Investor Spotlight with Kelly Springer

Posted in News on May 24, 2021

Investor Spotlight with Kelly Springer


Kelly Springer serves as Metal Flow Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  Metal Flow Corporation is a manufacturer of technically sophisticated custom metal components primarily to the global automotive industry.  Her role oversees all operations at both their Holland, Michigan and Wuxi, China facilities.  Kelly joined Metal Flow in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer after spending 23 years in public accounting serving manufacturing clients.
 
Kelly has supported community trusteeship through her involvement in a variety of organizations including her current roles as a member of the Michigan West Coast Chamber Board of Directors, as a member of the Michigan Women Forward Advisory Council, and as the Executive Champion for Inforum’s Manufacturing NEXT group.  
 
Kelly is a proud Michigan State University graduate where she remains active in alumni activities supporting the Eli Broad College of Business.  
 




Questions:
 
Kelly, you have years of Senior Executive leadership experience. What has been a lesson learned that you have been able to pass along?
 
One of the best lessons I have embraced is to continue to be reflective on what I am learning.  It could relate to a career role or specific project or interaction.  Asking “what did I learn about…?” can take on a variety of answers.    What did I learn about an issue?  What did I learn about a skill?  What did I learn about the team?  What did I learn about myself?  The answers generate a learning exercise that allows you to grow as a leader and provide the appropriate support for others.
 
Talk to us about the culture at Metal Flow. What are some values that you and your team live by?
 
As an organization, we are continuing to use the principles developed by our founders, Marc and Curt Brown.  These principles are based on the goal of being the organization against which others are measured.  Our culture focuses on People, Processes, Products and Pride. Using what we were founded on and adapting it to the changing aspects of our business allows the organization to stay true to our legacy while positioning for the future.  We celebrate being a family-owned business that has remained a leader in the markets we serve.  
 
What is your biggest insight from the last year and the disruption that has been navigated?
 
As a team, we have learned that we can adapt and respond to change much quicker than we thought we could or had done previously.  The disruptions we faced last year have continued into 2021 with challenges in our supply chain and our ability to hire, but we are demonstrating our abilities in change management.  That skill set allowed us to navigate 2020 and to continue to do the same thing moving forward. 
 
 
What is a book that you have read or an influencer that you watch that has made you a better leader?
 
Like many in positions of leadership the “weight of your words” can lead to ineffective communication when delivering a key message.  I have always enjoyed face to face communication.  As I moved through 2020, my need for effective communication was very high with team members, customers, and suppliers.  I began listening to a podcast (How Can I Say This…with Beth Buelow) that helped me think about both the content and the delivery of effective communication messages.  Focusing on the intent and how it could be perceived in a variety of formats, has enhanced my skills in this area.
 
 
 
You were recently honored as a Woman of Achievement and Courage by Michigan Women Forward. Can you share any stories that stand out from this last year that reflect on this achievement?
 
Certainly during this past year, I have had to lead differently and face challenges and unpredictability that has been presented to us within our business.  We chose to make some investments in new technologies so we would be positioned for the future.  It was challenging to look past the daily issues to be more strategic as a leader during such volatility in the business.  
 
I also took time to be reflective and to better understand the needs and life experiences our team members bring with them to their roles.
 
I have been a supporter of MWF’s mission for many years, so the recognition was humbling and motivating to make sure I am personally doing what I can to support those organizations that I believe in.   
 
 
Can you share why it is a priority to Metal Flow to invest in economic development?
 
Metal Flow’s support of economic development is viewed as doing our part to ensure the strength of the region as a place to conduct business.  This strength serves as a benefit to our team members, our ability to attract and retain technical talent, and to have a network of support for the local portion of our supply base.