North Chicago Plant Manager, Procter & Gamble, Consumer Markets & Products/Packaged Goods
What do you enjoy most about working in manufacturing? The growing capability in people to build a culture of continuous improvement. I have a passion for empowering others to operate, maintain and improve equipment and work processes—and I get to do that every day! I’m also a little obsessed with productivity.
What attracted you to a career in manufacturing? Initially it was about bringing innovation to life. Manufacturing is where the rubber meets the road so to speak; and I wanted to be in the front line, seeing how an idea was fully executed into a final product.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about creating their future in manufacturing? Manufacturing will challenge you to not only solve technical problems, but to become a leader in your organization to effectively make change happen. Whether it’s through the delivery of a new initiative, leading an operation or any other function within manufacturing, it’s about being an agent of change. Manufacturing is an exciting field that brings a diverse team together to safely produce a product to the highest quality standards and at the most competitive cost. The leadership skills you will develop in manufacturing will prepare and allow you to be an effective leader in any career path you decide to take in the future.
What put you on a path to a modern manufacturing career? Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, I immigrated to the United States at age 14. The intent of my parents when we immigrated was to give my brother and me the opportunity to get a college education in the United States. Although I didn’t speak English when I joined high school in Ossining, NY, I had a strong desire to stay on-track and finish school without delays. I pushed myself to take all my classes in English and quickly began excelling in math and science, as the language barrier had less of an impact in my ability to learn the content. It was then that I fell in love with those subjects and once I graduated high school I began my undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering. I graduated from SUNY Binghamton at the age of 21 and joined P&G as a process engineer at the manufacturing site in St. Louis. I have spent 11 years in manufacturing with a wide range of assignments including operations, supply network and health safety, and environmental, and most recently plant manager of a chemical making site.