When Sam Harber started his professional career 44 years ago as a production worker, he learned two things:
"It told me I love the rubber industry and I wanted to be involved in it, but it also told me I better get a degree," he said.
Harber is a lifelong member of the rubber industry, getting his start as a little boy accompanying his father at work, "back when you could do that," he said.
"My dad was a degreed chemist and rubber compounder for 50 years, so I grew up in the rubber industry," Harber said, joking he was the kid running around the Banbury mixers.
While his rubber ventures as a kid were probably not crucial to the success of a company, they played their part in igniting his interest in the industry, he said, commending his father as his teacher and the reason he joined compounding.
As a production worker, Harber ran Banbury mixers, running mills, extruders, calenders, you name it. This hands-on work, he noted, is what gives him a leg up in the industry and allows him to better guide customers and colleagues, whether that be via phone call, email or on-site.
Harber, now a senior applications development scientist who holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Radford University in Virginia, has worked with Zeon Chemicals L.P. for 22 years. In this role, he provides feedback and support for customers and colleagues near and far, noting he also travels to provide support for the Southeast Asia market.