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      February 02, 2024

      Small Town Roots, Big Dreams

      Growing up only 15 miles east of Continental’s largest tire manufacturing facility in the U.S., Mt. Vernon, IL, Brooke Strothmann recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the company.  Discussing everything from her career journey, to her vision and passion, Brooke shares her perspective on female talents in a manufacturing setting. Brooke’s journey and achievements serve as a testament to the remarkable impact women can make in their careers.

      When did you join Continental and what roles have you held so far?
      In August of 2023, I celebrated 10 years with Continental. My first role was as a Passenger Light Tire (PLT) Cost Analyst working heavily with the onsite production teams. Then I moved into the role of  Truck Tire (TT) Production Controller where I was able to be more involved with both Industrial Engineering (IE) and Production Industrialization (PI). In this role, I was also part of an intenral development program called Talent Initiative Manufacturing Controlling (now Evolve@Controlling) where I joined a global group, giving me the opportunity to do a PROMT group project and other individual projects. It was a great opportunity to not only travel and network but also take part in numerous projects where I was evaluated based on my work and presentation skills. The program offered many trainings to help me grow and learn further. A few years after that, I moved to the Investment Controlling position. Most recently I was given the opportunity to job swap with Hoosier where I was the interim Plant Controller,which was a great experience and learning opportunity, learning about a different Business Area.

      How do you feel about being considered as one of our top female talents within Continental and for the Mt. Vernon Plant?
      It feels great for many reasons. As my coworkers know, I have a huge passion for work. Most people work to live whereas I live to work. Since I was a kid at my first job working concessions at a local ballpark, every job has had meaning to me because I love work so much. This naturally developed into a great passion for work that is even greater with Continental because the values the company practices also mean so much to me. I love the company, I love what it stands for, I love the values, and I love the endless opportunities. Through my years at Continental, I was presented external opportunities and it never crossed my mind to leave because I couldn´t imagine working for another company. Working in Mt. Vernon also has special meaning to me. Not only is it a benchmark plant within our Tire sector and one of the largest plants within the entire organization, but it is located only 15 miles east of where I grew up. So, I guess there is passion on all sides. I´m also a strong advocate for women growing in the business, more topics that Continental stands for, so it´s just a wonderful feeling to be able to be part of it!

      From your perspective, which are the main measures that have contributed the most to your development?
      My favorite personally was the mentoring program for a couple of reasons. For me, the experience was very inspiring just to be able to have complete access to my mentor, grow, and learn from her. From the very beginning, we had a good connection, and during every session, time went by so fast. I couldn´t wait for the next session. I learned a lot and was able to establish a great connection, expand my network, and develop a long-lasting friendship from the experience.  Also, the Evolve@Controlling was very beneficial for me for multiple reasons. I really got benefits from training and developed a greater understanding of not only the plant and central side but also how they interrelate.

      Finally, what message would you like to give to some other women that are willing to grow?
      My main message to this would be to never stop fighting for what you want because you are worth it and so capable.  We are who we choose to be. Commit to personal growth and invest in your advancement. There are so many opportunities in the marketplace for females who are willing to believe in themselves and work towards what they want to become. Any person’s potential is limitless once they decide to do the work.

      Continental is a proud corporate member of WiM (Women in Manufacturing).

      Brooke Strothmann

      Senior Financial Analyst/Total Plant Investment Controller