Pace recognized as 2022 Mississippi STARS of Southern Manufacturing Award winner 

Jocelin Pace, Team Leader at Toyota Mississippi, was recently recognized as the winner of the 2022 Mississippi STARS of Southern Manufacturing Award. The award was presented by Toyota Human Resources Senior Manager and Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association (MAMA) Board President Kevin Burgess at the 2022 Southern Automotive Conference held in Duluth, Georgia.

MAMA serves its members by promoting growth, development, and improvement in the automotive industry in Mississippi, as well as serving as a forum for interaction among automotive manufacturing companies in the state and across the other six states that make up the Southern Automotive Manufacturers Alliance. On presenting the award to Pace, Burgess, said, “Jocelin’s dedication to superior leadership, teamwork and commitment to best practices in manufacturing sets her apart. MAMA and SAC are proud to recognize the production workers that are so crucial to the automotive manufacturing industry in Mississippi.” 

STARS Awards are given to employees at a Southern Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Tier I supplier who epitomize excellence in the automotive manufacturing industry. The nominees for the award work on the factory floor, possess exemplary skills that enable the company to meet the demands of modern manufacturing, and enhance the work environment by bringing the best out of colleagues, encouraging collaboration, and reflecting the most desirable values of the company culture. The seventh annual Stars of Southern Manufacturing Awards recognized winners from SAC states including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

It has been a busy year for Pace. She was promoted to Team Leader at TMMMS, obtained her U.S. Citizenship, found out she was expecting her first daughter and traveled to Georgia with MAMA and Toyota team members to receive the Stars of Manufacturing Award. The 2016 graduate of Tupelo High School joined Toyota Mississippi one month after her graduation. She was unsure about joining Toyota given she had no prior automotive and manufacturing experience, but her hard work and passion for people development have helped lead to this exciting year for Jocelin.

According to Kevin Burgess, Human Resources Senior Manager, at Toyota Mississippi, “Jocelin has become an inspiration to all women in the workplace. She represents the qualities necessary to be a STAR of Southern Manufacturing – kaizen mindset, leadership ability that comes from leading by example, mentoring, and being a cheerleader and community advocate for Toyota MS, the automotive manufacturing industry, and the Hispanic community. Her team-player spirit along with her willingness to always learn new skills and tackle new challenges makes her a star team member for Toyota Mississippi.”

When nominating Pace for the STARS Award, TMMMS team member Anthony Bowdry, Training and Development Analyst, said the following, “In pursuit of a better life, Jocelin’s family migrated from Veracruz, Mexico, when she was just a child. Her challenges to adapt to life away from home did not stop her pursuit of happiness. In 2014, Jocelin and her family had the traumatic experience of being homeless for a period in the aftermath of a tornado. This experience would serve as a platform for her future inspiration and leadership. On top of her work and family responsibilities, Jocelin serves as a mentor for the Hispanic community.”

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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