William Ladley, Class of 1973

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Organic Chemistry

President of Freiborne Industries Inc.

William Ladley

What was your career plan during college? Did this change once you graduated?

“Original plan was to become an illustrator for science/science books. I started out with a major in art and a minor in biology. This changed as I witnessed how difficult it was to get funding.”

How did NAU prepare you for your career?

“Having instructors that always seem to challenge the status quo.”

Where are you now? Please tell us about your current career, job location, and pros/cons.

”Being from Arizona, I never thought that I would end up in the Detroit metro area, by way of Iowa. I was working as the Operations manager at the Arizona Snow Bowl until I left in 1977. I spent 25 years at Henkel (Global chemical company) with my last ten years as a business director. I retired in 2008, but by 2010, decided that I still wanted to work. I joined freiborne (regional chemical company) in January of 2011 as their Sales Director and became their president in 2013. Have always loved the challenge of building a business and helping others through their career path, but this also adds quite a bit of stress as well.”

What advice do you have for current NAU students?

“Get as much real world experience as you can. Success goes to the strong, well rounded people that learn quickly and can apply what they learn. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, we all do, but the key is not to repeat them.”

What was your favorite part about NAU Flagstaff?

The fun I had with the people that I met…Especially Steve Vaughn, Tony Czak, and Jim Carney


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