Wyrsch on Vestas' future, its Pearl HQ, and why she's staying in Portland

Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch will leave the company in December, but says she plans to stay in Portland to pursue other opportunities. 

MW: If you’ll allow me to, I’ll talk about three or four.

At the top of my list is safety. We focused very much on building a strong value system around a safe workplace around our employees helping each other be safe. We’ve seen a really fantastic turnaround in our safety record.

It wasn’t terrible when I came in, but it wasn’t great. People were getting hurt. I’m very gratified. These last two months we’ve had zero incidents or injuries. In the longer record, our incident and injury rates have come down dramatically in the last couple of years.

I would also say putting a strategic plan in place and executing it successfully. We sat down as a team four years ago and said we need to have a longer term view of this market and we’ve done that. Bringing a strategic mindset has been a real accomplishment and boost to the business. People think about what they do differently.

I would say as I look back and think about everything we’ve done in the business, our focus on customers and the relationships we’re building for the long term has made a difference. Work should be fun and people you work with should be people you care about.

The fourth is that new (Pearl District) building we were successful in getting built. The building itself is fantastic and it’s warm and inviting and a sunny, lighted space. It’s also a very collaborative space. In some ways it’s an emblem of what we’re trying to do, to create very cooperative and collaborative workforce here in North America. Being able to take this wonderful Portland icon of a building and turn it into a future high-tech home for Vestas was exciting and fun.

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