Lori Parent, 56, says the 25 years she spent selling wire and cable to military, technology and industrial markets has helped in her role as Northeast sales manager for Breen Color Concentrates Inc.
Parent served as president of Wire Association International in 2007 and has been a Northeast board member since 2005. The Wire and Cable Manufacturers Alliance presented Parent with the Charles D. Scott distinguished career award in 2007.
Her first job in plastics was with Breen Color, and she's been with the Lambertville, N.J., maker of color and additive concentrates for 16 years. She said Breen began its business selling to the wire and cable crowd, and that's how she's learned about resins.
Parent has an associate's degree in marketing and media. She said her current challenge at work is dealing with Breen's acquisitions of Hudson Color Concentrates and Midwest Color. Hudson kept its name but Midwest is now known as the Hudson Niles, Ill., plant.
However, she welcomes the change. Acquiring Hudson Color has opened up a new set of markets, products and materials for her to learn about. She said the company's focus on consumer packaging gives her a new focus.
“With Hudson Color, I look forward to the opportunity to be a bit more creative in colors,” she said. “Depending on demographics and consumer desires in new colors and special effects, being involved with those choices and decisions, are of interest to me from my ‘artist' side of color,” she said.
Her advice for aspiring plastics workers is that the industry is evolving, which makes it interesting, and that its global reach is an inspiration. And selling color is fun.
If she was a CEO, she said that “if resources allowed. I would have a form of cross-training for everyone: Lab time, plant time, technical time and marketing tools available. This makes everyone have a feel for all the roles needed to run a company successfully.”
Parent speaks some Japanese, and has enjoyed travel overseas. She also has hosted Japanese art students who visit the United States. For relaxation she runs, hikes, bikes, gardens and travels to exotic places with her husband.