As CEO of General Magnaplate Corp., Candi Aversenti oversees a business that has sent materials to Mars. “We make metals last longer; we give them improved qualities,” she explains. “Our salespeople can be talking to NASA in one phone call and hang up and be talking to somebody making dog biscuits in another phone call, and in another phone call, talk about oil or gas exploration equipment. It’s very diversified.”

As engaged as she is in the business, which her father, Charles Covino, founded, Aversenti has another consuming passion. “I started riding when I was very little,” she says. “It’s my go-to happy place. I love competing. People used to tell my parents, ‘Oh, she’ll grow out of it.’ I’m 64 years old and I still haven't grown out of it, so I’m pretty sure I’m not going to.”

Early on, Aversenti exhibited a penchant for financial planning. Her father challenged her to pay for half of her first horse — so she saved her allowance, birthday money and spare change. “I used to save it up like crazy,” she says. “I probably saved from the time I was 5 until I was 11.”

She began showing American Saddlebred horses in 1963 and remains deeply engaged in all aspects of the sport. “Riding’s helped me with leadership capabilities and parenting capabilities and grandparenting,” says Aversenti, adding that it gives her the “patience and the stick-to-it-iveness that you need to make it through some difficult times. If you fall off your horse, you’ve got to get back on. That’s a phenomenal lesson.”

Aversenti and her husband, Ed, the COO of Magnaplate, have five daughters — including one she hopes will step into her shoes. “We’re in the midst of making transitional plans for that,” she says. “My dad started Magnaplate the year I was born, so it’s easy to keep track of how old it is. I would love to see this company be a hundred-year-old company, because statistically, hundred-year-old family businesses are few and far between. And I have a ton of grandchildren.”

If you fall off your horse, you’ve got to get back on. That’s a phenomenal lesson.

Aversenti has followed her parents’ example when it comes to financial planning. “We covered the disability insurance, the life insurance, the long-term care — all of that,” she says. “Knowing that you have that backup in place frees you up to go on and do what your passion is.”

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