Family: Wife, Maureen Mussel.
Career highlights: I started my career at Plastic Components in 2006 as a program launch coordinator. I was promoted to operations manager in October 2012. During my tenure PCI has been featured in numerous local and industry trade publications.
What interested you about plastics? Plastic Components introduced me to plastics and automated manufacturing. The variety of plastics available and infinite applications was fascinating. I also loved the fact I could point out a part in a store and say “we made that.”
Greatest achievement? Developing our lights-out manufacturing facility in 2011 and directing the expansion in 2015. It was rewarding to celebrate the success of the manufacturing strategy by doubling down and expanding the facility.
Biggest failure and what it taught you? Managing from a “silo.” Initially, while trying to manage the firm's constant growth, I ran the production side purely on will and determination. Once I realized that it wasn't sufficient or sustainable, I began to lead by developing key support functions. We now have the proper supervisory foundations to maintain our growth.
What emerging technology interests you? We are always interested in processing the latest advanced resins including carbon fiber filled materials. Our next automation frontier will combine robotic extraction with in-line quality inspection.
What about the plastics industry surprises you? The most surprising and positive aspect of our corner of the plastics industry is the openness and support fellow MAPP (Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors) members provide.
Best advice you've received? Grab the steering wheel and manage to the desired outcome. The concept is applicable to business and personal interactions. You don't have to dictate the situation as long as you know your desired outcome and can prevent the process from derailing.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in plastics? This industry is very dynamic and you must commit to a career that will evolve with the technological and scientific advancements that continue to transform the industry.
Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to? Tom Duffey has been an incredible professional mentor. He provided the advice above, leading our organization to become more professionally assertive.
What job do you really want to have in the future? I think I'm destined to become a professor of economics at the end of my career.
What do you do to relax? I enjoy golfing, bowling, softball, and home brewing.
What is your current challenge at work? Our underlying commitment to substitute technology and automation for direct labor requires a very talented work force. We must identify and develop our next generation of employees.