WHERE SHE'S COMING FROM: Thirty-four-year-old Erlbacher is originally from Cape Girardeau and now lives in Jackson with husband Larry. She was trained as an EMT, but is currently general manager of Erlbacher Gear and Machine Works Inc, in Cape Girardeau. She is a hospital corpsman (HM2/E5) in the United States Navy Reserve and an office nurse at Heartland Family Physicians/Prompt Care in Jackson.
WHERE SHE'S GOING: "Our goal is to always be headed toward expansion. In our business, machined parts seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Our current vertical turret lathe can turn up to 90 inches and we can hob gears (cut teeth) up to 100 inches. If we could get both to 120 inches, it would open up a whole new customer base for us. Finding bigger machines and building space are some of the challenges we are facing in order to stay competitive in this market."
WHY SHE WAS CHOSEN: "Right now, the job that I love the most is the one I'm paid the least for. I am a volunteer riding instructor for Mississippi Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship in Oak Ridge, which is an equestrian center for kids and adults with disabilities. I am forever standing in awe of our riders and their families -- how they take challenges and adversity with such grace and dignity."