Press Releases

Press Releases

Timmons, Lee Praise Ohio Manufacturing Leader’s Career of Service to the Business Community

Augsburger Selected to Lead Association in New Year as Burkland Moves to Emeritus Role

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee released the following statements on the announcement of Eric Burkland’s retirement as president of The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association after leading the association for 31 years and Vice President and Managing Director Ryan Augsburger’s promotion to lead the association as president beginning in 2021.

“Over the past three decades, Eric Burkland has been an indispensable partner in advancing manufacturing in the United States and the values that make America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity,” said Timmons. “He is one of the strongest association leaders—and advocates—that manufacturers in Ohio and America will ever know. His retirement leaves giant shoes to fill, but there is no doubt Ryan Augsburger will follow in Eric’s footsteps and take the OMA to new heights.

“Eric’s leadership and ingenuity at the helm at OMA have been critical in achieving historic results for manufacturers. Since 1989, he has been instrumental in shaping consequential, once-in-a-generation policy changes that bolstered our industry and made Ohio—my home state—a better place in which to live and work. In the midst of the present crisis, he helped spearhead The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19, uniting manufacturers and other essential businesses to manage the demand for personal protective equipment and save lives.

“At the national level, his influence and leadership are profound. His relentless drive for results, not to mention his loyalty to and appreciation for the men and women who make things in America, is inspirational. Those who served with him on the NAM of Directors and the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations valued Eric’s political savvy, generosity of spirit and ability to bring people together—forging important consensus and extending the strength of the manufacturing army. And there is no doubt that relationships he helped build among the NAM and state manufacturing associations through the years empowered us all to be more effective in navigating the pandemic.

“It has been one of the great privileges of my time at the NAM to have served alongside Eric—and to have started a lifelong friendship with Christy and him. I came to quickly admire Eric’s judgment, and I still turn to my fellow Buckeye for trusted guidance and wise counsel. But nothing draws more admiration than his ability to be a skilled and thoughtful leader while showing a steadfast commitment to family. He leaves a legacy of not only incredible achievement but also an enduring impact on his peers, his colleagues, his mentees and the association and industry he so capably served.

“As a longtime member of the OMA’s staff leadership, Ryan Augsburger is well-equipped to carry his legacy forward. He has been integral to OMA’s success, and he’ll bring to his new role the deep industry knowledge, principled advocacy and keen intellect that have already earned him a formidable reputation among policymakers in Columbus and across the state. I look forward to working with Ryan—and continuing to work with Eric in his next chapter—to strengthen our industry and lift up more Americans in the months and years ahead.”

Lee added, “Eric Burkland set a best-in-class example of association leadership in addressing the skills gap in modern manufacturing. He has been a key partner in accelerating efforts to recruit and educate the next generation and connect more people, including veterans and women, with modern manufacturing careers. He’s been on the cutting edge of working to expand apprenticeships and developing programs to improve the perception of the industry, including through initiatives such as ‘Making Ohio’ and with his support of our ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign to build the future workforce. And he’s continued to be a strong ally in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion so that we make progress in closing the opportunity gap in Ohio and in America. In this work, and in the future challenges ahead, we are fortunate that Eric will continue to serve manufacturing and lead OMA’s workforce development efforts.”


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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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

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