FLiP Files Andre Adams
Andre Adams, the senior product manager of size reduction for ACS Group, found the plastics industry while he was “looking for a new challenge.”
In 2019, Andre celebrated his 15th anniversary with Centrisys Corp, a manufacturer of decanter centrifuges for sludge dewatering and thickening. In February 2019, Andre’s friend, a recruiter, recommended a position with the ACS Group that fit Andre’s experience and expertise.
Andre recently celebrated his first anniversary at ACS Group. He enjoys his experience and looks forward to continuing to grow in his position and the plastics industry. “I am still learning so much. Some things that have been key and vital at ACS have been a lot of the foundation and fundamental work I have done in my prior career that has opened up a new perspective. Topics like the circular economy and sustainability are topics I care about and work with frequently.”
With already one-year in the plastics industry, Andre appreciates the help and mentorship from his boss and those more tenured. He points to Mark Johansen, the vice president of marketing and product management with ACS Group, as a source of guidance within the industry. “I have gotten a lot of guidance from my boss here, Mark Johansen. He is the one who introduced me to Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP). It is eye-opening that we have all of these opportunities to be the young leaders of the industry. I like looking at the big picture of the industry. I see myself going down this path, learning more, and being a key voice in sustainability initiatives.”
Andre recommends FLiP for all young professionals in the industry. “FLiP allows you to learn from different perspectives. It provides access to mentorship and opportunities to speak with tenured people from the industry. Earlier this year, my boss and I met up with Steve Petrakis of PLASTICS and I got to pick his brain. Having that closeness is great. That will enhance your career.”
Understanding and educating others about the importance of plastics is one of Andre’s passions. Andre sees how plastics have made an impact, especially in the medical field. “Without plastics, we would have no way to combat COVID-19. Test kits, lab samplings, swabs, respirators, ventilators: all of these products are made out of plastic.”
Andre believes that educating the general public on the importance and use of plastic products is a necessary step the industry needs to take against those who may believe misconceptions about the industry. “If you look at the sustainability of plastic products, a lot of people are uneducated that manufacturing other products produce more greenhouse gases than plastic products. That is where I want to take ACS. Even though we are an auxiliary equipment manufacturer, I try to look at situations and say: ‘this is where our customers are struggling to tell their story. Let’s work together to educate the public and tell their story so that it is relatable.’”
According to Andre, this is a “pivotal time” to reach the next generation and let them see that there is a vibrant future in the plastics industry. He believes that using digital tools and social media is the way to reach Generation Z. His daughters are six and nine, and he sees first-hand how the next generation gets their information from the internet. “We need to teach people that, yes, we have the anti-plastics rhetoric but we then need to show them how plastics are used. Plastics are used in everything and are critical to our every-day lives.”
The FLiP Files is a blog series spotlighting young professionals who are active in PLASTICS’ Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP), a group for plastics professionals under the age of 40. For this FLiP File, we spoke with Andre Adams, the senior product manager for ACS Group, about his experience working in the plastics industry.