Women in Industry: Adriana Martin, Branch Manager Talks Securing & Safety in Sudbury

women in industry adriana martin

What’s it like to be a women in industry? You’re about to find out. 

We talk to Sudbury, Ontario Branch Manager, Adriana Martin about being a woman in the securing, rigging & lifting industry, her advice for young women hoping to work in an industrial environment and her tips to lead a team that works hard, and plays hard together.  

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s your educational and professional background like? 

Interestingly enough, I went to five years of concurrent university to become a schoolteacher. I taught as a supply (substitute) teacher for a couple of years – I taught grades 3 through 10 before I decided to seek something outside my industry, and ended up in government at the Ministry of Government Services. After that, I worked at a crane service company for five years – I worked with parts and was Head Planner there, where I scheduled the technician’s work. 

5 years later, I was offered a job at Hercules SLR as a CSR and – took it, quite clearly! After my second child was born, I was offered the Branch Manager position when I came back from maternity leave. I stepped into a brand-new role when I returned, and everyone from the branch here in Sudbury, to the executive team at our Head Office has been extremely supportive and helpful with the transition. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What excited you about working at Hercules    SLR?

I enjoyed my previous role as a Planner, and excelled in management. As a CSR at the time, I had my own role as Inside Salesperson, which excited me since I knew sales was my strength – I could perform to the best of my ability, and there was room to grow with the company. 

I was especially excited to get service flowing in Sudbury, because it was a huge opportunity but weren’t focused on it. Then, Sudbury had two service technicians but they didn’t have a full-time service department. Within months we had five service technicians, and were completing service calls daily.

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What useful advice to lead a team do you have?

Transparency is the key to bring everything together. As a leader, I’ve found it important share important details with others, and my team appreciates being in-the-know. When the team’s on the same page, it’s easier for everyone to know what their expectations are. 

Sometimes, transparency can be uncomfortable but I value leading by example, with trust & integrity. I think having clear goals, and being open about the plan needed to achieve them helps our branch work seamlessly. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: How has mentorship has played a role in your career at Hercules SLR? 

Like I mentioned, I received so much support from the executive team when I stepped into the management role. In Sudbury, Kelly inspired me as a working mom who is tremendously good at her job. She was a huge support and made me realize, “If she can do it, I can do it!” 

That’s another thing that’s inspiring about work at Hercules SLR – there’s women in power here and it’s very motivating. I see successful examples of women with families at Hercules SLR, like Lisa Barkhouse, a manager who has overcame challenges and showed tremendous growth the entire time, or Ina, our Supply Chain Manager. I try to look for success, and emulate it. 

In a way, I find mentors everywhere at Hercules SLR. I don’t know every single answer, but I know who to ask to figure it out. Our individual experiences both strengthen us as a team, and help us move forward as a company. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s something you’re most proud to have      accomplished during your career at Hercules SLR? 

I’m most proud to have my hard-work recognized, and gain the Branch Manager positon after two years. 

I’ve had experiences where you work hard, and you are good at your job, yet this is not when someone will pull you aside and tell you how great your work is – typically, you’re pulled aside when things are going poorly! It feels good to have my work acknowledged at Hercules SLR. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where would you like to go? 

So far, I’ve been to Hercules SLR’s head office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and I’d love to go back! Even though it was cold (laughs), I’d love to see more of the city and explore more as a tourist. 

In the future I’d love to visit our other Ontario branches, in Sarnia, Hamilton and Brampton – especially because we work so closely already.

women in industry, Hercules slr in sudbury ontario
(L-R) Adriana Martin, Branch Manager & Kelly Baird-Pestell, Territory Sales Manager

Each branch in Ontario focuses on a different aspect of the rigging industry. In Sudbury, most of our business centres on crane and equipment servicing. Specifically, we repair cranes and crane equipment, conduct inspections, help manage equipment with CertTracker, our management tool that lets clients easily sort assets and provide equipment for cranes and other hoisting equipment. 

Service is Sudbury’s strength, and each branch masters something different which helps us grow and support each other. We work as a team here – it’s not branch against branch, it’s Team Ontario. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What do you enjoy most about the securing,  rigging & lifting industry?

Honestly, overcoming challenges as a woman in this industry. Sometimes men don’t take me seriously or realize I’m well-informed. We have three women in our Sudbury branch alone! Changing this mindset is something I enjoy.

For example, sometimes I’ll answer our phone and the person will ask to speak with the ‘person in charge’, not knowing it’s me! I’m always able to answer their questions and concerns, and am able to prove to them that women in industry are able to run the show. Even though it can be frustrating, it’s hugely rewarding. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Finally, what career advice do you have for young women in industry working in an industrial environment, or the trades? 

It might sound like a cliché, but never give up and always do your best. You don’t always know the answer, but you can always find it. 

Don’t let people’s negative words get to you. There can be discouraging talk from outside sources, and if you take it seriously, can be demotivating. Stay positive, focus and push forward and you’ll reach your goals. When confronted with negative words, remind yourself that it’s their problem, not yours











Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Women with Skill: Kelly Baird-Pestell talks Rigging Industry & Teamwork

kelly baird pestell rigging industry
Kelly Baird-Pestell is our Territory Sales Manager from Sudbury, Ontario and she’s worked in and around the rigging industry for most of her career—just because she’s behind-the-scenes, doesn’t mean her hands don’t get dirty.

Read on to learn more about her career path in the rigging industry, and her role at Hercules SLR. 

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I completed a Business Administration diploma at community college and right from school, went to work in the mining industry. I worked as a mine clerk right out of college for 2 years, and then went to work for another company as their Service/Maintenance Planner, and this role included a lot – I was in-charge of contracts, ordering equipment parts and scheduling jobs for multiple businesses and mine sites in town as we had several contracts. I had a hand in most of went on at the mine. 

I had my third child, went back to work for a short time and decided it was time for a change. I saw a position with Hercules SLR as a Service Supervisor, and this proved to be the best move I could’ve made. Since then, I’ve been Operations Manager and now, as Territory Sales Manager I feel like I have a solid understanding of all aspects of the business.

What made you decide to go into the rigging industry after achieving your diploma? 

The Sudbury mining industry was booming at this time, so it made sense to follow the opportunity – I grew up with family who worked in the mining industry, so it was also something I was familiar with. (Did you know Mining is one of the main industries Hercules SLR serves?!)

I made a goal to get a job with a large mine that’s in Sudbury right out of school, and I did! Some people joke and say I have a horseshoe hanging over my head, (laughs) but I think it has more to do with knowing what I want and having the drive to go after it. I was a single mother that was able to spot an opportunity, decide what I wanted, and achieve it. I walked out of college with a diploma, and right into a job! 

I loved it. Even though I didn’t come from a technical background, I can learn anything I put my mind to. I jumped in headfirst, and even though the environment was tough, I was able to grow a thick skin quickly (important in this industry!), and learn how to hold my ground. 

I also love that the rigging industry impacts the whole community. Especially since mining is so prevalent in Sudbury, the rigging industry impacts our entire community – It’s nice to know work makes a difference.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

The biggest reason I joined the Hercules SLR team is the opportunity for growth. Sometimes, you’re thrown into things that take time to grasp and there’s so much going on that really, you’re forced to learn. 

We have some awesome training opportunities at Hercules SLR, like Covey Leadership Training, Rigging Fundamental training and meetings with suppliers about new products – this hands-on experience is just one of the reasons I wanted to work to Hercules SLR.  

I love working for a Canadian company, contributing to an end-result and actually having my voice heard. Even though we’re a national-wide company, it really has that small-company-feel. At Hercules SLR, I really feel like our executives listen to what we say, and will actually try our suggestions to see if they work. 

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR?

I haven’t travelled very much during my time at Hercules SLR – I’ve been to Hamilton, Ontario! However, I’d love to visit our head office on the East Coast. Eventually, I want to visit Hercules SLR’s East and West Coast branches and learn more first-hand about how different regions work, and what they focus on. 

rigging industry


What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

Honestly, I’m most proud of our team in Sudbury. Our region experienced a lot of change over a 6-month period, and during this challenging time we were able to come out stronger than ever. Our team not only brought in new customers, but we were even able to bring back customers we had lost. 

Advice on leading a team:

To be brutally honest, there was an Operations Manager here once who gave me some great, simple, advice – “Have work-life balance,” Which is something I used to struggle with. Now, I don’t live to work, I work to live. I enjoy my family, job and life in general.

To do this, I try to take a step back, get organized, not put too much pressure on myself and remind myself I can only do so much. I find if I’m stressed, I can’t work to my full-potential. So now, I try to put myself first– for me, this means eating healthy, going to the gym and spending time with my family, so I can do my job better. 

Being able to put myself first makes it easier to focus on the different priorities that arise each day. This company doesn’t run with only one person. Hercules SLR needs every team member it has to rise to top and be the leader in the rigging industry. I’m so grateful to be a part of it!

What do you love  most about your job and the rigging industry? 

I love the variety! Everyday looks different. I love helping our clients fix their problems  Nobody calls us because their crane is working! We’re constantly the solution for our clients, and I love being part of the solution, not the problem.

And, as I mentioned, I also love our Sudbury crew Adriana, Rick, David, Netasha, Frank and I make a great team!

Learn more about life at Hercules SLR: 






Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.