Anyone who knows St. Marys native and Raleigh, N.C. resident Elizabeth Green, knows her to be a worldly and successful businesswoman, but one who is as at home in the country as she is in a city. In her career as a market development manager with DNA Group Inc., she has traveled the globe while remaining a small-town girl at heart.
Born in St. Marys, she is the youngest of three children born to Tom and Marie Green. Her siblings are Marilyn Deppen and Carl Green.
After graduating from St. Marys Area High School, she attended Edinboro University as an art major. After a hiatus, she went on to receive a B.S. in business/marketing from Clarion University.
Having worked in the steno pool at Stackpole Carbon Co. in St. Marys during her senior year at college, and being familiar with the company’s Raleigh division, Green decided to make the move south after graduating from Clarion.
“I moved to Raleigh because I had always read up on the area because of the Stackpole Raleigh division, and wanted to get away from the snow,” she said.
After relocating to Raleigh, Green went on to work for Stackpole Components Co. as a secretary, then advanced to marketing and customer service administrator and regional sales manager.
DNA Group Inc., for which she currently works as market development manager, was founded after Stackpole’s Raleigh division was sold. DNA manages a complex web of suppliers and manufacturers of electronic controls, switches, power cords, cable assemblies, metal and die- cast parts and other component pieces. Green is responsible for increasing revenue, hiring, training, managing, and making changes to the company’s outside sales force.
“I’m involved at some level from 'womb to tomb' with all customers and projects for my territory: creating the message, identifying target customers, making presentations, developing pricing strategies, negotiations, program awards, and making sure that customer requirements and program tollgates are understood and met and assuring that the product is available when required,” Green said.
In her line of work, Green has traveled extensively across the United States and has also made frequent trips to Hong Kong, where a primary trade partner of her company is located.
“Hong Kong is great, easy to get around, safe and most everyone speaks English,” Green said.
She added that Hong Kong is “very metropolitan” and makes New York City look small by comparison.
“China runs the gamut. Within a 20-mile radius, you go from very rural and poor to mega-city with severe overpopulation,” Green said. She said that in traveling to visit suppliers, it is common to see “makeshift vehicles like an antique tractor with a truck bed on the back, or four people on a single scooter.”
Green admitted that the foreign cuisine she has encountered on her trips initially offered a shock to her American sensibilities.
“It’s very good [the food], but can be a little disconcerting and made me wish at times that I was a vegetarian to give me a polite excuse not to eat food with a face," Green said. "On my first trip to a nice restaurant by the factory with a very elegant marble-floored foyer entrance, there was a live goat tied up out front, tanks of live fish and a basket of snakes. No question the food was fresh,” she said laughingly.
Green said she is on the road about “50 percent of the time-- I’ve been married 26 years but home for about 15 of it”-- and joked that it may her secret to the "long, happy marriage" she shares with her husband Jackson Paynter, originally from Norlina, N.C. They live in Raleigh with her stepson, Greg. The family also has a 28-acre farm about an hour north of the city.
Green said the novelty of traveling has not yet worn off and that she still gets “that thrill of when I sit down on the plane and head off to a new adventure.”
In her time off, Green enjoys golfing, which has become her favorite athletic activity since her St. Marys volleyball and softball days. She also makes jewelry, working mostly with silver and copper and selling her creations at boutiques and on her website, www.etsy.com/shop/greenpaynt .
“I’ve booked $3-million-dollar projects at work, but nothing gave me a bigger rush than the first time I sold a necklace for $80,” she said.
Asked what she misses about St. Marys, Green said it’s the familiarity, collective history and experience of a small town.
“Coming from a small town, people know you, know your family back several generations, and there is a shared past and memories. The blessing and curse of living in the city is the anonymity,” she said.
Green has been able to stay in touch with childhood friends locally.
“I’m very lucky that I still have family in St. Marys, have maintained friendships, and have rekindled some through Facebook,” she said.
When asked what the future holds for her, Green said, "DNA continues to grow and prosper and for the foreseeable future; I will remain there. And I have 28 acres of farmland that I will eventually retire to and hopefully learn to eat vegetables."