At just 32 years old, Ashley Everin became vice president of Greenville, Mich.-based West Michigan Compounding, a plastics recycler with 78 employees.
Everin, who has a Bachelor of Science from Grand Valley State University of Allendale, Mich., started working as a receptionist at plastics distributor The Materials Group during her senior year in college in 2005. She said she enjoyed learning something new every day back then and that is still the case now.
"There are so many new technologies and opportunities within our industry. It's always changing and always presenting a challenge," Everin said.
She joined WMC in June 2012 as a contract employee to develop and implement a quality system, and in December 2012, the company achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification — some of her career highlights. She also executed an enterprise resource planning system, which was completed in August 2015. Through these tasks and achievements, Everin said she gained knowledge on materials, processes and management that she believes helped her earn the current position of vice president.
Everin was nominated for Women Breaking the Mold by WMC President Scott Barnard, who said he is "so proud" to have Everin on the team.
Barnard said she has grown with "increasing roles in administration, customer service, quality, supply chain management, human resources, operations and now executive leadership."
"She is relentless in her pursuit of continuous improvement and maintains an incredible passion to learn, grow and lead," Barnard said in an emailed statement. "She began her career at West Michigan Compounding as a college student when we were producing less than 1 million pounds per year to now producing and selling over 50 million pounds in 2018."
Everin said Barnard has been her biggest mentor.
"Mostly he's taught me to trust my decisions and have the confidence to do so. From leadership to materials, he has given me many tools to grow," she said.
She said her current challenge at WMC is ensuring the company maintains its culture during growth. WMC was named one of Plastics News' Best Places to Work.
"While we set high expectations, we also understand the importance of work-life balance," she said.
Aside from becoming vice president at 32, Everin said, starting her family has been her greatest achievement. To relax, Everin enjoys reading and spending time with her children: "For me, it's showing my daughter that regardless of your gender, you can achieve anything."