Gina Barrieau got her start in the packaging industry at Felins, a Wisconsin-based banding machine builder, where she had her first marketing internship before she went on to study marketing and international business in college. When Barrieau was looking for her first job out of college, she knew she wanted to go into the business to business industry. From there, she found a training position at pneumatics manufacturer, SMC Corporation, where she now helps support Coca-Cola, one of the manufacturer’s customers, as a global account representative.
What is a technology trend you’ve been following?
Right now, we have an interesting role in figuring out where we stand around the Industrial Internet of Things. It’s a fun and exciting place to be at because we get to look at it from a customer perspective at the plant level, as well as working with our OEM partners to get their feedback. We are learning about how our customers want to utilize that, and then we can capitalize on that.
What about SMC attracted you to work there?
The amount of training and time this company was willing to put into their people was a huge reason why I chose SMC. As millennials, we want to make a difference in the organizations we are a part of. And we also want to have the proper training so that we can get up to speed and make an impact.
Are you currently working on any exciting projects?
With my role, there is a lot of continuous work toward an end goal. For example, I have been working with our key customers to help them identify means of lowering their total cost of ownership through use of new product developments and energy efficient products.
What are you looking forward to most about being a part of the Emerging Leaders network?
I’m really looking forward to joining the network with my sister, but I also can’t wait to grow my knowledge through the exchange of experiences with other emerging leaders. I think it’s really important for us to grow and network with others in the packaging industry.
What advice do you have for other women in manufacturing?
Whether you are a woman or man, you should strive to learn more about the business and the equipment regardless of your role. I think it’s critical to learn about the other aspects of your company’s business. The more you can put into your tool belt, it allows you to be a good resource for your customers and your coworkers.
As a way to recognize young talent making their mark on the packaging and processing industries, PMMI set out to find 10 rising stars. OEM Magazine spoke with each On the Rise Award winner to find out where they think the industry is heading, how they have overcome obstacles in their careers and how the industry can better accommodate incoming generations to bridge the skills gap. Learn more about PMMI’s On the Rise Awards, and see the other winners.