South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance announces 2023 Woman of the Year

May 16, 2023

April Allen, Director of Government Relations for Continental, was named the 2023 South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) Woman of the Year at the annual Palmetto Women’s Manufacturing Forum hosted at the Milliken & Company Headquarters in Spartanburg.

The award was created by SCMA to honor an outstanding leader for her contributions to the state’s manufacturing industry. Previous awardees include:

  • Lou Kennedy, CEO & Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation;
  • Sky Foster, Communications Manager at BMW Manufacturing Co. (Retired);
  • Barbara Melvin, President & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority; and
  • Jann Moore, Manager of State Government Affairs for Caterpillar, Inc.

April Allen is a graduate of Columbia College and has more than 20 years of experience in government relations, construction, economic development, and manufacturing. She previously chaired the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, South Carolina Economic Developers Association (SCEDA) and the SC Tire Council. She is currently the chair of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC), a member of the SC Business Council, as well as the government relations committees for both the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). In her role as US Director of Government Relations for Continental, which includes all Tire, Automotive and ContiTech facilities in the United States, Allen is responsible for developing government relations strategy and closely monitors legislation that impacts manufacturing, trade, autonomous and connected driving, environmental policy, workforce development and training, tax incentives, and exemptions in all 50 states.

“April’s passion and work to advance the manufacturing industry has made a tangible and lasting impact on South Carolina,” said Sara Hazzard, President and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “She is an outstanding leader who serves as a perfect example of the impact women in manufacturing can have.”

“My career in recruiting and supporting manufacturing has been such a challenging and rewarding experience,” said April Allen. “Seeing firsthand how manufacturing positively impacts communities and people reinforces the value manufacturing has on the economy and in our quality of life. I am proud to be a part of a company and manufacturing community that strives every day to make the best products in the world and have a positive impact on our state and nation.”


South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of manufacturers. Its mission is to strengthen and advance South Carolina manufacturing by advocating for our members, fostering a world-class workforce, and bringing together manufacturers to connect, share, and solve industry challenges. The SCMA membership is comprised of more than 200 manufacturing companies that represent more than 100,000 associates in South Carolina.