July 31, 2023

Special Report by Jordan Vitick

Deveney Young

Regulatory Specialist I

Teknor Apex Co.

Deveney Young graduated from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Post-graduation, she worked in product development in the flavors and fragrance industry for three years before making the switch to the plastics industry.

“I was always interested in the sustainability of plastic. I entered this marketplace hoping to make a difference on how we can have consumers view plastics and encourage more recycling,” she said.

Young is now a regulatory specialist for Pawtucket, R.I.-based custom compounder Teknor Apex Co. Her responsibilities include issuing regulatory certification letters for external customers, maintaining the corporate product formula restriction program and authoring formula revisions, initiating communication with regulatory agencies, and interpreting existing domestic and global regulations.

One of the biggest challenges in her role is dealing with many different market spaces. The company sells products into medical, food, automotive and other markets internationally, and regulations are always changing.

“We must keep up with many different regulations and policies; it is hard to stay on top of when new regulations are proposed and when they go into effect. It is also difficult to collect this information. You reach out to suppliers, and they take two to three weeks to respond to your inquiry,” she said. 

Young was named a 2022 Wavemaker Fellowship recipient from Rhode Island, a student loan reimbursement program for graduates working in STEM fields.

Young was adopted from China and raised by a single mother. She started a blog from scratch, writing articles to help Asian American adoptees and people who are looking to adopt. “I consider this my one greatest achievement because I have had one person reach out to me expressing how much my story and blog helped them and their family through a difficult time. My personal goal was not to be viral, but to help one person, and I believe I was successful,” she said.

“I am breaking the mold of Asian Americans, I am breaking the mold of adoptees and I am breaking the mold of first-generation immigrants,” Young added. “On the deepest layer, I am breaking the mold of myself every day. It is easy to start a [monotonous] rhythm in life. I try to step outside my normal rhythm and find beauty in the small things. I try to challenge myself a little every day and to keep growing.”


Reprinted with permission from Plastics News. © 2023 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
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