TAPPI member Jessica “Jessi” Spadaccino has a quest to continue learning and growing – both her connections and career. Her efforts exemplify the old adage, “you get out what you put in.”
In 2016, her manager Jeff Siegel at Mica Corporation and a TAPPI Fellow, encouraged her to join. Not long after, she identified multiple benefits of being an active member in the Young Professionals (YP) Division. She began leveraging those benefits as a catalyst for developing a new level of confidence, navigating a healthy work/life balance, and growing as a professional.
She has served as the YP Division’s Director of Communications and as a member of the TAPPI IFPED Division’s Digital Team. In these capacities she was integral in developing new online hubs for members of the respective divisions to gain access to valuable resources, get involved, and learn how to best amplify the new connections they were creating. Her active involvement and professional talent in communications helped create greater awareness for the Divisions, and encouraged others to get actively involved as well.
With the oncoming “Retirement Tsunami” expected to affect all facets of the industry, including packaging and converting, the drive to get more YPs actively engaged is crucial. Her participation in Mentor Match is one way she said her professional engagement really took off. But it was also her leadership qualities and willingness to “contribute to the industry” that have helped her become an integral part of the packaging community. “My TAPPI activities have served both as an experiential learning resource and a way to make some amazing connections,” she said. “Being involved has really been an invaluable experience – personally and professionally.”
Q: How has membership benefitted you and/or your career?
A: The YP Division has done for me what it promises all student and early career professional members; it helped me build the confidence, connections, and skills I need to take the next step forward in my path of professional development.
Q: What TAPPI member benefits do you use the most?
A: TAPPI Connect Mentor Match helped me find a mentor, which has been an important part of my personal and professional growth during the last year and a half. Plus, TAPPI publications help me keep a pulse on industry trends and new technologies.
Q: In your position at Mica, you’re challenged with communicating technology breakthroughs and developments. Do you see any upcoming trends?
A: I think the fact that innovative and dedicated people across the globe in our industry are working around the clock to come up with a variety of sustainable packaging solutions deserves to be called out! While we may not have one solution that addresses every environmental concern, it seems like every day there is a new product or technology launched that helps us move toward a more sustainable future, and that's not only significant, but inspiring.
Q: What are your personal hobbies or volunteer activities?
A: My favorite hobby is learning. I spend the limited free time I have reading, listening to podcasts, and trying new things. I also love spending time with my daughter who reminds me every day that it’s the little things in life that are the most valuable. Volunteering time and resources to organizations that align with my values is also important to me. I am fortunate that the company I work for encourages and provides opportunities for me, and all employees, to volunteer with a variety of local, non-profit organizations such as Operation Hope, The CT Food Bank, and Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
Q: What are a few fun facts about you?
A: I was born without a sense of smell. It stinks (or so I've been told). My favorite show is The Office (U.S.). I have re-watched the series in its entirety at least four times.
Q: Closing thoughts on being a TAPPI Member?
A: Being a TAPPI member is great because you gain access to a variety of useful resources and events, but being an active TAPPI member comes with even more benefits. Throughout my time on the YP Division leadership council, I worked on a variety of projects that enhanced the hard and soft skills I need to thrive in all facets of my life. I've also built strong relationships with people I will "grow up with" in the industry, which has been an added bonus. Getting involved by taking a volunteer role within TAPPI is an invaluable experience every TAPPI member, especially young professionals, should not miss!