Joining the boys club

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Charlie Pobanz looks at an oil dipstick inside Shell Rapid Lube, a company she and her husband own. -- Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

Charlie Pobanz, a certified nursing assistant, was working her way through nursing school when she found herself suddenly thrown into a career beyond her scope of knowledge.

But Charlie, who owns and manages Shell Rapid Lube with her husband in Albert Lea, has come into her own and learned how to navigate a profession that is sometimes unfriendly to women.

In 2008, Alex Pobanz was driving down Bridge Avenue in Albert Lea when he saw a “for sale” sign at Shell Rapid Lube. He called his wife, Charlie, and they met with the owner of the shop the next weekend. By Tuesday they had signed the papers, and by Thursday Charlie had quit her job at St. John’s Lutheran Home to start managing Shell Rapid Lube.

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