Claudia Bonucchi

Position: Administrative Assistant and HR Responsible for the plant at Delhi, Canada, Kosan Crisplant North America
Employed since: November 2012
Education: Business Graduate, specialized in computer networking and technical support from 2001

The beginning

After graduating from college I immediately started a career in the transportation industry, which lead me to working with propane, and subsequently Kosan Crisplant.

When I started with KC, I was an administrative assistant. I assisted one of the plant managers with paperwork and other light duties at a facility in the Toronto area. I learned a tremendous amount from just shadowing him out in the plant, and observing first-hand the day to day operations. I was soon given more tasks, and with that more responsibility. From there, my career with KC took off.

Where I am today

I currently manage the plant in Delhi, Ontario. I am responsible for our Canadian HR aspects as well as our daily production. In four years, I have gone from assisting the plant manager to actually running a plant myself. In our summer months, when we are extremely busy, I help to manage up to 50-60 people at all three Canadian plants.

My job is very diverse and there is never a dull moment - each day is different and that lets me grow as an employee. The last four years have been the best years of my career. I've learned so much working with the people at KC that I would have never learned in school. KC's equipment, how it operates and the business itself, has been a whole new education.

The best thing about working for Kosan Crisplant

I love the progress and the drive at KC: In four years I have seen four plants start from a vision. Collectively, our hard work and determination have brought us to where we are today and will ensure our success in the future. Watching something start from nothing and see it grow and prosper is very fulfilling. We're bringing in the equipment, hiring staff - building from scratch and building a success. I love being a part of the North American team and its growth in this market. I experience a great amount of support from my team: Their way of thinking and the way they treat people is simply refreshing. My aspiration for this job is to grow KC North America into something even larger and I can't wait to get there.

Being a woman in a man's world

My first few years in the LPG industry were challenging. It was always a struggle to get ahead as I felt no one really valued my thoughts and opinions. Although it was challenging, I have come to realise it was the company I was working for. However, I have no regrets working for this company as it brought me to KC and the wonderful people I work with today, who are predominantly men.

The KC men have given me the foundation to be a strong woman in my job and in life in general. They have guided and supported me over the years. I do not look at myself as someone who needs to dress up and be all about appearances as much as I need to be a confident person and lead. At the end of the day, I just have to be myself and be comfortable in my job.

Has it been a challenge? Of course it has! With time there have been many people who have looked at me with little confidence. As a woman, you need to also have the determination to look past these people and show them what you can do. I have worked hard to get to where I am today. The challenges I have faced have helped me to grow not only as a manager, but also in my personal life. The benefits of being in such a role are so rewarding and not just from an employment aspect, my daughters look up to me and see me as a strong woman. I believe this is an encouragement to them, they can do whatever they put their minds to.

Even though it is often a juggling act to be a woman in the workforce and especially in this industry, as long as you love what you do and you work with the right people, the sky is the limit. No one in our KC family has ever treated or made me feel like I was "just" a woman. I have always been treated like an equal. Much like one of KC's values states, "we are not leaving anybody behind". When you are valued as an employee, it opens the roads to all possibilities.