October 16, 2018 (Somerset, Kentucky) -- UGN, Inc. in Somerset is pleased to announce that Shawn Cruse has been promoted to the role of Plant Manager.

“Shawn was acting as the interim Plant Manager, having recently stepped up from his role as Manufacturing Services Manager,” says Don Nelson, Chief Operating Officer at UGN, Inc.

“We will continue to support Somerset on site as Shawn transitions into his new role reporting into David Passmore, Executive Director of Operations. With the capability and strength of the Somerset Leadership Team, I know that this will be a great opportunity for Shawn and the Somerset Plant,” Nelson adds.

Shawn Cruse’s promotion comes in the wake of another move. Chris Hicks recently transitioned to UGN in Monroe, Ohio, to manage the facility there.

“Taking the role in Monroe is a great career move for me as we expand that location, but I admit the hardest thing for me was leaving the Somerset Team,” says Chris Hicks.  

“That plant was my family. Most of the team had been promoted up from within the organization over the years. I enjoyed watching them grow into the leaders that they have become.

“With my move to Monroe, along with some other changes, we were able to transfer our Continuous Improvement Manager to Monroe to help me, promote Jason [Irvine] to Somerset’s Continuous Improvement Manager, promote Stevie [McWhorter] to Human Resources Manager, and Shawn [Cruse] to the role of Plant Manager. Somerset is in capable hands!

“We delivered some great things over the past few years, and one that I am most proud of is the role that I played in growing the KY Fame program in Somerset. Several years ago, it seemed like we always had vacancies for technical and electrical talent but we could not find anyone. With the introduction of KY Fame, we always have a team member ready to step in. We are even to the point we plan this year to export some of our KY Fame graduates to outside Kentucky to our other locations. I know that Shawn and Stevie will continue to build that partnership.

“Shawn and I will continue to connect every week as he builds upon the foundation that we put in place,” Hicks reports. “I am excited to visit him a year from now and see just how far he and the team have taken things.”

Shawn’s prior work experience includes over two decades in the automotive manufacturing industry, including most recently as General Manager at Toyoda Gosei Kentucky in Lebanon, KY. He received his Bachelors of Science in Environmental Health Science from Eastern Kentucky University.

“In my short tenure at UGN Somerset, I have been amazed at the level of teamwork within the plant from top to bottom and within the overall organization,” Shawn Cruse says.

“This commitment to helping each other was communicated to me from Chris and Dave when I interviewed, but to actually see it in action has been amazing. The potential that this level of teamwork might exist here in Somerset was one of the key reasons I accepted the offer to come here. I have been working in the automotive industry for 22 years now and I have never seen this level cooperation across so many people within an organization. I have been equally impressed with how gracious and friendly everyone has been toward me since the day I started. The opportunity to be a part of this team has truly been a blessing and I can only see positive opportunities for our future in Somerset. I am excited beyond words and look forward to leading an amazing team.”

Out of the gate, Shawn Cruse, Stevie McWhorter, and others from the Somerset team will be meeting with Cumberlands Workforce Development Board during their Plant Managers Alliance meeting to continue discussing the role UGN Somerset plays in the community.

Most notably, Shawn and Stevie will be pitching a future panel discussion around women in manufacturing:

Walk the Line: Why Women Should Consider Manufacturing as the Next Great Career Move
(For more information, please contact Shawn Cruse, Stevie McWhorter, and/or Kevin Bohan)

Please join us in congratulating Shawn Cruse in his promotion, along with Jason Irvine, Chris Hicks, and Stevie McWhorter.

There are exciting times ahead for UGN, Inc. in Somerset.

Shawn’s Contact Information:
(606) 678-7821 desk
(606) 872-8565 cell