Q/A with Joni Campidilli, Percival Scientific, Inc.

May 12, 2017 | Women in Manufacturing

As part of ABI's Women in Manufacturing feature, we conducted Q/A's with women who've pursued careers in this important industry and are helping introduce younger generations to manufacturing.

NAME: Joni Campidilli
COMPANY: Percival Scientific, Inc.
TITLE: Vice President Sales and Marketing

Q. How did you first get involved in manufacturing and what attracted you to the industry?
A. Agriculture has always been a part of my life. Growing up on a farm in Northwest Iowa and living on a farm now, I understand the industry and the impact it has in our world. It was very intriguing to explore what manufacturing in this industry had to offer. The opportunity to be involved with an innovative company whose goal was to grow in both domestic and international markets was exciting to me. 

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and working in manufacturing?
A. I enjoy learning about the different research that happens around the world. Percival Scientific is a global leader who helps research professionals around the world create better science. We partner with labs across the world to accelerate research that will impact our climate, human health and food production. The fact that Percival chambers are used to help feed the world is very gratifying. There are new challenges and opportunities every day to create a product that helps a researcher create better science. 

Q. How have you seen perceptions of the manufacturing industry change over time?
A. Percival is proud of the fact we design, engineer and manufacture our products right here in Perry, Iowa. There are 150 different models of research chambers that can be found in all 50 states and in more than 79 countries including Europe, Asia, Brazil, India and China. In 2016, Percival received the President’s “E” Award for Exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce for ‘making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports’. I have seen a real focus on keeping manufacturing jobs in our state. Companies like Percival provide good jobs and make a significant economic impact on our local communities.

Q. How have perceptions of women in manufacturing changed over time?
A. We hire the most qualified people, and we have seen an uptick in women applying for positions at Percival with roughly 30% of our applicants being female. We also offer competitive internships with 50% of the applications we receive through that program being women.

Q. How do you encourage the next generation, particularly girls, to consider careers in manufacturing
A. There are many opportunities for women interested in manufacturing. Some of these specific opportunities at Percival include fields related to sales, marketing, customer service, engineering, production, accounting, logistics, and safety. We also encourage women to seek additional training and education in fields such as electrical, welding, and construction. Last year we were excited to offer our first STEM Internships. One of these internships was awarded to a young woman from the Mechanical Engineering Department at Iowa State University. This year we have expanded our participation in the STEM program and will be bringing a young woman from Iowa State’s Industrial Engineering Program (who will be working in the manufacturing department) and another young woman from Iowa State’s Supply Chain Management program (who will be assisting us in the safety department).