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Inspiring Everyday: A passion for results is inspiring

Learning the technical specifications needed to sell a new chemical product would present a challenge for any sales professional. Now, imagine learning them in a second language. That’s exactly the assignment that Jane Kang faced soon after she joined Ascend. And she was more than up for the task.  

Members of Ascend’s sustainable specialties team visited Jane, the specialties business development and sales manager in Shanghai, to share training on Trinohex® Ultra, an electrolyte additive that improves battery performance, safety and cycle life. Although fluent in English and a veteran of 19 years in chemical sales, the battery industry was new territory for Jane, and many of the terms were unfamiliar.  

Undeterred, she spent days replaying recordings of each training session, searching every word online to strengthen her understanding of the market. Within just a few months, she had secured the company’s first commercial order for this exciting new product. 

This persistent, positive approach is what makes Jane great at her work in sales. In fact, it makes everyone around her better as well.  

“Jane’s great attitude is contagious and makes others work harder as a result,” says Dave McNeece, senior business manager for sustainable specialties. “She believes in herself and the team around her and has an incredible ‘can do’ attitude.” 
Jane says Ascend’s value of becoming better every day most closely resonates with her approach to sales. She enjoys continually learning and growing through the process of reaching customers and working with her business teams to meet their needs.  
“I learn from the technical team, the production team and even from finance, logistics and control,” Jane says. “This experience makes me a better salesperson. I believe if I can get just one percent better each day, I am not wasting my time.” 

Closing new business deals is, of course, the primary goal of her work. A degree in chemical engineering and technology provided the foundation for her career, but a passion for reaching goals has been the driver of her success.  

“I enjoy sales because I am passionate about achieving targets and maintaining business growth,” Jane says. “The sense of accomplishment I get from reaching goals fuels my passion for sales.” 

Sharing value with customers is also a key strength of Jane’s, says Kevin Wu, senior vice president and managing director in Asia.  

“Jane strongly believes in the value of what she is selling,” Kevin said. “This is very important as there are people who still have not seen the value of specialty chemical products. She also is willing to take the lead, not only for sales but in other areas like supply chain, manufacturing and technical service. Jane is a strong team player.” 

Away from work, Jane enjoys watching movies and playing in the park with her two children. “Family is very important to me,” she says. “They make me feel that my work is very valuable.” 

She has recently set a new goal to improve her personal fitness. Instead of driving, she has begun riding her bicycle to work each day. The trip is a bit more than seven kilometers (approximately 4.3 miles). 

Based on her inspiring track record, we feel certain Jane will reach her goal in no time.