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The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has a lot of industry-improving, career-enhancing activity going on. Our supply-chain councils and their committees are filled with members who believe in the association’s goal of a better industry and a better world.

Each of those member-driven initiatives is overseen by a PLASTICS staff liaison who makes sure everything runs smoothly and facilitates access to association resources. For Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP), a program dedicated to the development of plastics professionals under the age of 40, that person is Leslie Jutte.

Coming from the sports industry, where she managed events and sponsor relations, Leslie joined PLASTICS three-and-a-half years ago to manage business development for the PLASTICS Membership and Events teams. The FLiP liaison opportunity came her way in February of 2021. Soon after, Leslie joined the Materials & Sustainability team as Associate Director.  

Leslie believes strongly in the benefits FLiP offers PLASTICS members and has a clear vision of what she would like to accomplish. “I want to continue facilitating and growing the great opportunities FLiP offers for young professionals,” she said. “Our current programs have tremendous value, and my immediate focus will be to increase participation. Along with engaging our current FLiP members, my efforts will be aimed at expanding our network by bringing more members to the group.”

Among the programs Leslie will be promoting are the FLiP Book Club and the FLiP Speaker Series, both focused on providing continuing education in such areas as practical business tips, relationship-building and making the most of one’s personal abilities.

Leslie, who has benefitted from the guidance of mentors over the years, will also continue to recruit and advocate for the FLiP Mentorship Program.

As a member of the PLASTICS staff and of FLiP, Leslie has developed a genuine passion for the plastics industry and working to dispel misconceptions about it. “It’s important to educate your family, your friends and your community about the benefits plastics provide. Data shows that alternative materials are not always the more sustainable option,” she said. “People also need to be told about all the innovation coming from the plastics industry, aimed at addressing concerns around environmental impacts and recycling.”

Leslie has experienced the educational benefits of PLASTICS firsthand. “I felt I was a good recycler when I started in the industry but have learned so much and gained a better understanding of what and how and why to recycle,” she said. “I’ve become the recycling cheerleader among my family and friends.”

“There is so much opportunity within the plastics industry for people in my age group,” Leslie added. “It’s an industry that challenges you to keep learning and developing.”

Read more about FLiP and some of the dynamic young professionals who lead the committee in the Spring 2021 issue of PLASTICS Magazine.

PLASTICS and the Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP) Committee are devoted to supporting and encouraging the next generation of plastics leaders who will play a crucial role in the innovation, technology and future of the plastics industry. FLiP’s mission is to provide young professionals under the age of 40 the exposure, education and resources they need to build lifelong careers in plastics. Want to join? Want to get your employees involved?  Email: flip@plasticsindustry.org

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