As a young woman, I wanted to pursue a career in sales and marketing. My mother, Dorothy Baley, set a high bar for my career. I say that because she loved to work and was an accountant. She was still working at the age of 91. She is the most influential woman in my career, always setting an example of drive, work ethic, and never giving up on one’s career goals. She recently passed away at 94. I am grateful I got her attitude and her independent streak.
Mom also taught me to shoot high. I wanted to be a sales manager, and 15 years ago I became I involved in recycling. My first job was sourcing and sales manager for a plastics recycling company and worked my way up to GM. The role allowed me to learn plastic resins, promote plastic recycling and create sustainability initiatives. I was attracted to the industry because of my passion for keeping our environment, waterways and oceans clean. I never looked at the recycling industry as a male or female dominated field but as a team dedicated to improving our world.
Two and a half years ago, a recruiter approached me about a new role with a company called Evergreen. Although I wasn’t actively looking for a new job, I saw something special. When I started, we had a single location in Clyde, Ohio. Today, we have four recycling and rPET manufacturing locations across North America. I am now sales and new business development manager, sustainability. I’m responsible for the sales of our rPET resin and oversee our sustainability initiatives.
We are out to change the world through PET plastics recycling and encouraging companies to adopt recycled PET resin in their packaging and products. Our CEO, Omar Abuaita, is by far the best mentor and leader in my entire career. He’s also the hardest! Omar has challenged me more than any employer in my career. His vision, drive, and support of our team have allowed us to reach goals that I never imagined. The takeaway is team is bigger than you. Good leaders see the strengths of team members and turns them loose.
I truly enjoy being part of the Evergreen team with a common goal of preserving our environment for generations to come and working with great customers and assisting them in reaching their sustainability goals. Evergreen is not a job for me. Recycling is in my heart. I love coming to work.
But I also love my family, friends and dog Roxie. My husband Mark is my strength, and my joys are my daughter Amanda, son Ray, daughter-in-law Katie, and two grandchildren Evelyn & Rachel. I love sunshine and the beach—Lake Michigan or Florida—any beach will do. My favorite past times are shelling, fishing, boating, and wine tasting—sometimes all in the same day.
Looking ahead, there’s a lot of work to be done at Evergreen. I wouldn’t change my career for anything! I would absolutely recommend the recycling industry to any woman. Don’t let gender get in the way of your career path. In this industry, don’t worry about gender. If you have a passion for it, jump in! We need you.
Evergreen Women in Recycling is a series created to celebrate the wonderful women across our company who make a difference in our world every day. If you are interested in joining our team, visit our Careers page.