#WinTogether CREW Spotlight – Anita Haynes

August 10, 2022

For our second installment of our #WinTogether CREW Spotlight, we spoke with our Grenada Plant Manager, Anita Haynes, who gave us some insight into her daily routine, her long-standing experience with Novipax, and what it’s like being a female plant manager. Read on to learn more about Anita, enjoy!

Where are you from?
“I was born and raised in Grenada, MS. I even learned to drive right in front of the plant here.”

When and how did you join Novipax?
“When we were a former company, I had known the Plant Manager and he offered me a job as Quality Technician. Within only a few months, I was promoted to Quality Manager. I was only 20 years old at the time.”

If you had to describe Novipax in one word, what would it be?
“Family.”

What do your day-to-day responsibilities consist of?
“As soon as I get into the office, I get dressed in safety gear. I then locate the night supervisor to see how night production went and to discuss any events that occurred that may be an opportunity for improvement during our daily operations meetings. From there, I begin responding to emails and checking my calendar for any upcoming calls that will take place that day. After that, there are meetings with different department staff to obtain updates and the status of ongoing projects. We also want to determine how the plant can move forward, in addition to raising the bar for personal performance. We always want to challenge our employees to be the best that they can be. Finally, I spend time updating the communications that go on throughout the plant, while also recognizing those that are exceeding our expectations at the plant. I close out the day by spending time in the plant itself to see how operations are running and what improvement can be made.”

Do you notice any differences being a female plant manager? Have there been any specific struggles related to this?
“Not really, I was a Production Manager for 26 years prior to becoming the Plant Manager. By being a Production Manager first, I had the opportunity to lead and direct from that position. Early on I think I had to prove myself, until everyone realized I had a mechanical mind and could think outside of the box. Because of this experience, I have not had any specific struggles related to being a female Plant Manager.”

What is your favorite thing about working for Novipax?
“My favorite thing would have to be the people I work with. We have a lot of different personalities that can make for a lot of wit and humor.”

What is something unique you have experienced at Novipax?
“Being the first female Production Manager and then Plant Manager at Novipax.”

What is your favorite thing about living in Grenada?
“My favorite thing would be Grenada Lake. Most people do not realize that Grenada Lake is home to the three-pound crappie and it is the number one lake in the nation for crappie fishing. In the March 2022 qualifier for the national crappie tournament, fishing on Grenada Lake broke all of the previously set records. In addition to the lake, we have hiking, camping, kayaking, and nature preserves. There are many things to do outdoors.”

What is your favorite restaurant in Grenada?
“I really enjoy hamburgers so my favorite place is High on the Hog. It is more of a take-out restaurant though, so when I want to go to a sit-down restaurant, I tend to go to No Way Jose or the Kennel Club.”

Who is a mentor that you have had?
“In my profession, it would have to be our previous Plant Manager, David Kinard. In my personal life, I would say Luisa “Lucy” Harris. She is a Mississippi native who has been featured in a documentary titled, “The Queen of Basketball.” She was the first woman to ever be drafted into the NBA and I have had the privilege to meet her and to work with her in my younger days of playing basketball.”

What is your favorite hobby?
“My favorite hobbies consist of reading, boating, traveling, and watching/attending sporting events.

Do you have any hidden talents?
“In my younger days, I was a pretty good athlete. My specialty was basketball, but I also enjoyed playing softball as well. I enjoy mechanics and I have over-hauled the engine in my 1973 MGB which I still own today.”

What is your favorite vacation spot?
“I love both the mountains and the beach when I want to go on a vacation. My favorite mountain areas to visit are Steamboat Springs, CO and Boone, NC. My favorite beach spots are the Mississippi Gulf Coast and South Padre Island, TX.”

What is your favorite genre of music?
“I enjoy 70s and 80s Classic Rock, along with Contemporary Christian music.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman going into a generally male-dominated field?
“My advice would be to stand up for yourself and to not be intimidated.”