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Being a buyer at North American Stainless wasn’t Kassie Winburn’s first career choice.
The 2000 Carroll County High School graduate had planned on a career in human resources after earning a degree in that field from Northern Kentucky University.
“It’s not what I saw myself doing,” she admits, but adds, “I love it.”
An added perk is the chance to work at the same place as her mom, Connie Aaron, and her husband, John Winburn, who works in the melt shop and has been with the steel manufacturer 11 years.
Aaron, who is the warehouse supervisor at NAS, was hired 21 years ago. “I’ve been here since before the first coil was rolled off the line,” she said.
She, too, is a Carrollton native, graduating from CCHS in 1977.
For mother and daughter, working in the same company really hasn’t put any strain on their relationship. Aaron’s office is in the west wing of the main building, while Winburn’s cubicle is in the east wing.
With three members of the family working in the same place, Aaron said any strain probably falls mostly on her husband, James – who works for Craig’s Rental. “He’s the only one that doesn’t work at NAS. We tend to talk about work when we get together.”
Though she finds her co-workers to be very supportive, Winburn said it’s comforting to have her mother close by. “We’re just alike, even if I don’t want to admit it. So she 100 percent gets me.”
“She rarely admits to that,” Aaron said, smiling.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the two women reflected on how they see each other in that particular role.
Winburn said, by example, Aaron has instilled a strong work ethic in both her and her brother, Jeremy, noting that this is about the only characteristic the two siblings have in common.
Aaron said that trait came directly from her own mother, Lottie Joslin, who died in 2001, four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Aaron said her father died when she was young, and her mother never remarried. Growing up, she watched her single mother struggle to provide for the family. “She always put her kids first.”
Watching her mom work so hard is what influenced Aaron to work hard and to be more successful, career wise, so that she could better provide for her own children.
And Aaron is proud of the kind of mother her daughter has become. The Winburns have 4-year-old twins – a son, Lakyn, and a daughter, Reilyn.
“She’s a great mom. I knew she would be a great mom,” Aaron said. “The biggest change I see is she has more patience now than she did before she became a mom. She had zero patience. We raised her to be a very loving and caring person, and her children are her number-one priority.”
Aaron’s advice for observing Mother’s Day is to keep it simple. “Don’t stress out,” she said, over trying to figure out what to buy Mom or how much money to spend.
“She doesn’t care what you get her. It’s spending time with you and her family that’s important.”
Winburn agrees. “My kids made me cards last year,” she said. “They were so excited about it. It really made my day.”
Aaron said the family usually celebrates Mother’s Day with a brunch or dinner that revolves around her mother-in-law, Mary Aaron.
“It’s more about her than us,” Aaron said, adding that it’s always a bonus when the weather’s nice. With the men in charge of the barbeque grill, “if it’s warm enough, we’ll have a cookout. Then we don’t even have to cook.”