Erin Norris Bryant, 25
Marketing Specialist, Colortech Inc.
Erin Norris Bryant had just completed a course in sustainable strategic management at East Tennessee State University, where she was earning a bachelor's degree in marketing, when a classmate connected her with the Colortech Inc. leadership team. She said she did not know much about the plastics industry before starting at Colortech but was interested in the importance of sustainability in business.
Once she was introduced to the Morristown, Tenn.-based color and additive concentrates maker, she was "eager to join the team and promote their innovative work in the industry and their strong community presence in East Tennessee." She started in January 2019 as a marketing specialist.
In her role, she has assisted in the launch of the Colortech website and led the campaign to share the new website with the community, customers and industry contacts. She has produced branded videos that spotlight Colortech associates to recruit new team members.
Norris Bryant initiated the launch of the company blog on its website and analyzed notes from the sales team to determine key topics to discuss on the blog.
"It has been a great way to collaborate with technical service team members to write informative and creative content," she said.
In 2021, she led a project to draft and release Colortech's first sustainability report. "After making an outline and formatting the layout, I worked with multiple departments to compile data related to the improvement Colortech is making internally in regards to sustainability and how we can support our partners," she said.
"When I started at Colortech," she said, "I was the only associate in marketing, and I am proud of the foundation I have helped build with the support of our sales and technical teams."
Because she did not come from a science or engineering educational background, Norris Bryant said she continuously challenges herself "to learn more about the technical side of Colortech's product to understand the big picture better."
"Since my onboarding at Colortech, spending time in quality assurance labs and manufacturing facilities, I have learned not to shy away from asking questions and identifying new ways to share with our customers about the innovations going on at Colortech," she said.
After graduating from college, Norris Bryant became passionate about mentoring students.
"I thoroughly enjoy getting to know our high school and college interns at Colortech and volunteer to support students in my free time through various organizations," she said. Norris Bryant is a mentor for the nonprofit tnAchieves and is a board member for her high school alumni association.
Norris Bryant was nominated by Stefanie Holtham, marketing manager at Colortech.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Norris Bryant: My late grandfather, Esco Owens, is someone I have looked up to all my life. He grew up in the rural mountains of East Tennessee and went on to serve his country in the Navy, establish a career in the early days of information technology and dedicate his time away from work to travel with his family and serve others through philanthropic work.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Norris Bryant: The biggest surprise that I had when I began my marketing career in the plastics industry was realizing just how much plastics improve our daily lives. Whether through medical supplies or packaging for food, plastics play an essential role in every aspect of our lives.
Q: What has been the biggest impact/challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Norris Bryant: The most significant impact the pandemic has had on my career has been learning the importance of improving and staying consistent in communication when you cannot meet face to face. I am grateful to have spent my first year out of college in 2019 building relationships with my team members at Colortech and how we could adapt to the new changes 2020 brought and continue to stay engaged while working remotely.