Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 34

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY O’Connell continued to build the locomotive and crawler crane business and expanded into new markets. In 2016, she launched a new business: IPS Metro: a Women Owned Business Enterprise certified company that manufactures a patent- pending mobile crane, relatively lightweight and emission- free, for the subway transit systems. In 2017, she acquired American and Ohio Locomotive Crane Company, solidifying IPS CRANES as the only OEM manufacturer for American and Ohio locomotive cranes and the industry’s broadest and deepest range of custom crane manufacturing, services and resources. In less than 20 years, O’Connell has grown IPS from three employees to nearly fifty employees. O’Connell says, “Our employees at IPS CRANES Duluth were once apprentices; now, they’re running the shop – a full-service repair/rebuild facility for all types of track and crawler cranes. We offer career positions for painters, welders, mechanics, electricians, hydraulic specialists and others who may have been called in for emergency repairs or to be part of a big project.” O’Connell describes herself as “resilient and enthusiastic, the champion of IPS, its brand and her team.” And, her greatest accomplishment: “Seizing the opportunity to become a custom crane manufacturer. We’ve positioned the co