Women Break the Shape 2021: Jillian Nardi, Tessy Plastics

Jillian Nardi started as an overnight operator at the customer-specific injection molding and contract manufacturer Tessy Plastics Corp. During her shift, she often watched the process technicians looking for and correcting errors. That made her apply for Tessy’s processing apprenticeship.

Nardi was embraced in what she describes as her greatest achievement and spent the following years “learning and refining skills that would ultimately apply not just to processing but to cell management as well.”

As cell manager for Tessy in Elbridge, NY, Nardi now plans, directs and coordinates the daily manufacturing process in the cell. “As a process engineer, I’m also responsible for manufacturing quality parts,” she says.

The coronavirus pandemic presented Nardi with many challenges.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, nobody knew whether Tessy would remain indispensable. Everyone, including me, was concerned about losing their jobs. It was a stressful time of what-if, ”she said.

Nardi said the pandemic showed the adage that all humans are naturally selfish is untrue.

“Professionally, I’ve seen Tessy come together every day to start a new program,” she said.

Tessy gave $ 2,000 to each of his 1,000 employees to aid the financial impact of the pandemic.

“Personally, I noticed how important family is,” said Nardi.[and] how important it is to forgive the past and look forward to the future. “

Before joining Tessy, Nardi said she had stayed in an “unrewarding job” for too long, which taught her to “appreciate my time and effort.”

Nardi was recently selected for a promotion to Managing Director at one of Tessy’s six New York factories.

“I work in a predominantly male industry,” she said, “I spent my time at Tessy Plastics adhering to the highest standards while developing my knowledge and skills.”

Q: What is your current challenge at work?

Nardi: Delegating was the most difficult part of my leadership career. Taking a step back and letting others help has shown me that teamwork is the key to a successful and more efficient cell.

Q: If you were the CEO of a company, what would you do first?

Nardi: I would meet with all department heads to better understand their roles and how they affect the business.

Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?

Nardi: My mother was very inspiring, both professionally and personally. My father died when I was little. My mother raised five children alone while she was in a full-time job. She taught all of her children a strong work ethic while being a warm, compassionate, and supportive person.

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