Every year the Bryce Harlow Foundation gives its Business–Government Relations Award to an individual who’s given their all to a career in professional advocacy—and this year, that person was NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
Honorees: On Wednesday evening in Washington, D.C., the foundation held its 42nd Bryce Harlow Foundation Annual Awards reception and dinner. The night’s awardees were Timmons and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the winner of the foundation’s other honor, the Bryce Harlow Award.
- Timmons was introduced by Dow Inc. Chairman and CEO (and NAM Board Chair) Jim Fitterling, who called the NAM leader “ethical down to his bones” and said, “Jay has a reputation of working honestly and earnestly with Democrats, Republicans and Independents, and he earned that reputation because fundamentally he’s committed to policy solutions that create a win–win, not only for both political parties, but also for American manufacturers and American workers.”
- Dingell also praised Timmons’ steadfast, post-partisan approach to manufacturing advocacy. “He has worked to make sure Democrats and Republicans are part of the discussion about manufacturing and understand how critical it is to this country. … To be honored in the same year as you, Jay, means more than you’ll ever know.”
- In his own remarks, Timmons praised both Bryce Harlow Foundation President Barbara Faculjak’s “outstanding leadership” and Rep. Dingell’s “incredible example for [the next] generation.”
Pep talk: Also honored at the dinner were the 2022–2023 Bryce Harlow fellows, a group of 30 graduate students pursuing careers in advocacy through government relations or lobbying. Timmons spoke directly to them for most of his speech.
- “Over the course of your careers, you will face important decisions,” he said. “You’ll ask yourself questions like, ‘Where should I work?’ ‘What will I do next?’ ‘How much can I make?’ … I want to encourage you to ask another: ‘Why?’”
- “The question matters … because if you can answer honestly and feel yourself standing up a little straighter with a sense of purpose, then you’re in the right profession,” he said. “If your ‘why’ is right … then the ‘what,’ ‘where’ and ‘how much’ will take care of themselves.”
- Timmons went on to tell the fellows part of his own story: how he dropped out of college to move to D.C. and “join the Reagan Revolution”—against his parents’ wishes. But even then he was able to answer his own “why.”
The manufacturing “why”: For the NAM, the organizational “why” is “to advance the values of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.”
- Timmons told the students that part of their jobs “as advocacy leaders” would be to defend democracy, now under attack in Russia’s war against Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. While not perfect, Timmons said, democracy has done more to improve people’s quality of life than any other system in history.
Your authentic self: “[T]here was always something or someone who told me to change course or that I wasn’t right for a job—including those voices that told me to pack it up when I was outed as a gay man at a time when that wasn’t exactly an asset for a career,” Timmons said. “If I’d listened, I wouldn’t be here.”
- Today Timmons is the president and CEO of the country’s largest manufacturing association and is happily married with three children.
- “So bring your authentic self to the table,” he concluded. “Soak in all the knowledge and wisdom you can from others. But ultimately, have confidence in your own inner voice, your own judgment and your own vision.”
Click here for Timmons’s full remarks.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org