Marissa Hann-Banks was the first person in her family to graduate from college and began the process of looking for school loans as a teen.
"I knew education would be a stepping stone to my future, and I wanted to make it happen," she said.
Hann-Banks has a bachelor's degree in communications and public relations from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
She started as a conference coordinator with Applied Market Information LLC.
"At the time, I did not know much about plastics, but I was attracted to the industry due to the global footprint and opportunity to see the world," she said. "By working with a variety of plastics professionals, I recognized the diverse range of expertise and backgrounds that make this industry so special."
Hann-Banks is now sales leader for Morristown, Tenn.-based color and additive concentrates maker Colortech Inc. in Philadelphia.
Career highlights for Hann-Banks include traveling to Europe for the first time in her first plastics job, simultaneously managing the East Coast and West Coast in the titanium dioxide sales role, growing from corporate event planning to senior sales management within 10 years and joining the Colortech team in 2018. She is one of the first female sales leaders for the company.
"As a sales professional, we are known as being 'road warriors,' and I found a comfort level with meeting customers face to face for impactful meetings," she said. "During the pandemic, we've had to get creative with Zoom, digital networking events and phone calls. I've been pleasantly surprised by how much we can achieve without spending hours in airplanes and cars."
Hann-Banks said her greatest achievement is raising two children with her husband. Her greatest career achievement has been finding a role with Colortech that "makes me excited to work every day."
"The plastics industry impacts almost every aspect of our daily lives," Hann-Banks said. "From the moment we wake up in the morning until we end our day, we can guarantee plastics played a vital role in our activities."
Hann-Banks was nominated by Erin Norris, marketing specialist for Colortech.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Hann-Banks: Recently I was promoted to my first management role, and I'm always trying to learn how to be better for my team.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Hann-Banks: I'd love to continue on the sales leadership trajectory. I hope to grow a successful team that finds fulfillment in their roles while positively impacting our company.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Hann-Banks: The sky is the limit! Find a niche that interests you. Work hard and network, and the opportunities are endless. Continue to expand your knowledge and contacts by attending industry events, continue your education and find webinars to stay current on the market trends.