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Manager 'never backs down'

April 01, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - When she was a youngster, Jadah Zampelli was the only girl to play with her team in the major league division of Maugansville's Little League.

Zampelli said she learned at an early age not to be intimidated when competing in an all-male environment.

It's an attitude that's stuck with her.

"I tell women, 'Never back down,'" said Zampelli, 22.

Confidence helped the North Hagerstown High School graduate secure a management position with Hagerstown's Mack Powertrain Division.

Following an internship with D.M. Bowman Inc. of Williamsport, the 2004 Shippensburg University graduate was hired by Mack 10 months ago.

At Mack, she works as a planning analyst and supervises a team of eight people - seven women and one man.

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"I figured I'd have to start out low and work my way up. I never dreamed I'd come right in and become the supervisor," she said.

It's not unusual for the company to hire recent college graduates, said Patti Friend, Mack Powertrain Division communications manager.

"Little girls don't play with trucks when they're little. They have different ambitions," said Friend, who says Mack Powertrain Division is working to recruit more women.

The work force consists of 1,500 employees and fewer than 100 are female, she said.

Zampelli said she's surrounded by a strong and supportive team, and as a planning analyst oversees the company's materials department.

That department is responsible for ensuring that all parts purchased from outside the company arrive at the plant on schedule. Mack Powertrain Division is a manufacturer of heavy duty diesel engines, transmissions and components.

"Out of all the parts, if you're short just one, you can't build the engine," said Zampelli, as she awaited the delivery of parts needed by a 3 p.m. deadline. "If they don't arrive, we have to shut down an assembly line."

Weather, traffic and other conditions can delay the delivery of supplies, making Zampelli's job, "a little stressful, but I try not to think about it," she said.

Still living at home in Maugansville with her parents, Michael and Kathy Zampelli, Jadah is the oldest of three children.

Jadah, who is organized and dedicated, is out the door most days by 5:30 a.m., her mother said.

"I'm extremely proud of her and what she's achieved. It comes from the drive that she has," Kathy Zampelli said.

Although she's excited about her recent career success, Jadah said she couldn't ask for a better family.

"We are so tight. Whenever there's a choice between friends and family, I choose family," she said.

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