July 26th, 2021 |Originally posted on Plastics News by Jordan Vitick
Kasie Fairbarn graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in packaging science. She previously was a packaging engineer at Unilever, “doing a lot of Minitab and functional testing to qualify new resins or requalify tools after a mold refurbishment or qualify a new bottle design for a product launch.”
“The complexity of the inputs needed to create a new bottle design was intense, and I loved it,” Fairbarn said. “How could a plastic bottle be this complicated? But it was. It was here I began to truly appreciate the role plastics play in our lives and the challenge of creating something that is manufacturable yet sustainable while still being aesthetically pleasing.”
She is now a global account manager for Addison, Ill.-based Paxxus Inc., a flexible packaging supplier in the health care market. She handles global sales, key account relationship management, contract management, Northwest territory expansion, flexible packaging education, sustainability research and strategic planning.
“I want women in the industry and packaging engineers in general to know that a career in sales is possible,” she said, “and that your skills are of incredible value to organizations who are trying to break through to new customers.”
Fairbarn was nominated by Jonathan Quinn, director of market development and sustainable flexible packaging for Pregis.
Q: What’s an accomplishment of yours that most people don’t know about, either for work or in your personal life?
Fairbarn: In 2013, I was inducted into the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Sports Hall of Fame for ice hockey. I was eight months pregnant at the ceremony and no [one] believed that I was the hockey inductee.
Q: What associations do you belong to or actively participate in?
Fairbarn: I am proud to be involved with the Flexible Packaging Association, specifically their Emerging Leadership Council, which was formed in 2020 and is dedicated to establishing a network of future leaders to drive issues and opportunities which will have a long-term impact on the advancement of the U.S. flexible packaging industry. Also, I’m excited to be working with some wonderful people on the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council, where I represent Paxxus.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?