Finding the right shatterproof crystal alternative wine glass has led Kacey Stotesbery, 37, to take an active interest in the plastics industry.
Stotesbery is the facilities manager/human resources manager at Goright Plastics Printing and Logistics LLC in Aurora, Colo. She says that her greatest achievement was to take a company from concept through funding, incorporation and setup, and start plastics production in less than four months.
However, her quest started with govino LLC, a company that her family has a controlling interest in. It was created to help salespeople showcase wine whenever and wherever proper stemware isn't accessible
“The most difficult part of this process was finding a polymer and process that would enable us to achieve the same clarity and gloss of crystal as well as not impart any flavor or smell on the wine, as well as not absorb any flavors or color into the glass,” Stotesbery said.
She said the glasses have changed over time to be dishwasher safe too, but quality has always been a major concern. Govino decided to maintain quality and consistency by creating its own company. She said one of the primary goals in forming Goright PPL was to create an employee-centric workspace to foster cooperation and trust between workers and management.
Stotesbery has a bachelor's degree in sociology and history, and training in culinary arts — she's worked for a vineyard, and as a chef.
Stotesbery said her current challenge is to keep the company staffed.
“We are bringing new machines on-line at the rate of about one every two to three weeks and will continue this through mid-fall until we have approximately 20 machines on line. Each machine requires us to add between eight to 12 workers since we operate 24/7,” she said.
Stotesbery said the company has been searching for new technology to improve efficiency. She said it purchased a system from Bekum with a robot that removes glasses from the blow pins and sets them on a conveyor leading to the dome trimmer. It means one less person, and also keeps the glasses from scratching each other.
The company also added a fully digital Kammann K1 machine that will print multi-colored graphic images directly onto a curved surface with no need for registration marks and set up times like traditional screen printing.
Stotesbery said the company has been able to establish really good relationships with other larger blow molders, which has helped with getting equipment and resources.
Her best advice is “never ask an employee to do something you wouldn't be willing to do yourself.”
For any women considering a career in plastics, she said: “Don't let the blue-collar image of manufacturing stop you. It is a growth industry and there are a lot of opportunities on and off the plant floor.”
If she was the CEO, the first thing she would do is to meet each and every employee in person.
Stotesbery said her goal is to turn the company into one of the top 20 blow molders in the next 10 years, and to become the managing partner.
She said that with two toddlers she doesn't have a lot of downtime, but she loves to read, the theater and living in a large city.