Sandra Fernandez Freixa, as marketing and pricing director for The Woodlands, Texas-based materials distributor Nexeo Plastics LLC in Barcelona, is responsible for providing the "best possible combination of creativity and data-driven analytics" to help grow the company and that of the customers and partners.
"Together with my team we develop and implement strategic digital marketing plans enabling our customers and partners the best possible experience whenever they need to [make] an informed decision about their plastic needs," she said. "I am also leading the implementation of a new pricing technology to ensure pricing consistency and profitability optimization."
Fernandez Freixa graduated from Barcelona's Universitat Pompeu Fabra with a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration. Her first job in the industry was in the finance department of a local plastics distributor that had just been acquired.
"The truth is I had no special interest in the industry at first. What interested me the most at the time was the transformation, internationalization and growth possibilities that an M&A operation of that kind was opening," she said. "Later on, once I realized almost everything we touch or use in our day to day is made out of plastic, I became fascinated by the astonishing variety of end markets and the almost unlimited possibilities for new applications that are found every day through R&D."
Fernandez Freixa said she is proud to have an active role in the launch of a new 3D printing business unit.
"I have been progressively [taking] responsibilities in my career. During my first years, I was exposed to several software implementation programs from ERP [enterprise resource planning], CRM [customer relationship management] to more recent experiences in e-commerce and marketing cloud systems," she said.
She said her often biggest reward has been finding consensus among teams that hold opposite views, "reaching compromises to arrive [at] win-win situations."
"Being resilient has helped me to tackle challenges [by] remaining open and willing to adapt to change," she said. "I have relentlessly overcome limiting beliefs to bet for ideas I had little to no support for at the beginning but that I knew I would make it work."
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Fernandez Freixa: My strongest achievement is to have surrounded myself by a fantastic team of people I enjoy working with. Without them, I would have not been able to achieve any milestone.
If I focus strictly on the hard side based on deliverables and execution, I would say leading a transformational pricing program that encompasses intensive design and process thinking as well as strong change management skills across the organization has been an important achievement recently.
Building up trust across my team, colleagues and partners in all I do is almost my "mantra."
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Fernandez Freixa: One of the biggest challenges I have is to prioritize a number of good initiatives. The day has only 24 hours! Digital marketing can contribute a lot to transform the way we reach customers, at the same time, the creation of relevant content is central to our efforts. The creation of good content takes time, however, that time is well invested when our customers and partners care and react to it.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Fernandez Freixa: It is very difficult to pick one person, and it would be almost an endless list to mention them all. I have learned from many colleagues and bosses from different cultures and nationalities I have met in my career. Some people impressed me by their intelligence, others by their creative thinking, others by their energy and enthusiasm, others by their speed to find diagnosis for a complex situation, others by their determination. I have [been] inspired by all of them.