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The world of CNC machine sales has long been known for being a boys’ club. But at Racer, we’re rewriting the script with Barb Wilmer at the helm as our Director of Sales for Canada and Mexico. For the past seven years, Barb has defied expectations, shattered stereotypes and built a remarkable career driven by her dedication to client success and exceptional service.


Earning the nickname “CNC Precision Princess,” Barb’s approach is a winning combination of dedication and genuine care for her clients. In this interview, we get down to business with Barb, exploring her journey, her insights into the ever-evolving CNC industry, and the valuable advice she has for those interested in this field.




Can you describe a specific client interaction that has been particularly rewarding for you? Why?

One of the most rewarding moments in my career was working with a university professor.  He was thrilled to have a Canadian-made CNC machine in his program and couldn’t wait to show it off to his students and clients.  It was a pleasure collaborating with him, attending events, and showcasing the machine to potential customers.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your role? How did you overcome them, and what did you learn from the experience?

Balancing the demands of a male-dominated field with family responsibilities can be tough.  However, I’ve learned to be proactive and keep pushing forward.



Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to your younger self about pursuing a career in sales?

To my younger self, I’d say: stay focused, avoid distractions, and take more business courses.  Consider pursuing an MBA!


Do you have any mentors or trusted advisors who have played a role in your success? If so, how have they influenced your approach to sales?

In 2007, I was hired by a man who saw potential in me, even though I had no experience in the steel industry.  He became my mentor, taking me under his wing and teaching me invaluable lessons.  He greatly influenced my professional growth and career path.



What excites you most about the CNC machine industry? Are there any specific technological advancements you find particularly interesting?

The CNC machine industry is a dynamic and exciting field that constantly evolves with advancements in technology, materials, and automation.  I’m particularly interested in additive manufacturing and eager to learn more about its potential.


Have you witnessed any inspiring examples of how CNC machines are being used to create positive change in Canada or Mexico? (e.g. in manufacturing, education, healthcare)

Canadian companies are leveraging CNC machines to produce high-quality, precision components for various industries like aerospace, automotive, and healthcare. This strengthens Canada’s manufacturing sector, creates jobs, and drives economic growth.

In Mexico, CNC machines play a crucial role in their thriving automotive industry and medical device manufacturing.  These machines enable the production of intricate parts for cars, implants, prosthetics, and surgical instruments, ultimately improving healthcare outcomes and patient care.



What advice would you give to someone interested in learning more about CNC machines and their potential applications?

Start by familiarizing yourself with different types of CNC machines (milling, lathes, routers, etc.) and common industry terminology.  Explore online courses, hands-on practice if possible, and learn about CAD/CAM software.


What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is balancing motherhood and a successful career while creating a stable and loving home environment for my family.  As a young single mom who started at the bottom, I’m proud to be happily married and living my best life in a leadership role.



Thank you, Barb, for sharing your story and inspiring us all to push boundaries!