Megan Tzanoukakis has been around the plastics industry her whole life — even before she started working.
Her father, Keith Everson, has worked at Sussex IM Inc. for almost 40 years. He started as a setup technician on second shift during college, and is now CEO.
"As a child, I remember him taking us to the local Walgreens and pointing out the cosmetic compacts that he helped design and were made in Sussex," she said in her Women Breaking the Mold survey. "He has always had such a passion and excitement for plastics and the company in general, which made it so interesting for me."
Tzanoukakis first worked at Sussex IM, then Rexam Sussex, in human resources as a high school summer job.
She participated in employee-related programs and understood the importance of the "people first" culture at custom injection molder of Sussex, Wis., and how it contributes to its success. She helped plan the company picnic, blood drive and wellness program.
Tzanoukakis has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in accounting from Marquette University of Milwaukee, Wis. She started taking the certified public accountant exam during her last year of college and finished the summer before starting with PwC, where she worked as an audit associate for four years.
"It took a lot of hard work and diligence to stick to my study schedule, but it was definitely worth it," she said. "This is our family's work ethic, and it is reflected in our company's culture as well."
After working at PwC, she rejoined Sussex and moved up in several roles before becoming vice president of supply chain, which she has been for the past year.
"Personally, I am breaking the mold of women at an executive level in the plastics industry," Tzanoukakis said. "This is a highly male-dominated industry, but with my financial background and experience with manufacturing, I am able to not only assist with optimizing operations on the plant floor but understand the financial impact as well. I believe that women bring a different perspective to manufacturing. We can adapt quickly to change and multitask at the same time."