Nancy Ayres conveys growth
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
At a time when the bottom line for many businesses in Grand Rapids took a drubbing, Nancy Ayres broke the mold.
As general manager of Flexco Grand Rapids, a producer of conveyor belt fasteners and associated products, Ayres was instrumental in helping grow the business the previous two years by 20 percent annually — adding a second facility in Grand Rapids and increasing employment by 25 percent each year for two years.
And two years ago, Flexco ventured into the international market when it purchased Novitool, a Dutch company.
Flexco Grand Rapids has a budget of $50 million with 150 employees.
Ayres’ ambitious nature started early in life.
She double majored in criminal justice and psychology at Michigan State University.
Upon graduation, she launched her career at Catholic Social Services, before moving on to McNitt Contract Carriers and ETV Inc.
Ayres pursued a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology at Western Michigan University.
In 1993, she joined Clipper Belt Lacer as director of human resources and was promoted in 1997 to general manager.
In the community
Ayres has strong ties to the community and has served on several boards, including the Grand Rapids Metro YMCA and as former chair of Heart of West Michigan United Way.
She is a strong advocate for workplace development, having played an active role for several regional organizations: FIRST Robotics, Kent/Allegan Workforce development board, The Right Place, Manufacturers Council, Economics Club of Grand Rapids, Workpaths.com and Grand Rapids Community College Foundation.