Profiles of the inaugural class members of Rubber & Plastics News' Women in Tire & Rubber will appear daily through Aug. 21. Edited profiles of the entire class were published in the July 27 issue of RPN. Christy Jaccuzzo
Spartan Acquisition Corp., Sales
Location: Houma, La.
Education: Some college
2016 Terrebonne Young Achiever's Award
2016 Leadership Terrebonne Graduate
Associations you belong to or actively participate in:
Leadership Terrebonne Board Member for 4 years, serving second year as vice president
Ladies Carnival Club Member: Hyacinthians for 9 years.
What drew you to the rubber industry, and what has made your career in the industry rewarding?
To be honest, the rubber industry kind of found me. Steve Spinella offered me a sales job after running into each other, and I knew nothing of the rubber industry. They taught me all I needed to know to become successful. My customers definitely have made my industry rewarding. There is no mere feeling on making a "cold call" to a customer. Building a great foundation and rapport with them, and looking after the steps of them becoming a successful customer—that rewarding feeling has driven me to want to be better and do better.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement in my career has been being able to diversify myself within the company. I started in outside sales and have been able to build a customer base in sales of over $1.5 million a year. In addition to sales, I also run payroll for the company, do all of the hire/fire paperwork, fund the 401k and other HR Generalist tasks. I have earned my Notary License and am able to notarize documents for the company when needed.
What do you count as your biggest failure and what has it taught you?
My biggest failure is not finishing college. It has taught me to always work hard for where I want to succeed in life. Not finishing inspires me to always complete any tasks and/or goals that are set to make sure I do not fail. I do hope to one day go back and finish what I started.
Who or what inspires you?
The person that inspires me the most is my husband. I have watched him for 15 years work hard to build his career. He works hard every day and does it with a humbling spirit. Customer service is his top priority and anyone could vouch he gives 100 percent to his customers. He has taught me more than he could ever know simply by being an example.
Who were your career mentors, and what role did they play?
My career mentors are my two bosses, Brian Pellegrin and Steve Spinella. They have played THE role in my career. I started with Spartan when I was 22 years old, before the industry had many women at all. They took a chance on a young girl and gave me all the tools I needed to become successful. They rooted me so I could grow into the business, whether it was through different trainings I was sent on, a simple talk when there was an issue, or just being a support system. They have been there for me for 10 years. They are not just mentors to me, they are family. I couldn't be more appreciative for all they have done for me.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
This is a tough one. I feel like the best advice that is given changes through the different stages of life. I have recently heard the quote, "If it is not a hell yes, then it's a no," and the quote represents a lot of what I have learned over the years. If I can't give 100 percent of my effort and dive in, then I shouldn't be a part of it. I don't want to look back with any regrets. I want to be 100 percent fully invested into my decision.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
If I was an incoming CEO of a company, I would first introduce myself and shake hands with the employees, letting them know I am personable. I would want to speak with the managers and hear their insight on the company and what changes they believe could make a difference.
What would you tell someone considering a career in the rubber industry?
I would tell them to "hold on and tighten your seat belt because you're in for a ride!" Good thing I enjoy roller coasters—hahaha! In all actuality, I would tell them that it is a competitive business. However, it's a business that will help push you to be better. It's a business that will help you grow into many different aspects of not just your career, but as a person.
In your opinion, what needs to be done to encourage females to pursue STEM-related careers?
I would focus on showing women what the opportunity is for us in STEM-related careers. I would make more education/trainings available to us to prove we are very capable for these type of careers.
Rubber News wants to hear from its readers. If you want to express your opinion on a story or issue, email your letter to Editor Bruce Meyer at [email protected].