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Inspirational • Passionate • Strategic

Her Story

Rhonda Barnet

Chief Operating Officer – Co- President Steelworks Design

Rhonda's Story

I am the Chief Operating Officer of Steelworks Design, an engineering and custom automation firm co-founded with my husband, Don Barnet.

I am responsible for the finance and development portfolios, and have guided SWD to 15% annual growth year over year. In 2017, my role expanded to include Co-President, coinciding with a push to realize Steelworks Design as a full-service R&D firm.

An ardent supporter of Canadian Manufacturing and Exporting, I was appointed Chair of the National Board of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters in 2016, the first female chair in the CME’s history.

I maintain an active schedule of government and industry engagements, including functions in Germany, Holland, China, Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Further appointments include the Federal Advanced Manufacturing Strategy Council — a new model of industry/government collaboration and decision-making — and most recently, Board Member of NGM Canada, one of the 5 Canadian Super Clusters to deliver 950M of federal innovation funds.

Quick to recognize the potential of a strong and confident community, I volunteer and champions numerous initiatives to this end.

This includes work with regional manufacturers’ associations and start-up organizations, and launching CME’s Women in Manufacturing Working Group, convened to elevate the participation and roles of women in Canadian Manufacturing.