Kruger Packaging women shattering glass ceilings in E-town

By Alaina Scott, Building Kentucky

The $114 million Kruger Packaging E’town Packaging Plant is opening soon – and relying on a whole host of passionate, successful women to help make it happen.

A 2016 US census found that women made up 29 percent of the manufacturing industry, yet Kruger women are looking to raise that number and leave an indelible mark on the industry.

Lacie McGuffey, Customer Service Representative, seeks to create an environment where all ideas are welcomed and success is shared. She said women in the company help each other achieve their personal and professional goals by celebrating everything.

“We make it a point to always celebrate together over not only the major milestones but the minor ones as well,” noted McGuffey. “Women’s roles in the industry only continue to grow, and we will be here to help develop every individual’s talent.”

Carissa Vowels, Quality and Food Safety Manager, uses her experience to assist the team become even more successful. She shares both good and bad experiences with other women so that they can learn from her.

“I like to empower the other women I work with and encourage them to be the best they can be and to be confident in their abilities,” explained Vowels. “I think as a woman in any industry, it is very important that we have each other’s back, build each other up as much as we can and complement each other on a job well done.”

Women in manufacturing have come a long way since the 2016 Census. Teresa Spevak, Plant Controller, is determined to keep the momentum going.

Spevak is inspired by women she knows that have worked in manufacturing and plant facilities. She encourages women not to be afraid of giving industrial careers a try.

“I want my ripple effect to be positive and to reach all facets of our Kruger team,” Spevak said.

Shelby Peters, Office Coordinator, recognizes that it is common for women to be underpaid and undervalued in the manufacturing industry. However, she knows her opinions and efforts are valued at Kruger Packaging E’town.

Peters and Vowels both believe women bring a fresh perspective to the packing industry.

“We are always willing to help each other when needed and ensure our ideas are heard,” said Peters of the women she works with every day. “We celebrate our accomplishments and have open communication which allows us to discuss ideas and give encouragement.”

John Keith, General Manager, said these women along with Chloe Anderson, Human Resource Advisor and Beth Grantz, Converting Supervisor, have achieved tremendous success.

“Most companies only dream of hiring employees like we have in E’town and these women are the best of the best local talent,” Keith said.

McGuffy, Vowels, Spevak, Peters, Anderson and Grantz are only a few of the successful women paving the way for women and girls looking to make it in the manufacturing industry. They have overcome barriers and shattered glass ceilings as they hold key leadership roles in a male-dominated industry. 

To learn about the women shaping Kruger Packaging E’town’s future, please read the News-Enterprise’s Wednesday Women spotlight.

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