SCMA announces 2020 Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award recipients

January 17, 2020

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) recognized Jim Newsome and Mark Propst as the 2020 recipients of the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award during an awards dinner at the Poinsett Club in Greenville, South Carolina.

Established in 2006, the Defender of Manufacturing Award recognizes individuals in the public and private sector who have worked to advance the manufacturing industry in South Carolina. In 2012, the SCMA Board of Directors voted to rename the award to honor Mr. Roger Milliken, who passed away in December 2010. Recipients are chosen by the SCMA Executive Committee. The Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award is the most prestigious honor an individual can receive from the SCMA.

“The manufacturing industry has a real and meaningful impact in enhancing the quality of life for all South Carolinians,” said Max Metcalf, Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “The Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award honors individuals whose values and commitment for excellence lead to economic success and more prosperous communities. We’re proud to recognize Jim Newsome and Mark Propst for their extraordinary contributions, commitment, and leadership in ensuring South Carolina’s manufacturing industry remains strong for generations.”

About the 2020 Award Recipients:

Jim Newsome is the President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. He has led the South Carolina Ports Authority for the past 10 years and is currently the longest serving leader of a major container port in the United States. Prior to his current position, Newsome had an extensive career in the ocean container industry. He is involved in numerous community and business organizations and has received awards and honors that include the University of Tennessee Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2018, a Doctor of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston in 2014, and The Connie Award from The Containerization and Intermodal Institute in 2010.

Mark Propst recently retired after 38 years of employment with The Timken Company. He began his career as an Associate Industrial Engineer at the Lincolnton, North Carolina Bearing Plant where he also served as Plant Manager. In 2001, Propst was named the Plant Manager of the Gaffney, South Carolina Bearing Plant. He served as Plant Manager in Gaffney until 2009 before being named Plant Manager of the Shiloh plant in Rutherfordton, North Carolina and subsequently General Manager Aerospace Operations before returning to Gaffney in May 2018 until his retirement in August 2019. Propst served as chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance from 2007-2008 and has held leadership positions with Carolina Trust Bank, Upstate Carolina Medical Center, United Way of the Piedmont, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. He continues to serve on the board of the United Way of the Piedmont.



The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of manufacturers. Its mission is to elevate the quality of life for all South Carolinians by advancing the state’s manufacturing industry. The SCMA membership is comprised of more than 200 manufacturing companies that represent more than 80,000 associates in South Carolina. For additional information about the SCMA, please visit