Leslie Wolschleger, Vice President R&D, Sika USA, about innovation, motivation and success.

"Innovation is our Fuel and our Future"

Leslie Wolschleger, Sika US

What’s your main motivation for leading the Global Technology Center Madison Heights, USA?

My biggest motivation is to INSPIRE my team and unlock potential to enable us to drive change by challenging the status quo to bring new product innovations to our customer. Innovation is our fuel and our future! Our Technology Center Madison Heights is a dedicated and knowledgeable team that has strong ties to our customer, enabling negotiations and collaboration. 

What are the biggest challenges for you?

There are no challenges, only opportunities! We always have an opportunity to grow and learn and this is what provides satisfaction to me as a Technology Manager. Every day brings on new opportunities, from customer demands to internal needs and operations support. Because our team is so experienced, we have the opportunity to support many facets of the business and prioritizing this while fulfilling our innovation targets can be challenging in the given market situation. However, every challenge makes us better.

Which is for you the role of cooperation for the success of the Technology Center?

In our lab we share equipment, space, and development projects – doing this effectively is a must for success – collaboration between chemists in a Technology Center is crucial. In Global Business we share development projects, innovation targets and similar production efficiency objectives with other Technology Centers – collaboration from Technology Center to Technology Center is also critical for success. 

To launch a new product, collaboration bis key. What is your recipe for success in this regard?

To provide products that meet our customers, needs requires collaboration between chemists and the customer’s technical decision maker – collaboration between Chemists and the Customer is vital.

Do you have any recommendations for young scientists to make the most of their job?

I have had the pleasure of having many great mentors during my career therefore my first recommendation is to find a mentor. Second, stay curious and balanced. When you are new to the field you have little distractions. As you grow in your career and your family grows there can be more distractions, personal and work. Stay balanced. Third, keep up the PACE: Professionalism, good Attitude, Commitment, and Enthusiasm. My Dad taught me that and when challenge seems big, the PACE will get you through the race.