CEO and president, Matrix IV Inc.
Patricia Miller, 33, is CEO and president of Matrix IV Inc. in Woodstock, Ill. She graduated from the University of Iowa with bachelor degrees in journalism-mass communication and marketing and from the University College of London with a master's degree in legal and political theory.
She worked in politics in England and the U.S., was a marketing executive with global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. and transitioned to biotechnology with Halozyme Therapeutics Inc.
With Eli Lilly, she had the top U.S. sales territory for the neuroscience division, led the patent expiry strategy for psychotic-mental-disorders drug Zyprexa and globally launched the low-testosterone drug Axiron. Also, she launched the first two products in the Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH diabetes alliance in the U.S. and supported the global rollout.
She is fluent in Spanish as well as English and commonly uses the LinkedIn and Instagram social media sites.
The Roman numeral IV in the Matrix name stands for the “design, engineer, tool, manufacture” functions.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Miller: I became CEO and president in mid-July 2014. This was a company my Grandpa [Raymond C. Wenk Sr., now 81] started as a tool maker, and my Mom [Dianna Wenk] was a processing engineer at, and it had afforded me many opportunities in life. The company was running at 10 percent capacity and had a negative cash flow. I looked at manufacturing trends and where the industry was headed. I decided there was an opportunity to take a skeletal structure of a business, redevise the business model and create a “start -up” in manufacturing.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Miller: Living a full life filled with happiness and passion professionally and personally and constantly evolving.
Q: What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Miller: Oftentimes I have challenges, but I don't define them as failures. I always learn and pivot from them. Be agile and move fast.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Miller: Being a start-up company in a traditional industry; leveraging a 40-year-old business and its assets to do so; utilizing existing resources and capital to support the business and support a pivot strategically.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Miller: 3-D printing, data collection from manufacturing floor to drive decisions and activity and collaboration with customers; start up spaces/incubation/entrepreneurship, medical segment and consumer segment.
Q: What associations do you belong to or actively participate in?
Miller: Technology and Manufacturing Association board of directors, American Mold Builders Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Entrepreneurial Organization, University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center board of advisors and UI Labs' newly opened Defense Department-funded Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Miller: I have been so grateful to the people in my life who support what I am doing on informal or formal levels, even when it is ridiculous or too far advanced. They keep an open mind, keep me going and keep me grounded.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Miller: I am always open to amazing opportunities and experiences. Right now, I am loving what I am doing: building a manufacturing company and a design and manufacturing house, both focused on delivering positive customer experiences in relevant and innovative ways.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Miller: I travel, try new restaurants, read, catch up with friends, practice yoga, go horseback riding, visit art galleries and attend openings.