Nearly 20 years ago, Rebecca Casey landed her first job in the plastics industry, working for EMD Chemicals Inc. as a sales representative selling pearlescent pigments for color concentrates, inks and coatings.
Casey has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois and an MBA in marketing from Northern Illinois University.
"The career opportunities and advancement for young professionals in the plastics industry is considerable," Casey said in her Women Breaking the Mold survey. "It's an industry where there is this sense of 'belonging,' which has been such a critical ingredient in my career. Right away, when I started my career, I was filled with a sense of purpose, which I still feel today."
Casey, vice president of marketing and consumer market development at flexible packaging maker TC Transcontinental Packaging in Chicago, was nominated by Patricia Lemoine, corporate spokesperson and external communications specialist.
"To be part of TC Transcontinental's acquisition team, leading up to our transformational acquisition of Coveris Americas in spring 2018, has been one of my biggest career achievements," she said, adding that she was proud to have been part of the transaction "through which our company became a leader in flexible packaging in North America."
The deal was concluded in a short time frame because of an "outstanding team effort."
"I have witnessed firsthand how collaboration, respect, experience, wisdom and numerous sets of skills can be pulled together so seamlessly to make things happen," Casey said. "This is such a reflection of TC Transcontinental's values or respect teamwork, innovation and performance."
The best advice Casey has received is that "your career path and advancement are your own responsibility."
"By owning your career development and finding ways to help yourself, you can set both short- and long-term goals on a yearly basis. Most of all, you have to believe that you can achieve them," she said.
To others, the advice she would give is to "be inquisitive," "build connections" and "never assume that you have the perfect answer."
"It's important to continue to learn from others and challenge yourself in order to learn something new everyday," she said.
Casey's mother died 15 years ago after fighting breast cancer for 10 years.
"In my mind, she still defines strength, sacrifice and bravery," she said. "I aspire to have all those qualities."