Position: President, Noble Plastics
Education: Bachelor’s in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, LSU
An LSU-educated registered mechanical engineer, Missy Rogers loves to make things. Her first job out of college was with Texaco, but Rogers found her true passion in engineering forensics and custom instrumentation.
She and her husband Scott founded Noble Plastics in 2000. As the first employee of her company, Rogers was responsible for everything from machine operation to delivery. She has since added a design group for product development to her company, and in 2006 Noble Plastics moved to Grand Coteau with the acquisition of its first owned building. The company added a second building in 2014, and over 20 staff members now operate in more than 100,000 square feet.
These days, Rogers focuses more on strategic planning and management. “I see my primary job as smoothing the path for Noble staff to excel,” she says.
Where did your career start?
My first job out of LSU was as a rotating equipment specialist for Texaco, but side assignments in risk management and failure studies led into a consulting position with a focus on engineering forensics and custom instrumentation and simulation techniques for a variety of industrial equipment. I became the business manager for that consulting firm, learning more about payroll, insurance and contract management.
What are your responsibilities at Noble Plastics?
I focus largely on business development and administrative oversight of our three business units: engineering, molding and robotic automation. As the founder, I was the first and only employee, so I literally wore every hat—machine operation, maintenance, pricing, contracts and delivery. I have managed to shed those duties to great people, just keeping the strategic planning and major management tasks to myself and my leadership team.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
I get most excited for clients at new product launch and for installation of new capabilities for our team. The first time a part gets made or a robot is handling a manufacturing cell without human dependency really gives you a rush.
What is one thing about your job people don’t expect or don’t know and hear about?
Increasing regulations and need for certifications seems to be a consistent demand on staff time, so I spend a lot of time researching standards and specifications—not very glamorous.
What are some of the biggest challenges that come with working in your industry?
People often think of plastics as a low-cost manufacturing solution, so helping them understand the tremendous strength capability for metal replacement applications is a challenge, as well as the capital requirements of custom industrial machinery and tooling.
What is your most satisfying professional accomplishment?
We’ve been really fortunate to be recognized at local, state and national levels with various awards, but the state Lantern Award for excellence, growth and community outreach has certainly meant the most to me personally as we were able to share it at an event with several of our staff.
What is a great piece of advice you have received?
Beware the barrenness of a busy life. Socrates said this, so it’s not just technology or dual-working families that struggle in the current times. It is a reminder that we always need to integrate the industry of our lives and the beauty of life’s experiences—including school bus trips to Disney.
What is an item on your “bucket list”?
Believe it or not, riding a horse. I know this is really common to a lot of folks, but just something I’ve never managed to do. I rode an elephant, and a camel, but not a horse.
What do you see for the future of your industry?
More automation and collection of data will add complexities that must be managed with focus and understanding of the technologies behind them, otherwise you can get lost in the sheer amount of data. We are working on proprietary products to aid in identification of key data streams for process control as well as compilation in a method that makes management more streamlined.
If you could have any job other than your own, what would it be?
I love mentoring young people into a study they love and suggesting practical applications for those passions. I also mentor young professionals and receive great joy sharing their energy and perspective.
This article was originally published in the fourth quarter 2017 edition of 10/12 Industry Report. Read more from this issue at 1012industryreport.com.