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Woman Company Chief Blazes
Woman Company Chief Blazes New Trails
Sunday Republican - Outlook 2003 by Carol Murphy, staff writer
Heavy lifting and 12-hour days are par for the course for the president and chief executive officer of Chicopee Industrial Contractors.
CHICOPEE - For Carol F. Campbell, the gender issue doesn’t even surface whether she’s in the warehouse or out in the field supervising her crew. Campbell is a trailblazer, one among the few women executives heading a company – only 40 percent of U.S. businesses are run by women – in an industry generally dominated by her male counterparts.
Officially, Campbell is president and chief executive officer of Chicopee Industrial Contractors Inc., a 10-year old company. “As far as working with men, I can’t speak for them, but the gender differences don’t come into play in the workplace,” Campbell said. “As far as dealing with my peers and customers, they’re not often surprised, but a lot of times I do find on that first contact, I’m tested on my knowledge, ability and skills levels.”
Her company, founded on Feb. 22,1992, specializes in installing and relocating production machinery as well as plant facilities. Its customer base extends around the world, but primarily within a 60-mile radius of its 107 North Chicopee St. warehouse and offices. Her job is one she truly enjoys. She also takes her duties extremely seriously, and counts on her staff to help her weather the ups and downs of the economic tide. That’s why she extols the competence and support of her employees. “..I’m fortunate enough to work with a wonderful group of people,” she says often. Campbell describes herself as a hands-on boss. She has about 20 full-time employees, many of whom have been with the company since it was founded. She says, “It’s one of the components of our success.”
And While this year’s economy has been a challenge to most businesses, including hers, she is encouraged that a September slowdown was offset with a late October contract for a major project, and that she has now started booking well into this new year. An earlier prediction to her employees of a slow first quarter of 2003 has been redefined to note a change to the plus side. Under Campbell’s guidance, the company has worked with many local and national corporations such as American Saw Corp., Spalding Sports Worldwide, Smith & Wesson, Danaher Corp., Jen-Coat, Judd Wire, Inc., Leoni, Webco Engineering and Eureka Blank Book.
Crews are trained continuously – CIC was the recipient in 2001 of a $37,441 state Workforce Training Grant – in work and safety issues, in addition to training on customer satisfaction, service excellence, and health related matters. The Chicopee Chamber of Commerce named CIC 2002 Business of the Year, citing the company for “…demonstrating a strong steady growth over the past 10 years….” under Campbell’s leadership.
Campbell often puts in 12-hour days and is active in various memberships and on the board of directors of such groups as the National Rigging Association and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, headquartered in Boston, an organization active politically on behalf of manufacturers. She is also a member of the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and Elms College Golf Committee.
Her Competitive edge was bolstered by a huge dose of confidence instilled, she said, by her mother, a homemaker, and her dad, Victor H. Fusia, a former University of Massachusetts football coach who still holds the record as the coach with the most wins. “Sometimes I can still hear them talking to me,” she said. A no-time-to-waste executive, Campbell has her plan in place for this year. “I know in business you grow. You just can’t stay where you are. My plan is to continue our training and increase our work force,” she notes. Also at the ready is her five year plan: “…. it’s always been to open a satellite office somewhere in the Carolinas…there’s a large market down there.”