The next generation of leaders

By Jeannie Reall
Correspondent

Published: August 12, 2014 11:43 am ET
Updated: August 12, 2014 2:38 pm ET

Image By: Jessica Jordan Just a few of Plastics News' 2014 Rising Stars.

For the first time, Plastics News is turning a spotlight on plastics professionals under the age of 40 who are on the path to becoming the industry's next leaders. Today and Wednesday, we will profile 10 of these "Rising Stars."

Kim Holmes

35, Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.

Title: Recycling and diversion director

Location: Washington, D.C., and the Portland, Ore., home office

Twitter handle: @kholmesrecycles

Birthplace: Columbia, Mo.

Education: Master’s degree in urban studies, Portland State University, 2007; bachelor’s degrees in history and anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, 1999.

Career highlights: SPI recycling and diversion director, March 2013 to present; commercial marketing manager, North American recycle portfolio for Sabic Innovative Plastics, 2011-12; owner and principal consultant, 4R Sustainability Inc., October 2008 to October 2011, and December 2012 to September 2013; executive editor, Resource Recycling, 2003-08; technical assistance specialist, Community Environmental Services at Portland State University, 2002-03.

Kim Holmes

Q: Tell us about your family.

Holmes: Married for 13 years, two boys, ages 5 and 8.

Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?

Holmes: At Community Environmental Services, we would conduct waste audits, create strategies to maximize diversion of all recyclables, and then implement recycling programs to reduce landfill-bound waste. We were often able to identify previously unrealized opportunities for plastics. This is when I first began to understand how dynamic plastics are, and where the opportunities and challenges lie in expanding recovery for plastic products.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

Holmes: To date, finally achieving work/life balance! As a mom with two young kids, this is huge and something I’ve struggled with. On a professional level, I’d have to say my greatest achievement to date has been helping to get the newly formed SPI Recycling Committee off the ground.

Q: What is your current challenge at work?

Holmes: One is the limitations of the collection system that we are beginning to realize. For example, material recovery facilities are not well-equipped to handle many forms of plastic outside of a 3-D, rigid container. We obviously have much bigger goals.

Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?

Holmes: I believe we are on the cusp of seeing the integration of conversion technologies (like gasification and pyrolysis) into the materials-management framework. I also expect developments in separation technology.

Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?

Holmes: As I work more closely with the prime plastics industry, I have been surprised by the genuine commitment to improve the situation for end-of-life plastics.

Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?

Holmes: Plastic isn’t always perceived in the best light. When I tell people what I do, I often get raised eyebrows, particularly from people in my generation. Then I explain what I do, and all of the environmental benefits about the material. I’ve changed the perception of many people in my life about plastics and the industry, for the better. Do not let the misinformation and lack of understanding about the material deter you.

Bryan Campbell

Bryan Campbell

39, Mack Molding Co.

Title: President, Southern Division

Location: Inman, S.C.

Birthplace: Hopatcong, N.J.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Catawba College, 1997; lean manufacturing modules by Toyota Production System Training, University of Kentucky, mid-2000s.

Career highlights: Collins & Aikman, carpet and acoustic quality engineer, 1997-99. At Guardian Automotive: quality engineer, 1999-2000; quality manager, 2000-03; operations manager, 2003-07. With Mack Molding: program manager, 2008-09; headquarters plant manager, 2009-14; president, Southern Division, will assume position officially Sept. 1.

Q. Tell us about your family.

Campbell: Wife, Dina; children, Kerri Ann, 13, and Andrew, 11.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

Campbell: Year-over-year growth in sales, operational performance and staff development as Mack headquarters plant manager. Watching team members grow professionally and personally. Their consistent desire to continuously improve and take on new challenges.

Q: What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

Campbell: The idea that I could do it all myself. It is imperative for good managers to surround themselves with great people.

Q: What is your current challenge at work?

Campbell: Developing a team, manufacturing system and culture at both plant locations that will continue to build operational excellence while supporting the large growth percentages they have been experiencing.

Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?

Campbell: What we can make out of plastics today is amazing. It is fun and exciting to see where and how far that can be pushed.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?

Campbell: Challenge the methods. Find better, creative, more efficient and effective ways. Hire good people, train them, motivate them and, lastly, move on from them if it doesn’t work out.

Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?

Campbell: If you are not having fun at what you’re doing, you cannot do it well enough to be successful! You also have to love to win — it’s very competitive out there.

Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?

Campbell: I would work hard to develop a culture of accountability, responsibility and shared success, supported by a simple decision tree of safety, respect, quality and efficiency, in that order.

Jay Kumar

Jay Kumar

35, Universal Plastics Corp. and Mayfield Plastics Inc.

Title: President and owner

Location: Holyoke, Mass.

Birthplace: Indianapolis

Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, Cornell University, May 2001; master’s degree in engineering, operations research, Cornell, December 2001.

Career highlights: JPMorgan Chase & Co., proprietary trader-equity derivatives, executive director, 2002-11; Universal Plastics, president and owner, 2012 to present; Mayfield Plastics, president and owner, 2013 to present.

Q: Tell us about your family.

Kumar: My father, Sunil, immigrated to the United States in 1974 because he was enthralled with the manufacturing technology here. My mother, Rekha, is a chemical engineer by training, who at one point worked for the U.S. Navy. I have two sisters. My wife, Pia Sareen Kumar, works at our companies in a marketing and corporate development capacity. I have a daughter, Inaara, who is 1 year old.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

Kumar: Improving the administrative and scheduling process to manage a growth in the business no one foresaw or believed we could manage. In 2013, Universal grew 30 percent. We didn’t have the processes, capacity or culture to handle this level of business. I spent countless hours rebuilding the process so our managers could deploy capacity more effectively. This involved reverse-engineering our outdated systems and building a custom, in-house, automatic scheduling system. We also needed to add machine capacity and a full second shift. In six months, we cleaned up a two-month backlog and got ahead of our order book despite our business growing an additional 30 percent in 2014, while keeping utilizations at sustainable levels.

Q: What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

Kumar: Not recognizing the growth in the business and the demands that growth would require early enough. From this I have learned to have other people focus on day-to-day operations, so I can see and remove the roadblocks down the road, so they have a clear path to keep the factory running.

Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?

Kumar: 3-D printing. This will continue to disrupt the low-volume manufacturing segment as the machines get cheaper, the processes get faster and the parts get better.

Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?

Kumar: My father, Sunil Kumar, who showed me that an American manufacturer can succeed in the age of growing overseas competition. Joe Peters, the former owner of Universal Plastics and our CEO, showed me the value of community involvement and how to earn the respect of your colleagues.

Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?

Kumar: There is no job I would rather have. I will be buried at the factory and I hope my daughter will want to take my place running it.

Mallory Montrastelle

Mallory Montrastelle

28, Berry Plastics Corp.

Title: Environmental, health and safety manager for sites in Goshen, Ind.; Aurora, Ohio; and Aurora, Ill.

Location: Goshen

Birthplace: Evansville, Ind.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health from Murray State University, 2009; master’s degree in human resource development from Indiana State University, 2014.

Career highlights (all with Berry): Corporate EHS intern, May 2010 to July 2010; corporate EHS coordinator, July 2010 to January 2013; EHS manager, Goshen, January 2013 to September 2013; multisite EHS manager, Goshen and Aurora, Ohio, September 2013 to April 2014; multisite EHS manager, Goshen, Aurora, Ohio, and Aurora, Ill., April 2014 to present; certified associate safety and health manager (certified by the Institute for Safety and Health Management), May 2014.

Q: Tell us about your family:

Montrastelle: My parents have been married for 30 years. I have two younger sisters, and the family dog is a bichon frise, who we all adore.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

Montrastelle: One of my greatest achievements was growing so quickly in my field of expertise over the last few years. Another was taking a facility with an incident rate of 4.86 in 2012 to zero in 2013.

Q: What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

Montrastelle: Not voicing my concern on a particular topic that was very important to me. It has taught me to speak up and not stand in the background.

Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?

Montrastelle: That there are so many different aspects and specifics to the industry. For example, I oversee three facilities, and all make a different plastic product, including retail can liners, industrial can liners and PVC film.

Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?

Montrastelle: I really admire Sheryl Sandburg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., and Arianna Huffington, the editor in chief of Huffington Post Media Group.  

Q: What do you do to relax?

Montrastelle: I enjoy time with my family and friends, running and traveling.

Tribuwan Kumar Persaud

Tribuwan Kumar Persaud

39, Norwich Plastics Inc.

Title: Director (various titles for branch divisions)

Location: Cambridge, Ontario    

Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario

Education: Master’s certificate in project management from York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, 2007.

Career highlights: Norwich Recycling director, 1995-1998; Norwich Recycling president, 1998-2001; Norwich Plastics project manager, 2001-08; named a Norwich Plastics director in 2008. Also, part of ground-breaking post-consumer PVC recycling trials initiated in 1998 for chopped wire and cable materials, and in 2006 with post-consumer PVC film and membrane scrap.

Q: Tell us about your family.

Persaud: My father, Paul (Dwarka) Persaud, immigrated to Canada as a student in the late 1960s and co-founded Norwich Recycling in 1986 with William Gosse. My mother immigrated to Canada also in the late 1960s, meeting and marrying my father in 1972 after finishing George Brown College. My paternal grandparents descend from Guyana. My maternal grandparents are from Trinidad. As a family we are very committed to community service and charity. I am married to Radha, with a 3-year-old son and another baby expected in December.

Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?

Persaud: I had just gotten my social insurance number and my father asked me if I wanted to work, so myself, my sister and two cousins ended up working all summer reclaiming truckload after truckload of PVC skins from ABS/PP substrates. I was very interested in the environment and environmental causes and was very proud that my dad had chosen to go into plastics recycling at the time.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

Persaud: The turnaround of our company after 2008. The Gosse and Persaud families had bought out all of our minor partners in Canada, the recession had hit and some major customers filed for bankruptcy, leaving us in a very bad position. Within the same year, after losing most of our partnership/management team, my partner Adam Gosse and I had returned the company to overall profitability, with a 15 percent return on investment for fiscal 2008 for our fathers.

Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?

Persaud: It surprises me that in an age of sustainability there are so many thermoset polymers being developed. As a recycler, it perplexes me to see people switch from polymeric compounds, which are easy to recycle and have established markets for reprocessed materials, to newer thermoset compounds that offer little recyclability and have much smaller reprocess markets.

Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?

Persaud: Lecturer/professor/priest

Q: What do you do to relax?

Persaud: I spend time with my family, and volunteer with Canadian Blood Services and local religious groups. I also spend much time writing poetry, reading and researching my many interests.

Find five more Rising Stars here:


Comments

The next generation of leaders

By Jeannie Reall
Correspondent

Published: August 12, 2014 11:43 am ET
Updated: August 12, 2014 2:38 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Polystyrene helps spur honey production

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Bee farmers are crediting polystyrene with an increase in honey production, plastic toymakers lament shipping delays and plastic bag ban backers are...    More

Image

Bubbles add some flair to 'Plain Jane' PET bottles

December 17, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Ron Puvak and the folks over at Plastic Technologies Inc. see big things coming from some very tiny bubbles.    More

Image

Shipping slowdowns add to season's stress

December 16, 2014 4:02 pm ET

Toy companies know what they want for Christmas: an end to crippling shipping delays at West Coast ports.    More

Image

Material Insights: DuPont selling iconic material

December 15, 2014 11:53 am ET

An Israeli compounder is opening a plant in the United States, a compounder buys plants, a PPS resin maker is cutting production because of financial ...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events