President, S!Y Communications Inc.
Andrea Siy, 45, started her plastics marketing agency in 2003, aided by her bachelor's degree in business administration, with dual minors in communications and psychology. She received her degree in 1992 from the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics (now the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics) in Durham, N.H.
As president of S!Y Communications Inc. in Byfield, Mass., Siy belongs to the American Marketing Association and makes use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Q: What languages do you speak?
Siy: English and enough German to order a beer.
Q: What are some of your career highlights?
Siy: I remember each NPE show I've been to since the '90s and they have always been a highlight. I served on the marketing committee for the show in 2000 and really enjoyed being part of that process. Also, taking the leap to start my own agency has allowed me to meet so many great people in the industry.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Siy: I started out at Kona hot-runner systems, then went on to run marketing at Dynisco when they bought out Kona. I then went to run marketing at Gloucester Engineering Co. I started S!Y Communications in 2003, serving companies within the plastics industry, and haven't looked back since. I wanted to be part of an industry whose products I used on a daily basis — I saw the great potential it had and found it interesting to learn how these everyday products were actually manufactured.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Siy: In a past NPE we developed a really successful theme for Dynisco's booth playing off info maps — “You are here.” I have since then seen it used by a couple top 100 companies and was proud we came up with it first.
I had 15 clients at the most recent NPE show. It was busy but a total thrill to be so involved with the show.
Q: What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Siy: Believing that you can please everyone. You can't. So stop trying, and focus on what you do best.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Siy: The whole marketing communications industry has evolved so greatly over the last 10 years — the Internet has created so many opportunities for our clients. Part of my job is to keep abreast of all the current tools available to help my customers create strategic tools to better reach their audience. I spend a lot of time in an education role regarding content creation and social media. There are just not enough hours in the day!
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Siy: The power of the new media sources is amazing (social media, blogs, etc). Engaging customers with the use of these outlets and video makes it so interesting to be in marketing these days.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Siy: It feels like one big family. People who have left the industry seem to almost always come back. I'm not sure other industries are as tight as this one.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Siy: Take a yoga class. Breathe. With a busy agency, two kids, a household to run and my love for jogging I feel like I am literally always on the run. Yoga stops my brain and gives me some quiet space to refresh my mind and body.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Siy: Never burn any bridge — you will see that person again. Work hard and this industry will embrace you.
Q: If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Siy: Get a good understanding of who my staff is. It's the people who are your best assets and will determine your success.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Siy: I look up to anyone who finds a way to follow their true passion.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Siy: I have a love for the outdoors and animals. It would be a job that included both. So I guess maybe I should be a dog walker!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Siy: It might seem like an oxymoron but I run to relax. With my sneaks on and some great tunes, I find I recharge with a nice run.