Meet PMMI’s Emerging Leaders On the Rise 

These rising stars share their perspective on the manufacturing industry and how they built a career in the packaging and processing space.
PMMI on the rise

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.


Tim Graham

Controls Engineer, Schneider Packaging Equipment

Tim Graham went to Clarkson University where he studied mechanical and electrical engineering and graduated in 2014. After school, he started working at a manufacturing company doing small scale automation. Graham didn’t have much experience, but he used the job to gain knowledge in machine design. Two years later, he found his way to Schneider Packaging Equipment where he is now a controls engineer working as the project lead on million dollar projects. See Tim's full profile and Q&A


Jackie Irvine

Marketing Manager, Plexpack Corp.

Jackie Irvine studied English Literature at the University of Toronto while working as a freelance copywriter for the duration of her undergraduate career. Even as a student, Jackie managed to develop a diverse portfolio, writing about everything from fitness to film to biodiversity. In the latter half of her studies, Plexpack Corp., recruited her as a freelancer in its marketing department, and she eventually began consulting upon Plexpack’s digital program. Upon graduating, Jackie has since continued her upward momentum in the packaging industry and is currently Plexpack’s marketing manager. See Jackie's full profile and Q&A


Kristian Andersen-Lentine

Lead Technician, BPI Equipment

Kristian Andersen-Lentine started his career in packaging at BPI as a part time warehouse employee while he was in college double majoring in dance and music. But packaging was in his blood as his grandfather founded a packaging company decades ago. Overtime, he became fascinated with machines and automation so he switched his major to focus on advanced mechatronics. Now, a lead engineer, Andersen-Lentine has his sights set on leading the company one day. See Kristian's full profile and Q&A


Lisa Barrieau

Banding Sales Manager, Felins

You could say that Lisa Barrieau danced her way into the packaging industry. Right out of high school, she landed a job with a professional ballet company, launching her seven year career dancing with Milwaukee Ballet, Minnesota Ballet and Atlanta Ballet. After ballet, and a career of waitressing in fine dining restaurants, she decided to enter the customer service field because she loved working with people. She joined Felins as they were looking to fill a temporary customer service position and fell in love with the company and the world of packaging. Once she got into the industry she learned that she wanted to explore different aspects of the business. Now, she’s the sales manager for the food industry segment of Felins. See Lisa's full profile and Q&A


Aurelio Delgado

Account Manager, Omron Automation

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, Delgado received the Omron Sales Excellence Award. Recently, Delgado has taken additional responsibilities as a trainer for Omron’s Engineering Trainee Program for the Southern California region. See Aurelio's full profile and Q&A


Jenelle Gaskins

Client Development Associate, QC Conveyors

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in marketing, Jenelle Gaskins was waitressing when one of her regular customers asked her if she ever thought about joining the packaging industry because she had the right personality for it. That’s how she found her way to QC Conveyors, where she is currently an account coordinator. Gaskins has spearheaded a few initiatives during her time at the company that have helped the OEM stay on the forefront. See Jenelle's full profile and Q&A


Danny Harmann

Project manager, Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery

Danny Harmann came to Spee-Dee by way of his grandmother, uncle and brother—all of whom worked at the volumetric-filler manufacturer. Harmann has been with the company since high school, and 12 years later he is the company’s newest project manager. He has worked in many aspects of the company’s business, bouncing around from being a machinist to a shop supervisor. See Danny's full profile and Q&A


Gina Barrieau

Global Account Representative, SMC Corporation
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. See Gina's full profile and Q&A


Connor Koplien

Mechanical Designer, Can Lines Engineering 

Can Lines Engineering has been in Connor Koplien’s family for four generations. Koplien grew up knowing he wanted to have a career in packaging so he started from the bottom working in the fabrication shop, and eventually, he worked his way up to becoming a mechanical designer. But Koplien has his sights set on leading the company one day. See Connor's full profile and Q&A


Stephen Huvane

Marketing Coordinator, Precision Automation, Inc.

Stephen Huvane entered the packaging industry after nearly five years of active duty service in the Army. He knew next to nothing about the packaging industry but was eager to learn with a company that has a long-standing reputation and employees with decades of knowledge, which is why he joined Precision Automation in 2015 as a project manager. Now Huvane works as a marketing coordinator and sales support specialist, and was recently chosen for the additional role of quality manager. His road up until now has been far from the “normal path” most employees at Precision Automation might take, but he thoroughly enjoys the opportunities it has provided him. See Stephen's full profile and Q&A