Staff Spotlight: Shaun Ashworth

Dec. 11, 2019
shaun associated labels and packaging

We're super excited to be starting a series of staff interviews to give you a better idea of the people and culture behind Associated. What better way to kick off with the company president, Shaun Ashworth! 

1) How long have you worked at Associated?

With my dad's company being relatively new, I actually started helping out when I was twelve years old by doing odd jobs on the weekend! Then when I was fourteen, I worked during the summertime doing clean up, gradually moving on to press helper and still doing odd jobs. I started full-time in 1992 in shipping and receiving, and went on to plate making, label rewinding, working as a pressman, driving a delivery truck, purchasing, production management, sales, operations, and now I'm here!

2) Describe your journey at Associated so far. 

I really learned from the bottom up. I think it was important to understand all the challenges we were facing in different departments and roles, and I tried to make as many positive changes as I could along the way. I love what I do and I'm really passionate about the industry, so I made sure to give 110% in every position! 

3) How would you describe the work environment?

Fun! I really believe that it shouldn't be work to do your work. Work shouldn't feel daunting, and our culture shows that.

4) What is your favorite thing about working here? food donation

The people, definitely. Both internal and external. 

5) What's been your best day at work so far?

Definitely, the year that we overshot our goal for the food collection we do for SHARE Family & Community Services! Every Christmas we all come together to contribute as much food as we can, and that year we donated a massive 10,500lbs which was enough to feed 750 families for a week. It was just nice to see everyone come together as a family to help other families. 

6) What are you most proud of since working here?

I was very proud when we got our IFS PACsecure certification and passed our audit with 93%! It really showed our commitment and buy-in as a team. 

7) What is the biggest challenge you've had since working here?

It's a somewhat recent change, but I would say having four separate buildings and making them work as one is a challenge. 

8) Do you have a particular moment or memory at Associated that stands out for you? one girl can

Honestly, the last letter we got from Margaret - one of the students we sponsor through One Girl Can - was really a moment for me on a personal level. It's not really direct to the company but felt like a really big moment in understanding the change we're making to her life.

9) What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?

There's no such thing as a typical day for me; every day is different! Every day I start the morning by walking around and saying "good morning" to as many people I can - that's probably the only thing that's the same every day - and then spend the day addressing day-to-day business opportunities and challenges. Right now, I'm looking to add more equipment to our repertoire and expand our markets. 

10) Describe the advancement opportunities here.

The sky is the limit. A lot of people started on the production floor and worked their way up; there's a lot of room for growth. 

11) How does Associated support professional development? 

We support it 110%. We have a professional development budget that employees can use for conferences, schooling, technical training, and other things to support their development.

12) What is on your wish list for the next 5 years?

For the 49ers to win the Superbowl! And for a second plant in Arizona or Nevada, as well as continuing to reinvest in people, technology, and equipment. 

13) Given the chance, who would you be for a day?

Elon Musk! I find him fascinating, he's so innovative and fast, so I'd love to be in his mind for the day.