The Manufacturing Institute names Volvo Penta’s Marcia Kull as one of the top women in US manufacturing

The division’s vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas has been hailed for her work by the prestigious institute which develops and recognizes world-class manufacturing talent.

Marcia Kull
Marcia Kull, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas.

Kull will be honored at the 4th Annual Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award at a gala dinner on April 21 in Washington, D.C.

The STEP Ahead Awards celebrate those women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers in all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.

Kull and her fellow honorees has been praised by Jennifer McNelly, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. 

McNelly said: “These 130 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing. We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through a positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole. 

“The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent.” 

Impressive achievements 
As Volvo Penta’s vice president of marine sales for the Americas, Kull has profit-and-loss responsibility for marine engine sales in a competitive territory that covers Canada to Panama and the Caribbean. Before joining the marine engine sales division in 2011, Kull served as the company’s general counsel and prior to that role, acted as vice president of dealer and consumer relations. 

“Marcia Kull has leveraged all of the experience she’s gained working across the industry to help her succeed as a commercial leader to promote Volvo Penta,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas.

“She is highly respected by her peers, customers and even competitors for her depth of knowledge of Volvo Penta products and markets, and she has taken on great responsibility with her involvement in industry and governmental organizations that serve the national marine community.” 

At Volvo Penta, Kull has facilitated year-on-year diesel engine unit growth averaging 14 percent while increasing profitability; created a regionally-based dealer development team to generate pull-through sales of Volvo Penta-powered gasoline sterndrive boats; developed Volvo Penta’s North American marine commercial segment; restructured the commercial distributor network; and mentored young employees through the Volvo Penta International Mentorship Program. 

She also developed a national program to promote recreational boating as a leisure activity for women. Called “Women Making Waves,” the turn-key program provided boating skills classes for women in over 1,600 marine dealerships nationwide. 

Wealth of experience 
Kull chairs the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) Engine Manufacturers Division – the first Volvo Penta employee and the first woman to serve in this role. Prior to this appointment, she served as chairwoman of the NMMA Boating Industry Risk Management Council for six years – the first woman to chair that committee as well.

She also serves on the six-member NMMA executive board of directors. She was appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security to serve on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council in 2007. In that role, she chaired a team that drafted a compliance section for the U.S. Coast Guard Strategic Plan to reduce recreational boating casualties. 

About The Manufacturing Institute 
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) in the US is the 501(c) (3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit

Volvo’s international talent 
There are a number of women in senior roles in the Volvo Group and its divisions, globally.

They include Sofia Frandberg (executive vice president group legal & compliance and general counsel), Kerstin Renard (executive vice president group human resources), Ann Elmeland (senior vice president human resources), Paula Dolan (senior vice president human resources, Volvo Penta), Maria Hemberg (senior vice president and general counsel, Volvo Cars), and April Li (vice president marketing, Volvo Construction Equipment Investment, China).