Jacob Dahl, 27
Mixaco USA LLC
Title: Technical sales engineer
Location: Hudson, Ohio
Birthplace: Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Social media: Facebook and LinkedIn
Education: Harley Davidson Mechanic certification, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute; associate's degree in marketing from Chippewa Valley Technical College.
Career highlights: Made first sale with Allied Dies Inc., 2013; joined Mixaco, October 2014; attended NPE, 2015.
Q: Tell us about your family.
Dahl: I am the youngest of two. My sister, Cortney, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. My mother, Carol, worked for Pactiv for 32 years and now is at Nordson EDI. My father, Mike, is retired from ITW Deltar. My girlfriend, Morgan, goes to Kent State University's College of Pediatric Medicine. She and I have two cats, Beasley and Dwight, and our dog, Dooley.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Dahl: My first plastics job was at Extrusion Dies Inc., where I was a polisher. I became interested in the industry because there will always be a need for plastics and therefore, there will always be jobs.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Dahl: Finishing my marketing degree. I have never been a “school-oriented” person; I have always been more hands-on. So when I finished with my degree, I was very proud of myself.
Q: What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Dahl: My biggest failure would have been when I wanted to continue my career in the motorcycle industry. It taught me that there was no room to advance in the industry and that there wasn't ever a chance to continue educating yourself. Sure, there are new products that come out every once in a while, but it wasn't enough to keep me interested in pursuing a career in motorcycles.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Dahl: The newest technology that interests me is 3-D printing. It is amazing! There is no limit to what you are able to do with it. From something as simple as an iPhone case to a car, the possibilities are endless.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Dahl: You should never stop pursuing your dreams, and knowledge is something that no one is able to take away from you.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Dahl: Do it! You will never regret it. It may be hard to understand at first, but once you do, you will never want to leave it.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Dahl: My father. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991 and never gave up fighting. He walked using a cane or hand crutches up until 2007. He is currently in a motorized wheelchair, but continues to do everything himself. He never has a bad attitude or pities himself for being in a wheelchair. I hope I will be half as brave as he is when I am his age.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Dahl: Currently, I would really like to be the general manager of Mixaco USA, but who knows what the future holds for me? I would like to be a CEO or GM of a major company in the plastics industry.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Dahl: I enjoy taking one of my cars for a long drive with no place to go. Just an open road and music playing.