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Heather Rayle

Vice-President and General Manager, Advanced Optics, SCHOTT North America,
Duryea, Pennsylvania, USA
Country of birth: USA

Educational background: PhD Organic Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles; MBA, Lehigh University; BS Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University

Sarah KurtzA typical work day
SCHOTT is the leading supplier of specialty glass materials and components in North America. As a general manager, I consider my job to be a mix of driving growth and problem solving to make the business the best it can be. I meet with customers to understand how we are doing in serving their needs, and what unsolved problems they have that SCHOTT can solve for them. I also spend time with other companies that we can partner with to drive growth in the business. Finally, I review the current
performance of the business regularly while working on plans for the future.

What I enjoy most
I am passionate about growing the business. I enjoy working with our R&D and business development teams to ensure that we identify and provide new products, markets, and applications to serve the optical materials market.

Words of wisdom
Your degrees do not dictate your career-many of us end up in fields we never imagined. I started my career in agricultural chemicals, then moved to electronic materials followed by optical materials. Make sure you have a good sense of curiosity and a core set of problem-solving skills, and always
look for opportunities to stretch your skills and try new roles. Don't be afraid to take a risk to stretch your skills.