DENVER, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Barbara Walz, senior vice president, policy and compliance/chief compliance officer for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association of Westminster, Colo., has been recognized for excellence in manufacturing with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/LA55975) The Manufacturing Institute and its STEP Ahead initiative partners recognized Walz and other STEP award recipients at a reception in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 5. The program highlighted each honoree's story, including their leadership and accomplishments. As an executive with a cooperative wholesale power supplier producing electricity that is vital to the manufacturing sector, Walz was recognized as an industry leader who addresses regulatory issues in energy and environment to ensure reasonable regulation and strong industry performance. Walz testified before Congress several times in the past year about regulations that drive up power costs and affect the economy. "Economic growth, investment and job creation in American manufacturing is bolstered with effective policy," said Walz. "We must ensure energy and environmental legislation and regulation is based on sound science, administered fairly, and gives industry options and flexibility in compliance." Working with young talent is particularly rewarding to Walz. "I take pride in growing and mentoring successful young professionals," she said. "Over my 22 years in management, I have had the opportunity to hire entry level and seasoned employees and I take great pleasure in challenging and assisting them as they grow in their careers." In addition to her position at Tri-State, Walz also serves on the steering and policy committees for the Utility Air Regulatory Group and on the Electric Power Research Institute's environment and executive councils. She also chaired a carbon capture and storage workgroup for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's generation and transmission managers group.