Jeremy Jackson, 27
Osterman and Co.
Jeremy Jackson's first plastics industry job was at Osterman and Co., where he is an account manager. He was introduced to the industry through David Dever, who was assigned to be Jackson's mentor during the University of Michigan football alumni mentorship program more than 10 years ago and continues to be a mentor at Osterman today.
He was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Jackson's father was the running backs coach at the university for more than 23 years.
Reaching the Osterman Circle of Excellence in 2019 and completing Navy Seal leadership training in Coronado, Calif., in 2013 have been Jackson's greatest achievements, he said.
He wishes he played football professionally, however.
"I played college football at Michigan for all four years of school," Jackson said. "This taught me to set my goals high because even though I didn't reach my goal, I made lifelong friends at Michigan, was a part of a BCS Championship bowl-winning team, and it led me to getting into the plastics industry."
Jackson also volunteers as a high school football wide receivers coach.
Plastics News: What is your philosophy related to plastics and sustainability? What steps have you taken to improve plastics' sustainability, either in work, your community or personal life?
Jackson: Living in Ann Arbor, Mich., I find myself constantly defending the plastics industry to my peers. I always mention the benefits of plastics with regards to metal/plastic conversion in auto/aerospace industry to make vehicles/planes lighter. I also discuss the benefits of food packaging (films/bottles) for food preservation and certainly try to practice what I preach by recycling daily.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Jackson: The industry surprises me because it is a very large [industry] yet everyone seems to be a friend of a friend. Whenever I travel with a business manager to a customer site, it seems that after having a discussion there is always a seven-degree of separation and the two have a mutual connection.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Jackson: More often than not my current challenge at work is helping my customer base optimize their process parameters and improve their supply chain.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Jackson: I would get to know each person in the company to understand what motivates them and find an effective way to communicate with each individual.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Jackson: "You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen twice the amount that you speak." — My dad.