In Control of Her Own Destiny
Danielle Sands at the new Superior Asphalt, Inc. location/ Photo by Mary McElgunn
Name: Danielle Sands
Company Currently Employed with: Superior Asphalt, Inc.
Current Title: CFO
College and Degree: Lake Superior State University, bachelor of science degree in accounting
Years with company: 14
When Danielle Sands was growing up she had dreams of becoming a high school mathematics teacher. Receiving her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lake Superior State University, she wasn’t too far off from her childhood dream. To this day Sands still uses numbers every day as CFO at Superior Asphalt.
“I do everything you can think of. From answering phones, to overseeing equipment and real estate transactions, to planning the logistics of the new Lansing plant, to taking care of all the accounting aspects, and of course, the general direction of business,” says Sands. “My job is not a typical desk job. Things within the company are constantly changing and evolving. There’s never a dull moment.”
Superior Asphalt, owned by Jeff Kresnak, is a Michigan-based company from the Grand Rapids area. They have 30 years of experience in the asphalt industry.
Their most recent accomplishment — that Sands had a major role in — was the opening of Lansing Asphalt this past April. Lansing Asphalt is a division of Superior Asphalt in the Lansing area.
“Jeff and I have been on an adventure together. My time with the company has been challenging and rewarding. Jeff has been a real influence on me throughout the years. He saw the potential I had. He understood my strengths and abilities and knew exactly how I could complement the company,” says Sands. “He gave me the opportunity to grow within the company.”
Superior and Lansing Asphalt are unique for many reasons. They are the only two Michigan-based asphalt manufacturing facilities in their respective markets. Their competitors are either foreign-owned or headquartered outside the state of Michigan.
However, one prominent reason Superior and Lansing Asphalt stand apart from the rest is because of their diversity within the company and the industry.
“It’s rewarding to work in a male-dominated field. You definitely have to be a strong women,” says Sands. “However, our company is very diverse. To my knowledge we are one of the few asphalt companies who employ women as crew members, as part of the sales team and in management. We are truly a family.”
Sands understood the value of hard work and dedication from an early age. She grew up in the industry as her father owned his own excavating company. Unfortunately, he lost the company in the recession of 1980 along with their home.
“Even as a child, that traumatic event stuck with me. However, the experience laid the groundwork for where I am today giving me a strong fiscal sense and work ethic,” says Sands.
In addition, as a strong, hardworking professional, Sands shares that perseverance and surrounding yourself with good people is key.
“You have to preservere. You can do it. Don’t rely on others to help get you there,” says Sands. “As my mother said growing up, ‘No one will take care of you, but you.’ You have the control to your own destiny. It may be hard, but it will be so rewarding in the end.”
Tags: Careers for Consideration, Superior Asphalt