Congratulations to the winners of PMMI's On the Rise Awards, developed by the Emerging Leaders Committee. These rising stars in packaging and processing were honored during PMMI's Annual Meeting for displaying leadership potential and initiative in their daily work.
ID Technology, a division of ProMach
As the business analyst for ID Technology, a division of ProMach, Alex Nunnally is charged with bridging the gap between manufacturing and technical support. During his last two years he has been a quick learner, gaining knowledge on the ERP system, business processes and writing SQL code. Alex has assisted with five acquisition integrations and one upgrade project all with the mindset that there is no task in front of him that he can’t accomplish.
Driven to learn more and challenge himself, Alex is working on completing his Master of Business. Alex’s attitude and determination has allowed the company to further the ProMach mission, blurring division lines and working on projects as a cohesive team.
Mechanical Project Engineer
Britny Lochowitz joined the Mechanical Engineering Group of Busse/SJI in 2014, shortly after graduating from Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She immediately immersed herself into the palletizing and depalletizing product lines of Busse/SJI and learned the nuances of packaging glass, aluminum and plastic containers of all shapes and sizes.
Through her attention to detail and quick responses to questions from the shop floor, Britny was able to establish a positive rapport with the manufacturing and assembly departments. Her initiative has led to the identification and introduction of programs that maximize design and process efficiencies within the Engineering Group. Britny now is involved in extracurricular efforts such as mentoring junior engineers and working on process improvement, safety and wellness committees.
ROVEMA North America, Inc.
Emmanuel Myers currently serves as a controls engineer for ROVEMA North America, Inc. He is leading two initiatives; an implementation of a new electrical documentation program and the development of new product testing platforms to improve the ability to evaluate potential projects in house.
Often working with service teams and customers, it is crucial that he can work well under pressure. When faced with stressful situations, Emmanuel stays calm and focused, ensuring that the rest of the team is able to get the job done.
H.B. Fuller Company
After graduating magna cum laude from Ohio State University, Garrett Price began working at H.B. Fuller. Since then, he has consistently climbed the ladder due to his data-based decision-making skills, propelling him to lead complex consumer continuous improvement projects while training and coaching teams.
Level-headed and conscientious, Garrett instinctually demonstrates strong business acumen which has helped grow H.B. Fuller’s top line. He developed and executed qualification plans that captured $10 million in annual organic revenue growth and led cross-functional teams to develop new product innovations totaling $4.4 million annually.
In 2015, Garrett received the H.B. Fuller Technical Manager of the Year Award for his exceptional work in developing customer value quantification standards and mentorship of new hires through real-world problem solving. Garrett plans to complete his Master of Business at University of California, Davis this year to continue becoming a business leader in packaging.
Guillaume Savoie- Lavigueur started at NJM Packaging seven years ago. After working on new product development projects and having an interest in management, Guillaume obtained his Master of Engineering in 2018. Since then Guillaume has been involved in key strategic R&D projects of the organization and led the technical demand of federal grants.
After relocating twice for the organization, displaying strong leadership and a high level of initiative, as well as a track record of successful contributions, Guillaume was promoted to R&D Supervisor in 2019.
Guillaume now leads a team of professional engineers, managing the full R&D portfolio as well as the intellectual property of the business. With solid influence in the strategic decision of the organization, Guillaume has had a positive impact on engineering processes and improved time to market.
Sales Operations Manager
Soft Robotics, Inc.
In the beginning of 2019, Haley Parizo was commissioned as the first manager of sales operations for Soft Robotics. In this role, she has made meaningful impacts on the efficiencies of all key sales processes, from quotation standardization and management, through order fulfillment and after sales support. Haley became a key team member of the SRI distribution management group when a new technical distribution sales channel was introduced, working closely with marketing, product management, operations and sales. She continues to drive innovative thinking in the use of Soft Robotics’ CRM tools and sales channel communication methodologies.
A-B-C Packaging Machine Corporation
Jeremy Despota started his career with A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp. eight years ago as a general shop help employee, cleaning floors and emptying trash cans. While working full time, Jeremy went to school to learn PLC programming in order to move up into an assembly position and then into his current role of service engineer. As one of the highest skilled service engineers at A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp., Jeremy tackled countless projects from rebuilds of machines older than him, major conversions of equipment and startups of newly designed equipment. Through displaying confidence and leadership in his job, Jeremy has proven many times that he can handle any task set in front of him.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Loren Starr Luck joined Shibuya Hoppmann as a marketing assistant directly out of college in 2012. Since then she has initiated a new digital approach to advertising, managed Shibuya Hoppmann’s social media presence, website development/maintenance, targeted email blasts and video advertising, all leading to her current role as marketing and communications coordinator.
Loren continually demonstrates collaborative skills necessary to support the entire company. Under her own initiative, Loren has expanded her knowledge of the packaging industry and takes advantage of webinars and other educational avenues to expand her skillset and better her marketing strategies.
International Sales Manager, Dairy & Senior Market Manager
Paul Krechel joined Deville Technologies in 2016 as a market manager for the protein industry and was the first employee at the Kenosha, Wisconsin facility. Since then his leadership, determination and hard work has helped Deville’s protein business segment see a 1000% growth in the past three years.
Paul’s work ethic does not go unnoticed, as he inspires other team members and has presented at several industry events such as IPPE TechTalks, Ideas Showcase at ICTE and the International Association for Food Protection. A strong commitment to both Deville and the industry in general, has Paul led to have a dual role within Deville as international sales manager for the dairy industry and senior manager for the protein industry.
Robert Schmelzer grew up in Sangerhausen, Germany and started his career in the Army as a mechanical technician. With a drive for knowledge, he attended Heinze Academy for Technic and Design where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After completing his degree, Robert moved to the United States and was hired as an Electro-Mechanical Technician I at Mettler Toledo.
Robert’s education and experience from the Army showcased as an exceptional ability to lead and streamline a team when building x-ray systems. Armed with this knowledge, he was able to troubleshoot issues in order to meet critical timeframes.
From there, Robert quickly moved into the applications specialist position where he became the technical expert on Mettler Toledo x-Ray and Metal Detection systems. There his expertise helped shorten the sales cycle by testing and demonstrating a customer's product on the technology, prior to purchase.
Always showing initiative, Robert signed up for the first annual Six Sigma Green Belt training. There he led a Six Sigma Green Belt project that improved efficiency and reduced the waste by 50% in the Applications Center. Using this project as a springboard, Robert has created and maintained multiple SOPs to continuously streamline process and improve productivity. Robert's eagerness, passion and drive have propelled him to be a strong leader while motivating his coworkers to face the challenges that arise.
Electro Mechanical Technician
Pineberry Manufacturing Inc.
Tarique Walters was hired by Pineberry Manufacturing Inc. directly after graduating from Centennial College with an Electrical Mechanical Technologist degree specializing in Automation and Robotics. He quickly learned the various systems/solutions while enhancing the process by putting his knowledge and expertise of PLC programming to use.
Tarique’s ability to handle various situations during the design and manufacturing stage internally along with his skillset of working directly with customers off-site from senior management to operators during the start-up phase is a tremendous asset to Pineberry Manufacturing Inc.
Travis Robert started his career with RND Automation six years ago as an engineering intern. His dedication, self-motivation and can-do attitude propelled him up to buyer then machine shop manager and now manufacturing manager.
When asked to take on the scheduling portion of the machine shop, Travis took the initiative to teach himself CNC programming so he could assist in writing programs for the machinists. These new skills helped reduce RND Automation's Lead times by half.
Aurelio Delgado got his start in industrial automation as an intern for Omron while at Bradley University. He graduated in 2016 with a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Entrepreneurship and joined Omron to pursue a role in sales, with a focus on the packaging industry. In his first year, Aurelio received the Omron Sales Excellence Award for 200% achievement for target accounts: 117% of key accounts; 106% growth of territory. Recently, Aurelio has taken additional responsibilities in the field surrounding training. He stepped up to become a trainer for Omron’s Engineering Trainee Program and serves as the trainer for the Southern California region, overseeing sales and product training, monitoring productivity and establishing benchmarks for Omron Distributors and Systems Integrators.
Aurelio works with both small- and large-sized companies in the packaging industry solving applications from verifying labels on fruit, picking and packing ice cream bars into secondary packaging, verifying barcode integrity for pharmaceuticals as well as detecting absence/presence for clear bottles. Aurelio is from Venezuela, but currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Mechanical Drafter/Laser Operator
CLE Can Lines Engineering
Connor Koplien started his career with CLE at a mere 17 years old as a shop helper. Learning to sweep floors and take out the trash, there was no task too small that did not receive his maximum effort. His thirst to learn and develop was quickly recognized by his fabricating peers on the shop floor, and soon Connor was turning wrenches, cutting metal and welding steel. He earned the respect of some of the most talented – and toughest to please – Millwrights around within months.
Connor’s intuitive questions and eye for detail have only compounded his array of skills applicable to a CLE leader. He quickly picks up complicated and involved tasks such as designing in AutoCad and laying out fabrication drawings.
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc.
Daniel Harmann currently serves as project manager for Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc. He schedules, coordinates and implements the company’s timelines as projects progress through the manufacturing process. In this role, Daniel also develops and implements changes in the QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing) process in order to reduce lead times.
Daniel started at Spee-Dee Packaging in 2005 as general labor, then began programming and operating CNC machining centers the following year. After graduating from UW-Parkside with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, Daniel started his role as a machine shop supervisor where he worked with various departments to improve efficiency.
SMC Corporation of America
Gina Barrieau joined SMC Corporation of America’s Atlanta branch in 2016 where she had the opportunity to transition into the Global Accounts Group and support the Coca-Cola account for North America. She is also the Food & Packaging point of contact for the Atlanta branch to help support and grow these important accounts.
Gina learned about SMC Corporation of America through their new Sales Academy Training Program. The program allowed her to receive technical product training and sales training. In addition, she gained an understanding of the processes and operations from working in each department while building relationships within headquarters for nine months.
Gina graduated from Butler University in 2015 with a double major in Marketing and International Business, a minor in Spanish and was in the Honors Program. She is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jackie Irvine grew up in Toronto, Canada, and attended the University of Toronto where she graduated with distinction earning an Honours Degree in English Literature. While completing her degree, Jackie began her career in London, England as a marketing intern at the Heart of England Forest, a subsidiary of the Dennis Group, the second largest publishing group in the UK. It was in England that Jackie also began working as a freelance copywriter, writing copy for the film, fitness and manufacturing industries.
With the strength of Jackie’s copywriting portfolio, she was eventually hired on at Plexpack Corp. upon her return to Toronto. While working at Plexpack Corp., Jackie showed exceptional adaptability, authoring and designing many of Plexpack’s advertisements while also piloting a new Inside Sales program and launching a new subsidiary brand for Plexpack, Vacpack.
After assisting with the induction of the Inside Sales program and Vacpack launch, Jackie consulted on, programmed and implemented both a new CRM (Salesforce) and an automated marketing program for Plexpack. Jackie looks forward to the future of manufacturing and hopes to establish a major manufacturing advisory board in product development for companies such as Salesforce and SAP.
Client Development Associate
Jenelle Gaskins is the client development associate for QC Conveyors, a role that puts her front and center in the development of QC Conveyors' newest channel partners. She provides the resources and training new distributors need to grow their sales in their first few years with QC Conveyors.
Jenelle works tirelessly in this role, facilitating solutions to the individual needs of QC Conveyors’ customers. She often interacts with many different groups within the organization to achieve these solutions, from production to upper management. She has a knack for determining the team needed for a particular solution and works to quickly facilitate their activities to help distributors solve even the most difficult problems. Her leadership skills helped propel QC Conveyors to 25% growth in core product sales in 2017 and to more than 30% growth year to date in 2018.
Jenelle grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati and joined the QC Conveyors team immediately after graduation. Jenelle lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky with her husband Alex.
Lead Technician & Trainer
Kristian Andersen-Lentine started his career with BPI Equipment as a shop helper and quickly demonstrated his ability to learn. He was then offered an intern position within the company.
Kristian received an associate degree in Applied Science (Mechatronics Automated & Integrated Technology) from South Western Michigan College. While in school, Kristian obtained certifications for Fanuc Robotics in Industrial Robotics & Industrial Robotic Vision. He also received his PMMI Certified Trainer certification at the 2017 PACK EXPO Las Vegas. Since graduating, Kristian was promoted to lead technician due to his ability to work independently and provide proven results.
Banding Sales Manager
As the banding sales manager for the Food Industry at Felins, Lisa Barrieau is charged with developing sustainable alternatives for bundling and labeling that are both good for the bottom line and good for the environment. In this role she is managing all aspects of business development, marketing, application solution and sales. Through self-education of the rules and regulations as well as consumer trends and industry pain points, Lisa has invested in the success of her food customers as well as Felins. She works to help the fast-paced industry increase their throughput, decrease packaging waste, reduce labor costs and increase sustainability while building sustainable relationships.
Prior to joining Felins, Lisa was fortunate to have a successful, seven-year professional career as a ballet dancer. Performing with Milwaukee Ballet, Minnesota Ballet and Atlanta Ballet Company, she had the opportunity to work with world-renown artists and choreographers. After retiring from ballet, Lisa transitioned into the fine dining industry, serving in five-star, four-diamond, James Beard Award Winning Chef restaurants where she discovered her passion for customer service and customer satisfaction.
After joining the Felins team in 2015 as a customer service and inside sales representative, she discovered a new and growing interest in the world of business. Driven to learn more about the inner workings of the business world, Lisa made the decision to go to school for business at Cardinal Stritch University, applying her new knowledge to build her career.
Marketing Coordinator & Quality Manager
Precision Automation Company
Stephen Huvane has been with Precision Automation Company, Inc. for over three years, serving as a sales support specialist, marketing coordinator, and recently, corporate Quality Manager. He began his employment at Precision in July 2015, after serving four and a half years as an U.S. Army logistics officer. Stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, he was an integral leader in a support company attached to an artillery unit, and deployed to Jordan and Kuwait on a year-long training mission. After deciding to depart active duty to transition his leadership and operational skills to a new industry, Stephen joined Precision Automation as a supply chain specialist and project manager for the Integrated Conveyor Solutions division. He was eager to learn about conveyor capabilities, and assisted with parts orders while also picking up AutoCAD drawing skills through a local college course in the evenings.
Stephen then transitioned to a marketing position within the company. As marketing coordinator, he led the charge of rebranding Precision Automation with a brand-new website, updated logo and corresponding promotional materials. Stephen was recently promoted to the role of quality manager and successfully led Precision Automation through the recertification process to ensure the company’s ISO 9001:2015 compliance. Stephen recently completed the PMMI Leadership Development Program, continuing to advance his leadership skills. He noted that the professional networking aspect of the program made for a fantastic experience on top of many lessons learned.
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc.
Tim Graham graduated from Clarkson University in 2014 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining Schneider in 2016, Tim was an automation engineer for JMA Wireless. In his first year at Schneider, Tim quickly progressed from a supporting engineer, to a controls team lead to a project lead. Tim specializes in robotic palletizers.
In his short time as project lead at Schneider, Tim has led over a dozen projects. His determination, decisiveness and ability to encourage and empower his team help drive results and keep projects on track. Tim’s positivity, enthusiasm and drive are relentless and infectious. These qualities inspire his team to persevere through the challenges faced in our industry. He demonstrates a commitment to Schneider and to the packaging and processing industry.