Jeremy Despota has been an employee at A-B-C Packaging since 2006, and he has risen through the ranks, starting as a general shop employee who helped with cleaning floors and emptying trash cans to one of the company’s top service engineers. While at A-B-C Packaging, Despota went to school to learn PLC programming, which eventually allowed him to move into an assembly position and then into service. Jeremy currently oversees logistics for the company’s PACK EXPO booth, and he has built, tested, and installed equipment, as well as trained CPG’s at the highest level.
What has your time at A-B-C been like?
I began working at A-B-C after school when I turned 16. I quickly started helping on the assembly floor and eventually assembling machines by myself. After a few years of assembling machines, the company offered to send me to trade school so I could gain more knowledge and move into the service department. For several years now, I have been in service working with customers on A-B-C Machines around the U.S.
How do you think the packaging industry can better appeal to young people?
From my experience, a lot of people have very little knowledge of the opportunities and demand there is and has been in this field. I am reminded of this every time I explain to somebody what I do for a living. The industry must do a better job of promoting the opportunities there are in the packaging industry in more trade schools and colleges.
Do you feel supported as an emerging leader at A-B-C?
A-B-C supports me as an emerging leader by giving me the tools to do my job productively. I am given the freedom and the challenge to grow on my own, while being guided through any situation.
How do you help A-B-C innovate?
I help A-B-C Packaging innovate by travelling to different customer facilities or trade shows to find potential ideas for different applications. Having the ability to see a lot of different concepts allows me to be open to new ideas and bring them back for our engineers to evaluate.
What was a challenge you overcame early on in your career?
One of the major obstacles for me was having confidence when talking to customers when I was first promoted into service. My confidence eventually came from gaining experience and knowledge on the job.
As a rising star in your organization, what is next for you?
I would like to continue to learn, grow, and progress into taking courses to expand my programming knowledge and production on machinery.