President & COO
Rhonda Barnet is the President & Chief Operating Officer of AVIT Manufacturing (formerly Steelworks Design), an engineering and custom automation firm in Peterborough, Ontario.
An ardent supporter of Canadian Manufacturing and Exporting, Rhonda was appointed the first female Chair in history of the National Board of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (2016-2018). She maintains an active schedule of government and industry engagements, including functions in Germany, Holland, Italy, China, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Further appointments include the Federal Advanced Manufacturing Strategy Table and Board Member of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen Canada), one of the 5 Canadian Super Clusters to deliver $950M of federal innovation funds. Rhonda currently serves CME in the role of Past Chair and newly appointed as the Chair of The Workforce of the Future.
In 2018 Rhonda launched CME’s “We Can Do It” Campaign, an initiative funded by the federal government to add 100,000 women to the manufacturing workforce over the next five years. Rhonda is a regular spokeswoman on diversity, women in manufacturing, skills and the future workforce.
Rhonda believes in the value of mentorship and upholds the philosophy “If you can see me, you can be me”.