Employee Spotlight: International Women’s Day


Employee Spotlight is a new series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our material handling automation company. From engineers and account managers to marketers, those dedicated to customer success, service, and beyond, every quarter, we’ll get to deep dive into the heart of our team so you can get to know us better and find out what makes us thrive. 

 In celebration of International Women’s Day, Conveyors & Drives is proud to introduce 2 women who are living and advancing their careers supporting automation-based solutions to customers in e-commerce, manufacturing, and distribution…  

We interview Ali Gowen & Sarah Murdock. 

Sarah / Ali, what attracted you to the material handling automation industry? 

Ali: I was looking to branch out and also learn something new that semi touched upon my previous experiences within the manufacturing field.  

Sarah: Material handling is everywhere. It’s how you can get your Amazon package in 2 days, it’s how your tractors get made, it’s how your suitcase gets on the plane, it’s how the world runs. I wanted to be a part of something that is integral to people’s everyday life.  


What attracted you to C&D?   

Ali: What attracted me to the C&D family was during the interview I could tell that they had a commitment to their customers that mirrored my own beliefs. C&D truly emphasizes a work/life balance, and I am blessed to be a part of the team. 

Sarah: C&D is a family – literally and figuratively. Senior Management has always said (and lived) “treat others the way you want to be treated.”  We have each other’s backs and know how to have fun while doing it.  


Describe your role?  

Ali: I am a member of our Inside Sales team and the Coordinator for the Conveyors and Drives Service team as well. I facilitate customer product inquiries via phone and email, quote requests, order status, and order placement. 

Sarah: As an applications engineer, I work with the business development team to generate initial design concepts and sellable solutions to meet customers’ material handling needs.  


What about your job provides the greatest personal satisfaction?  

Ali: I get a lot of satisfaction from helping my customers achieve a solution to resolve a particular problem. The best thing is to hear that I have made a difference for them.   

Sarah: I love being able to walk through a store or drive down the road and see something that I know has been on one of the conveyors I designed. 


What do you think makes you most effective as an inside sales associate/applications engineer for customers? 

Ali: I believe that communicating and clarifying customer‘s needs, managing time wisely, and prioritizing is key to accomplishing my tasks to be most effective. 

Sarah: When I was little, we moved a lot so I would always watch the movers and think, There has to be an easier way to do this. That mentality helps me design an efficient and effective solution for a customer’s application Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.   

What has been your favorite project so far? 

Ali: My role is not geared toward projects; however, each day and my customer interactions are a favorite project for me! 

Sarah: The “blank slate” projects are always fun, but I really prefer the projects involving an existing system that must be retrofitted for a manufacturing change or to meet increased demand. Those really stretch my creative muscles and I like the challenge.  

What’s something most people don’t know about you? 

Ali: I LOVE coffee – Coffee IS life!  

Sarah: I have a goal of visiting all 50 states before 2025: I have nine left! 

What advice do you have for prospective women interested in careers in industrial automation?

Ali: I would say to not be intimidated by the mechanical aspects or nature of the industrial automation field and that there a variety of role options. Be open to learning something new or possibly a different career path, you may be surprised. 

Sarah: Find a mentor, champion, or experienced peer to be your “guide” to help you find your niche. Material Handling and Industrial Automation are such vast industries that it is easy to get lost or overwhelmed.