ICE-TECH's President In the News: Working on the First Coast: 28-year-old president of lens company competitive by nature
 
Date Modified: 8/7/2012
 


Posted: August 7, 2012 - 1:20pm

By Drew Dixon


Ice-Tech eye lens company has one of the youngest corporate presidents around, and she knows she’s under scrutiny.

Beth Showalter joined the advanced lens technology firm in Atlantic Beach in the marketing department. Within two years, she was running the company. Now at age 28, she’s president after being promoted to the post in September.

Ice-Tech produces prescription lenses for sunglasses and corrective eye wear. The company that was founded in 2004 by Allen Weatherby now has their lenses and eye wear sold at about 200 retailers across the United States.

Showalter said she takes tremendous pride and is competitively driven to advance the company. She is a native of Jacksonville and a varsity tennis product of Providence School in the Intracoastal West neighborhood. She turned that talent into a college tennis scholarship at Asbury University in Kentucky, where she was captain of the NCAA Div. III program and a journalism major.


You’re president of a company at 28. How does that happen?

A lot of hard work. I’m someone who puts in over 70 hours a week. I devoted my life into my career. I worked hard and saw opportunities where there wasn’t a job description written for me. I was marketing assistant for only three months, and that’s what I was hired to do. … From there I went to the sales side of the business.


What does Ice-Tech do?

It’s a lens that’s made from start to finish here. … We have a diamond that’s cutting the lens. We cut it on the back side of the lens not on the front side.


What makes these lenses unique?

We have a patented thinning technology where we can thin the lens, thinner than anyone else so they can get that wrap-around sport sunglasses that you see with the ladies playing beach volleyball in the Olympics.


With being so young, do you feel some extra pressure?

I do. I get a lot of questions like, “Are you related to the owner?” I’ve even gotten some inappropriate questions like, “Are you his girlfriend?” All sorts of things. I’m just a hard-working individual who set my mind out to help the company and, in turn, it helped me.


Do you feel that you’re judged harsher?

I do, I absolutely do. … People are always watching me, seeing how I’m going to react. If I’m acting my age. … I do have to watch it when I go out with my friends in public. I could be seen dancing and someone could take a picture and spread it back. That’s how careful I need to be.


How important is this perception and image issue with creating your own career and establishing your own identity?

Well, image is everything. Everyone says it all the time and it is cliché. But it matters a lot. I’m not just talking about the clothes you wear. You don’t need to portray yourself in a derogatory manner. You need to watch your language.

The No. 1 thing I tell other individuals my age is to watch your Facebook. They need to take away all those bad images. They need to take away pictures of binge drinking on the weekend. Because employers such as me, when I’m recruiting someone, I look them up. If I see those pictures, I black list them.


You were a highly competitive athlete and captain of a tennis team. How does that play into your competitive nature as a professional?

I’m one of the most competitive people I know. When I say I’m competitive, I don’t mean that I’m competing against other people. But I’m always competing against myself to do better.


Drew Dixon: (904) 359-4098


Working on the First Coast is a weekly Q&A with entrepreneurs, small business owners and others making a living in Northeast Florida. If you have a candidate you think would make for an interesting interview, email your suggestions to business@jacksonville.com with Working in the subject line.


Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-08-07/story/working-first-coast-28-year-old-president-lens-company-competitive#ixzz22tqQ8LA4


 

59 West 9th Street • Atlantic Beach, Fl 32233 USA

Phone: (888) ICE-TECH • Fax: (888) ICE-FAXX

info@ice-tech.com