I first joined Croda Inc. in February 2006 as a Research Chemist in the Applications laboratory. At the time I was hired, I was the only applications chemist in the U.S. working alongside a group of scientists in the Ditton plant. My primary responsibilities were to evaluate and develop new data and formulations to support the launch of a newly acquired technology, which is now known as the Acrylic Polymers business. Having had prior experience in formulation development having previously worked for a finished goods company, it was a nice change to transition to the supplier side and learn all about product development from a different perspective. The two years that I spent working closely with marketing to launch this product line, was a very rewarding experience.
During the time I joined Croda, I was also in the beginning stages of pursuing a Masters degree in Chemistry at Rutgers University. I received my graduate degree in May 2008, and I also took on a new position within the Personal Care R&D group to look into various new technologies developed by the Synthesis group. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to lead this new department. In the new role, I became responsible for a research program to evaluate newly synthesized compounds, formulating them into appropriate chassis and using established hair care and skin care testing methodologies. Working closely with the Synthesis Manager and Director of Personal Care R&D during the next four years, I learned a great deal about the true meaning of product development, and acquired a better understanding of structure/function and structure/performance relationships of compounds. I also began to learn more about patents and what it takes to patent a new product.
In 2012, while continuing to focus on new product development for Personal Care, the opportunity presented itself for me to manage the activities of the Hair Care Applications laboratory. This was a new and welcomed challenge with more commercial exposure, including more frequent interaction with the Sales and Marketing side of the business, as well as more regular interface with our customers. Finding the right balance to supervise the research programs of two R&D teams, working more closely with Sales and Marketing, and all the while tending to various customer and sales inquiries, certainly helped with my professional growth. In September 2012, I was afforded the opportunity of a 6-week secondment in Croda UK, where I spent time with both the Cowick and Ditton R&D teams, learning and sharing methodologies and processes, and more importantly building relationships.
In 2014, I was privileged to be selected to be a part of the Americas 2020 Network. This is a testament to Croda’s continued willingness, as an organisation, to invest in and grow its future leaders. I was truly honored to be part of this amazing group of people, and grateful for the relationships/friendships I made within the greater 2020 global network and the company globally.