Injection molder and toolmaker
Ayanna Plastics & Engineering Inc., a Clearwater, Fla., injection molder and toolmaker, ranks No. 4 on the Plastics News Best Places to Work list.
The woman-owned business is run by Vice President Tammy Redmond and her husband and co-owner Dan Redmond Jr., who is president. They bought the business out of bankruptcy more than a decade ago.
“We put everything we had into it.” Tammy said. “It was a big risk, a big gamble.”
Well before the business venture, Dan came across the name Ayanna, which means “blessed one” in Cherokee, he said. “I always thought if I ever had a daughter, what a beautiful name that would be.”
As it turned out, when the opportunity came to buy the company, “we needed all of the blessings we could get,” Tammy said.
The gamble has paid off. The company created two full-time positions last year, bringing its staff to 27. Ayanna offers a retirement savings plan and contributes to coverage for medical, prescription, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, life insurance, and short- and long-term disability benefits for full-time employees and their dependents. An annual bonus is based on sales and profitability.
The firm will help employees with tuition for advanced degrees, certifications, productivity workshops, personal development and conferences — “any type of education that's going to benefit them,” Tammy said in a recent phone interview.
There are also catered lunches to celebrate successes, tickets to sporting events, an annual holiday party, random treats and birthday parties.
The Redmonds said they recognize the importance of listening to employees.
“At same time, when they tell us something can't be done, we challenge them to get it done and get it done right,” Tammy said. “It pushes them out of their comfort zone and engages them.
“We want them to be happy and feel like this is a good place to be.”
In addition to long- and short-run molding, Ayanna does injection mold design and on-site mold repair and maintenance, fabricating, hot stamping and insert molding. The company runs 12 presses, with clamping forces of 50-500 tons.