Education: Bachelor's in chemistry, Purdue University; pursuing an MBA with a focus on leadership from Ohio Dominican University.
First plastics job: Analytical chemist at IDI Composites in Noblesville, Ind. They're a leading manufacturer of themoset composites for molders and OEMs. My experience gave me a vast amount of technical knowledge, and many great relationships and contacts as well.
During my undergraduate studies, I was always interested in polymers, but never expected to have a career in the composites industry. After working for IDI and understanding the impact that we have not just on our customers but in the global aspect as well, I knew that this was where I was meant to be.
Biggest failure and what it taught you? Not meeting your customers' expectations. But by constantly re-evaluating projects and approaching from new perspectives, anyone is able to achieve success.
What emerging technology or market most interests you? Emerging space programs such as SpaceX or the automotive industry in general. SpaceX because I believe we are beginning to embark on a new space frontier with the emergence of these privatized companies and the automotive industry because of the constant growing demands under new CAFE standards. Both provide excellent opportunities for composites as many materials such as steel or aluminum can't compete on a cost/weight basis!
What about the plastics industry surprises you? The constant innovation and challenges that are met. Every conference I attend always introduces new ideas, materials and technologies with great potential. The possibilities are endless.
Best advice you've received? My previous boss at IDI told me that I should find my niche and develop it.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry? Do it! Being able to create something and see it develop into mass production is a beautiful reward that not many are able to see!
If you were CEO of a company what would you do first? Help drive innovation by providing as much support as possible to R&D.
Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to? My father taught me the meaning of hard work and that with constant effort, anything is truly possible.
Mark Murfitt, CMT's growth market director, is also a great mentor who is constantly pushing me to think outside the box. Mark has been in the composites industry for decades and is a great resource and sounding board when it comes to ideas and feedback.
What job do you really want to have in the future? Ideally I would love to have a role of director of technology or material development.
What do you do to relax? I enjoy sightseeing and trying new food around the Columbus area with my fiancee. Health is an important aspect of my life so any activity that keeps my heart pumping is a great stress relief. I also enjoy gardening, cooking, reading and the outdoors in general. A weekend of hiking, camping and fishing sounds like the ultimate relaxation to me!