Sarah Garchinsky

Q: Where do you see the future of this industry in the next 20 years?

A: Based on my own work, I think we will see more partnerships between the chemical industry and the equipment suppliers. I do monthly reviews of external IP within contaminant control and you often see chemical companies doing more with equipment and equipment doing more with chemistry.

Q: If you could change anything about this industry, what would it be and why?

A: Well, I live in Delaware and we have a few paper mills within driving distance, but not many compared to most parts of the United States.I wish the paper industry was more prominent in my area. I know paper mills are strategically located for the resources they need, but in terms of growing the industry I wish they were more visible. Some go to school for paper because they have grown up in an area where the industry was prominent. I never saw a paper mill until I was 22. If I had known more about the industry, I would have spent my internship time in the field. I would also love to spend some time in sales, but it would be hard without completely uprooting my life.

Q: Words to live by…

A: I am currently obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton. One line that particularly stuck with me was - “Look at where you are, look at where you started.” Sometimes when I feel stuck I think of this line. You might not feel like you make progress day to day, but when you look back to where you started it paints a much different picture.

Q: What is a defining moment in your life? (does not have to be career related)

A: Graduating with my bachelor’s degree. 

Solenis provides a lot of training on understanding the business. We talk a lot about the correlations between risk and reward. I took a huge risk sending myself to college. I was successful, and continue to be successful, and even with only 5 years in the industry, I am already benefiting from the rewards. Believe in yourself!

Q: If you weren’t in your current job and field, what would you be doing instead?

A: I actually originally wanted to go to school to be an architect. I have one older brother who is a draftsman and he made me fall in love with the field. In high school, I took quite a few technical drawing and computer aided drafting classes. At my high school you had to present a research project to merit graduation – I did mine on Frank Lloyd Wright. Unfortunately, I was heading to college in the midst of the housing bubble and decided that it wasn’t the best time. I still to this day love spending hours looking through home plans!

Q: What technology innovation do you think will advance this industry and why?

A: I would love to see 3-D printing more readily available in the field. At least in terms of R&D running trials at remote paper mills – I’ve seen our equipment guys need to run out to get parts over an hour away! How cool would that be if they could just download a file and print!

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A: My grandmother Ethel. She was the kindest person you will ever meet and I try to live my life like her every day! I would do anything to have one more meal with her. She was the best cook. Plus I would love to show her how much technology has changed in recent years.

Q: How would you like to get (more) involved with TAPPI?

A: I am a really social person – so anything that involves connecting people!