Mona Pappafava-Ray

Mona Pappafava Ray, President and CEO, General Carbide Corp.

Hacked salaries were common among companies trying to survive the recession, and General Carbide Corp. was no different. To stay afloat and retain as many employees as possible, Mona Pappafava-Ray had to cut employee salaries and wages between 10 to 30 percent from October 2008 to September 2009. But she also convinced every company manager to also accept pay cuts, and as business improved in December 2010, she gave back part of the cut wages to all of her employees. And when business kept growing with the start of the new year, she returned the remainder.
Pappafava-Ray stands out as a leader because she not only believes that her people are the General Carbide’s biggest asset, she acts upon the belief. Her caring nature, however, is coupled by a sharp business mind. Pappafava-Ray is as dedicated to the long-term health of her company, which manufacturers more than 50 grades of tungsten carbide tooling, as she is to her employees. She consistently invests $1 million annually in equipment and facilities and has extended the company’s network of sales representatives in China, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as Europe, expanding the company’s capabilities and business opportunities.
This dedication to staff and service has paid off, with General Carbide experiencing a 40 percent increase in the number of employees working at the company over the past year as well as a 30 percent increase in sales. Her success in helping the manufacturing company achieve a position of leadership in the market earned Pappafava-Ray a 2011 “Pittsburgh Business Times” Women in Business Award.
General Carbide was named a 2010 Business Ethics Award winner by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh’s David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

How to reach: General Carbide Corp., (724) 836-3000 or