2019 Women in Print and Promo: Rochelle L. Heinl, Repacorp Inc.
ROCHELLE L. HEINL
Executive Vice President, Repacorp Inc., Tipp City, Ohio
How she got her start: While I have officially been a full-time employee at Repacorp since 2004, I have been in this industry for as long as I can remember. I am proud to admit my father, Rick Heinl, is the current owner of Repacorp. Since I was a kid, we inspected and reviewed every grocery store or shelf that had products with labels. [When I was] growing up, my jobs [went from] cutting the grass to filing and entering orders, working in quality control, shipping, packaging and helping in the offices where girls needed support while I was on breaks. While I worked at Repacorp throughout my school years, my father always expressed to me that he had seen too many companies ruined by allowing their children to become involved. Because of this, being involved in [the family business] wasn’t something that I grew up thinking would be part of my career. I studied MIS and marketing with a minor in finance in college and accepted a position [after graduation] with William D. Witter in New York for investment management. When I was in New York, my boss was acting inappropriately, I was homesick and Repacorp had an opening in sales. My dad won’t tell you the story exactly this way, but I think he missed me also and saw a good opportunity for me to come home; thus, working at Repacorp became an option to try. In a family business, if you don’t mess up too much, promotions are inevitable. I would like to think that I continued making the accurate decisions, seeing the business through ways to improve it and helping grow the company, which made me the best fit for a higher management role. As our company grew, we needed to add more layers of management, and, at the time, within the company I was the best-positioned person to take on that role. Since I have been there, I have continued to work hard and help develop the company, leaving me as the correct gal for the job. What she does: Being that we are a smaller company, management means wearing a lot of different hats. My door is always open to anything an employee runs across where they think an improvement in the company can be made. I primarily help with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)—anywhere from selling to R&D to customer support with new applications. I also implemented our new ERP system, which was tough, to say the least, but we are a better company today because it will allow us to use technology to help [enforce] new processes in our company, helping to make us more efficient. When we did our expansion, I wore the GC hat. Some days, I also help with processing shipping orders when they are behind or are down people, and I have helped in purchasing [with] processing received orders, sales of new accounts ... really whatever is needed to help keep the company ticking.
What brings her joy professionally and personally: Challenges and change bring me an enormous amount of joy. I know people are not inclined to easily accept change, but in today’s day and age, it isn’t an option, it is a requirement. New technology and processes that make getting to the same end goal more efficient seem to have more avenues, and with growth of a company, change is imminent. Seeing more effective procedures functioning, allowing employees to do their job easier and more reliably, is a thing of beauty! You know that old saying, “Happy Wife = Happy Life”? Well, we all know it is very hard to make all employees consistently happy, so, in business we should say: “Happy Employee = Happy Day.”
Her proudest career achievement: I worked with a team of people to develop an RFID press that does not exist anywhere else in the world. It inserts the inlays wider across the web than most equipment in the marketplace, [and] at the same time it verifies the inlay, encodes to the chip, and prints a barcode on the face of the label that matches the encoding and checks for duplicates of what has been printed. It is very advanced equipment and allows our company to be extremely competitively priced for large-volume RFID projects that require some imprint/encode of either sequential numbers or a database of numbers.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: I certainly think this industry is full of men. Many of them can make comments they shouldn’t or be judgmental of or expecting a woman to be less intelligent than them. However, that being said, so can the women in the industry. I think life is what you make of it, and in any job or career, you will face challenges and will have times when you are faced with a less-than-ideal situation. [Even as adults,] you will still [encounter] “bullies” and, likely, that will never change. [Just] understand that is all it is; ignoring those people and surrounding yourself with more positive coworkers and friends is the best approach to overcome all of that. I cannot tell you how much fun I have in this industry and, especially, going to trade shows and getting to meet new people and make friends and joke around—there are some really fun and incredible people involved in this industry!
Her job advice to women: If you are a hardworking, motivated person, there is so much to learn in this industry and so many customers who can use printed items/shrink/flexpack, etc., that it gives so many different avenues to be successful. I’ll tell you, there are a ton of really amazing individuals in this industry, and it is large, though feels small because you cross paths with so many of the same people, [but] it becomes fun to build those relationships. There is also so much to learn that it gets into your blood. I cannot go into a grocery store without looking at the products on the shelves and checking out bags or different people we can sell to. Also, after being in this industry for over 15 years, I still learn something new every day.
Who she turns to for career advice: This list is so very long. I am young with a lot to learn and will take constructive criticism wherever I can get it. The main person I turn to is my father, Rick. He built Repacorp to what it is today and has a good “gut” for business in general. He also has taught me that being honest and fair is the only way to go in this life, so we try to continue that philosophy throughout our company.
Her upcoming goals: Gosh, how much space do I have in this article? I haven’t ever thought about my career, personally. I focus my drive on the company, in general, and the incredible employees we have working together as a team. If you are not growing, you are dying, so, I have a list of around 25 things I want to accomplish just in this week alone. The main item I want to focus on at the company is getting our company more accessible to our customer base through apps, allowing [clients] to place orders and get item information whatever time of the day they want to be working. That is just where this world is headed, so we need to get on that boat.
Personally, I always attempt to give my kids as much of my full attention when I am home as possible. They are only at this young age where they still like me once, and I want to soak up as much of that as I can get.
How she maintains a work/life balance: Being a working mother can certainly be challenging. You just do what you have to do in order to get it all done. Sometimes, I have to work until 2 a.m. to catch up on work after the kids are sleeping, but, generally, I just work hard and play even harder.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.