Genayee Richards

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Section Manager-CSM Dept.
AK Steel Corporation

I am passionate about being afforded the opportunity, as a woman, to be a part of the decision-making processes in manufacturing that helps our economy thrive.  I am also passionate about leading my team to success and satisfying our customers.

With 14 years in manufacturing at AK Steel, Genayee brings key expertise and leadership to the company’s Middletown Works steelmaking operation. Every coil of steel that is shipped to customers from Middletown Works is processed through the Green Coil / Hot Roll department where Genayee is the section manager. To move coils that weigh as much as 40 tons each takes collaboration to develop workable plans, and often requires implementing changes as the day progresses. Genayee motivates her team and helps them develop new strategies to achieve AK Steel’s objectives. And when her operations expanded recently to in-source coil tractor operators, Genayee led the charge to hire and train 20 new employees, providing the tools needed to seamlessly and safely take over the work.

Genayee is an active member of AIST (Association for Iron and Steel Technology) and her photo was chosen by AK Steel and AIST to represent manufacturing employees at the 2018 AIST Convention, one of the industry’s premier technology events. She also participated in the Women of Steel Leadership Conference, the YWCA and the Urban League Leadership Conference. Genayee works closely with new shift managers to coach and help develop their skills, and mentors employees when they need support. Before joining AK Steel, Genayee spent three years active in duty in the U.S Navy and three years in the Navy reserves. Her sense of purpose and drive help inspire the women and men she works with.

Genayee is an active leader in SELF (Support to Encourage Low-income Families), a Middletown, Ohio, service program and in AK Steel’s own community outreach, AK CARES. Both she and her husband are entrepreneurs whose passion is purchasing neglected houses and turning them into clean, affordable homes. This deeply satisfying work is helping the neighborhood create a renewed pride.