De Graff, Ohio-based Precision Custom Products Inc. marks Dawn Beelman's first job in the plastics industry.
She started at the custom injection molder of thermoplastic elastomers helping on the production floor then worked in the office the following summer. Beelman earned her accounting degree while working at the company and was promoted along the way — and for the next 35 years.
"I am interested in the [plastics] industry as it serves so many other industries in our economy," said Beelman, who is currently senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Beelman said her greatest achievement has been earning her college degree while working full time. "I am also proud of the management in our organization and my role in helping develop the team," she said.
Like with other plastics companies, a current challenge is obtaining and retaining employees, she said.
"It has also been a challenge working through the current COVID pandemic and the economic challenges that has presented," she said.
Beelman said she aspires to remain at PCPI until she retires, perhaps even serving as president, "but that is just a title."
"I really love my job and the people I work with," she said. "I want to make sure that PCPI continues well into the future."
Beelman is involved with the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors, Ohio Manufacturers' Association and United Way of Logan County. She spends her free time with her husband and dogs and enjoys reading, cooking and making handmade greeting cards.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Beelman: It surprises me that the plastic industry touches so many other industries in our economy. There is rarely anything made anymore that doesn't have some type of plastic component.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Beelman: 3D printing is an emerging technology that we haven't had a lot of experience in yet. I think it has some great applications for small part runs.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Beelman: The best advice I ever received is to treat everything that leaves our company as top quality, even the envelopes and letters we send out. Everything that leaves our building is a representation of our quality.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Beelman: My mentor is my boss, Jim Kerg, who has given me the opportunity to grow and advance in my career.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Beelman: I would advise them to look at all of the areas of the plastics industry. It is so widespread that you can easily find something that really interests you. Also, learn as much basic knowledge as you can, even if you work in administration or accounting.