What drew you to the rubber industry, and what has made your career in the industry rewarding?
I went to high school in Stow, Ohio, and participated in their Polymer Science and Testing program in 1993 and 1994. The rubber and plastics industries are extremely close-knit, and I have made so many wonderful friends and contacts throughout the years.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
1: Being able to teach courses and help educate the younger generations coming into the rubber industry. 2: Writing a chapter on rubber testing for the Rubber Roller Group Technical Handbook. 3: While in custom mixing, increasing proprietary sales 18 percent.
What do you count as your biggest failure and what has it taught you?
When I was younger, I looked for my career to define me and be my identity. I think I did this because I was young and there were not that many women in the rubber industry, especially in the factory. This led to a lot of needless anxiety and unhappiness that manifested itself in health issues. Learning that my career—whether at times good, bad, or indifferent—is not my identity has been a wonderful experience. This is the happiest and healthiest I have ever been!
Who or what inspires you?
Everything I am and everything I do is for my family.
Who were your career mentors, and what role did they play?
Bonnie Stuck and Bob Samples: They taught me how to compound rubber and have made me the chemist I am today.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
If someone hasn't asked for advice then don't give it.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Build relationships with all of the managers to help them and their employees understand how they fit into the company. Read the people, learn what motivates them and learn how to grow them as lifelong employees.
What would you tell someone considering a career in the rubber industry?
The rubber industry offers a variety of career opportunities. I do not worry about having/finding a job. Technical people are so scarce I know I will always have a job, which is extremely important when planning for the future.
In your opinion, what needs to be done to encourage females to pursue STEM-related careers?
Women in the industry need to go into the schools and talk to students about why science is fun and exciting and participate in science clubs. We need to show kids what jobs are out there and how they can be rewarding.