By Mary Spencer, Edinboro University Student
You can take the girl out of western Pennsylvania, but you can’t take western Pennsylvania out of the girl. Jamie Jazwinski carries a confident, calm voice when you meet her and she’s always ready to talk about her employer, Powered Aire.
Jazwinski described her upbringing positively and explained she was born in western Pennsylvania “in a little town called Parker.” Her parents divorced at the age of four and she moved to Akron, Ohio. She remained in Akron through her education and upon graduation, she wanted to be able to spend time with both sides of her family somewhere between Akron and Pennsylvania.
Although she wanted to work in industrial sales, getting back to Pennsylvania was the real driving force behind her career decision. She laughed and threw her hands up as she said, “perhaps a boy was involved,” but quickly diverts the conversation.
She arrived at Greenville-based Powered Aire in 2001, with her keeping the same position since then. The company is located in Greenville and she personally lives in Clarksmill, about 30 minutes away. Powered Aire makes air doors and curtains of all sizes. When you walk into a Walmart and you feel a wall of air at the door, that is an air curtain. She jokes about selling air.
She did an internship with Fastenal, a national corporation out of the Akron hub, but Fridays she would visit the offices in Pennsylvania and do sales calls. Fastenal sold fasteners to Powered Aire which is what caused her to dive into her current career. They wanted her to play a trick on a guy back at her office, so she followed along and they had a good laugh. Jamie felt comfortable in the job once she participated in her first inside joke with her coworkers. She did not give many details, however, a week later, she was offered a job with them and has been there ever since.
She does not have any desire to return to Akron, as she said, “I love it here and will never move back.” She likes the people, “the small-town feel, country lifestyle” and it is close enough to a city to experience that when she wants. She mentions that she travels for work and is on the road about 50% of the time. However, while away, she cannot wait to return to that small town and describes how good it makes her feel to see the Amish buggies.
As a regional sales manager, she has a territory of 20-plus states ranging from the Dakotas to the New England area. There are rep firms that sell for them. She is responsible for setting them up and training them and then they deal with local providers. She does some direct sales for large companies.
She has two roles in the workplace. On the road, she meets with her reps and facilitates lunches and Happy Hours. While at her main office in Greenville, she answers emails and follows up on submittals.
She would advise former PA residents to make the move back to this area. There are tax benefits and incentives for businesses to start. “There is so much to do here” and she highly recommends it. Jamie feels a sense of belonging here and she would not have it any other way.