Women leading the way: Meet Baker Manufacturing's COO

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - There is never a dull day at Baker Manufacturing for Chief Operating Officer Sandra McQuain, who balances productivity and innovation.

"I get to feel the pulse of the organization," McQuain said. "I get to be involved in so many areas."

The definition of a renaissance woman, McQuain brings past experience in the public and private sector to Central Louisiana.

"I mean, I love winning," McQuain said. "I am very competitive. So, I absolutely love seeing growth. Which is again why I love companies of this size, so I can really work with staff."

It's growth she developed by making work feel like home.

"She changed the whole culture, she brought a lot of joy," said Baker HR Manager Dana Perry. "We now celebrate everybody's birthday. We have wheel spins every month all the employees love."

But, McQuain's reach extends far beyond Bakers walls.

"My husband John and I have always had a philosophy," McQuain said. "If we are going to be somewhere we have a responsibility to make our corner of the world the best corner it can be. Especially now that we are raising children in it."

She holds active roles on both sides of the Red River.

"I've had the privilege of being in Rotary Club with her," said England Authority Commissioner Mike Johnson. "She has been active in the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way, and she is just a good person."

Johnson said McQuain checked off all the boxes in their search for a director.

"It's not just an airport, and a lot of people think of it just as an airport," Johnson said. "But, we have a clear mission to develop economic growth in our community and I think she will be a very good person to do that."

The offered position with England Airpark holds a special place for McQuain as her first stop in town five years ago.

"It was just such a lovely airport and shocked me for a town this size," McQuain said. "I remember John and I going wow, Alexandria has a lot going on."

As she continues her climb, McQuain has three-pointers for women looking to do the same.

"You have to perform and excel, never apologize for being ambitious and don't be afraid to ask for help," McQuain said.

She said Cenla is fortunate to have many female leaders and hopes they will help create more wonder women.

"We need to make sure as women if we really want to change the dynamic in corporate America, we get more women at the table with us," McQuain said. "For those of us in leadership positions, we have got to help women find their voice."

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