Products Finishing

SEP 2018

Products Finishing magazine is the No. 1 industrial finishing publication in the world. We keep our readers informed about the latest news and trends in plating, painting, powder coating, anodizing, electrocoating, parts cleaning, and pretreatment.

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Page 57 of 59

A Conversation with … Stacey Bales Bales Metal Surface Solutions PF: How has your company changed over the last five years? SB: We completely rebranded, updating our name, logo and website to better reflect our core competencies and our vi- sion. We have added a new coating, Diamond EN, as well as expanded our nickel, chrome and blasting departments. PF: Personally, how have you transformed? SB: I have had the opportunity to serve on several industry boards of directors over the last 10 years, and I have gained tremendous support and insights that I've applied to my own business. On a personal note, my daughter has gone off to col- lege, so I am adjusting to having an empty nest. PF: What will get your company to the next level? SB: Training, training and more training. We are working to define training programs for apprentices as well as our veteran employees. Knowledge transfer will be critical to ensuring that we have the human resources available to meet customer demands. PF: What's the best piece of advice you have been given? SB: My dad told me, "Leave work at work and home at home." Running a business is stressful and, combined with taking care of a family and home, sometimes it can be overwhelming to be pulled in opposite directions. PF: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it? SB: When I was 12, my dad would bring me down to the shop on weekends so that I could clean all the offices. I learned early on that my dad didn't want to be the "piggy bank," and that it was nice to be able to have my own money in my sav- ings account. PF: What was your first car, and what is your dream car? SB: First car was a 1996 Mercury Cougar. I loved it because it had a sunroof, power everything and a six-disc CD changer in the trunk. My dream car is and always will be a Ford Mustang. I have two in my collection now but am always on the lookout. PF: What leadership traits have helped you along the way? SB: I like to think that I am a good listener and am not too proud to admit that I don't have all the answers. Stacey is owner of Bales Metal Surface Solutions in Downers Grove, Illinois, and serves on the Chicago Midwest chapter of the NASF and the Chicago Surface Finishing Foundation. She is a member of the Technology and Manufacturing Association's Women in TMA Committee and its Young Leaders Committee, along with Plastic's Future Leaders in Plastics, which focuses on engaging younger professionals in the manu- facturing industry. PF: What did you want to be when you grew up? SB: I loved playing with Legos and building things. In middle school, we had a class to design a house and build a small model. I was hooked on becoming an architect when I grew up. PF: Night owl or early bird? SB: I used to be more of a night owl, but I am converting to an early bird the older I get. There is some satisfaction in getting up early, not rushing and arriving to work ready to take on the day. PF: Favorite place you've ever lived? SB: This sounds boring, but I was raised literally a couple of blocks from where Bales is located and haven't moved far. I ap- preciate the short drive to work every day. PF: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday? SB: Either in my backyard, playing in the pool and barbecuing, or kayaking. PF: Personal hero? SB: My dad. PF: How do you motivate people? SB: Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most: a simple thank you or acknowledgement of a job well done. Or an ice cream treat on a hot summer day. PF: How do you motivate yourself? SB: I remind myself I have 30 more years until retirement. I love the people I work with. They motivate me every day. 56 SEPTEMBER 2018 — END OF THE LINE Get to Know Stacey Family: Significant other, Brandon; daughter, Sarina; lab/golden retriever, Roxy; two cats and a turtle. Favorite hobby: Puzzles. Favorite movie: "Sweet Home Alabama." What's playing in your car CD/radio: Lithium or Comedy Central on Sirius XM.

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