Join us for our month-long celebration of Women’s History Month as we talk with influential leaders in the commercial and residential garage door industries. Last week, Keri Croman, Traffic Manager for Cornell and Cookson in Mountain Top, Pa. and Goodyear, Az., told us how she balanced work, mental health, and life.This week, Ann Reed, Plant Manager for Clopay Corporation in Goodyear, Az., talks about confidence and why it’s important to step out of your comfort zone.
I have been with Clopay Corporation for 12 years. Currently, I serve as a plant manager. Prior to this role, I was in operations where I focused on scheduling and shipping. I also worked in our sales department where I did order entry and estimating.
The great thing about this company is the support and encouragement you receive to grow as a professional. I have worked with amazing people, past and present, who took the time to answer my never-ending questions and teach me about the rolling door business. My current role as a plant manager is the result of great mentoring and development opportunities.
In high school, I did a research paper on Eleanor Roosevelt. I have been a fan ever since. She has a saying that has stuck with me and influenced who I am today, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by doing the thing which you think you cannot do.” This quote has motivated me to take on new roles and branch out of my comfort zone—to take a job and turn it into a career.
One of the challenges that I faced as a woman in my career was my own perceived notion that asking for help would be a sign of weakness. It’s okay if you don’t have all of the answers. Being part of a team is great because it gives you the resources to help you learn and find solutions.
Cultivate confidence in yourself and others. Be the type of leader that you would follow. Seize opportunities that come your way even if they are intimidating.
It helps to remove the gender stereotype that the garage door industry is a male-dominated career. We are seeing more and more women join the workforce in skilled trades, which are expanding into the garage door industry. It’s almost like a revival of the Rosie Riveter campaign!
We can be successful together! Once again Eleanor said it best, “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.” There are some amazing women who have contributed a great deal to my career and I will be forever grateful to them. I hope to be that source of support and encouragement to other women as well.
Read more from female leaders in the garage door industry.