From left to right: Vlad Antal, Director Process and Product Development; Mark Shaneyfelt, Director Sales and Marketing; Jaeson Colon, Inventory Control Coordinator; Jeri Farrell, Director Human Resources; John Schuster, Vice President Operations; Marcia Ayala, President; Kevin Shroba, SH&E Facility Manager; James Iglesias, Maintenance Engineer; Ken Iglesias, Maintenance Manager
Yorkville, Ill. – For the second year in a row, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has won awards for outstanding business and manufacturing practices from the Valley Industrial Association (VIA), which represents the manufacturing industry in the Fox Valley region of Illinois, a large industrial hub outside Chicago and a major Midwest manufacturing region.
This includes winning the award for Operational Excellence for the second year in a row for a company with 51 to 250 employees. VIA’s Excellence in Operations Award recognizes leadership in operational strategic planning and implementation.
The awards were announced April 28, 2021, at the annual VIA Spark Awards Benchmarking for Excellence celebration. In addition to Operational Excellence, Aurora won the awards for Innovation for a company of 51 to 250 employees and for Overall Most Improved.
The Innovation award recognizes companies that cultivate a culture of innovation and have an innovation process to engage employees, capture ideas, provide benefits for customers, as well as drive business initiatives.
Overall Most Improved celebrates continual improvement year after year in the areas of Safety, Workforce Development, Innovation, Culture, Operational Excellence and Social Responsibility. Aurora was most improved out of all of the companies, of all sizes, that vied for this award.
Aurora was also a finalist in the category for Social Responsibility, which reflects the company’s continual improvements and contributions in the areas of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
“Even during a year of immense and unprecedented challenges, we managed to make improvements in Social Responsibility, Innovation, Operational Excellence, Safety, Culture and Workforce Development,” said Marcia Ayala, president of the company.
“The awards speak to the great employees we have at Aurora and our continuous focus on improvement,” she added. “The awards also demonstrate a consistent effort and focus throughout the Aurora organization. Thanks to all Aurora employees! I am very proud and appreciative.”
The awards announced April 28 are just the latest in a long list of accolades that Aurora has earned. In 2019 Aurora was recognized by the Sign Graphics Industry Association (SGIA) for excellence in implementing sustainability practices throughout their Yorkville plant. In 2019, Aurora was also recognized for its sustainability programs by the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce, which designated Aurora as a Green Connect business. In February of 2020, Aurora was the recipient of the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce annual Green Business of the Year award. And in 2020, Aurora won the VIA’s award for Operational Excellence.
“We look forward to the VIA benchmark results every year to evaluate how we compare to our peers and to help us define plans that address areas of improvement,” Ayala added. “A great deal can be learned about your business’ competitiveness through organizations, such as the VIA, which provides a wide range of resources for manufacturers related to learning best practices and sharing opportunities for improvement. Thanks to the VIA and to Aurora’s employees for making this possible.”