10 Questions for Shelly Rusyn
Happy Women’s History Month! Northwest Pipe Company is proud to recognize the accomplishments of all the women who contribute their vital talents to our growing team. To celebrate, we’re highlighting some of the women leaders at NWP with interviews about their career experiences, inspirations, and achievements.
10 Questions for Shelly Rusyn
With over 30 years of experience in the steel industry, Shelly Rusyn brings an incredible wealth of skills and knowledge to her role as Tracy Plant Manager. She’s responsible for all production activities and operations at the plant, working hand in hand with Quality Control, Project Engineering, and Inventory Control to produce the highest quality product that meets or exceeds customer expectations. Additionally, Shelly supports leadership efforts to ensure the Tracy plant delivers profitable growth for the Company.
1. What is your job title and how long have you been with Northwest Pipe?
Plant Manager at our facility in Tracy, California. I’ve been with Northwest Pipe for 1+ years.
2. Describe the journey leading to your current position?
I started as a structural steel draftsman where I became proficient in all aspects of fabrication from welding to layout. For 13+ years I was in the API pipe industry, starting as a spiral mill operator/welder and obtaining my CWI certification. I learned how to perform every job in the mill and worked my way up to operations manager.
3. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting thing about my job is developing new or improving existing processes for safety, quality, and efficiency.
4. Name two things that always brighten your day— one at work and one outside of work?
At work: Coaching individuals on how to be effective leaders.
At home: My family.
5. Which of the Northwest Pipe ACT Values (Accountability, Commitment, and Teamwork) resonates most for you in your role and why?
Teamwork – it takes everyone working together, from all levels, for a company and its employees to be successful.
6. Which current or historical female figure do you admire most for their values, leadership, or contributions and why?
My mom. As a single mom raising four teenagers, she worked her way up from receptionist/accountant to becoming an owner of a steel fabrication company in a time when it was not a popular industry for a woman. When she retired, she got involved with multiple charitable organizations, including starting a senior center in her community.
7. Name someone in your life who inspires you and why?
My daughter. With a degree in criminal justice, she has accomplished success in her professional life as an area loss prevention manager, all while starting a family and being a great role model to my grandchildren.
8. What advice do you have for individuals entering your profession?
My advice is to learn as much as you can, whether it is in relation to your job or other jobs around you. Never put limits on what you think you can accomplish.
9. What has been your biggest career or personal achievement?
With 30+ years in the steel industry, I have achieved the positions of plant manager, operations manager, and owner, in a predominately male industry.
10. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month honors the accomplishments of those who have come before us and hopefully guides the futures of those to come.