CEO and President, API Industries Inc.
New York City native Susan Rosenberg, 60, is a founder, CEO and president of family-owned API Industries Inc., which does business as Aluf Plastics Inc. Rosenberg received a patent in 2013 for a tubular bag dispenser and the Orangeburg, N.Y.-based film extruder and bag maker recently opened a plant in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Rosenberg: My parents had a plastics film business, so I grew up with that industry profile.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Rosenberg: Diversifying our core can-liner business with our own branded trash bags for mass retail distribution. This is a new product line with innovative offerings and attributes to create a disruption in this product category.
Q: What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Rosenberg: Ideas take time to bring to fruition, usually much longer than you anticipate. In our case, packaging design had to be revised several times until we finally nailed it.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Rosenberg: Getting national distribution, space allocation on retail shelves. It's a David-and-Goliath thing.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Rosenberg: Automation to increase efficiency, and retail distribution. Our custom film division — to meet large end-users' needs — continues to grow with innovative solutions, especially for air, freight and steel industries.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Rosenberg: That we don't promote our industry in a more positive light.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rosenberg: Dream big, have a plan B and stay the course.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Rosenberg: Family, family, family and traveling.