With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we couldn’t think of any other way to celebrate women in the steel and automotive industries than by featuring one of our own. Why triple threat? She’s got all the qualities to make for a super woman in the steel and auto industries! She’s a metallurgical engineer, a leader in the Association of Women in the Metal Industries (AWMI) and, the hardest job of all, a mother to four children. We celebrate Jackie Stachowski – our Triple Threat Woman.
With 25 years under her belt, Jackie has found herself in various positions within the industry including her current role as district sales manager for Nucor Steel Automotive Group. Did I say sales? Yes. A sales opportunity at Nucor working on the General Motors’ account arose and as technical lead for the account for nine years, Jackie was the perfect fit for the job. The change from technical to sales has been extremely enjoyable for Jackie. The varying schedule and new tasks to accomplish each day creates an environment to grow at her own pace.
“I’ve had a long history with both Nucor and GM, so the transition was natural,” Jackie said. “I’m grateful for my engineering background, but I’m excited to learn more about sales and the business side of the industry, so this opportunity was perfect.”
It’s hard for many to forge a career path at a young age, but Jackie beat those odds. A family friend who was at Michigan Tech knew her strengths in math and science, and pushed her to consider engineering while she was in high school.
“He was a big advocate for the Michigan Tech program,” Jackie said.” It really helped spark my interest in engineering and I began planning for my career starting then.”
She attended Michigan Tech for Metallurgical Engineering and co/op’ed with LTV Steel. She was hired at LTV in 1994 as a metallurgical engineer in the Quality Assurance department. Later, she worked as a contract engineer and for GM until starting Nucor as a technical service metallurgist in 2007.
As with anyone, a successful career is hard to get through without the mentorship and advice from others, whether they are in the profession, a friend, or family. What is extremely admirable about Jackie is she tries to learn from everyone she meets. For example, she mentioned our very own Dr. Jody Hall when it comes to a leader she tries to embody.
“I haven’t worked enough with Jody to consider her a mentor, but she has had a great impact on my career,” Jackie said. “Jody is easy to learn from, and the way she leads, communicates and presents herself is what I take from her each time I’m in her presence.”
Jackie did mention a few people who have mentored her throughout her career: Eric Gallo, Rich Cover, and Ron Pile. These professionals all played key roles throughout her career history, advocating for her and teaching her new ways of thinking and approaching situations.
“Jackie and I have worked together in multiple companies and organizations over the years,” said Cover, president of Richard J. Cover & Associates, LLC. “She has broad knowledge of the metals industry and has always excelled, no matter the newness or complexity of the challenge. Jackie focuses on customer satisfaction, performance and team building and brings a great effort and energy to every situation. I have always encouraged her to reach high, knowing she is surely capable.”
Jackie also reminisced on her parents’ influence over her and attributes her strong work ethic to her mom and dad. She also tries to instill these learned values to her family. The wife to a consulting engineer and the mother to four engineers (some hopefully-to-be), Jackie believes she and her husband have both had influence on her oldest becoming an engineer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the other three working for the same career.
“The kids have seen different career paths you are able to take with engineering and how happy I am with what I do, and the long-term benefits of the career,” Jackie said. “I believe it was a great influence on the kids’ desire to also want to become engineers.”
As a family, the Stachowski’s love to take trips, sometimes centered on career fairs as Jackie is also a recruiter, to Michigan Tech up in Houghton, Michigan. They also love to participate in community races and 5Ks as a family in their spare time. Scrap booking is also Jackie’s personal hobby when she isn’t busy working, or being a mom.
As if Jackie doesn’t have enough to balance, she is also currently vice president of AWMI’s Detroit Chapter. The organization is important for Jackie as she looks for growth in leadership. A proud woman in the metals industry, she uses AWMI as a tool to improve herself. Why wouldn’t she, as she loves being part of an organization where people want to see you grow and succeed.
We could think of many ways to celebrate Jackie, her 25 years in the industry and her endearing home life, but we believe it to be said best by her fellow co-worker and great friend Dean Kanelos, market development & product applications manager for Nucor Steel Automotive Group.
“Jackie is a very capable engineer with great social skills, and when she manages a project, event or issue, you know the details will be taken care of,” said Kanelos. “Working relationships are important to her, which is why she is well liked and trusted by her customers, peers and business associates. She continuously strives to improve herself and become more knowledgeable. If I want to bounce something off her for input, I always get a candid, helpful response. Jackie has a close-knit family with four children – she definitely has learned to juggle a career and family life well.”
Happy Mother’s Day and cheers to your 25 years, Jackie Stachowski! You will always remain our Triple Threat Woman.