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The New Face of the Coatings Industry

Monday, February 17, 2014

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ORLANDO—The growing reach of women in the protective and marine coatings industry was plain to see at SSPC 2014.

What began as a niche "women's roundtable" at the 2011 conference ballooned this year to two hour-long technical presentations, a two-hour panel discussion with leading experts, and an inaugural award honoring women's contributions to the industry.

Women in Coatings Impact Award
Technology Publishing Co.

Winners and finalists for the Women in Coatings Impact Award led a discussion panel Wednesday (Feb. 12) at SSPC 2014. From left: finalists Wendy Banks, Victoria Gelling and Gail Warner; and winners Alison Kaelin and Lana Ponsonby.

The Women in Coatings Impact Award, presented for the first time, was developed to recognize women who show outstanding leadership and a desire to advance the coatings industry. 

The award was presented Feb. 10 to coatings consultant Alison B. Kaelin and Lana J. Ponsonby, of Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

Award Finalists Panel

The Women in Coatings panel discussion Wednesday (Feb. 12) evening was moderated by Joyce Wright, who works in the Organizational Development Division at Huntington Ingalls-Newport News Shipbuilding; and Cindy O'Malley, the manager of consulting and laboratory services at KTA-Tator Inc.

Wright and O'Malley have spearheaded the Women in Coatings program since its inauguration.

Kaelin and Ponsonby were joined by three award finalists: Wendy Banks, Carolina Management Team LLC; Gail Warner, Newport News Shipbuilding; and Victoria Gelling, North Dakota State University. 

On the panel's agenda:

  • Elements and behaviors that help women succeed in coatings;
  • Tips to inspire women to advance in their careers; and
  • Strategies for women to create a positive impact on the culture of the coatings industry

Two New Sessions

The Perspectives of Women in Business session took place Wednesday morning and consisted of two presentations. The session was sponsored by Limnes Corp. and The Sherwin-Williams Company. 

Wright presented "Understanding You and Your Customer/Client." 

Joyce Wright Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Joyce Wright (left) and Sarah Huckabee Sanders presented seminars during the Perspectives of Women in Business session.

Wright has 34 years of leadership and coatings experience and champions current and future leaders by enhancing their personal leadership roles. Her presentation focused on helping attendees learn how to enhance their own success and communication skills. 

Advancing technology and promoting the use of protective coatings are key in the coatings industry, Wright said. Embracing change is important in strategically aligning business with customer and client needs. 

However, with four generations in the workplace today, it can be challenging to understand the specific needs of customers, clients, bosses and employees. With this in mind, Wright's presentation posed several questions:

  • Have you ever wondered why you can never sell anything to a particular organization?
  • Have you ever questioned why your ideas are never heard?
  • Have you ever speculated why "having a job" is not enough for the next generation of employees? 
Women in Coating panel
Technology Publishing Co.

The Women in Coatings program first debuted at SSPC 2011. Shown here: Attendees discuss round table questions at SSPC 2013.

As a prerequisite for this presentation, attendees were asked to take a Jung Typology Test to obtain their personality type formula. These personality descriptions and strengths were discussed during the seminar to help attendees learn how to enhance business through effective communication. 

Wright's presentation was followed by an hour-long seminar on "Women in Business," led by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, vice president of Tsamoutales Strategies. 

The presentation focused on the role of women in the business community, specifically in leadership positions. 

Sanders has managed several political campaigns, including the 2010 presidential run by her father, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. In 2010, she was named one of TIME magazine's top 40 under 40 political stars in America. 


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; KTA-Tator; Meetings; SSPC 2014

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