Kyle Winter, 30
Product Line Manager, Personal Care Closures, Aptar Beauty + Home
Kyle Winter's first industry job was as a marketing analyst for specialty packaging injection molder AptarGroup Inc., as he was looking for something "strong and steady" at the time.
"The plastic industry is imperative in the daily lives for billions of people, making it a great fit for my criteria. There are plenty of up-and-coming and established companies to fit the type of workplace college graduates are looking for," said the San Diego native. "Aptar was a natural fit for my personal criteria. At these large companies, there are hundreds of opportunities to grow in many different departments that can highlight your strengths."
His greatest achievement has been getting his first multimillion-dollar investment approved as a product line manager.
"It takes a lot of organization and effort between multiple different disciplines to build successful business cases that are supported internally. We're constantly working with sales, finance, procurement and supply chain to bring only the strongest cases to the table that make sense for the business," he said. "Knowing the business is supportive of you when making these decisions only makes us that much more eager to deliver on our commitments."
Winter is product line manager for personal care closures for Aptar Beauty + Home in Mukwonago, Wis.
Other career highlights have included becoming an expert in Aptar's 100-plus closure product portfolio; mastering and upgrading the company's global financial cost model; building the North America budget, which includes more than 6 billion units; successfully launching sustainable and e-commerce-friendly products into the marketplace; and building successful multimillion-dollar business cases that have been approved.
"Follow your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses," advised Winter, who graduated from Marquette University in Wisconsin with a double major in finance and marketing. "Personally, a knack for numbers and building financial models sent me from marketing to finance early in my career. It has been beneficial because in my current role I use those financial strengths when reviewing product margin, strategy and proposing business cases. The plastics industry has plenty of opportunity to try new things and expand on what one finds rewarding."
Winter is involved with Relay for Life and the Marquette University Athletics Alumni. In his spare time, he enjoys researching equities to trade in the financial markets, running, leisure hiking, working out and spending time with his wife and dog. They welcomed a baby at the end of January.
Jaimee Given, Aptar Beauty + Home senior marketing communications manager, nominated Winter for Rising Stars.
Q: What has been the biggest impact/challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Winter: Not being as close to the production floor/operations team. As a product line manager, I need to know changes in asset performance as they happen so we can take strategic measures to solve problems before they happen or before they get worse. This is a lot easier when within earshot of the production floor and engineering.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Winter: The supply and demand relationship for post-consumer recycled resin is interesting to me. I am anxious to see how the industry will price products that are produced with recycled material in the future. As demand continues to rise and with a finite amount of recycled material, it will be interesting to see what ideas resin suppliers come up with to increase the supply or if price is just driven straight up.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Winter: How slow it moves! Plastic packaging and its customer base are not as agile as other industries. Especially established brands. This was a surprise to me when I first started.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Winter: Grow your network. Each person you meet and work with has a different skill set. Being efficient and effective isn't always knowing everything by yourself, but knowing who you can count on to find the right answer.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Winter: Build a better relationship with consumers. Yes, we sell to suppliers and marketers, but most consumers don't even know who Aptar is. We are entering an age where consumer loyalty will be at all-time highs, and anything we can do to let consumers know we're being sustainable and e-commerce-friendly should be celebrated.