Laura Kay Kappler-Roberts
"I'm passionate about manufacturing because it allows me to serve others. I get to be a part of making a product that protects people. I also get to be a part of a company that provides jobs in a small community. Manufacturing provides a sense of pride, accomplishment, and contribution."
After 20 years at Kappler, Laura Kay has recently succeeded her father by becoming the President of Kappler Inc., a family owned business developing and manufacturing chemical protective fabrics and garments. She has been instrumental in creating, communicating and implementing the company's vision, mission, and overall direction. She communicates well across all levels, encouraging all 180 employees to understand they are part of something bigger than themselves. Through her leadership, the manufacturing company achieved an average yearly production efficiency of 91%. Her tenaciousness in manufacturing improvement also resulted in a 95% average quality rating over the past 10 years.
Laura Kay is passionate about investing in employees through training. She developed a six-month training program for incoming managers, encompassing all 10 departments within the company. The curriculum focuses on building a more efficient, effective, and highly motivated manager to lead a team. As a result, the training program enhances the company's competitive position within the chemical protective garment industry. Her dedication to mentoring employees is a top priority and is proven by her undivided attention and commitment of time.
Laura Kay has served the Guntersville City School System in multiple capacities. She served as the Vice President of the Apple Foundation from 2011-2016. During her tenure, she was instrumental in establishing the Apple Seeds job shadowing & mentoring program for high school students. Laura Kay feels fortunate in that from an early age she’s always known she would choose a career path in manufacturing at her family’s business. She recognized that most high school and college students weren’t so lucky. So often they feel the pressure of choosing a major or choosing a career path without having adequate exposure allowing them to make an informed decision. The Apple Seeds program allows students to be exposed to local industry through guest speakers, tours, job shadowing, internships, and mentoring. She was also instrumental in raising funds to support a new grant that introduced a STEM curriculum called Project Lead the Way in grades K-12 at Guntersville City Schools. Currently, Laura Kay sits on the Guntersville City School Board.
Laura Kay believes strongly in being a good corporate citizen in the communities her company serves. Last year, under her direction and guidance, the company contributed to various local community charities, organizations, and foundations. In addition, she offered employment to community members who were homeless, incarcerated in community corrections for non-violent crimes, or physically disabled.