Jessica Johnson has spent most of her career in the plastics industry, but what initially attracted her to plastic packaging was the fact that consumers interact with it more than 10-15 times per day "without giving it much thought."
"What I found through my experience was quite interesting in that it involved careful thought on market dynamics, innovative design for consumer appeal and functionality, and the forethought to recyclability and sustainability years ahead of capabilities," she said.
Johnson graduated from the University of Evansville with a bachelor's degree in global business and a minor in Japanese, and she is a University of Cambridge certified plastics ambassador. She found a lead generation and inside sales internship, through collaboration with a professor, that aligned with her global business studies.
"I fell in love with an industry and a company that has allowed me to navigate my way into so many areas of the business. The opportunities to grow both personally and professionally have been exceptional. I have held roles from lead generation intern and inside sales to territory, international and national director of sales. I felt a nudge to learn more of the business side through product line management, where I managed the P&L [profit and loss] and strategy all while interfacing with operations, finance and commercial leadership," said Johnson, who stepped into the role as executive vice president and general manager of Evansville, Ind.-based Berry Global Group Inc. in the last year.
"As executive vice president and general manager at a Fortune 500 global manufacturer and marketer of plastic packaging, I lead the P&L results as well as the overall sales and marketing strategy of a $500 million consumer goods business that serves in the food and beverage, personal care and home care markets," she added.
Johnson said it is important and exciting being in the plastics industry and seeing concepts of circularity, sustainability and supplier stewardship evolve into tangible reality: "The collaboration in maintaining the merit and utility of plastics across the entire value chain is something we can all play an integral role in."
Johnson hopes to break the leadership mold for being "a strong contributor, collaborator, listener and trailblazer for equity and inclusion of all."