ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 32

BUSINESS HUB

From Challenges to
Strength and Growth
Female business leaders share their experience
By Lam Lye Ching

Barbara Kudis

Heike Hundertmark

A

female leader in a family
business faces unique challenges. However, three ILMA
member executives have transformed
those challenges into strengths and
values for their businesses that have
become main drivers for growth in the
lubricants industry.
HARNESSING THE GENERATION GAP
Barbara Kudis, president of Allegheny
Petroleum Products Co., grew up with
the industry and watched it evolve.
Her father started the business when
she was 8 years old. In grade school,
she helped label lubricant containers
in the warehouse. In high school, she
rode in the company's truck, helping
with deliveries.
"My father has not treated me
any different as his daughter than he
would have if I were his son. He has
had me working in every aspect of the
company since a young age," she said.

32

JUNE 2018

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG

Debra Berry

Kudis enjoyed getting into the nuts
and bolts of the industry, and "as a
Gen Xer, I find it fascinating to witness the motivations and interactions
between the two adjacent generations
to mine in our industry," she said.
Kudis' refreshing perspective of the
business and her ability to nurture
the potential of using experiences and
perspectives from different generations
brought the business to a new level.
For example, Kudis and her father
see things differently. "I come from
a process-based data and technology
perspective, whereas I would say my
dad is a true entrepreneur with a
greatly successful track record using
his profound knowledge of business,
strong relationships, intellect, instinct
and trust," she said.
"I don't think our complementary
perspectives have anything to do with
gender; rather, they are simply how we
approach business. We have learned

to bring together the best of both of
our approaches in order to grow our
business in this ever-changing business
environment," she added.
Kudis has not been in the family
business throughout her entire career.
She left it for seven years and worked
for a large corporate defense contractor. She gained new knowledge and
learned the best practices of a large
corporation, and she has been able to
integrate the most effective ones into
her family business environment.
When challenges seem insurmountable, it is sometimes hard to see the
value of working in a family business.
But Kudis summed up: "I realized that
not many people get the opportunity
to work side by side with their family
to grow a business together. When,
as a family, we each bring our unique
minds and talents together to work on
a project, we achieve our goal. It is a
truly fulfilling and rewarding feeling."


http://www.ILMA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings June 2018

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