Marie Sewell Davis graduated from Strayer University, where she received her bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in finance and master's degree in project management. Getting her MBA empowered her to "push barriers and glass ceilings out of the way," she said.
"It was leverage; it was mine," Davis said.
This allowed her to move up quickly in the ranks at CKS Packaging Inc., the blow molder based in Atlanta founded by her grandfather, Charles Sewell. Her father, John Sewell, is the current president and CEO.
Davis started at the bottom, answering the phones, then went into customer service, "dabbled in accounting" and worked in human resources at one of the plants. "I know this place like the back of my hand," she said.
Today, Davis is operations analyst and project manager at CKS. She also co-founded the CKS Women's Leadership Group and is currently working on training.
"We founded the group just last year, and I've volunteered to help cultivate our future women leaders at CKS," Davis said. "The challenges I face for myself is learning to be bold and take a stand for our women leaders, navigating the right direction for us collectively, setting goals individually and as a team. I hope that our group can lead the way at our company and set a new standard."
Davis said both parents are her mentors, adding that she has learned from her father's work ethic and dedication and her mother's strength and passion.
"I hope that I am leaving a mark of integrity on the people I work with and for. I hope that the mold I'm breaking is that any woman who is in this industry can go as far as she wants," Davis said. "I won't stop growing and learning. Learning is key, being teachable is key, and then teaching another woman all these wonderful things so she can do the same."
Read Plastics News' viewpoint on Women Breaking the Mold, and find links to other profiles.