1 Tell us about your role at Newell Brands.
I’ve been at Newell for four and a half years leading Industrial Design teams at increasing levels of responsibility.
I currently lead a team of Industrial Designers out of the Kalamazoo, MI, Design Center supporting Writing & Food and, as of June, Baby, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Home Fragrance & Fishing segments. I also oversee the Kalamazoo model shop, which is responsible for model assembly and creation for the broader design functions across our 3 Design hubs and satellite offices.
2 What are the characteristics that make an employee successful at Newell Brands?
I think you have to see and talk about Newell as a $15 billion startup. This sets the expectation for how you see the speed and mindset of the organization. It’s not for everyone, but for those that accept the challenge, one can expect to look back in 5 years’ time and see a measurable contribution.
Flexibility and ability to deal with ambiguity is also key. The sheer number of brands under the NWL umbrella and the diversity of work that our Designers can expect to see coming into the organization is plentiful, and one you should be mentally ready for.
3 Every role comes with its challenges. What do you to combat a challenging day at the office?
A lot of it comes down to the people and the culture. What I find exciting and different about Newell is, whoever you reach out to, whether in Design or the broader business, there’s a connectedness, a willingness to talk through things and get to a solution. I really appreciate that. There’s an openness and honesty here, a feeling that we are all in this together / all charging toward the same goal.
4 What is your favorite product in our portfolio?
I have two. The Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pen and the DYMO mobile Label Maker.
The gel pen was a huge milestone for Design. A lot of eyes were on that program. It was exciting to brainstorm and embrace the new benefits from Design that were taking shape about three years ago. It’s since taken on a life of its own, both internally and externally.
The DYMO Label Maker symbolizes different parts of the Design organization coming together. It showed off some of our new capabilities like craftsmanship and was one of the first programs where we were determining how can we operate more effectively and begins to showcase a more holistic design experience across all consumer touchpoints.
Each year you have a program or two that you can point to that changes the way you do things, the way you are integrated and how you can bring more through Design. At the end of each year, I used to think “how can we get better than this year?” Then 12 months goes by and somehow, we up our game even more. It’s both humbling and exciting. And there is even more to come that will continue to change the landscape of how we do things here at Newell.
5 Tell us a little about your life outside of the office.
I am married and have three children, ages 9, 7 and 5. We are coming into a great stage in our life. The kids are becoming more independent, and they are involved in sports and learning new things every day.
When I get time to myself, I enjoy either running or being outside. I like to jump on the tractor, have my kids climb on-board and tool around the yard.