One woman reflects on the dream job she landed in manufacturing.
Carol Blayden is no stranger to the marketing world — but it took her until four years ago to land her dream job in that field.
With more than 20 years of experience creating and executing marketing plans for B2C and B2B brands, Blayden has worked with companies such as Nike, Holland America Line, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Cascade Designs, Jarden Brands, Starbucks, and more. She’s launched marketing campaigns, helped develop products, and assisted companies with making intelligent business decisions.
But when she landed the Marketing position at Impact Washington, part of the MEP National NetworkTM, she quickly realized she was doing something special.
This March, Women’s History Month, Blayden celebrates her fourth anniversary at Impact. It is a time of year for reflection for Blayden in more ways than one.
That’s because shortly after she began the job at Impact Washington, the former Center Director who hired her passed away. And around that same time, she lost another important person. Her love of her new job helped ease a bit of the pain.
“The mission and position were what I needed at the time to heal my heart and do meaningful work,” Blayden said. “Initially, I spent time mourning the loss of how I thought I would contribute. However, it didn’t take long for the entire team and me to move forward – together.”
She was ready to make her mark and is continuing to do so. In the past four years, she has contributed to Impact Washington in several ways, including helping make significant organizational changes to put the mission at the forefront. Efficiency has been improved, so the account executives have more time with manufacturers. The Board of Directors has evolved and is more representative and diverse. The company's annual Impact Reports show an expanded outreach across the state and the positive work being accomplished at manufacturing companies, big and small.
“A strong manufacturing base within Washington creates a solid foundation for the rest of the state’s economic sectors to grow. Manufacturing significantly impacts the community where its employees live and work,” Blayden said. “Manufacturing drives growth by generating innovation and creating new technologies throughout the country. More specifically, our consulting and training services provide manufacturers with solutions to meet them where they are in their growth.”
Blayden loves being part of the Impact Washington team and the MEP National Network because she sees firsthand how it makes a difference in communities. She travels across the state, hears stories, and sees what companies create. Even better, she gets to share their success stories.
In celebration of Women’s History Month and her own success story, Blayden encourages other women interested in manufacturing to surround themselves with people who will support them.
“Find them inside and outside your company. Rely on them and utilize them to provide guidance and advice as you move along in your career journey,” Blayden said. “For me, strong support hasn't come with a gender associated with it — I have been lucky to have exceptional individuals who understand where I contribute at my highest levels, see my potential, and push me to grow continually.”
This is a highlight in a series of articles shared throughout 2023. Impact Washington recognizes women, past and present, who have, in all forms, impacted manufacturing in Washington state. Look for other National Women's History Month Highlights in our blog