Lee's Summit, Mo. — Michael Warkentien has been named director of Latin American business for R&D Leverage, a new position at the packaging supplier.
The position was created to expand the company's business in Latin America, particularly Brazil. Warkentien lived in Brazil from the age of 3 until he was 21, and attended the Federal University in Campina Grande before returning to the United States.
He started his career in the plastics industry in 1980, and remained in plastics until 2014, when he took an interim job turning around a manufacturing firm.
"R&D/Leverage already has a significant global presence, and are constantly looking for the next opportunity to expand deeper into the underdeveloped markets," said CEO Mike Stiles, in a news release.
Warkentien's experience includes stints at Alcan Packaging and Amcor PET Packaging.
"Things are stabilizing in Brazil and it's a great time to take advantage of the markets in this region of the world," he said.
R&D/Leverage makes tooling and offers design and brand development services. The company is hosting an open house Sept. 20-22 in Lee's Summit. For information, see www.rdleverage.com/open-house.html.