Kris Vockler Looks Forward to Education and Growth as GANA’s New President
Like so many professionals, Kris Vockler, CEO of Vancouver, Wash.-based ICD High Performance Coatings, doesn’t have a lot of extra time. The little she has is spent with her son, honing her award-winning photography skills and maybe, if there’s a sliver of time left, playing a video game or two. In her work life, she’s busy leading the ICD team and helping to find ways to shape the future of the glass industry. She does the latter by staying active in the Glass Association of North America (GANA). And this year, she becomes the group’s 18th president, and only the second woman to lead the group.
Here’s a closer look at her history within GANA, as well as what she’s looking forward to this year.
Q:How long have you been
involved with GANA?
I have attended events for more than 15 years. When I first started with ICD, it was the go-to place where you went to learn and meet people who would become mentors. It delivered on both. Getting involved is another story. I probably did not make it through my second conference before Ren Bartoe [with Vesuvius] hooked me into volunteering. I remember approaching him to seek out a few small areas I could volunteer to get started in educating myself more. That same day, Ren had me on several committees reworking the Tempering Division’s Engineering Standards Manual. Getting more involved from that point never stopped.
Q:How have you seen the role of women change within not only GANA but the glass
industry over the past decade?
At GANA, I never felt being a woman mattered more or less when compared to men. Never once have I experienced anything that would make me think of there being a division. There have been some amazing people come through the association, both men and women; it’s felt equal all along. As for both the industry and GANA, I have seen more women enter. Industry-wide, we are seeing more women take top C-Level positions and more women taking over family businesses. That naturally leads to more women in our industry’s premier trade organization.
Q:What are some of your goals for GANA in 2015?
The top objective and priority is always how to add value to the association for members and prospective members. A sustainable and balanced budget is key. Growth to keep the budget balanced is the third. Lastly, education; we need more of it. Everyone wants to grow and add value, but without a solidly balanced budget, it becomes very difficult. We do a great job of setting strategy in response to what we want and what we wanted in past years. Part of that strategy is becoming lean fiscally so we can capitalize on adding the important value and future growth. Luckily, the past boards did a great job of steering us through a difficult recession. We emerge today still dealing with it, but able to move toward growth. Their stewardship makes all the difference today.
Q:If you could make one change to better the
industry, what would you do?
Education. Some of the stark realities of the recession were cutting off programs that educated the people of our industry on many topics. Those had to be cut for various reasons. As strongly as we believe in advocacy and standards setting, we need to get back to educating our industry—from using each other’s components in the end product, a building, to helping member employees be more effective at their jobs.
Q:What are you most excited for in 2015?
Nothing changes as I enter the presidency, except maybe my ear will get bent a few more times. Our current board is a solid team of people who have worked together for quite a few years now. I’m excited to keep working with them on strategy we set as a group years ago. As I said before, the boards before this one helped us steer away from a global recession and survive. The exciting part is we now get to move forward. The whole industry is moving forward, and that is exciting to see.
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