The city of Vista, CA has recognized Precision Measurement Engineering (PME) CEO Kristin Elliott for her company’s contribution to the robust local economy. Elliott was cited, along with five other local female business owners, as drivers of the local business and industrial scene. “These women-owned businesses in Vista reflect the vibrant mix of industries in our city and are major players in our local economy,” said Vista Mayor Judy Ritter, who went on to say that Elliott and the other women entrepreneurs “push the boundaries of possibility every day.”
Local Roots, Global Reach
PME was founded in Vista in 1982, by Elliott’s father, Dr. Michael Head, who developed a conductivity sensor as part of his thesis work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). When PME started, their mission was to innovate water measurement products that would provide better data for better research. Today, PME leads the way by continuing to partner with the world’s greatest research institutions. You’ll find PME products in rivers, lakes, glaciers, estuaries, coasts, marshes – braving the world’s harshest aquatic environments to deliver consistent accurate data.
Understanding the Business
Elliott joined PME in 2005, after graduating from UCSD, and worked as an assembler, manufacturing parts. “From there,” she said, “I moved into accounting, marketing, and sales. I attended tradeshows, spoke to customers, pursued new business ideas, set up our international distribution network, and really enhanced the sales channels.”
This thorough grounding in every aspect of the company’s operations has paid rich dividends for Elliott as a CEO. Since taking on that role, she has reviewed and, in some cases, retooled PME’s operational processes, including inventory management, manufacturing, and sales. Under her leadership, the company has grown 115% and profits have increased 300%.
As a CEO, she has been focused on “customer satisfaction, optimal quality products, and solid relationships”. She views the keys to PME’s current and future success as “providing exceptional value to (the company’s) targeted customers and understanding the future path of technology in this industry.”
In her time as CEO, Elliott has been developing Aquasend, an integrated monitoring platform for aquafarming. Aquafarming, as an industry, is growing in both size and importance, providing consumers with healthy seafood options while helping to conserve stocks of wild fish, many species of which are endangered by global climate change. Elliott took thirty years of global research technology and made it available to local aqua farms. She views Aquasend as a way to bring innovative new technology to an up-and-coming industry. “These technologies help aquaculture farmers better manage and monitor their water quality, providing healthier and happier farmed fish to consumers,” she said.
Advice on Mentors and Balance
As a CEO, Elliott has achieved both growth and innovation; combined best practices management with visionary thinking—and she’s done it as a woman, in an industry that remains, for the most part, male-dominated. Her advice for others, seeking similar success?
“I find that experienced individuals are very receptive when I ask them for counsel. Sometimes it can be daunting to speak with industry leaders and experienced business mentors in your industry, but most individuals are willing to provide guidance when approached. I recommend finding a mentor or someone who has been on the same path, to learn from and obtain feedback.”
She also offers wise words to other women business owners seeking to balance work and family. “Some rules we (her husband Erik works for PME as well, heading operations and manufacturing) try to live by are family first, leave work at work and be present.”
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For more information on Aquasend, contact us here.