Before joining PCS Co. in 2019, Angela Elsey spent more than 11 years with American Axle and Manufacturing in various positions. Those years included the titles of chief financial officer/controller of an AAM joint venture and the unofficial interim president.
She was the director of finance for PCS previously and is now president for the maker of mold components. Elsey is responsible for the entire business and all strategies to support future growth and goals.
"I have a strong knowledge in drivetrain from my time at American Axle. Plastics always intrigued me because it supports every industry in so many ways. I was specifically drawn to PCS because it was a great culture with some of the most passionate people I have ever met."
Elsey said her greatest achievement is where she is today.
"I am so grateful to have had the training and mentorship that I did have at American Axle. It was a difficult decision to leave. However, I knew PCS was a place I would call home, and [retiring President] Dave Cataldi is an amazing leader to support," she said.
"In the three years I have been with PCS, I have completely transformed the finance team and supported continuous improvement across the organization," she added. "Being able to be a part of change management has been an absolute honor."
Elsey has been raising a daughter and recently expected a second baby as well.
"The fact that I was able to showcase my capabilities at PCS to take on the president position while pregnant (with a toddler) is something I am very proud of," she said.
"It is so important to have confidence and know your limits," Elsey said. "Let your family provide support when they offer. Lean on the people in your life and do not give up your dreams. You can be a good mom and a successful career woman."
Q: What's an accomplishment of yours that most people don't know about, either for work or in your personal life?
Elsey: I received a "delivering power" award from the CEO (David Dauch) at American Axle. These awards were not given out loosely and you had to be recommended. The main reason I was recommended was for my efforts supporting St Jude children's Research Hospital. When I became the captain of the AAM team, we were at around $3,000 fundraised per year. By the time I was done, we were well over $20,000 per year with hundreds of participants joining us at the annual walk/run. Bringing employees together voluntarily outside of the office for such an amazing cause was [and still is] very gratifying! As a committee member of the annual walk/run, I continue the efforts now with PCS.
Q: What has been the biggest impact or challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Elsey: The biggest challenge is creating a safe work environment. What I mean by that is we introduced work from home (now hybrid) for anyone that has the capability to work from home. This was the right thing to do, to minimize risk of exposure to anyone on-site.
The challenge is that you have machinist and warehouse people that have to be on-site. This can create tension and frustration. We have had to explain to them that minimizing people on-site also helps keep them safe. Not always what they want to hear. Now it is to a point where the pandemic has made hybrid schedules a minimum expectation. We limit our candidate pool by forcing people back into the office. Now we have to explain that to the people who are on-site every day.
Also, in a work from home schedule, we have had to rely on managers to be strong leaders and continue to ensure everyone shares the same vision and goals. At the same time, those managers are dealing with their own personal pandemic issues. This has clearly highlighted the importance of empathy in the workplace.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Elsey: Have one-on-ones with all leadership and managers. Give them an opportunity to talk to you about themselves or what they would like to see changed. Keep a list, prioritize it and follow up with everyone as needed. Let them get to know me as a person. Clearly outline my expectations, so we are all on the same page.