Kinda Abu Hawash, 23
Supply Chain and Office Manager, Peacock Colors Co. Inc.
Kinda Abu Hawash graduated from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Her first plastics job was as an engineering supply chain and procurement leader at Addison, Ill.-based Peacock Colors Co. Inc., a thermoplastic compounder developing efficient coloring and performance enhancing masterbatches.
"I've been curious about the plastic industry because of the positive outlook I received through my education of plastic as a material, but also the contradiction with the media and public opinion. I've also always been interested in art and design, and Peacock Colors is in the plastic colorant business, so it was the perfect merger for my interests," said Abu Hawash, who is from Irbid, Jordan.
"We are Palestinian refugees from Haifa (Israel) who live in Jordan. My dad is an architectural engineer, and my mum is a teacher who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in curriculum design with a science focus. … My family moved between Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. We moved almost every two to three years due to my father's jobs; as a result, we grew up welcoming change and challenges," she said.
Abu Hawash became the supply chain and office manager of Peacock in December 2021. She said her biggest accomplishment has been "navigating the raw material shortages and price increases from last year and maintaining the supply of products for the company."
"Plastic is not only one of the most versatile materials, but it is also technologically recyclable. I've been educating myself by doing research on what technologies have been developed so far, what worked and did not work," she said. "At Peacock Colors, we welcome and encourage projects that use bioplastics and recycled resin. I've also been on an environmentally conscious group at university to target correct methods to recycling."
She is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers Chicago chapter's board of directors and the Color Marketing Group. She has also been working on advancing her skills in areas such as sales, customer service, marketing, negotiation and operational management.
Abu Hawash was nominated by Mercedes Landazuri, director of technology and innovation of Peacock Colors.
"She has revolutionized our supply chain process at Peacock," Landazuri said, "and kept us and our customers up and running in a crazy climate."
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Abu Hawash: I aspire to be part policymaking position, that influences the direction and decisions of businesses and their effect on the environment.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Abu Hawash: This industry is connected to everything we use on the daily. You have to go in with an open mind. The image of plastics is unfortunately tainted from the media and there are myriad of misconceptions. The best way is to learn and talk to individuals who are currently in the industry.
Q: What should the plastics industry do to expand its efforts in diversity and inclusion?
Abu Hawash: Target university career fairs to attract more young professionals from different backgrounds. I also think that the industry should target organizations that focus on the environment and sustainability to bring more people with the diverse ideas to tackle the issues that this industry is facing such as the plastic waste management, misinformation, media, etc. I don't think people know enough about the plastics world, the opportunities need to be shared with the world, with the future of the industry which are the young professionals.