Missy Rogers' first job in the plastics industry was a big feat: founding Grand Coteau, La.-based custom injection molder Noble Plastics Inc. in 2000 with her husband, Scott Rogers.
"Nothing like a little pressure, yes?" Rogers said in her Women Breaking the Mold survey. "I think the plastics industry hits all the paths that were interesting to me as an engineer — thermal science, materials, heat transfer, mechanical design and efficient processes. There really is a huge variety in the specialties you can develop."
Missy Rogers, president of Noble, graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.
She received an innovation award from Texaco, where she previously worked as a senior engineer, for a "novel method to increase gas turbine efficiency and extend run time"; Louisiana Economic Development Lantern Award for community service and business growth; and United Way of Acadiana's Women Who Mean Business Award for mentoring women and minorities into science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Rogers said she recently read Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too), which "recommends more effective communication with people based on their styles over your own," she said.
"I am challenged to provide the right amount and style of communication through chaotic times with COVID and business concerns to a team of people that all need something different from me. Supporting my team is my No. 1 priority, so they can take care of each other and our clients," Rogers said.
Craig Carrel, president and co-owner of Team 1 Plastics, nominated Rogers.
Q: What is your personal "mold" that you are breaking?
Rogers: Engineers are classically characterized as having poor people skills or communication with nontechnical people. I hope my focus on presenting manufacturing and plastics to school kids, their teachers and counselors, and different business entities serves to bring more interest to the profession. I also hope it becomes less surprising to the average person that people in leadership roles can look and sound like me.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rogers: "Experience is the best teacher, but her tuition is expensive." Learning must be a lifelong process and I believe needs to be a combination of reading, doing and teaching. Intelligence and knowledge are only valuable if put to use for other people, so the doing and teaching are critical to your own development as well as others.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Rogers: I think I continue to be surprised that we are perceived as both the hero and the villain in regards to the environment. I believe we have a great opportunity to message to students and their families the pride and modern advancements as clean manufacturers with amazing materials. Recycling isn't enough; they need to see the safety, automation and science of what we do and be glad that these companies are in their own towns, looking to offer great careers to people.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Rogers: I am really excited to see the development of Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence processes to get more actionable data into the hands of direct staff. We are data hounds here, and making that data accessible and understandable is the key to empowering our people.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Rogers: I am fortunate to have a great cadre of business leaders with whom I share a high level of trust and collaboration. I think this is more important to maintain the greater your role in an organization as the isolation can get very real at the top. My mentors are those who have found balance, energy and tenacity in their pursuits.