Cookeville, Tenn.-based Encompass Manufacturing is a family-owned injection molder that has been manufacturing for more than 35 years. Samantha Sherrell would be at the plant every snow day, summer break and day off school growing up, sorting parts and verifying quality before she even had a driver's license.
After she graduated from Tennessee Technological University with an accounting degree and had other opportunities available, she chose to stay with the business to help it grow.
She planned on staying with accounting until the human resources manager moved on and Sherrell said she needed that role.
"The role was full of challenges but ended up being a great opportunity to develop in that position," Sherrell said. "I learned so many lessons about working with people and developed a better understanding of the needs of the team members and the company."
Sherrell is now vice president of Encompass. She oversees the operations of the company alongside General Manager Verble Wilson.
"We do our best to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible and partner with our customers and team members," she said.
Staffing is the current challenge at Encompass, as the Tennessee community is growing quickly and industry is moving in.
"We do everything we can to take someone with little experience but the desire to grow and train them so that they continue to develop their skills with the company," Sherrell said.
Patrice Aylward, communications consultant at Absolute Haitian, nominated Sherrell for Women Breaking the Mold. Aylward described Sherrell as "one of the calmest customers we have worked with."
"What we love about her is that she is committed to a philosophy of decision-making where everyone at the table wins," Aylward added.
The vice president said she looks up to her father, Encompass President Ricky Sherrell, as well as Wilson.
"My dad has taught me more business lessons by allowing me room to make mistakes and encouraging me to focus on continuous learning," she said.
"Verble really makes sure that no one at our company take themselves or any situation too seriously," she added. "He manages to find some fun in our daily activities and keeps things positive. I look up to his ability to create a great atmosphere."
Read Plastics News' viewpoint on Women Breaking the Mold, and find links to other profiles.