Sales manager, DLM Plastics
Ashley Scoles, 30, serves as sales manager for DLM Plastics, a Findlay, Ohio-based flexible plastics fabricator.
She attended the University of Findlay from 2003-05 until her husband was deployed overseas in the military and she chose to stay home with their two young children. She is currently working on a bachelor's degree in business management. Scoles regularly uses LinkedIn and Twitter when she's not camping or working on do-it-yourself projects.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Scoles: My first plastics job was here with DLM Plastics. I started with the company as the office manager and wore many hats with that title. We are a small company so I helped with everything when it came down to it. If [the product department] was short on workers and they needed help, I was out there with them creating the product.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Scoles: I have currently only been the sales manager for a little over two months. My greatest achievement is getting accepted to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. U.S. Manufacturing Summit this July. I feel if I can do that in just two months then I can reach all my achievements I set for myself.
Q: What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Scoles: My biggest failure is thinking I don't need help. I am a very independent and stubborn person and I feel asking for help is meaning I can't do my job. I have realized the hard way that it takes a team to be successful.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Scoles: Being taken seriously is my biggest challenge. I feel as though I am looked at as the lady who doesn't know anything and when I ask for something to be done I get a look and response as if I just asked someone to do heart surgery. I look at the positive in everything and see the potential our company has. To me, the sky is the limit.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Scoles: I am interested in the LED lighting and color-changing materials in the flexible plastics world. We are a custom manufacturer and there is so much potential we can tap into by giving people something unique and custom for them.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Scoles: How big the industry is. I mean, I have always known plastic is everywhere, but getting into the industry and really taking a look at how we use plastic is just unreal to me. That is where I get “the sky is the limit” for our potential. We have just touched the surface of possibilities with our business and it is really scary-awesome how much more we could be doing.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Scoles: It's cheesy but so true, to never quit trying. We all have bumps in the road and it just depends on how you react to those bumps. Turning those bumps into a learning experience and never giving up on your dreams is the best thing for me.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Scoles: Keep their mind open to anything. Do not just focus on one small thing, or so many grand opportunities could be overlooked and missed.
Q: If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Scoles: I would make sure everyone was on the same page for the company, make sure the goals of the business were known and what the plan is to reach those goals. I feel as though there are times where the office is separated from production. I am big on making sure everyone is involved no matter what their role is. Each role is needed to create a successful company, making everyone important to the business, and they need to know that!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Scoles: I enjoy being with my family, camping, taking trips and just being outdoors in general. I am a big DIY-er and crafter. I enjoy working on projects and creating something out of a vision and in the end I can say, “Yes, I made that,” or, “Yes, I did that!”