FLiP Files: Samantha Kortas
The plastics industry is welcoming the next generation of leaders who bring cutting edge and innovative ideas into their companies. One of these leaders is Samantha Kortas of Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. After joining the team in 2017 as an Internal Communications Specialist, she grew in her role and became the Marketing Communications Manager earlier this year.
“I didn’t see myself in the plastics industry, but now that I am here, I don’t plan on leaving any time soon,” Samantha said.
Samantha’s journey in the plastics industry began with an internship at Dart Container while she was attending Michigan State University. Influenced by the powerful mentorship she received, she pursued opportunities to stay within the plastics industry and eventually found an opening with Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc.
“Mentorship in the plastics industry is the key to grow and learn more skills,” Samantha said. “Throughout my career, I had the drive and my mentors had the know-how and the industry experience.”
While at Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Samantha took part in the company’s mentorship program to learn from a plastics industry expert. She also regularly converses and seeks advice from her boss, a member of the Asahi Kasei senior leadership team. The support from her mentors allowed her the confidence and skills to create her own company initiatives, such as an office-wide recycling program.
After several years in the industry, Samantha is eager to continue to learn from industry experts. She is also ready to make her mark in the industry. She is particularly passionate about corporate sustainability initiatives.
“As someone who is young within the industry, I see opportunities and room for the industry to move forward. I can help spread and grow the message that the plastics industry is here to help. Every single company I know is finding sustainable solutions. The industry needs to leverage this hard work. You’re not going to be able to educate everyone, but we need to put this news out there,” Samantha said.
Samantha sees the next generation of plastic industry leaders as advocates for the industry, as they can use digital tools to reach an online audience and clear up misconceptions. For innovators and forward-thinkers, Samantha recommends a career in the plastics industry.
“A job in the plastics industry will allow you to meet smart, interesting people,” Samantha advises. “Because of my job, I was able to meet the creator of the lithium-ion battery. I love my job because I get to meet people like that.”
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 Samantha Kortas, Marketing Communications Manager for Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc., about her experience working in the plastics industry.