of the community.


On Jan. 10, 2017, at SMDI’s press conference during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, two professionals were honored for their work promoting the use of advanced high-strength steel.

You can watch a live version of the press conference here:

The Industry Innovator Award was presented to Gregory Warden, executive director and global functional leader, body, exterior & dimensional engineering at General Motors (GM). Thanks to leaders like Mr. Warden and companies like GM, advanced high-strength steel’s growth has exceeded forecasts and will continue to do so.

Jody Hall with Gregory Warden

Jody Hall with Gregory Warden



The Community Hero Award was presented to Steve Marks, industry technical support manager at Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). His work includes conducting research on collision repair and OEM training and development. He is also a lead instructor for repair certification programs. Marks educates the next generation of technicians about the repair processes for steel, which have been widely taught for many years. As new steel grades are produced, Marks aids in the redevelopment of the repair process making sure it is as advanced as the new steels.

Steve Marks with Jody Hall

Steve Marks with Jody Hall


Greg and Steve are two people who demonstrate the value of steel in their daily work with the industry and inspire others to accelerate innovation by exploring the use of AHSS in new applications.


Tom Gibson, AISI, Jody Hall, SMDI, Steve Marks, I-CAR, Gregory Warden, General Motors, Larry Kavanagh, SMDI, and Roger Newport, AK Steel

Congratulations to this year’s winners! If there are people in your community you feel are deserving of  these awards, leave a comment sharing their story.

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2 Responses to SMDI Honors Steel Innovators with 3rd Annual Men and Women of Steel Awards

  1. Pingback: Taking Innovation to New Heights | Steel Matters

  2. Pingback: Steel Vehicles Have Changed – How We Repair Them Has Too | Steel Matters

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