Download the Ernest and Leatherman Case Study
How do you make premium packaging for a wearable multi-tool that really pops off the shelf? You cut up the rulebook and start from scratch.
You always know when Charles is in the office. It starts when you hear the receptionists sing out “Good morning, Mr. Wilson. How are you today?” Then you’ll see him on his rounds. Few company chairmen take the time to stop by every employee’s desk to check in and say hello (and maybe to pick up a piece of candy or two), but Charles does. He knows how important it is to make those personal connections. Since joining his brother in business after serving in World War II, this recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star has always put people first. It takes a lot of energy to mentor so many individuals, but even after almost 70 years in the business, Charles makes it a priority. The candy helps, but mostly it’s the love he has for our company and all the people here that keep him going.
Spending time with family is at the top of Tim’s list of favorite things to do. That’s an especially good thing as the president of a family-owned business because with over 450 employees, his definition of family is a bit broader than most. He prides himself on the people he has on his team — their passion, the dedication they have to their work, and their willingness to collaborate to help find the best solutions for our customers. In fact, some of his greatest joys come from celebrating the professional successes and personal milestones of his extended family.
Keeping up with Brian is tough. He’s so full of life, you never know what’s coming next. We think his previous jobs working on a cruise ship, serving as president of his city’s Little League, and managing rock bands perfectly prepared him for his life today — as father to two great boys, stepfather to two more, dedicated husband, keeper of the family animal menagerie, and Vice President of Client Relations. Brian consistently puts his incredible energy to work for everyone here at Ernest Packaging Solutions. With his great ability to make customers comfortable, his commitment to understanding their needs and objectives, and his ability to always have fun in the process, Brian is a great asset to his clients and to us. We look forward to many more years of trying to keep up with him.
Mike was a part of the Ernest Packaging Solutions family long before he joined the team as an employee. In his work for a number of our suppliers, he saw firsthand what a difference that family feeling makes. Now he’s doing his part to demonstrate our strong commitment to service on a daily basis. Mike does that by looking at things from all perspectives to help our clients and his coworkers succeed. That passion for success probably comes from his love of sports. He’s a big Miami Dolphins fan, and when he’s not rooting for them, you might find him riding dirtbikes in the desert, waterskiing and jet-skiing, or hitting the slopes on his snowboard.
Karri is dedicated and committed to everything she does. Whether it’s cheering on her son at all of his soccer games or solving challenges for our clients and employees, she’s in it 100%. She has proven herself over and over again during the past 16 years as part of the Ernest Packaging Solutions family. Her experience in accounting, HR, and as our Operations Manager in Los Angeles has given her the day-to-day perspective that helps her shine as our VP of Finance. Or maybe it’s her annual trips to recharge in the surf and sun in Costa Rica that do the trick. Either way, her future looks bright.
With a record like Mickey Mantle, the charisma of Joe DiMaggio, and the heart of Lou Gehrig, we think if Vince ever decides to retire from us, he has a bright future as a coach. His passion for nurturing success in everyone around him — from his family to our leadership and especially his new recruits — brings new life and energy to Ernest Packaging Solutions every day. Since 2008, Ernest has been the house that Vince built. Vince is not only getting top talent to join our Ernest family, but as keeper of the culture, he is making sure that we maintain the perfect climate for them to prosper and succeed. It’s really too bad that his favorite team, the Yankees, haven’t discovered him. Their loss is definitely our gain.
One for all, all for one. That’s how Clint Howard sees the relationship between individual and collective success. As our first ever VP of Learning and Development, he hopes to lead Ernest to global improvement by spearheading initiatives to develop personalized, relevant content for each employee. His deep experience at the company and passionate support for the Ernest Way will play an integral part as the Learning and Development department turns its focus to expanding its resources to help us realize Ernest’s vision for the future.
Having spent over 11 years at Ernest, Clint’s the perfect man to connect business to training. In the gamut of titles that he’s held—including DCR, GM, and Regional VP—he’s shown a consistent passion for putting people first and championing professional development. As the head of Learning and Development, he’ll make sure that the training provided to our E-teamers is specific and actionable.
Clint has big plans for the expanded Learning and Development team, which will have a representative from each of our operational departments, including client coordinators, merchandisers, warehouse and logistics, and sales. Each will help to create a “center of excellence,” and be responsible for creating training content in their area of expertise. Even though he prefers not to be in the spotlight, let’s give Clint a hand for all he’s invested into others. The next time you pick up something useful from an Ernest training, you’ll know who to thank.
When he’s not busy helping every Ernest employee be the best they can be, Clint’s busy helping his family learn and grow, too. Between home improvement projects, weekend camping trips, four kids, and one “smart but dumb” golden retriever, he’s certainly got his hands full—and we have a feeling he wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether Clint is training or being trained, his commitment to shared success is just the kind of forward momentum that makes all the difference.
If you ask Eddie what he thinks makes Ernest Packaging Solutions so successful, he would tell you it’s the people. When people work together, great things happen. This belief in teamwork and his ability to build relationships with everyone around him make him a huge asset and a great leader. He says it comes from lessons he learned on the college basketball court. We think it’s just part of his balanced, good-natured approach to life. Whatever the case, we’re learning new things from Eddie every day and are thrilled to have him on our team.
Kenny loves a good competition, both personally and professionally. So it makes sense that he would return to Ernest, the company that launched his packaging career, after a decade of working for a competitor. As our General Manager, he is keeping his competitive nature on the golf course and has become passionate about sharing his years of knowledge and experience with the younger members of our sales force. And if you ask Kenny what day was his favorite day at Ernest, he’ll tell you it was the day he came back. We have to agree and couldn’t be happier to have him.
Travis does everything he can to set himself and the Ernest Packaging Solutions family apart. He uses every opportunity to seek advice, expertise, and perspective from vendors and consultants to cover all angles for his customers. It’s this kind of attitude and proactive approach that has helped him and the team excel. Outside of Ernest he takes advantage of all that Portland has to offer. In his spare time you can find him with some or all of his 5 kids fishing, camping, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors. And when the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’ll find him playing the piano and coaxing his kids to sing along.
Both professionally and personally, Scott has a special talent for rallying people. Whether he’s coaching his kids’ baseball and soccer teams or bringing all the Ernest offices together under a compelling new brand, he knows the power of a strong, confident message. He’s a firm believer in the company’s commitment to Moving Packaging Forward and takes the idea to heart even in the way the company markets itself. He attributes this passion for our brand to the fact that the family culture at Ernest makes you always want to do your best. We know it’s really because he’s a savvy marketer who truly loves his work.
On Kevin Weinberg’s desk, you’ll find a quote from the intro to a Joss Stone song that says, “You see, I know change. I see change. I embody change. All we do is change…” Clearly, he is 100% Ernest and the perfect person to head up our information systems team. For 20 years, he’s been a much relied upon part of the Ernest family. With a background as an accountant, a software expert, a systems guy, an operations lead, and most recently helping us translate Ernest DNA into software, he knows what makes our business go. He’s always thinking strategically, turning corners into bends and helping us tackling our most audacious goals. Good thing he’s got his music, his books, his rock climbing, and his two grandchildren to keep him sane.
Voice like gravel, hands like a vice grip and two steel-toed boots that are ready to kick ass and take names.
Try to keep up with what I’m throwin’ down. Most people think my job is to bring the brawn to our crew. But don’t sleep on my brain, brothers and sisters. It’s a bad mammer-jammer. That’s how I really flex. With my mental muscle, baby.
Stephen’s background in construction means he’s got all the tools he needs to build the next generation of packaging professionals. He takes prides in teaching his team about the wide range of materials and products in the Ernest catalog, and also about representing Ernest by upholding the strong brand culture that’s been an integral part our business for over 70 years. Stephen loves the sense of camaraderie at Ernest. He appreciates the support he receives to help him succeed and the freedom to make his own choices. Most importantly, he loves that people here care about life outside the company—just like a real family. When he’s not busy training his crew, you can bet Stephen’s keeping busy at home with his wife, Ryann, and their three sons. An avid builder, Stephen loves making things and his wife loves giving him projects—so it’s a win-win. Add to that his self-proclaimed geekiness (the force is strong with this one), and his boys’ penchant for wrestling, and Stephen is always having fun, whether he’s at work or at home. Sounds like a blueprint for happiness, and success.
Andrew brings a packaging and management background to our Boise branch, having held sales leadership roles in the industry at both the national and regional levels. He was drawn to Ernest by our family-centric culture and how invested our whole team is in delivering on client goals. As a leader, he’s passionate about training his team and helping each person develop their own skills to ensure they deliver on those goals every time—while also maintaining a supportive atmosphere. Andrew likes taking an active, hands-on role and is always on the lookout for new learning opportunities. He’s also comfortable rolling up his sleeves to find solutions that drive growth not only for his team, but for his clients as well.
At home, Andrew’s family is his passion and his motivation. His three boys are the reason he and his wife picked up and moved from Los Angeles to Boise. In addition to the change of pace and scenery, they love Boise’s quieter way of life and have found a renewed sense of togetherness here. Spending quality time with loved ones, building connections with those around him, and making the most of every moment together also includes game day for this avid Chargers fan. Whether he’s at home or at work, Andrew’s love for life fuels him every day.
Tyler’s goal is for everyone on his team to be more successful each day than they were the day before—both personally and professionally. As a leader, he’s all about helping people develop their skills and align their career goals to their life goals. With a strong background in industrial supply chain solutions, Tyler is helping our Boise division make a serious impact in a new market by promoting our culture and spreading the Ernest way. He loves putting his business negotiation skills to good use driving growth that’s centered around client success.
Outside of work, Tyler’s wife and three daughters keep him on his toes—and have taught him a lot about fairness and empathy. As a family, they love to go camping and spend time near the water or in the mountains. Tyler’s also an avid golfer and a serious foodie. You’ll often find him smoking red meat or whipping up a Mexican feast for the family. Whatever he’s doing, you can count on Tyler to bring energy and enthusiasm to the table.
Nate Burke has an appetite for smart operations and outstanding client support. With years of experience in the food industry, including serving as Assistant Plant Director at a dairy products factory, Nate knows the importance of delivering quality. As the Director of Operations at Ernest’s Boise division, he’s committed to ensuring the products and service we provide our clients are top-of-the-line. They’re his big cheeses now!
Nate’s passion for excellence stretches into his personal life, too. He and his wife are always on the hunt for new fine dining experiences—though hard to beat his wife’s cooking. A family man, Nate has two young children and can usually be found taking them to the park or on a bike ride in his free time. He also loves golfing, so you may find him hitting the links if he’s not with his wife and kids. Nate is truly someone who understands what’s important, so whether he’s helping find the right solution for a client or offering a new restaurant recommendation, you can rest assured it will be great.
As a native Michigander, Brian Germain is thrilled to be supporting our clients in the area as General Manager in Ernest Packaging Solutions’ Detroit division. One of the things he loves about being on the Ernest team is our close-knit work culture. After spending 16 years in various sales roles at large companies and start-ups alike, he knows there’s nothing like being part of a family company. He’s made cultivating a friendly, collaborative environment for his team and our clients one of his top priorities.
When he’s not building his professional family at Ernest, Brian is busy tending to his growing family at home. He and his partner Cecilia recently welcomed their second child. It’s a full house! In the few moments he’s off baby and toddler duty, Brian can be found cheering on the Lions and his beloved Michigan State teams. There was a time when you would find him in the great outdoors snowboarding or running Spartan races (we see a theme), but these days playing with his boys indoors is more his speed. That’s ok, we appreciate his commitment to cultivating that strong family connection at home and at work.
Aaron is a hands-on leader who prides himself on building relationships and prioritizing client needs. He puts his valuable skills to work training rookies to chart their own pathways to success, with a coaching style that emphasizes independence and growth. A dedicated mentor, Aaron loves nothing more than guiding others into leadership roles. He’s always looking to smash expectations and help boost the Ernest brand nationally—after all, it’s our unique culture and branding that initially caught his attention when he saw our Cardboard Chaos videos featuring some of his favorite pastimes (hint: they both involve shredding).
Driven by passion for everything he does, Aaron’s all-in in all aspects of his life. When he’s not in the trenches helping out his team, you’ll find him cheering his son on in wrestling and football and his daughter in cheer and horseback riding. His whole family loves to snowmobile, wake surf, and side-by-side on the dunes. At work, Aaron brings that same level of enthusiasm to every client interaction.
Louie Gennuso’s heart is in sales. He’s genuinely invested in improving the lives and businesses of his clients. And he has the years to show for it, as a rep, a manager, and a director supporting sales teams. Louie is excited about the tremendous growth and learning opportunities here at Ernest. As General Manager, he has a tried-and-true approach—providing his people with the tools and support they need to succeed. A creative problem-solver and involved leader, Louie motivates his team using the Ernest Way, taking the time to celebrate wins big and small. Louie’s people-first approach is a powerful advantage for the Fresno division and our clients.
When he’s not in the office, Louie is an attentive family man with three young children. Whether it’s home improvement projects, going on adventures in the family’s travel trailer, or immersing himself in his kids’ soccer, baseball, dance, or gymnastics activities, he’s there for it all. At home and in the office, Louie is devoted and ready to roll up his sleeves and take on any new task or challenge that comes his way.
Carlos Rodriguez is always on the move. With 10 years’ experience in the transportation industry, he’s very familiar with how packaging can make (or literally break) shipping outcomes. As Director of Client Relations in Fresno, Carlos is dedicated to making sure that our customers have sturdy, damage-proof packaging that stands up to the rigors of any shipment demand. Leveraging his extensive knowledge of companies’ shipping history and experiences, Carlos works closely with his clients and our experts to ensure the quality that Ernest is known for.
Having lived and worked throughout Northern California, from his hometown in Stockton to Fresno, Salinas, and Reno, Carlos comes to Ernest with valuable insight into the needs of local businesses. When he’s not going full steam ahead in the packaging world, Carlos enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters. He also likes hitting the gym, taking in concerts, and cheering on the Sacramento Kings. Whether supporting a local team or a client in need, Carlos always goes the distance.
For Catherine Whittaker, every month is Givember. From her first job working in IT to her current role leading operations at our Fresno office, she has made service a priority in her career—even starting new charitable initiatives at companies that lacked them. One of her favorite things about working at Ernest is its full-fledged giving program, culture of community involvement, and that everyone here is comfortable enough to call her by her nickname, Cat.
While her professional life is all about building strong relationships within the Ernest team and with our clients, in her free time, Catherine loves the peace of being out in nature or in a quiet movie theater. When she’s not working out the kinks of time tables and budgets, she can be found exploring the beaches and mountains of California, enjoying the latest blockbuster or spending time with her Border Collie/Mini Aussie, Ollie. For Catherine, life is an immersive experience. Good thing her values of generosity, hard work, and fun directly align with all things Ernest.
A career with a Fortune 200 Company has made Shaun Buranakitipinyo ready to build something big in packaging. And he’s got the expertise to make it happen. When it comes to sales, he’s done it all – store manager, branch manager, sales rep, city manager, sales manager and, district manager. Shaun is a seasoned leader passionate about taking things to the next level. He empowers his teams, gives them what they need to succeed, and challenges them to go further than they ever thought possible. He loves to see people win!
A proud Aggie, Shaun met his wife while both were students at Texas A&M. A devoted family, college football, and Houston Astros man, on the weekends you’ll likely find him enjoying a game or at the whim of his three young daughters playing dolls or watching movies. Both professionally and personally, Shaun believes in valuing relationships above everything else. He’s all about doing what you say you’re going to do and challenging yourself to grow. No wonder he’s such a great fit with the Ernest family.
After spending a decade in medical sales, Justin Turner realized he wanted a career where he could be more creative and hands-on with clients. It was Ernest’s emphasis on mentorship and camaraderie that convinced him to join us as Director of Client Relations. Justin approaches his current role as more than just a job. For him, it’s about building a winning team that makes a difference in the world. He leverages his years of experience working in Houston to build relationships with local clients while modeling accountability and strong communication for his direct reports. And he couldn’t be happier doing it.
A Texas native, Justin embodies the best of the Lone Star State: big personality, family oriented, and down to earth. With roots in Corpus Christi, Justin has been rooting for the same sport teams since birth, the Texas Longhorns, Dallas Cowboys, and the Houston Astros. He’s an avid traveler and loves being near saltwater, but now that he and his wife have young kids, he spends as much time as he can with family close to home. With his priorities of work and family set, the coast is clear for Justin’s ongoing success.
Little did Bill know that when Ernest Packaging Solutions bought the company he was working for in 1998, it would change the direction of his life. As part of the Ernest family, he loves that he has the freedom to make decisions and a team of colleagues that he calls “the hardest working and most dedicated people I have ever seen.” And that’s quite a complement from someone with his experience. It’s also why he’s committed to finding the best ways to do things, striving to help his staff work smarter, and always looking at the details. Being part of Ernest’s success is just his way of giving back.
Cedric Dashiell has a deep-seated passion for developing talent and giving back. His ability to identify individual strengths and put people in a position where they can thrive is a key part of how he supports his team and our Ernest clients. While most recently he was a top five sales manager for a national supply company, he started his career leading a nonprofit that helped young athletes get into college, often with a full scholarship. Throughout his career he’s taken a people-centered approach that is the perfect fit here at Ernest.
Outside of work, Cedric is a full-time family man. His two sons are both recently-graduated top college athletes now pursuing master’s degrees. With one playing basketball and the other playing football, he and his wife—a recent college graduate herself—spend most of their weekends traveling to watch every game. When they were younger, he even coached his son’s basketball team to a national championship win. Cedric loves that at Ernest, we’re all about winning, too—and also about treating people right. With his dedication to the success of his team and his division, we’re thrilled to have Cedric in our corner.
Who says you can’t learn anything from TV? Not Sarah! She adapts many of the problem-solving skills she’s learned from her favorite TV show “House” to deliver better custom corrugated solutions for her customers. Luckily, she has much better people skills than the show’s cranky leading man. For Sarah, every quote is an opportunity to ask herself if there’s a better style or process for her customers. Finding those solutions makes her job fun!
If there’s one thing Scott specializes in, it’s fresh perspective. He’s always helping our teams find new ways to strengthen relationships with our vendors and uncover unexpected solutions for our customers’ toughest packaging challenges. Scott has made it his personal mission to find opportunities to improve operations here at Ernest Packaging Solutions in whatever way he can. And that’s no small feat when you’re already working for a world-class organization! Good thing Scott takes plenty of time in the great outdoors, where he fly fishes, golfs, and mountain bikes with his family to refuel. All that fresh air is his secret weapon.
What do you get when you combine 20 years of sales leadership experience with a serious commitment to culture? One heck of an Ernest Director of Client Relations. David Austin built his sales and management skills in the telecommunications industry. And his work supporting small and medium businesses uncovered a true passion for helping entrepreneurs grow. As part of a family-owned company like Ernest, he has the opportunity to see the entrepreneurial journey from both sides — leading his team by example and cultivating client relationships that stick. David staunchly believes that success is a byproduct of great listening and open communication.
When he’s not going to bat for his clients, David can be found at various parks cheering on his sons’ teams. He even got all the certifications to become a qualified soccer coach. Between attending his kids’ soccer, basketball, flag football, and baseball games and supporting his city’s professional teams (his family rolls deep when it comes to the Lakers, Dodgers, and his formerly local team, the Raiders), there’s never a dull moment. As someone who pursues his passions both on the field and in the office, David’s always on the ball.
You might call Eric the ultimate fan. Whether it’s his family, his favorite sports teams, or his fellow coworkers, he’s always cheering people on and showing his support. Maybe that’s why he’s such an amazing mentor for our Customer Relationship Managers and our customers, too. Whether you’re talking about new ideas, individuals, or our customers’ businesses, he loves seeing things move forward. And anywhere he can make a contribution, he will.
From producing successful high volume events to her impressive record as a sales leader for Cintas Corporation, we’re pretty sure Hannah Marcano can do anything. As our Director of Client Relations, Hannah is using her extensive management and client service experience to build a formidable team in Los Angeles. Interestingly, she is a third-generation janitorial and packaging legacy. Both her father and grandfather were in the business, so, clearly, it’s in her blood. And it shows. Hannah’s commitment to supporting her team with insight and expertise means they’re ready to tackle any client or selling challenge.
When she’s not helping her team reach their goals, Hannah’s hobbies include frequenting Farmers’ markets for the best ingredients she can find in order to cook all types of cuisine. She especially loves making Italian dishes. You’ll also find her reading and walking on the beach, hanging out, and attending country music concerts. We think Hannah’s family history and her love to create will make her a great addition to the Ernest family.
Jeremy is a family man at heart. That’s why when he first experienced the Ernest culture, he knew he’d found his people. As someone who leads by example, he will be coaching his team on the Ernest Way and helping them achieve their goals. He’s excited about the future and believes in the power of packaging to make a difference for our customers. Jeremy works hard every day to bring his vision to life and guide his team to success.
Outside of work, Jeremy’s big blended family keeps him on his toes—and his supportive wife keeps them all together. With two of his four daughters and his granddaughter playing softball, he spends a good amount of time cheering them on from the sidelines. On weekends he loves taking everyone on camping trips in the family trailer. You can find them venturing as far as Las Vegas and San Luis Obispo, with Oceanside and Chula Vista being favorite spots. As someone so committed to family, Jeremy fits right in here at Ernest. We look forward to extending that family tree as his Los Angeles team grows.
When you ask Kevin what he loves about working at Ernest, he’ll tell you, “The company vision and reputation can’t be beat, but it’s the people, their energy and capabilities that make all the difference.” With his can-do attitude and powerful enthusiasm, he’s a perfect match. Plus, he’s fun to be around. He loves good movies like The Godfather or Goodfellas, is a big football fan, and enjoys a great book The DaVinci Code and Red Storm Rising are two favorites. What more can you ask for in a colleague and a collaborator?
Nate Brewer is a straight shooter. What you see is what you get. As our Los Angeles Director of Operations, he’s known for his down-to-earth leadership approach, his growth mindset, and his optimistic outlook, always believing that the best is yet to come. With a background in oil, gas, and industrial supply businesses around Southern California, Nate knows how to grease squeaky wheels to get them spinning. If he doesn’t know the answer to your question, he’ll find it and get it to you fast. That’s how he keeps our operations running smoothly—from service and admin to fulfillment and shipping.
When Nate’s not busy keeping his teams on track, you can find him relaxing and spending time with his wife and young son. This Fullerton native also enjoys working on his classic truck, a ‘66 Ranchero, and getting outdoors to tread his old stomping grounds. Whether it’s ironing out packaging transportation logistics or planning a fun weekend with his family, Nate always puts in a little extra elbow grease to get things done right.
Brian is on a mission to open doors, and close business. In everything he does, he focuses on setting Ernest apart. That means building the strongest, smartest, best equipped sales team around, and adding value for every customer. When he’s not busy bringing the best packaging solutions to new Ernest clients, Brian loves spending time with his wife and their four children. A Chicago native, he’s a huge Cubs fan and can’t wait to see what his hometown team does in the next few years. With his passion for winning, we know Brian’s going to knock it out of the ballpark here at Ernest.
From precise logistics and technology details to broader shipping and packaging innovations, Alex is passionate about creating exceptional customer experiences. He brings high energy and an extensive background managing warehouses and fulfillment centers to his role as Director of Client Relations in Phoenix. As a leader, Alex creates a supportive environment that unleashes his team’s potential and helps them thrive. He is always thinking outside the box to solve problems and keep his people productive.
Outside the office, you’ll often find Alex outside. Literally. After relocating to Phoenix from Chicago with his girlfriend, two dogs, and two cats, he takes full advantage of the city’s warm weather. Whether it’s fishing, camping, hiking, or challenging himself physically with triathlons and Ironman races, he’s always up for an outdoor adventure. A native of Iowa, he’s also an avid sports fan and supports all the Chicago teams—Bears, Bulls, and Cubs. At home or at work, Alex is focused, dedicated, and not afraid of going outside his comfort zone to deliver wins.
When it comes to succeeding in business, Stephen likes to look at the big picture. His goal is to fuel continual growth—for his customers, his team, and his division. That means getting to know individual customers and making real connections with them. It means training new CRMs, helping them develop professionally so they can achieve their long-term goals. And it means taking on new responsibilities and always making sure everyone is working together to contribute to their collective growth and success. A people person at heart, Stephen’s quietly competitive spirit makes him both an excellent leader and dedicated a team player.
A native of Philadelphia, Stephen and his wife (who’s from Pittsburgh—don’t get them started on the Battle of Pennsylvania, name your sport) love to travel back East whenever they can and especially enjoy road trips. With two young kids at home, they’re happily focused on building a future together here in the Southwest. When he’s not busy with the little ones, Stephen is an avid golfer and fan of all his Philly teams. We know Stephen will soar here at Ernest, just like his beloved birds. Fly Eagles, fly!
Word on the street is that you can give Brenda Fiorucci the toughest request and she will find a way to get it done. It’s her superpower. We are pretty sure her 25+ years of experience in logistics and packaging has something to do with it. But it’s her love for Ernest’s focus on family and customer fulfillment that adds that something extra. She’s built a strong, reliable team that finds creative solutions to help deliver on our clients’ business goals. She’s always focused on making the process better. And no matter the task, she’s always the first to roll up her sleeves and get to work—even if it means taking her truck and doing a delivery herself.
Brenda finds creative solutions for home projects, as well. Even in the Phoenix desert she manages to grow anything and everything in her garden. When she’s not at home with her husband, her two dogs and four chickens, she likes escaping the desert and camping up north with her kids and grandkids. Her can-do attitude, both at home and in the office, means Brenda is always ready to pitch in to deliver the best service for our clients.
Ernie Lunbeck is a relationship guy. By adapting his sales approach to each individual, he has delivered consistent results across a variety of industries. Packaging is no different. More than just tape, boxes, and automation he’s focused on people, solutions, and support. For Ernie, sales is a fun puzzle to figure out. It’s about approaching every account with an open mind, listening closely to what they need, and then reading between the lines to identify unexpected ways he can help.
In his free time, Ernie is a big fan of golf and likes to get outdoors, whether to hike, travel the country, or to tour a winery with his fiancé. He enjoys kicking back on his front porch with one of Portland’s famed stouts or porters and is known to savor a good Oregon pinot, too. Ernie’s work hard, play hard attitude pushes him to embrace every challenge he’s presented, whether it’s breaking par (this one’s taking awhile) or getting a client what they need.
Jordan Hilker has always been an explorer. After finding his way from the fuel, oil, and logistics industries to Ernest Packaging Solutions, he is now on a mission to grow our reach and support across Southern Oregon. Jordan brings years of insight in supply chain management to help our clients solve their most pressing packaging challenges. As a coach-centric leader, he’s a strong proponent of ongoing development and is always focused on helping his people reach their career goals.
When he’s not pioneering the best packaging strategies and supporting his team, Jordan can be found golfing, hiking, traveling, and eating. He loves exploring towns, trails, and golf courses throughout Oregon and is a frequent visitor to quaint coastal towns. He’s always on the lookout for new culinary experiences and can often be found savoring local fare at neighborhood eateries. It’s this sense of adventure and yen for discovery that make Jordan a valuable part of our trailblazing Portland team (and a great guy to have with you for a meal).
Scott Quaas knows that every house starts with a strong foundation. The DIYer-cum-sales manager is all about building solid partnerships to support long-term client relationships. As a Director of Client Relations in our Portland office, Scott is the bedrock of his team, always willing to step in when sales reps have questions and eager to get into the trenches with his team. His goal is to be the kind of manager people are inspired to work for.
Scott was excited to find a window of opportunity at Ernest after spending years in food and beverage sales. No stranger to leading teams into double-digit growth, Scott excels at bringing people together to realize ambitious goals. In his free time, he enjoys sharing his passion for tinkering and being outdoors with his wife and young son. A stickler for details, Scott recently oversaw the building of his family’s new house. Whether at home our out in the field, he is clearly someone who knows how to transform big plans into reality.
Whether he’s hiring, training, and developing sales leaders or pitching in on key account deals, Kyle Caroddo, knows what it takes to build a great team environment. He spent the last eight years leading sales teams and managing major accounts at a Fortune 500 distribution company. But it was the inviting and innovative culture at Ernest that drew him to the packaging business. Don’t let his appreciation for the softer side of things fool you, though. Kyle is a true competitor who has set his sights on making Portland one of Ernest Packaging Solutions’ highest-performing divisions.
What Kyle loves about Ernest is one of the qualities that he himself exemplifies: a willingness to put in the hard work to get the job done well. When he’s not busy supporting his clients, you can rest assured that Kyle plays just as hard as he works. He can often be found exploring the great Northwestern outdoors with his girlfriend Jules and his dog Lucy or cheering on his favorite teams. Originally from Northern California, Kyle still has a soft spot for the 49ers, Sacramento Kings, and the Giants. No matter who he’s rooting for, Kyle is all-in, which is a great benefit for his clients.
Kristy Comstock is a marathoner who’s in it for the long haul. When she’s not training or traveling around the country to compete, she’s in our Portland office managing logistics for this rapidly developing team. Having been in wholesale, distribution, and retail for almost 15 years, Kristy is seasoned in what it takes to keep things running smoothly. Her packaging experience spans a number of positions and industries. And she knows the essential role packaging plays in getting products to their destination safely and grabbing shelf attention at retail.
While Kristy loves Ernest’s family-driven culture during her work hours, in her free time she appreciates the solitude and focus of putting on her running shoes and hitting the pavement. She’s already completed 15 marathons in 8 states! When she’s not training, you’ll likely find this native Oregonian enjoying the beauty of the state with her husband and their beloved German short-hair pointer. Whether she’s managing her training schedule or finding new ways to support our Portland division’s growth, Kristy is always thinking about the long game.
Steve’s secret to success is creating a positive environment where everyone is working together to achieve a common goal. He also focuses on building strong relationships with both clients and team members. By wanting the best for every individual, offering support and direction when needed, and having a genuine desire to help people win, Steve creates the enthusiasm and energy that enables them to get things done. Prior to joining the Ernest family, he spent 17 years with Sherwin Williams, where he filled just about every sales role possible, from working in-store to outside sales, district management, and finally leadership. He brings to the table a unique depth of experience and insight into every level of business that benefits everyone around him.
Outside of the office, Steve likes to keep busy and get his hands dirty. An avid golfer, he hits the links whenever he can and especially enjoys playing a round or two with his son. He also loves spending time with his wife and daughter, watching his kids play seasonal sports, and working on remodeling projects around the house.
Over his 15+ years in the beauty industry, Brian Coe has worn many hats in sales and sales leadership. Whether leading a team of 5 or 50 professionals, Brian excels at mentoring and helping his people to become their best and most fulfilled selves. Brian was drawn to Ernest’s employee-centered culture, and his management experience and interpersonal skills are a perfect fit. As he builds his team and strengthens their connection to the Ernest Way, his focus on our clients and their needs is key to making sure everybody wins.
When he’s not focused on supporting our clients, you can catch Brian on the tennis court with his two teenagers and wife. He’s drawn to the social aspect of the sport and the time it allows him to spend with his family. At the same time, he can be a solitary guy, so you might find him cruising on his motorcycle with the occasional stop to enjoy the many craft brewery options throughout Raleigh. Whether brushing up on his tennis, riding his bike, or fostering effective client relationships, Brian tackles it all with true devotion.
David brings a wealth of experience and expertise to every account relationship, combining years of working in the corporate world with that special Ernest personal touch. A family man at heart, David loves our close-knit culture and strives every day to help his team grow, develop, and achieve their individual goals—which is also how he keeps the company moving forward. His philosophy is simple: When one of us succeeds, we all succeed, including our clients.
Outside of work, David has plenty to keep him busy. He’s learning Spanish from his Peruvian wife, with whom he loves to travel, visiting as many destinations as they can each year—from Italy to Israel and beyond. His son and daughter are both in college, but the nest isn’t empty just yet. David volunteers with his local Golden Retriever rescue organization, fostering dogs in need…which often end up joining the family. He loves to take his furry companions to the lake, for hikes, and to throw their tennis ball all day long. Clearly, commitment and loyalty are just part of who he is, and our customers and his dogs get all the benefit!
If ever there was a shining example of a versatile team player, Anne Sioson Carbajal is it. Anne has been an integral part of the Ernest Packaging Solutions family for more than a decade, and has enthusiastically stepped into a variety of roles with willingness and an always-positive attitude. From training our support teams and Customer Relationship Managers, to overseeing our 30-person Business Services team, to leading the charge as the business process owner for sales and distribution during our SAP conversion and serving seven years on the Ernest Brand Council, her dedication and drive have made us a better company. As the Director of Operations in Reno, she builds on deep experience in sales and operations at Ernest and beyond. Her reputation for raising up successors and building her team’s expertise means lots of potential for individual and divisional development. Mentoring and empowering others are Anne’s specialties.
Anne is excited for what the move to Reno from Southern California means for her family. While she’ll miss the LA and San Diego teams, she’s excited for all of the business growth happening in the Greater Reno and Northern Nevada area, not having as much traffic to contend with, and all the outdoor activities nearby. Her husband and two young kids love dirt biking and exploring nature, which Anne supports whole-heartedly. It’s exactly this kind of all-in approach that will make her a powerful part of the Team Reno leadership.
When it comes to overseeing Ernest’s operations, Sarah Stellato loves to dive into the details. We think it probably has to do with her training as a mechanical engineer. Our Reno Operations Manager gained years of experience in process design in industries as diverse as electronics, renewable energy, and cannabis. From hemp edibles, to consumer electronics manufacturing, to packaging, Sarah is a quality control afficionado and someone our customers can count on to make sure everything is exactly the way it should be.
At Ernest, Sarah is using her knack for bridging the gap between operations and sales to streamline operations and up our efficiency. When she’s out of the office, Sarah loves spending quality time with her two kids, two dogs, and husband, watching movies and playing games — ask her about her blanket fort-building expertise and sharply honed connector set skills. With someone this attuned to how things work leading the way, we know our Reno operations will always be on point.
A Sacramento native, Justin brings a strong background in both sales and leadership to the table, paired with a passion for helping people and driving them to succeed. His leadership style is all about continually building on what’s working and making it work even better. When he’s not busy building up his team, Justin loves spending time with his wife, son, and dog, and working on an endless list of home improvement projects. He also loves to go backpacking around the Sierra Nevada’s and Northern California, and is an avid fly-fisher who’s always ready to cast his line. We’re sure glad he took the bait and joined our team.
With over 20 years of experience in the industrial distribution world, Brandy brings both enthusiasm and expertise to her work every day. She knows how to cover multiple markets and states while managing a large sales team—but what she’s most passionate about is coaching. Brandy loves to hire fresh talent and mentor her rookies as they work their way up through the company. She also loves Ernest’s family values and welcoming environment, which suits her perfectly. We love Brandy’s can-do attitude and her boundless energy.
When she’s not helping her team members carve their own paths to success, Brandy keeps busy with her husband, twin sons, and daughter. They love to spend time together camping in the beautiful California wilderness whenever they can get away. Brandy also enjoys being in her happy place: the kitchen. An avid cook, she’s worked as a personal chef and even has her own brand of hot sauce—which will help her fit right in, because at Ernest, we bring the heat. Another fun fact: Brandy used to play professional roller derby. We might have missed seeing her play, but we’re still big fans of her work.
When it comes to finding solutions to complex packaging problems, Carson Reed leaves no stone unturned. You can trace his skills back to his four years in the Army after college where he learned agile management skills and how to effectively lead a team. A stint in IT consulting helping electrical utilities manage enterprise assets taught him the power of data to uncover solutions, Carson literally took his problem-solving show on the road during a six-month backpacking trek across the US. The troubleshooting chops he built in these experiences and his work in sales for a leading chemical company are a major plus for Ernest and our clients. There is likely nothing this man can’t do.
With a young family, Carson works just as hard at home as he does in the office. When he has a free moment, he and his wife are big on DIY. You’ll likely find Carson under the hood of his car while his wife is busy remodeling their house. When he’s not up to his elbows in projects or diapers, Carson relishes time in the great outdoors waterskiing, skiing, fishing, camping, hiking or exploring his favorite National Parks. We’re definitely grateful to have such a seasoned guide keeping our clients on the right track.
Jamie loves to be in the middle of things, as long as she’s not in the spotlight. She has worked in just about every department at Ernest. Her broad range of experience, motivation, and endless enthusiasm make her an ideal Director of Operations. She’s always ready to share her knowledge, and advises others to speak up if they want to get ahead. An active member of the Ernest Brand Council, Jamie is an integral cog in Ernest’s well-oiled machine. When Jamie’s not tackling challenges faster than we can throw them at her, she’s keeping busy with her family. She loves to travel and is an avid nature photographer who carries her camera wherever she goes. She also loves to cook for her family, and tackle DIY projects around her home. We’re so lucky to have Jamie as part of the Ernest family. She truly is the real McCoy.
With over 20 years’ experience in sales, operations, and distribution, Gavin likes to roll up his sleeves and get involved, earning the trust of both his customers and his team—which is how he brings out the best in people. His approach to leadership is to coach, teach, and train where needed, and to be a reassuring partner along the way. One of his proudest accomplishments was overseeing the acquisition of a 30-year-old family-owned business, and managing the transition without losing any of the company’s crew. In fact, he did such a good job of maintaining the status quo that they made “Team Gavin” t-shirts to show their support. Gavin loves to spend time outdoors with his family, hiking in summer and skiing in winter. And with all three of his daughters involved in theatre and sports (volleyball, basketball, and soccer), there’s always a game or a performance to watch. A lifelong Denver Broncos fan, he also loves watching football and soccer. We’re betting on Team Gavin for the win on all fronts.
Kevin’s experience spans all the key areas of business. In addition to a strong sales background, he’s held roles in operations and management. He’s even owned his own company, which gives him unique insights into what our clients need and how we can help them better their business. As a leader, Kevin acts as coach, mentor, and motivator. To help his people achieve their goals, he likes to paint a picture of where they can take their career and how they can get there—and then he helps them do it. Kevin prides himself on building lasting relationships with clients, vendors, and partners based on honesty and authenticity. In fact, it’s our relationship-based culture that drew him to Ernest to begin with.
A native of Portland, OR, Kevin moved to Salt Lake City to be close to his family while also indulging his passion for outdoor sports including skiing and mountain biking. He also loves spending time with his wife and their young son, and keeps busy with home improvement projects like building the perfect backyard. At home and in the office, Kevin is a visionary who’s not afraid of rolling up his sleeves to get the job done.
Mitch likes to stay sharp and is always looking for ways to grow his skills. He prides himself on his ability to envision what people need, whether they’re members of his team or customers. A natural people person, he loves surfacing client challenges through meaningful conversations. With a strong background in both sales and operations, Mitch understands the value of building solid, long-term relationships and enjoys finding new clients. His biggest goal? For his entire team to succeed—and be happy in their work. Between his growth mindset and his hands-on leadership style, we’re certainly happy he’s part of the Ernest family.
When he’s not busy on the packaging front, you’ll find Mitch enjoying time with his wife and their two young kids. During summer, they’re all about being outdoors—either riding off-road vehicles or wakesurfing behind their boat. During winter, you’ll find them waiting for the lake to thaw out… and occasionally skiing. They also enjoy staying home with a movie and popcorn. Wherever Mitch is, when he’s with family, he’s happy.
Matthew brings passion and energy to everything he does, and believes the key to ensuring success is to set clear expectations—and then deliver on them. Add to that his years of operations experience and expertise across multiple industries and you’ve got a committed leader with a clear vision who can look at issues from many angles. Lucky for us.
Matthew was drawn to Ernest by our desire to innovate and create with our clients in order to drive sales. He’s never satisfied with maintaining the status quo (take that, competitors!). This drive to do things better and exceed expectations shows up in in everything he does. Outside of work, Matthew is equally passionate and energetic about the things he loves, which include building things and getting creative. He’s also a bona fide auto enthusiast who currently owns 11 cars—that’s right, 11. With Matthew behind the wheel of our Salt Lake City operation, we know we’re in good hands.
Ryan loves being part of the Ernest Packaging Solutions family because our core beliefs also represent his own personal values—innovation, motivation, and healthy competition. He is proud to head up a team that shares this vision and constantly strives to improve processes, products, and most importantly, client satisfaction. As far as Ryan is concerned the market is limitless, and it’s ours for the making. When he’s not busy helping his team find new ways to exceed their customers’ expectations, Ryan loves spending time with his wife and three boys. Whether he’s playing in the surf or heading for the nearest mountain, Ryan is passionate about being outdoors and being involved in his community. He sees every day as a new opportunity to learn, build on what the previous day taught him, and take on whatever challenges arise. Sounds like a recipe for success.
Sometimes, you have to knock on doors to find opportunities. Other times, opportunity finds you. When a former colleague told Justine Stratton about Ernest Packaging Solutions, she was excited about the chance to be part of a team so committed to a great culture and client experience. And that’s why Justine has dedicated herself to doing her part to strengthen that culture by growing her team and developing a new generation of Client Relationship Managers inspired to elevate what they do for our customers.
Part of this is sharing one of her superpowers—the ability to actively listen to her clients and her team to find the best solutions for every situation. Add to that a healthy competitive spirit she learned on the college softball field, and you have a winning combination for our San Diego division. Justine still plays on a number of co-ed slow pitch teams when she isn’t busy with her other passion: fashion. From her great taste and ability to understand needs, to her supreme attention to detail, she’s an asset here at Ernest and beyond.
Our San Diego Director of Client Relations Lauren is taking the packaging world by Storm(s). With years of experience in sales, she knows the importance of building strong relationships both inside and outside of the company. Having played basketball in college at the University of Northern Colorado and then professionally overseas, including in Iceland, Germany, and Australia, Lauren brings a competitive spirit to all her business dealings. She believes that helping reps become better people is the best way to propel them to success at Ernest. Every day she inspires those around her with her can-do approach.
As a new mom, Lauren has doubled down on her focus on family—and is proud to be part of an organization that always prioritizes what’s most important. When she’s not giving the full-court press at the office, she, her husband, and her baby boy can be found traveling up and down the California coast enjoying the beach. For San Diego’s sportiest DCR, life is about learning, leveling up, and launching new relationships.
When it comes to supply chain, logistics, and operations, Marina Vilaysane knows how to keep teams on track. Her background in the software industry is vital to helping keep the Ernest Packaging Solutions San Diego division at the top of its game. From her work with domestic and international partners to her inspiring coaching and leadership approaches, Marina is all in when it comes to building and growing the business. She thrives in environments where she can help people develop their talents, bring ideas forward, and build on strengths.
Outside of the office, you’ll likely find Marina in the great outdoors or enjoying time with her family. She counts on her nieces and nephews to keep her hip. But when it comes to staying in shape, it’s her trail running, sailing, and rowing routines that feed her competitive streak. She’s building up her endurance to continue traveling the world. Next stop: Australia to pet the koalas and check out the kangaroos. Marina sees life as an exciting adventure. No wonder she’s already at home here at Ernest.
Looking for something tasty to eat? Talk to Kiera! She’s our resident foodie and knows all the great restaurants and tasty recipes. Whether at the dinner table or at work, her passion for excellence is infectious. She loves great literature, fine design, beautiful architecture, and good people. It’s this passionate approach to life and determination that drives her every day at Ernest Packaging Solutions. What she doesn’t know is that while she looks to others for her motivation, she is inspiring and motivating everyone around her.
Joseph Martinez joined the Ernest family as a Client Relationship Manager in our Los Angeles office. After winning nationwide Rookie of the Year in 2021, he set out to achieve every goal that management set for him and was soon promoted to Director of Client Relations in our San Luis Obispo division. As a leader, Joseph makes sure his team knows he’s on their side—and even if he doesn’t have an answer for them, he’ll find it right away. With his competitive nature and penchant for perfectionism, he’s a great growth driver, while his belief in the power of a genuine smile and a kind personality makes him a natural relationship builder.
A native of Los Angeles, Joseph is right at home in the nature lover’s paradise of San Luis Obispo. When he’s not out hiking, playing basketball, or enjoying the beautiful beaches, he’s happy sitting on the couch watching whatever game is on. As a former MMA fighter, he’s also a huge fan of UFC. With a passion for cooking, exploring new eateries, and going to concerts, Joseph finds plenty to keep himself busy outside of work, too.
“Ever improving” is Mike’s motto in life and work. Whether with his family or his customers, he loves to see people invest in themselves and hone their skills. He especially loves showing his customers how they can be more environmentally conscious by eliminating unnecessary packaging materials before they become waste. With over 20 years experience in senior management at a leading manufacturer of corrugated products, he knows what he’s talking about. Ultimately, it all comes down to helping people. His expertise in design, configuring, and impact of the market on supply, costing and contribution margin have made a huge difference for many of our customers. When it comes to saving money and time or finding a better way, Mike is ready to lend a hand.
Larry French came to Ernest from the biomedical engineering field, where he served as Senior Staff Engineer on the leading edge of developing breakthrough technologies. He’s been putting this knowledge into practice for the past 30 years. When it comes to cold chain shipping, Larry is laser-focused on the two most important conditions: time and temperature. In fact, he’s the one who invented our patented TempEndure™ technology. As R&D Manager, Larry goes above and beyond for any client. His expertise covers any industry, from food to pharma, biomed to botanical. His method of reverse-engineering and creating unique solutions ensures that the client receives optimization of cost and effectiveness. An innovator and collaborator, Larry is a member of the Orange County Inventors Forum and holds four different patents from across multiple disciplines.
With 25 years of experience in the industry and 14 at Ernest, Greg has served clients ranging from aerospace to manufacturing to food processing industries and beyond. As a Senior Design Specialist, he strives to help clients make smart, sustainable decisions. Greg has a vast knowledge on OSHA compliance processes and industry certifications, such as Food Safety, and is also well-versed in all things Jan-San. When partnering with clients, he always strives to help them find solutions to increase performance, save money and, above all else, keep their employees safe and healthy. Greg is also an avid sailor and scuba diver, which gives him a close-up view of the effect we have on our environment—always keeping sustainability top of mind. Because he knows he’s setting an example for his young daughter and helping to improve the Earth she’ll one day inherit.
At Ernest, when we think about the phrase “team player” it’s hard not to see Stephen’s smiling face. During over 24 years working with us, he’s shared his passion for living, learning and growing with every employee and many of our customers. Stephen’s background as a mechanical engineer plays an important part in developing the functional aesthetics for our customers’ packaging solutions. But, in truth, it’s his incredible listening skills that ensure he creates package designs his customers love. He asks questions, he explores the brand, and he applies his extensive knowledge of substrates and effective design elements to create the ideal solution. All of his efforts to get things “just right” demonstrate that he’s a man with a genuine heart that loves putting his knowledge to work for others. And that makes him the perfect person to have on your team.
While some people like to solve crossword puzzles, Ori Rosenbaum likes to solve packaging puzzles. With 20 years in custom design under his belt, Ori understands the key to providing customers with great solutions is staying on of top evolving technology innovations and packaging improvements. To deliver the best results, you need to know what’s available. As Ernest’s inner cushioning specialist, Ori loves to look at all the options to find a better way—one that improves the customers’ process, and their bottom line. Sounds like the Ernest way is Ori’s way too. When he’s not busy designing custom cushioning solutions, Ori loves motor sports. He’s often up late (or early) watching Formula One races around the world, from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium to the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. And when watching it on TV won’t suffice, he hits the local track or a sanctioned street race to fulfill his need for speed. Buckle up team Ernest, Ori’s stepping on the gas to Move Packaging Forward, faster.
With over 15 years’ experience in sanitation, Brian combines equipment expertise with industry insight to bring a wealth of knowledge to the Ernest table. He knows the ins-and-outs of every aspect of jan-san—from fulfillment, to operations, to sales. Having worked across a wide variety of industry verticals, each of which is essentially its own world, he understands unique needs. His hands-on experience gives him an edge when it comes to supporting our clients. Brian loves sharing his knowledge with our sales team and connecting clients with the products and manufacturers that will benefit their business the most. He’s even finding new ways to improve our operations right here at Ernest, too.
Outside of work, Brian loves spending time with his family. He enjoys the outdoors, and anything to do with water—whether it’s swimming in the ocean or camping lakeside with friends. His three kids are fortunate that Brian loves to takes advantage of all that Southern California and the Southwest has to offer. We are grateful he loves to travel since our clients from coast-to-coast can benefit from his jan-san expertise.
From the raw materials all the way to the assembly line, Jerry Hernandez can envision opportunities to design better packaging at every step in the process. With over 25 years in the packaging industry, Jerry brings manufacturing, consulting, and design expertise to helping Ernest Packaging Solutions clients solve their most pressing packaging challenges. And when it comes to corrugated, nobody knows a substrate more intimately. Whether you’re talking weights and structures or supports and coatings, Jerry offers our clients insights and ideas that can deliver greater value and measurable business benefits. After all, he appreciates an important truth about packaging—it’s always more than just a box.
Jerry brings that same level of interest, excitement, and attention to detail to his personal life, as well. His passion for the Dallas Cowboys pervades every square inch of his office and he is always holding out hope for a Super Bowl win someday. Jerry cherishes the time he spends with his two daughters and enjoys supporting them in their interests and growth. And his fitness regimen is on point. Whether Jerry is lifting weights at the gym or riding his stationary bike at home, his training is always purposeful and powerful. It’s that extreme dedication to everything he does that means the world to Ernest clients.
You wouldn’t necessarily think someone specializing in what holds packages together would be a people person, but you haven’t met Eric Swearingen. For Eric, collaboration with clients and colleagues is where the magic happens. While he brings a wide range of knowledge about cushioning, corrugate, and other materials from his studies in industrial technology and packaging at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he’s lending particular expertise in the sticky stuff here at Ernest — tape and adhesives. He particularly enjoys working closely with our client relationship team and their customers to find effective solutions to unique challenges. For Eric, the interactions and problem solving make his work incredibly rewarding.
As the son of a koi pond engineer, Eric learned a lot about building unique solutions and paying close attention to details growing up. His family bred koi from the time he was four years old, so naturally his dream is to own a house with a koi pond someday. An avid skier, Eric is fond of hanging out in the mountains with his family. Add to that his passion for disc golf and tennis and it’s clear how someone with so many varied interests can make our design team even more fun.
Mason Branstetter’s passion for packaging started with origami. Learning how to turn a single piece of paper into a complete, structured object without tape or glue fascinated him, driving him to study packaging design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. As Design Specialist at Ernest, Mason is putting his degree to work engineering solutions that are both functional and beautiful, advancing Ernest’s reputation for bold, innovative design. He’s excited about the potential of packaging to transform business outcomes for clients and enjoys experimenting with different geometric forms that grab attention on the shelf.
When he’s not thinking about his newest prototype, Mason spends much of his free time outdoors. His hobbies of rock climbing, hiking, and camping have taken him to new heights, including some of the most notorious national parks. But visiting a few national parks is not enough to satisfy his wanderlust: He hopes to eventually see all of them and collect maps from each one. With his tenacious attitude towards destinations and design, we are lucky to bring Mason into the fold.
Alex is passionate about all things packaging, from design and engineering to operations and distribution. While he specializes in film and tape, he loves learning about every facet of the industry—building on the well-rounded packaging education he got at Michigan State. His past roles with a national energy drink maker and a global beverage company had him finding packaging-related solutions to issues with everything from production to transportation to retail. Alex loves solving problems that seem insurmountable, like pallets tipping over in transit, with something as simple as changing the wrap. We love his endless thirst for knowledge and his can-do attitude.
As a native of Detroit, Alex isn’t afraid to admit that the weather in Los Angeles is a welcome change. Still, you can take the engineer out of Michigan, but you can’t take the Michigan out of the engineer—in his free time, you’ll find Alex cheering on MSU’s sports teams (go Spartans!), camping, mountain biking, and going to as many concerts as he can. Whatever project he’s working on here at Ernest, Alex always brings the ideas and enthusiasm that make all the difference.
Marcus Dong likes to keep things moving. With experience developing assistive loading fixtures, he’s a dynamic addition to our automation and machinery team. As Design Specialist, Marcus brings a strong background in industrial technology and design—he’s a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo—to push the envelope of what’s possible in packaging. Inspired by the idea that nearly all the products we interact with on a daily basis came to us in some kind of a box, he is helping Ernest create the next generation of sleek, user-centric packaging and processes to support our customers.
When he’s not focused on packaging innovations, Marcus enjoys camping, going on road trips, and spending time outdoors. With his love for rock climbing, mountain biking, and exploring, Marcus fits right in with Ernest’s work hard, play hard culture. From his road trips to the Pacific Northwest to recently competing in his first half Ironman, he is always undertaking new challenges and adventures. And that’s what makes Marcus a fantastic asset to our design team—no problem is too daunting for him!
Connor has a great eye and a sharp mind for infusing sustainability into our standout packaging solutions. After pursuing a degree in Industrial Technology and Packaging at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he joined the Ernest team to expand his knowledge across the entire scope of packaging design and engineering for all kinds of industries. With his focus on environmental stewardship, Connor applies his engineering expertise to help find packaging solutions that not only reduce the overall impact on our world but also help our clients achieve their unique sustainability goals.
When he’s not busy saving the planet, Connor loves to play pickup basketball or watch anime with his cat JoeJoe. A SoCal native, he’s also an enthusiastic cook and enjoys trying out new recipes. He especially loves cooking Korean food, a nod to his heritage that he learned from his grandmother. We love Connor’s enthusiasm for all things packaging and his gumption to go green.
When you’ve got an appetite like Brian, you have to be ready to work hard. He balances his serious love for sushi, hot wings, and tacos with peaceful surfing sessions and heart-pumping runs. His appetite and drive don’t stop at his stomach, though. He is always willing to challenge himself and the status quo to help move packaging forward and contribute to the progressive environment here at Ernest Packaging Solutions. Offering him that slice of homemade pie on his first day of work here was a really great idea.
Download the Ernest and Leatherman Case Study
How do you make premium packaging for a wearable multi-tool that really pops off the shelf? You cut up the rulebook and start from scratch.