Jean Bye
President and CEO
Dotson Iron Castings


"It is exciting to see the pride our employees gain when they combine lean, process driven flow, with an engaged employee culture to create an agile foundry that outperforms the competition and exceeds customer expectation. And that lean strategy allows us to invest back into employees, facilities and the community.”

Beginning her career with Dotson Iron Castings in the 1970s, Jean Bye is the first woman and non-family member to serve as President and CEO in the company’s over 100-year history. As a pioneer for women in metalcasting, Jean has spearheaded numerous lean manufacturing initiatives that have had a tremendous impact on Dotson. By implementing a first-in/first-out process, the company saw significant improvements to work-in-process and finish goods times, as well as on-time delivery, casting lead times and PPM rejects. 

In addition to her strong work ethic, commitment to excellence and keen technical knowledge, Jean is a dynamic leader who is committed to paving the way for the next generation of women in manufacturing.  She serves as a formal and informal mentor for many of her employees, and actively collaborates with managers to develop employees and support their careers. As the first woman to serve as President of the American Foundry Society (AFS), Jean leads presentations nationwide focused on the shortage of skilled workers in the metalcasting industry and highlights the benefits of hiring women. She helped launch the association’s “Women in Metalcasting" (WIM) group and in 2018, was honored with a WIM Award for Excellence which recognizes exceptional leaders, champions, mentors and role models for women in the metalcasting industry.

Jean’s leadership spans beyond her role at Dotson, as evidenced through her support of both employees and the Mankato community in the wake of a devastating fire in 2017. The disaster recovery efforts of Jean and her team were honored with awards from both MN Business and the Manufacturing Leadership Council. She has also led numerous other community initiatives ranging from sponsoring an Automation Station Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to serving as a board member of the Mankato Area YMCA.

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