Corey Ryan's interest in drafting, computer-aided design and manufacturing led him to study industrial technology and management with an emphasis on plastics at Northern Illinois University. The experience gave him "a strong background in various manufacturing techniques and materials."
The 34-year-old interned for Plano, Ill.-based custom injection molder TMF Plastics Solutions LLC, which turned into a full-time position as a manufacturing engineer upon graduation. Ryan was promoted to quality manager, where he oversaw all quality tasks in Illinois as well as the Grants Pass, Ore., facility as it continued to grow.
"In 2016, I transitioned into a project manager role, which allowed me to get more integrated with all departments required to have a successful project launch," said Ryan, who, after being in that role for three years, became the director for business development.
"With all of the investments put into our facilities, automation, services and, most importantly, our people, we have been able to more than double our sales between 2019 and 2022," said Ryan, who is now based at the company's Bradenton, Fla., location.
A member of the Sarasota Young Professional Group, Ryan said he sees himself as an educator and relationship builder.
"As long as I can educate future customers on what solutions could solve their problem, this builds trust and relationships," he said. "When these relationships last after a connection leaves Company A for Company B and they reach out for guidance at their new role, this is what keeps me motivated."
Read about more of our 2023 Rising Stars
Q: What industry events do you attend?
Ryan: Young professional groups and various virtual webinars for individual and business growth. Trade shows throughout the U.S. that are more specific to our customer base that gives me the knowledge to help steer our customers in the right direction and keep them competitive in their respective markets.
Q: One of our criteria for Rising Stars is whether they are active in plastics industry, manufacturing or their community. How are you involved?
Ryan: I have started doing webinars and lunch and learns to teach others about the plastics industry. I would really like to take this a step further and form my own group of manufacturers to take turns once a month and "pass the torch" to allow other individuals to learn from other industries and the markets they serve. TMF as an organization is getting more involved in the community with volunteer efforts, more specifically, cleaning oceans and beaches of waste.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Ryan: Automation in general. This isn't new technology, but it is ever evolving. Manufacturing for so many different industries has allowed me to meet some incredible people and experience "behind the scenes" of some very remarkable organizations.