Sherl Hill was hired by Freelin-Wade Co. in McMinnville, Ore., in 1987 to be the fledgling company's receptionist. At the time, the company's specialty was extruding polyurethane tubing for the dental and fluid power markets. The 11-person firm grew and in 1990, was acquired by Coilhose Pneumatics (www.coilhose.com) of East Brunswick, N.J.
In 1999, Hill was promoted from controller to general manager. Since she assumed the reins, Freelin-Wade (www.freelin-wade.com) has grown to become North America's largest independent manufacturer of flexible plastic tubing. The company serves a diverse array of markets and niches. Its tubing is used in the jets that Boeing builds, the robots that built your car, at sea in the buoys measuring for tsunamis, your dentist's chair and even in the penguin exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Hill holds a degree in accounting from Oregon Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Freelin-Wade, she worked for nine years in logistics for Cascade Steel. She is a director and past chair of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce. She's a founding steering committee member of the Mid-Willamette High Performance Consortium and the 2008 recipient of the Mary Pearmine Workforce Leadership Award presented by the Enterprise for Employment and Education.