Ashworth Industries Vice President Raymond Ashworth sees opportunity in all situations, from his career to industrial markets. BIC Magazine recently spoke with Ashworth about the company’s plans and goals.
Q: What led to your position at Ashworth Industries?
A: Opportunity. After receiving my BS and MBA degrees, I worked in consulting and at Entergy Corp. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Entergy; it was a great company to work for, and the decision to leave was extremely difficult. However, in 2014 I saw an opportunity to partner with my father as his vice president and help him grow Ashworth Industries into more than just a “mom and pop.” If you had the opportunity to partner with your mentor, would you? I believe that’s what made the decision easiest for me.
Q: What is the biggest news at Ashworth Industries right now?
A: We have quite a bit of news. Our maintenance and repair division is as strong as ever. We just finished consolidating our valve, pump and process equipment repair operations to a single site. This will allow us to improve operational efficiencies while working on repairing equipment for customers.
Our third-party inspection and construction management divisions are seeing great growth throughout the U.S., with plans to expand internationally this year. Currently we are working on multiple projects in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia.
Q: What’s the most important thing a person should know before taking a career path similar to yours?
A: It sounds cliché, but you really need a great support staff around you. My support staff is both work and personal. Our ownership mix includes the president, with over 30 years of energy industry experience, and our equity partners, who have an unbelievable amount of knowledge in building companies within our industry. Having this mix of seasoned professionals available to me has allowed me to grow professionally, as well as support the company’s growth. But most importantly, my wife has supported every decision I’ve made, and that makes taking this particular career path much easier.
Q: How do you plan to address changes in the workforce in the coming year?
A: Workforce development is a key issue not only for us but for the industry as a whole. The lack of qualified individuals with trade skills in our industry is prevalent. To address these shortfalls in the coming year and beyond, Ashworth Industries will be partnering with trade schools to develop apprenticeships for our company and hopefully others. These high-paying skills are valuable in not only our industry but many others.
Our industry is as dynamic as it’s ever been. The challenges that it presents are what make this an exciting time. I’m a firm believer that market inefficiencies create market opportunities.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: It’s difficult, but not impossible. Prioritizing responsibilities is most important for me. It may mean making sacrifices, but that’s true with anything in life. I still thoroughly enjoy picking up my son from daycare, as well as finding time to help coach my nephew’s basketball team. The only reason I have time for all of this outside of work is prioritization. That may mean understanding what I can wait to finish and getting to work early the next day to finish a report.
With all of that said, having the support of my wife is an unbelievable benefit. She gets just as excited as I do about what’s going on with work, but she certainly keeps me in line and helps me prioritize.
For more information, visit www.ashworth industriesllc.com or call (225) 677-9560.