January 16, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) announced that Kathie Leonard, President and Co-Founder of Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), will attend the 2015 State of the Union Address at his invitation. Leonard will sit in the gallery of the House Chamber during the January 20th address.
“I am honored to have Kathie as my guest for the State of the Union,” said Senator King. “Manufacturing has always been an engine of economic growth and prosperity, providing good jobs for the middle class in Maine and across the country. Kathie’s story of hard work, innovation, and perseverance is a blueprint for how American producers can compete in an increasingly global marketplace. She has managed to keep jobs here in the U.S., and under her steadfast leadership, AMI has proven that manufacturing can thrive in Maine.”
“It’s a thrill of a lifetime to attend this important event, and to be recognized as a contributor to the US economy by Senator King,” said Leonard. “Long before coming to Washington, his reputation as a visionary leader was well known in Maine. He understands how important a strong US manufacturing base is to our nation’s stability. I’m proud to know him, and to have lived and worked in the State of Maine for over 35 years – proof that quality of life and business success are compatible.”
Kathie Leonard is the President and Co-Founder of Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), a high-temperature textile producer with two locations in Auburn and Mechanic Falls, Maine. A graduate of St. Petersburg Community College, she moved from Florida to Maine in 1974 and began her career in the high-temperature textile industry at manufacturer W.S. Libbey. In 1979, she and a business partner started AMI. She took business management classes at the University of Maine while getting the company up and running. She is now AMI’s sole owner, employing 50 people between the two manufacturing plants in central Maine. Under her leadership, AMI survived the off-shoring trend of the last decade. While others took their operations to Asia, she took the road less traveled and kept AMI in Maine. Kathie is married to Steve Lunt, and has one grown son, an entrepreneur in the music mastering business who lives in Atlanta.
Auburn Manufacturing, Inc., a 100% woman-owned small business, is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of textile products for extreme temperature industrial applications, exporting to over 35 countries. Customers include the petroleum, ship building/repair, power generation, and metal-making industries. The company is also now moving into the institutional market, including government facilities, with its patented Ever Green® modular insulation products. Today, AMI occupies the #1 position in its existing markets. It is proud to have led the evolution toward standardization in its industry, being first to embrace performance-based testing and third-party certification of its products.
Senator King continues to be a strong supporter of the American manufacturing sector, and has emphasized how the industry supports local economies, supports national security, and strengthens the middle class. He was a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014, which the President signed into law in December of 2014. The legislation, led by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), directs the Department of Commerce to establish a network of regional Centers for Manufacturing Innovation that will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. The Manufacturing sector provides more than 50,000 jobs in Maine and 12 million jobs nationally.