If you've ever made a batch of Betty Crocker brownies from a box, Jerry Stone might have had something to do with it.
As a floor manager at the General Mills Avon plant in Carlisle, Iowa, Stone oversees the production, packaging and shipment of a number of different Betty Crocker flours and products.
“I manage 12 people, ensuring that they have all the resources they need to do their jobs well and safely,” Stone said. “There’s a lot of different operations going on, and we want to put out the highest quality product while maintaining the highest levels of safety in the plant.”
Stone earned his engineering degree from the University of Iowa. He started out in electrical engineering, switched to chemistry, and then went back to engineering, this time specializing in mechanical.
“Someone once told me that engineers make things easier for other people, and that’s what I’m all about," Stone said.
Stone was very involved around campus at the UI. He was an officer in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). The group is a UI student organization that collaborates with the Multi-Ethnic Engineering and Science Association (MESA) to help tutor and mentor young minority students, developing their academic skills.
In high school, Stone said that he was not very involved outside of classes. All that changed when he joined the basketball team, and he began to see the benefits of working in a group setting. And for Stone, those discoveries applied on and off the court.
“If you’re in Engineering, companies aren’t going to look for people who aren’t involved,” Stone said. “If you really want ot have a successful career, you have to put yourself out there a little more.”
Today, Stone still enjoys getting involved in his community. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and stays active running 5ks and 10ks. When he’s not working, Stone said he enjoys traveling with his wife, Caelan. The couple met as undergraduates at the University of Iowa through mutual friends, and have been together ever since.
As for his career, Stone is looking forward to growing and learning as a leader.
“I’m trying to develop myself where I am; I’m a team leader now. Eventually I want to get away from production and move into a role managing leadership employees,” Stone said. “Yes I love doing what I’m doing now, But i want to focus on developing others as well.”
Despite his years producing Better Crocker treats, Stone said he’s not a great baker. He has tried all of the different products at his factory, though, and highly recommends the walnut chocolate chip cookies.