Ana Laura Rednak, 38
CEO, Plastika Skaza DOO, Velenje, Slovenia
Q: Describe your company, what it does, and its culture.
Rednak: Skaza is the only Slovenian mid-size company operating in the plastic production industry that puts customers, research and development and digitalization at its center. Passion, innovation and dedication to self-improvement are its core values. We are known for high-quality products, advanced technological procedures and excellent customer service which is reflected in the company's growth and loyal customers. Skaza has a clear vision of the future, reflected in its mission to develop innovative products connecting people with nature.
Q: What's the most interesting or unusual job you've ever had?
Rednak: My first job was as a student working in really big industrial kitchen helping to wash all kinds of dishes and helping to prepare food for the workers. It was quite challenging to work eight hours a day for two months during the summer holidays, every day the same work. It is even more interesting because today you will not find me in the kitchen. I hate to cook and to clean dishes. Not because of my first job, I just realized that my value is in business, not in the kitchen!
Q: What was your first job in plastics?
Rednak: In the same company, Skaza, in a commercial department as an ordinary salesperson.
Q: Tell us about a mentor you've had in your career.
Rednak: My main mentor in my career is still Tanja Skaza, who is also part owner of the company. Tanja is a businesswoman with a great feeling for people. The most amazing thing is that she always had bigger dreams for me and this is also the reason that today I am the CEO of Plastika Skaza.
Q: When did you become CEO, and what was your first goal?
Rednak: In January 2015. My first goals: To build company strategy; to establish key performance indicators on a daily basis to see if we are on the right track with company strategy; to be a mentor to others; and to do exactly what Tanja did with me, help them to build their career inside of the company. And to build my own team of performers to go together to achieve goals 2021.
Q: What's the best career advice you've received?
Rednak: You do not have to be a genius to build a career. You just need to be brave, you need goals and people who can help you. And never ever give up.
Q: What advice would you give to someone starting at your company tomorrow?
Rednak: Find the best mentor, learn on daily basis from him or her, establish clear goals and go for it. And again: never, ever give up. Sometimes you will feel like it, but those days are the best days to be even more brave and determined.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be as CEO?
Rednak: My main mission is to bring Skaza into the world of global multi-national companies and build recognition of the Skaza brand of smart plastic. My goal is to live our values and to build a team of the best talents inside the company onto board positions to be capable of running the company in 2020.