FRANCO PETTINE, 30
Boy Machines Inc.
Title: National sales manager
Location: Exton, Pa.
Birthplace: Norristown, Pa.
Social media: LinkedIn
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration-marketing, Shippensburg University.
Career highlights: Led team to 31 percent growth in fiscal 2014-15. During NPE 2015, led team to sell 11 machines off show floor.
Q: Tell us about your family.
Pettine: I have a wife of six years, a son who is 5 and a daughter, my princess, who is 2 years old. Also, we have a chocolate lab named Dawkins who is 1 year old, and a cat.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Pettine: My first plastics job is at Boy Machines, Inc., although I was exposed to the manufacturing side of this business at my previous job in the medical field.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Pettine: Raising a family. I'm a family man first and foremost. My greatest achievement in plastics so far has been noted above in career highlights. Though, I personally take great pride in putting together a charity effort at NPE for the local Make-A-Wish chapter. We were able to raise $650 during the show and every penny was donated directly to the organization. We will continue this effort at the next NPE.
Q: What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Pettine: I have failed a number of times and I anticipate I will fail at something in the future, too. They have all taught me to keep moving forward and not to dwell on the past. Learn from it, don't make the same mistake, and continue to move forward.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Pettine: My first major challenge was gaining the trust of a sales team of seasoned plastics sales veterans, some who have been in this business for 20 and 30 years. Currently, I would say increasing sales — to follow up a great year with another great year.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Pettine: Coming from the medical industry, of course I'm sort of drawn to it from the manufacturing side. It's always intriguing to me to see who's manufacturing what. That said, I thoroughly enjoy working with startups. I'm an entrepreneur at heart and had some of my own businesses so I enjoy helping startups get off the ground.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Pettine: The complexity and the technology. Also, the average age. I believe your average reader is 54, based on data I have read in one of your issues.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Pettine: Learn from your failures, especially when you lose out on closing a deal. If you lose out on a sale, always respond with respect and graciousness and keep the door open for future opportunities.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Pettine: Be prepared to learn and work hard.
Q: If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Pettine: Introduce myself to all employees, shake as many hands as possible and most importantly, listen.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Pettine: My father. No one was harder on me than he was. He pushed me to my limits and never let up. At the time, I hated it, but looking back it was the best thing that happened to me. He also has strong business acumen. I have learned a lot from him over the years although I don't think he realizes it. He has given me plenty of professional advice on leadership over the years that I carry with me every day.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Pettine: Obviously, I would like to keep climbing the ladder, but I am happy where I am. I need to improve every day before I can think of what position I may hold in the future.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Pettine: My wife would tell you, nothing. When I do relax, I prefer to relax outdoors where I cannot be reached by technology, preferably smoking a full-bodied cigar. Either that, or working out.