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 in 2017 to manage business development for the Membership and Events teams. She later joined the Materials & Sustainability team as Associate Director. Today, Leslie has moved up to the role of Director for PLASTICS’ Material Suppliers Council, one of the three primary councils representing members throughout the plastics supply chain. She accepted the role of FLiP liaison along the way in 2021. 

As an accomplished young professional herself, Leslie is perfect fit for her role with FLiP. She believes strongly in the benefits FLiP offers PLASTICS members and has a clear vision of what she wants to accomplish. “I want to facilitate and grow the great opportunities FLiP offers for young professionals,” she said. “Our current programs have tremendous value, and I want to increase participation. Along with engaging our current FLiP members, my efforts are aimed at expanding our network by bringing more members to the group.”

Among the programs Leslie promotes 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, also continues to recruit and advocate for the FLiP Mentorship Program (see Page 16 in the Spring 2022 issue of PLASTICS Magazine).

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.”

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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