Drew Franco, 34
M. Holland Co.
Drew Franco said his first plastics job was after he graduated college, working as an operations coordinator for an exporter in Houston. He attended the University of Connecticut and received a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in economics and anthropology.
"At the time, I saw the opportunity as something that was exciting, different and not worth passing up," said Franco, who was born in St. Charles, Ill. "I'd always been intrigued by the plastics industry because of the pivotal role it plays in our daily lives and in creating mission-critical products. However, I didn't fully grasp the industry's scope until I started working for the M. Holland Company."
Franco names growing his sales more than 50 percent from 2017 to 2018 and receiving the M. Holland MPact Award each year from 2017 to 2019 as career highlights.
"My greatest achievement, career-wise, is having nearly doubled my sales since joining the M. Holland Co. in 2016," he said.
Having two brothers made him a more competitive person; they were involved in many sports.
"I always wanted to do better than the older, while setting a good example for my younger brother," he said. "Having that experience growing up always kept me in balance to do my best to improve upon the accolades of my older brother but also set the bar even higher for my younger brother."
Franco was nominated by Kristina Leal of Ink Communications.
Plastics News: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Franco: Given the growing demand for sustainability and for the plastics industry to contribute to a circular economy, I'm most interested in the green plastics market and advancements in recycled materials.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Franco: The plastics industry continues to evolve as the demand for environmentally friendly products grows. The industry is showing that it's listening and hearing these calls by pushing the development of new products and increasing innovation faster than ever before.
Q: Biggest failure and what it taught you?
Franco: During Hurricane Harvey, a particularly devastating natural disaster that occurred on the Gulf, we were unable to deliver on fulfilling a promise due to the uncontrollable circumstances of the time. This situation was difficult for everyone involved, but I learned the valuable lesson of knowing what is and isn't in your control. We can't always plan for everything; we can only control our reactions moving forward. It's not an easy lesson to learn, but it's a crucial one for professional growth.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Franco: If I were a CEO, I would implement policies that allow employees to create their own work schedule if it is appropriate to their job function. The traditional perception of work is shifting dramatically. Business leaders must realize this trend will only become more standardized.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Franco: I've always looked up to my father. He's been my mentor for as long as I can remember.