YKK Stories

International Women’s Day Series 2018

March 30, 2018
Author: YKK
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Throughout the month of March we shared a series of blogs, videos and posts highlighting the work and contributions of our female colleagues from our companies within North and Central America. Find their powerful and inspiring messages below.

March 6, 2018

We begin our International Women’s Day series with a motivational message from Kuniyo Chitiea, Manufacturing Planning Analyst from YKK USA. Kuniyo has been working at YKK for almost seven years and considers herself a lifelong learner. We asked her what her definition of success was and this is what she had to say: “No matter how long it takes, do the very best and be patient to reach the goal” Thank you, Kuniyo for being such an exemplary ambassador of YKK! In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we will be sharing stories of our female colleagues from our companies within North and Central America. Join us as we celebrate their work and achievements throughout the month.

March 7, 2018

As YKK employees we follow 25 Fundamental Behaviors that are directly tied to our corporate philosophy and core values. We asked Rachel Schildkraut, Senior Account Executive at YKK (USA) Inc. Global Marketing Group to share her thoughts about these behaviors. “Many of YKK’s Fundamental Behaviors are quite similar to some of the character traits I learned both as a camper and counselor at my summer camp and are things I carry with me every day. Honoring commitments, always putting the customer (or camper) first and leading by example are all things I’ve been practicing for quite some time.” Rachel gives back to the community by volunteering as a youth mentor and summer camp counselor in her spare time.

March 8, 2018

Maria Sanchez is the General Manager at YKK Colombia S.A.S. She has been working at YKK for 27 years and is considered a source of inspiration for many of her peers. Her advice to women in the industry is: “Be warriors, authentic, persistent and tenacious. Remember that your values and principles are non-negotiable however difficult the scenario may be.” Follow along as we continue to celebrate the work of our female colleagues throughtout the month of March.

March 9, 2018


Today we introduce Michelle Pearson, YKK AP Sales Representative. Michelle has been working at YKK for 15 years! She defines success as ” accomplishing something that makes you happy. Success comes in all different forms depending on who you ask.. but if you go after whatever it is that would make you happy then you will be successful in life.”

March 12, 2018

Janice Boblett has been working at YKK for over 42 years. She has assumed many roles during this long tenure and currently holds the position of Accounting Manager. She believes success comes when we make a positive difference in the lives of others. Janice embraces YKK Fundamental Behaviors at all times by facing any challenge that comes her way with a positive attitude.

March 13, 2018

Last week we sat down for a brief interview with Key Wynn, Director- Senior Corporate Counsel at YKK Corporation of America. We discussed Fundamental Behaviors, success, advice for women in the industry and much more. Visit our YouTube channel to watch the entire interview.

March 14, 2018

Margaret Mimbs shares her wise words of advice for women who want to work in the manufacturing industry: ” Set goals, do not fear failure, treat others as you would have them treat you and most of all push yourself to do a little more and become a better person every day.” Margaret has been working at YKK for 44 years and has been doing so with an infectious smile and an uplifting attitude.


March 15, 2018

Rosalia Hernandez has been working at YKK Mexicana for seven years. Experience has taught her that success comes from learning from our mistakes so we don’t run the risk of repeating them. As a YKK employee, Rosalia likes working in an environment that allows her to fulfill her professional goals while enjoying a good work-life balance.

March 16, 2018

Tsebaot Kebede is an Associate Application Engineer at YKK AP. She has been working at YKK since 2015. This is her advice to women wanting to pursue a career in her industry: ” Pursue your dream. This is an always growing industry so be open to new challenges. You are bringing your unique talent to the industry so don’t hesitate to share it. Be ready to be a team player.”


March 19, 2018

Judy Free has been working at Tape Craft Corporation for 40 years. Interestingly enough, Judy’s mother also worked at Tape Craft and used to take Judy on tours of the plant when she was a child. This is why she calls her team at Tape Craft her family. Throughout her years working at the company she has developed her own definition of success. She shares that success is “doing the right thing, being dependable, and always having an open mind to suggestions and constructive criticism while being willing to learn and accepting change!”

March 21, 2018

Sherri Turcot is the Senior Purchasing and Logistics Manager at YKK Canada INC. In 1984, Sherri started her career at YKK as a receptionist and has grown into different positions within the company. This is her advice to women interested in starting a career in her field: “Gain as much knowledge as they can and challenge themselves daily, have great team spirit and never fear failure. Always keep in your mind; our customers should be our priority, without them we wouldn’t survive.”

March 22, 2018

Today Heather Evans is celebrating 19 years working at YKK AP. This is Heather’s definition of success: “To me, success is finding happiness in what you do while making a positive impact on the world around you & persevering through hardships that will come along the way.” We want to thank you for all your hard work and commitment to YKK and wish you a very happy anniversary!.

March 23, 2018

Robin Barnhill is the Dye Engineer and Lab manager at YKK (U.S.A.) INC, she leads an all women lab and has been working in the company for 11 years. Her job allows her to explore different aspects of the manufacturing world, from the actual manufacturing of a product to sales and interacting with customers. This is her message to women joining the workforce.

March 26, 2018

We are starting the week off right with a powerful message from Kozue Childress, Director- Supply Chain Management at YKK (U.S.A) INC. Kozue has been working at YKK for 28 years.

March 27, 2018

Ayako Yamaguchi is the Senior Staff Accountant at YKK (U.S.A) INC. She has been working at YKK for 11 years, 4 years in Japan and 7 here in the USA.This is what she likes the most about working at YKK: “I like that YKK is an honest company. I have never been urged by someone to do something dishonest or wrong. YKK tries to respond with sincerity to everyone. I am proud of this culture.”

March 28, 2018

Introducing YKK AP Programmer/ Analyst, Ashley Randall. She has been working at YKK AP for seven years. Ashley is committed to giving back to her community and she does so by being an active participant in community activities. She considers herself a “firm believer in everyone desiring to have a chance to succeed in life.”

March 29, 2018

Mell Ann Moore has been working at YKK for 32.5 years. She strives to do the right thing always and lead by example. Mell Ann enjoys the diversity at YKK and the fact that she feels like she belongs to a larger family.

March 29, 2018

Lisha D’Emilio is the Director of Finance at YKK (U.S.A) Inc. To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Lisha hosted a Ladies Lunch and Learn to thank her female colleagues and recognize them for their contributions to the company. We interviewed Lisha to discuss her definition of success, advice for women in the industry and what inspired her to host the first Ladies Lunch and Learn.

We want to take the time to acknowledge all the hard work of our female colleagues from our companies within North and Central America. We are thankful for all the contributions you bring to the company and we celebrate your achievements as part of YKK and a member of the community. Visit our blog for a recap of our IWD series.