TMA 2023 Board Chairman Nicole Wolter

In the 20th Century, young Americans looked up to and adored movie and television stars, rock bands, and sports heroes.

In the 21st Century, kids aspire to be popular YouTube sensations or powerful TikTok influencers.

Nicole Wolter, TMA’s 2023 Board Chairman, is a significant mixture of internet influence, industry promotion, and boardroom power wielding.

With a degree in chemical engineering, Wolter worked for a commodities firm before joining HM Manufacturing in 2009. Wolter’s father, Kenneth Wolter, founded HM Manufacturing in 1979 to create a diverse line of power transmission components.

After several incredibly challenging years for the family business, Wolter began focusing on expanding and diversifying the company’s clients. Today, HM Manufacturing employs a team of 25 and offers various machining services and gears, pulleys, sheaves, and shafts.

Wolter is unquestionably proud of her family business but has become a leading national spokesperson on manufacturing, supply chains, and business growth issues.

Wolter takes on new challenge in 2023

Her new role as chairman of the 98-year-old Technology & Manufacturing Association 2023 Board of Directors will expand her influence in the industry.

She conveyed her excitement to TMA members during the chairman’s speech at the association’s annual celebration in April 2023.

“There is a lot to celebrate as members of our Technology & Manufacturing Association,” she told the crowd. “An organization focused exclusively on small and midsize manufacturers, which are the heart and soul, the bread and butter, the real engine of American manufacturing.

“As I mentioned at the Annual Meeting a few weeks ago, TMA does much for our industry. And it is all focused on three things – mission, members, and growth.”

Wolter continued.

“Our mission? The mission is clear: TMA partners with you and me – small and midsize manufacturers – to maintain and grow our businesses. In significant ways and small, TMA is our partner that is there actually to help us – in the day-to-day of our companies.

“The second focus is members. Put simply – for TMA members are the mission. And TMA strives to be the indispensable resource that provides you – the members – with unparalleled service and assistance that helps you anticipate and meet our industry’s present and future challenges.

“And the final focus – growth. As manufacturers, you must adapt, learn, and grow to meet the future.

“TMA is no different. To meet its mission and serve its members, the association is always evolving and working to grow the value of membership while providing a return on investment for our individual and collective participation,” she said.

Ms. Wolter is TMA’s first Hispanic female chairman, succeeding only one other previous female chairman, Carol Ebel, President of the Janler Corporation, who led the TMA Board of Directors in 2009.

“I’m honored to serve as TMA’s new Chairman of the Board, and anticipate using the position to recruit more women, Latinas, and minorities into our industry where there are so many opportunities available for them,” said Wolter.

“Over the last ten years, I haven’t just been involved within TMA’s boards and committees, I’ve completed the training and education portions of TMA myself— becoming skilled in manual lathes and milling machines, even earning NIMS and CAD certifications. I’ve seen firsthand what this industry can provide, and I’m excited to give back by leading this association.”

Wolter takes manufacturing to the White House

Her experience and passion for manufacturing are leading to a new bold, industry image.

For several years, she’s been speaking out about how decisions made in D.C. and Springfield affect small and midsized manufacturers. In 2018, she hosted a rally for the Job Creators Network that put her on the national political stage. Soon after, she attended the USMCA trade bill signing at the White House with then- President Donald Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence.

The 2023 TMA board chairman’s compelling way of conveying the importance of TMA serving crucial small and midsized manufacturers’ needs has been noticed and appreciated by the media.

She’s been featured in the local legacy press, on news television, and on conference panels discussing the challenges and rewards of running a successful second-generation manufacturing business.

Wolter’s effective presentations are available on podcasts, the internet, and powerful social media platforms. Her favorite social media platforms are TikTok and Instagram – where thousands follow her posts.

And where, indeed, she’s become an internet “influencer” for America’s manufacturing industry – someone the next generation will see as a leader and, perhaps someday, follow.

From TMA’s Summer 2023 News Bulletin – by Fran Eaton, TMA News editor

More about Nicole Wolter as covered in TMA’s February 2018 News Bulletin “Perseverance in the Face of Challenge Spells Success: Nicole Wolter of HM Manufacturing”