"Pay now, play later" are the chief words of wisdom Ken Hanson has received when it comes to work ethic.
"Invest the time up front, do the hard work of planning, and you'll find the successful results leave you with time to celebrate the wins," he said.
Raised in the Boston suburb of Chelmsford, Mass., Hanson is one of six children. His father taught orchestra grades 3-12, and his mother was the global director of finance for Polycom Inc., a video and voice communications company.
"The day I turned 14, my father had me down the road applying for a job at Market Basket, a local grocery chain. Both my parents instilled the values of hard work and integrity in me throughout my upbringing," he said in his Rising Stars survey.
Hanson completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in plastics engineering.
While he was in graduate school, Hanson did an endoscopy research and development co-op at Boston Scientific, where he was the author of FDA test methods and designer of catheter delivery system deployment fixtures to test their newest plastic stents.
"I was interested in the medical industry because I knew the fruits of my labor would save lives and help better people's lives," he said. This was Hanson's first plastics industry job.
Hanson's next move was to A. Routsis Associates Inc. as a senior engineer and trainer, where he taught scientific injection molding in Malaysia at the Kismec Institute and German Malaysian Institute and throughout the United States.
"During the two years, I increased the skill levels of hundreds of individuals in the Malaysian plastics industry by teaching the chemistry and processing of polymers. When a student grasped a new concept and made positive changes at their company or in the classroom, I felt a great sense of achievement," he said. "The cultural immersion also helped broaden my perspective of the values and meaning of life, which I hold close."
Hanson, 32, joined Hamilton, Ohio-based Imflux Inc., the Procter & Gamble Co. subsidiary that specializes in custom plastic injection molds and tools, as a plastics process engineer in May 2014. He is now the innovation engineering leader and strategic innovation programs manager.
He currently serves several roles at Imflux: research and development leader, technical sales and manager of an external partnership/development project. "The workload was becoming overbearing and stressing me out, but I learned to effectively delegate the right work and stay on top of things," he said.
Hanson also decompresses with the practice of Yin, Hatha and Bikram yoga, which he has done to "ease [his] body and mind" for the past 12 years. In the future, he said, he plans on starting his own company to design and construct living spaces made from renewable materials "that utilize alternative energy sources and include sustainable design landscapes."
He is also the primary or co-inventor on more than plastics industry 10 patent filings over the last decade, covering closed loop injection molding process control, injection mold tool design and methods of manufacturing.