Jamie Harry, 32
Business Solutions Manager, Nexeo Plastics LLC
Jamie Harry's interest in the plastics industry came from her father, who worked at an olefins plant her entire life. Her first industry job was as a supply chain associate for materials giant LyondellBasell Industries, where she worked on the pricing team.
Harry joined Nexeo Solutions as a product analyst in 2013, then a product specialist in 2015. She became a business solutions analyst for Univar Inc. in 2018 and business solutions manager for Nexeo Plastics LLC in 2019. Univar acquired Nexeo Solutions in 2019, and Nexeo Solutions and Univar do business as Univar Solutions. Nexeo Solutions' plastics division was named Nexeo Plastics.
"Designing and delivering over 250 system enhancements in the last two years, spanning across multiple business segments and applications" has been Harry's greatest achievement.
At The Woodlands, Texas-based resin distributor, there are "a ton of great ideas and projects underway with some aggressive timelines."
"We aim to be an industry leader, which means we have internal and external pressures to meet deadlines. We have to make sure we deliver quality products before any of our competitors beat us to the punch," she said.
Harry said she is interested in green plastics: "I have seen the effects of nonbiodegradable plastics on wildlife, and it is devastating. I want to be a better consumer and use plastics consciously. I believe the need for plastic will never be eliminated, but how can we (as companies and consumers) make choices, like green plastics, that ensure the futures of the amazing creatures in the world?"
Harry earned her bachelor's degree in business marketing from Texas A&M University and MBA with a concentration in technology leadership from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
"To improve my potential for advancement, I have obtained a master's degree and certifications applicable for my career goals," she said. "I have taken on jobs that were out of my comfort zone so that I could ensure I am well rounded and bring value and understanding of the company as a whole."
Harry is a member of the Information Technology Professionals Association and Association of Former Students of Texas A&M.
She said one future job she'd like to have is the leader of a center of excellence for technology.
"I enjoy working with technology to improve others' daily lives," she said, "and sharing my knowledge with people through trainings."
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Harry: I think we have a lot of improving to do still. There are so many noteworthy social movements in the spotlight of today's world that deserve attention. It is becoming a trend for companies to call out their commitment to these movements on their websites, encouraging people that the company supports their interests. Looking around at the corporate sites of the companies in the plastics universe, it is not a common trend. I would love to see our industry be at the forefront of this concept to show that we are growing as a collective group and following (or leading!) these important trends.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Harry: Do what sets your soul on fire. If that is professionally, being in a space within a company where you are passionate is key. Your passion for your job impacts your quality of work and the work of those around you. If that is personally, doing something that brings you joy gives you a better work-life balance. It impacts your overall well-being and helps in all aspects of your life.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Harry: There is not one person I look up to specifically. There is a world full of people who impress and inspire me. Steve Jobs for his innovations in technology, Sara Blakely for her tenacity as a female leader, my father for his dedication to his career and even the neighbor down the street for the kindness they display with their lending library.