The Emerging Leadership Council’s (ELC) mission is to establish a network of future leaders to drive issues and opportunities that have a long-term impact on the advancement of the U.S. flexible packaging industry.
The council is co-lead by Jonathan Quinn, formally with NOVA Chemicals, Inc., and Adrianne Tipton, chief technology officer at Novolex. To accomplish its mission, the council has implemented four committee pillars that will drive initiatives in the following areas.
- Education: educating youth on the purpose and benefits of flexible packaging
- Recruitment: attracting and retaining talent within the industry
- Leadership development: developing the next tier leaders in the flexible packaging industry
- Advocacy: educating and communicating about the legislative process and current legislation affecting the flexible packing industry, as well as helping FPA’s position in these areas
The council has hit the ground running in all pillars. The education committee chair is Alana Carr, inside sales and marketing manager for Hosokawa Alpine American, Inc., and the vice-chair is Erik Gonring, director of sustainability, Novolex. The committee has developed a plan for a recycling program with local schools to educate students on “Store Drop-Off” recycling. The initiative will be set up as a challenge where schools can receive a “buddy bench” made of recycled plastic once they collect 500 pounds of recyclable plastic materials.
The recruitment team chair is Apurva Shah Sr., market manager at Charter Next Generation, and the vice-chair is Mathieu Jeanneau, vice president and COO at St. Johns Packaging Ltd. It has completed its learning phase through a series of interviews and surveys on what the key needs are in the industry from a talent standpoint—identifying a need for awareness in the market on the diverse opportunities and growth in the flexible packaging industry, as well as education and development for skilled roles needed for the success of the industry. Next, the committee will work through a recruitment marketing campaign to support these needs.
The leadership development committee chair is Stacy Isonhood, product development manager at Printpack, and the vice-chair is Simon Hermans, marketing and sales director North America, Südpack Oak Creek Corporation. It has initiated a speaker series highlighting leaders in the industry discussing their experiences on what success looks like and how to achieve it. The first event was held on Feb. 23 with Dan Staker, executive vice president of Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC. This team is also focused on networking and has developed a LinkedIn group. And it is developing a mentorship program within the ELC.
With the advocacy committee, the chair is Clayton Short, application engineer at American Packaging Corporation, and the vice-chair is Evan Arnold, vice president of business development, Glenroy, Inc. The committee members focus on education of the legislative process and current legislation. They completed an update to a new glossary of terms as a go-to reference guide. In addition, given the fast-paced development of extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation, they have developed an outline and first draft of a whitepaper on the topic that will be provided at the FPA Annual Meeting in September.
This is a great start to the year, and many more good things are to come as these committees continue to progress, following their mission statement and objectives. The council welcomes anyone interested in joining the ELC to contact Tipton for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.