We’re very excited to publish the latest installation in our “On the Job” series, where we’re taking an inside look at Folding Guard with the help of our amazing employees who go above and beyond every day to make our company thrive.
This month, we went on the job with Doris Jimenez, Folding Guard’s Plant Manager. Doris has been with FG since 2015, but her experience in the manufacturing industry spans an impressive 35 years. Doris has built a fantastic career – no easy feat in a male-dominated industry – working her way up to management after starting as a machine operator in the late 70’s.
From Operator to Supervisor
As a machine operator, she noticed the inspectors periodically going from station to station to ensure that the machines and operations were running smoothly and safely, and thought to herself, “I want to do that.” So Doris asked the inspectors questions whenever they came around, learning their job until she was promoted to the position herself.
Later, she also took on the role of union representative, and impressed both the union and her own management team with her intelligence and tenacious attitude so much that she was promoted to Supervisor after a year and a half. Doris says that her experience as a union rep was invaluable, teaching her to deftly navigate the divide between management and workforce, a lesson she uses to this day as Plant Manager at FG.
Doris’ Journey to Folding Guard
Eventually Doris was promoted to Plant Manager at her old company, overseeing a team of 65. A few years ago, however, she took a job as a Fabrication Supervisor at Folding Guard (a step down from her management role), in order to be closer to home and to her partner, who was undergoing cancer treatment.
In those days, Doris used to look at the [mangers’ window on the floor] and tell her team “I’ll be up there as Plant Manager.” And she was right; after just two years, Doris was promoted to her current role as Folding Guard’s Plant Manager, a job she finds very rewarding.
As Plant Manager, Doris oversees 5 departments that operate on the plant floor, and describes her job as that of a middleman, both between those different departments and between the manufacturing and corporate sides of the business.
“Here at Folding Guard, [a typical day consists of] interacting with the [department] Leads to make sure we’re on target, and being the middle person to communicate between 5 departments, as well as office management and floor management,” Doris says of her typical workdays.
She notes that her primary responsibilities also include overseeing the day to day operations, and making sure people are working safely, while hitting production goals.
The communication and interaction are certainly Doris’s favorite part of her job as Plant Manager. She says she loves working with people of all different kinds, and especially using her role as manager to give her team the tools (both literal and figurative) they need to be successful. Doris says she finds her job most rewarding when her team members are at their best and hitting all of their production and shipping goals.
“I used to be an operator so I know what it’s like, so I try to
create a family team out there so they can see . . . I want
[them] to be happy. We can have fun out there.”
Life Outside of FG
Doris is very family-oriented outside of work, as well. She loves spending time with her partner, Minerva (who has happily been cancer-free for a year), and her huge family, both here in Chicago and in Puerto Rico. She says they’re keeping in touch online these days, but in safer times, Doris would frequently travel to Puerto Rico to visit her family, as well as spend time with her nephews here and go to their baseball games.
Doris is certainly a force to be reckoned with, both at Folding Guard and beyond. She offered this advice to women who, like her, have career aspirations in male-dominated fields:
About her own impressive career and her current role, Doris says simply, “I love the challenge.”