Welbilt’s Alejandra Bonillas will Receive
STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award

  • Award recognizes rising female talent in the manufacturing industry
  • Bonillas is a key contributor in engineering high-profile projects, recruiting and mentoring
  • Honorees to be recognized at a reception in Washington, D.C., on April 11

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The Manufacturing Institute will present a 2019 Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award to Mechatronics Engineer Alejandra Bonillas from Welbilt, Inc. STEP stands for science, technology, engineering and production. The annual Emerging Leader Awards recognize women between the ages of 18 and 30 who have excelled early in their career and made significant contributions in the manufacturing industry. The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 30 emerging leaders at a reception in Washington, D.C., on April 11.

Only two weeks after joining Welbilt, a global foodservice equipment manufacturer, Alejandra was assigned to a high-profile project which combined automation, connectivity and artificial intelligence to enhance the food delivery experience. "Alejandra was a key contributor, successfully delivering high-quality prototypes in just four weeks. A patent for the technology—which may be used in a range of products—has already been filed," said Roberto Nevarez, Director, Engineering Technical Center, Welbilt. "She is now taking a leading role in emerging automation projects, some of the most complicated in the Welbilt portfolio."

When Welbilt established an Engineering Technical Center (ETC) in Monterrey, Mexico, Alejandra played a crucial role in recruiting the initial team. She leveraged relationships with agencies to attract female talent and developed job descriptions, screened, interviewed and helped select the candidates. Due to her efforts, 43 percent of the Monterrey ETC team are women.

In addition, Alejandra is leading efforts to drive innovative project collaboration between Welbilt and Tecnológico de Monterrey, a multi-campus university based in Monterrey. She mentors two new female engineers on the ETC team, sharing her experiences on critical challenges she faced in previous projects. Alejandra is also a member of the Sumando Acciones, a nonprofit organization that provides food, personal hygiene, clothing and shelter for the homeless and needy.

"By leading, coaching and engaging university students as well as current employees, Alejandra is strengthening Welbilt’s engineering pipeline and benefiting the community," said Nevarez. "We are very proud that she will be recognized as a rising star in the manufacturing industry."

According to a study by The Manufacturing Institute, women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent, totaling about 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016 but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership to attract, advance and retain strong female talent. Over the last five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals, from peers in the industry to school-age children.

About Welbilt, Inc.
Welbilt, Inc. provides the world’s top chefs, premier chain operators and growing independents with industry-leading equipment and solutions. Our innovative products and solutions are powered by our deep knowledge, operator insights, and culinary expertise. Our portfolio of award-winning product brands includes Cleveland™, Convotherm®, Crem®, Delfield®, Frymaster®, Garland®, Kolpak®, Lincoln™, Manitowoc® Ice, Merco®, Merrychef® and Multiplex®. These product brands are supported by two service brands: FitKitchen®, our fully-integrated kitchen systems brand, and KitchenCare®, our aftermarket parts and service brand. Headquartered in the Tampa Bay region of Florida and operating 21 manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, we sell through a global network of over 5,000 distributors, dealers, buying groups and manufacturers' representatives in over 100 countries. We have approximately 5,500 employees and generated sales of $1.6 billion in 2018. For more information, visit
About the Manufacturing Institute
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit

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