Social media: Twitter @ KyraMumbauer.
Education: Bachelor's in anthropology, University of Maryland; master's in natural resources and sustainable development, Universidad para la Paz, Costa Rica; master's in international affairs, American University.
Career highlights: Traveling on behalf of SPI to Beijing to meet with representatives of the Chinese government and make a presentation to an industry and government audience at the 2012 Global Food Packaging Materials Regulation Forum.
I also tremendously enjoy leading the team that plans and executes SPI's biennial International Symposia on Worldwide Regulation of Food Packaging. There is so much to be learned from the experts gathered. I'm also a strong believer that a unified world with free movement of people and goods will be much more hospitable for all, and I cherish these opportunities to improve communication among international governments and business leaders.
Greatest achievement? Hands down my most difficult moment as a professional was when I was asked to serve as staff lead for SPI's Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee, assuming the role of my incredible predecessor, one of my greatest mentors.
Biggest failure and what it taught you? Allowing one person's relentless negativity and criticism to affect my attitude and my performance to the point of becoming insecure and defensive, compromising my effectiveness as a facilitator of member activities. I learned to focus on finding the wisdom and genuine opportunities for improvement in their comments and to tune out the negative tone.
What is your current challenge at work? Figuring out how to overcome the powerful influence of misinformation and unreliable science that has made consumers afraid of plastics, and particularly plastic food packaging.
Having been swayed myself by misinformation about plastics in the past, I think more people need to understand its advantages and also meet personally and cultivate trust in the bright men and women, fathers and mothers, who work to make the global food supply safer with plastics.
What emerging technology most interests you? I'm really excited about the possibilities for preservation of fresh food offered by multilayer film packaging.
Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to? Melissa Hockstad, who is now vice president of petrochemicals at American Fuel & Petroleum Manufacturers (AFPM). Melissa showed by example how to be a strong teammate, an effective manager who empowers her staff to grow and learn, a measured and thoughtful professional, and an honest, productive and efficient contributor to the good of the industry.
What do you do to relax? I pray and meditate, and I also love to run and hike, and settle in with a good book.