Shelley (Warnimont) Blesch grew up in Toledo and graduated from Macomber Whitney High School in 1983. At the age of 17, she decided she needed to spread her wings and moved out of state with friends. She only stayed away six months before returning home.
After taking a few jobs on a temporary basis, Blesch graciously accepted a job at Hinkle Manufacturing later that year. Hinkle provides custom-designed packaging solutions for the automotive market.
In 1990, while dealing with a divorce, she lost her job at Hinkle. Blesch, along with two of her very young children, now faced the reality of solely supporting themselves. She ventured out into the job-seeking world to only find employment for half of the wages she once made.
Blesch, confronted with the realities of being a single mother, made the choice to pursue an education. She started taking classes at Owens Community College that year. After two semesters at Owens, she stopped attending school and was once again offered a job at Hinkle. She was excited to be back and working for the company.
After working at Hinkle for some time, Blesch felt like she wanted to do more. She sent her resume to several companies, but couldn't find another job because she had only worked in factories up to that point.
"I couldn't get away from working on the floor and couldn't expand my career any further. I knew I had to get a degree," she said.
She went back to Owens to pursue a two-year business degree. While it was difficult to balance work, school and take care of her three children, she knew she was too close to quit. With the positive support of her family, especially her new husband and the support of the employees at Hinkle, she made it through.
After graduating in May 2005, she was only able to find jobs in sales that were paid on a commission-only basis. She discussed her work concerns with the general manager at Hinkle. Fortunately, the timing was perfect and she was able to interview for a job in customer relations. She received the job and has been working in that position since August 2005.
"At Owens I learned to put myself out there with class presentations and group projects because there were people from all walks of life. It enabled me to be where I am at today," said Blesch.
She has overcome obstacles in her life, but Blesch knows the difficult times have pushed her to work harder and strive for more. The things she learned during her years on the floor have made her better at customer relations and she is happy with her new job and responsibilities.