Plastics and packaging are in Jonathan Quinn's blood.
His grandfather was a press operator at Baxter for more than 20 years. His father started working at Amcor and rose through the ranks to become president and CEO of several different packaging companies.
He has pictures of himself at age 2 in a box of resin. Quinn, who now works as the market development manager at plastics and chemicals manufacturer Nova Chemicals Inc. in Pittsburgh, started doing stretch and elongation testing when he was 5 years old.
"My goal was always to one day work in a corner office next to my dad, but due to a stroke and him being disabled, I won't get that shot, but it drives me even more to carry on the family tradition," Quinn said. "It is now continuing with me and my brother [who] recently graduated from Clemson [University in South Carolina] with his degree in packaging and is now the head packaging engineer at WorldPak."
Quinn, 32, also graduated from Clemson with degrees in packaging science and business management. In 2007, he held internships with packaging manufacturer Pregis Ltd. in England and Scholle Europe in the Netherlands. He was also a marketing and sales intern for Berry Global Inc., formerly Pliant Corp.
Quinn has held positions at Multisorb Technologies Inc., R.A Jones, and ITW Zip-Pak. He joined Nova Chemicals in May 2016.
"I have had many great achievements in my career thus far," he said, "such as inheriting sales of $500,000 and growing that to over $3 million in three years, supporting and leading an organization through a very tumultuous time after consolidating from three plants to one megaplant without losing a customer as we struggled with quality and supply for a length[y] period of time. … Those are just a few things, but I truly believe my greatest achievement is yet to come.
"At the end of the day, when I walk away from my career in plastics and packaging, I want my [greatest] achievement to be the people and teams I have been a part of. The relationships are what make this industry so special, and I want to keep those relationships continuing for the next generation," he added.
Quinn said what surprises him about the industry is how big it is yet how small the network feels.
"What I mean by that is the industry is so vast, but during conferences or trade shows, it's remarkable how often in discussions how many people know each other," he said.
Quinn is on the board of the directors of the Society of Plastics Engineers' Flexible Packaging division, chair of the e-commerce committee of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN), nominated to the Flexible Film and Extrusion board of the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry and nominated to the ISTA Global board.
Quinn and his wife, Molly, have a 1-year-old daughter, Emerson, and a black Labrador retriever, Howie.
"I remember it like it was yesterday, but my dad told me in high school, 'People are the single most important asset a company has, so make sure everyone knows that by your actions,'" he said. "This advice really has resonated with me over the years as I have been part of companies where people were the most important asset and they were made aware of that, and I have been a part of organization[s] where that was not the case and the results of the organization showed that."
Quinn was recommended for Rising Stars by Dan Falla, senior technical service specialist in polyethylene films at Shell Polymers, who previously worked at Nova Chemicals.
"Jonathan has an infectious passion for plastics and packaging," Falla said in a statement about Quinn. "It is that passion that has enabled him to have such a significant impact on the industry at such a young age. Jonathan embodies what everyone in the industry is looking for right now in the next generation of senior leadership."