Prior to being the general manager at injection molder Teamvantage Molding LLC of Forest Lake, Minn., Kelly Stichter has held a variety of titles, including project engineer, quality manager, operations manager, vice president of engineering and chief operating officer.
Stichter received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.
She said her first job in the plastics industry was as a manufacturing engineer for Ford Motor Co. Stichter was interested in the industry and being involved from the "napkin concept" to full market release. At the time, she said, the plant was the largest injection molding plant in the world.
"Through these various roles, I have gained broad operational insights that has provided a very well-rounded manufacturing background," Stichter said in her Women Breaking the Mold survey. She was nominated by Tom Caron, vice president of sales and marketing.
With a background of both technical and business roles, Stichter said her biggest career achievement involved a company acquisition where she had to "integrate a team of 40 engineers and pull everything together and consolidate from five locations into one location."
Stichter is most interested in additive manufacturing and integrating or applying different technologies together to streamline and improve the business.
Stichter looks up to other women in successful manufacturing roles, such as Proto Labs Inc. CEO Vicki Holt and General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra.
"Never settle for where you are today," Stichter said. "I believe that one can and must continually improve. So, I read and research trends and technologies. There are always ways to continue to improve, so embrace the challenge."