Laura Douglas began her career at Xaloy before she knew anything about the plastics industry.
"It was an accidental job as a marketing assistant. I was both fascinated and intimidated by how much there was to learn. This turned into a passion for the industry, and I started meeting the industry players and seeing the technologies emerge and develop the industry as we are today," said Douglas, who studied marketing and business management.
She started Turner Group Inc. in February 1992, "with the dream of serving the plastics industry, our partners, customers and communities," she said.
"Realizing that dream has been the highlight of my career," said the CEO of the manufacturers' rep agency. "We have created a successful organization based on integrity and service with the best team in the industry."
In 2017, Turner Group created a division focused on technology, which helps plastics companies with smart manufacturing processes.
"We have created a division of Turner Group that is focused only on technology. This has created an opportunity for us to have conversations with our customers on the future growth of their companies," she said. "We take an agnostic approach, so when we are at the table, we are never trying to sell them something — only help them achieve their dreams."
Douglas' current challenge is the "chaotic nature" of the plastics industry.
"The supply chain challenges have created a frantic environment in the industry that requires a lot of patience. Maintaining our core philosophy of the right product and services is more challenging in the panic mode, which we are seeing," she said.
Her greatest achievement has been finding the best talent in the industry: "We learned to put away the resume and see the person. Every team member we have now is a result of this strategy."
Q: What's an accomplishment of yours that most people don't know about, either for work or in your personal life?
Douglas: Facing the unknown and uncertainty with faith and patience. Maintaining the courage needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting the outcome. Learning to treat everyone with kindness, respect and dignity, no matter who they are.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Douglas: "Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words." Our lives, both personal and professional, are about who we are and how we serve. I believe that it's all about our actions.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Douglas: John Ward. John has stepped up [as a] partner in Turner Group Technologies and has a clear passion for technologies and serving the customer and industry.