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ShePacks: Inspiring Women of Packaging; YWCA honors two BW Packaging Leaders

by Sarah Higgins | Jan 16, 2024

In March 2023, BW Packaging celebrated International Women’s Day by recognizing the leadership and accomplishments of four women on our team in a blog post. To regularly share the stories of inspirational women in BW Packaging and the packaging industry beyond Women’s History Month, we are launching our ShePacks blog series. Our first entry recognizes two St. Louis-based BW Packaging leaders honored by Barry-Wehmiller and a local organization.

YWCA Metro St. Louis Leader Lunch

In December, Barry-Wehmiller Chief People Officer Rhonda Spencer honored nine BW women at the esteemed Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Metro St. Louis Annual Leader Lunch. For more than four decades, the YWCA has recognized women professionals’ extraordinary contributions to the strength and growth of the St. Louis community. The organization provides many crucial services for women and their families including resources for victims of sexual and domestic violence, education services, and programs that further economic stability as a strategy to end racial and social injustice.

Carol O’Neill, President of BW Packaging nominated two senior Packaging leaders for this recognition in the past two years: Christi Emmenegger, Vice President of Strategic Marketing in 2023 and Rachana Creeth, CFO and COO in 2022. Both play a critical role in developing an industry-leading packaging equipment business and we are proud that they were recognized along with other leaders in our community.

Christi Emmenegger

Christi Emmenegger is an accomplished marketing leader with experience in marketing and communications across different industries, established companies and agencies. Since 2017, she has excelled as BW Packaging’s VP of Strategic Marketing, laying the needed groundwork for marketing strategy and business alignment that best serves our customers. Christi said her favorite parts of this role are that she gets to be creative and analytical, and she gets to navigate challenges with her team.

“I like a challenge, and I feel like every day there’s a challenge-- that’s what makes it fun,” said Christi. “I love the strategy side and working with creative people, I appreciate everyone’s gifts and talents.”

President Carol O’Neill said Christi’s continued effort to build a stronger business and team made her the ideal candidate for the YWCA honoring. She said Christi’s pragmatic approach to strategic marketing positively redefined the way customers recognize BW Packaging today. O’Neill expressed Christi’s dedication to building market insights, designing platform branding, and investing in her team’s talent.

“Christi Emmenegger has been a true leader helping to shape the future of BW Packaging,” said O’Neill. “She helped the organization understand the critical importance of Strategic Marketing and to build competency in understanding customer priorities throughout our global organization.  Without understanding our customers’ priorities, we could not be the market leader we aim to always be.”

Outside of developing commercial strategy, Christi also makes time to recruit and develop unique talent, support other Barry-Wehmiller platforms beyond packaging, and raise her two children with her husband. She said it feels fulfilling to be a woman role model, especially for her daughter, and said she hopes to inspire her to be successful. Her advice to other women professionals is to be open to help and advice from others, and always value your own voice.

“Don’t be afraid to be the unpopular voice in the room to stand up to do what’s right,” said Christi. “You should stand up for what you believe in.”

Christi and her care for her team and professional impact is an encouraging example for other leaders to strive for growth while caring for others.

Rachana Creeth

Rachana Creeth is a well-versed operational and finance leader, with experience from various industries and large multi-national companies. In her current roles as COO and CFO, Rachana shines through her effort to invest in operational and financial strategies that fuel growth while benefiting our people, and her leadership in the execution of those strategies to fruition. Rachana said her favorite part of her role is the people.

“There is nothing like working with smart, caring people rallying around a vision or goal,” said Rachana. “I love seeing the joy when people achieve milestones together. And I get to see and do that every day.”

Rachana Creeth was a part of the first group of BW women to receive this unique recognition for their achievements in 2022. President Carol O’Neill described Rachana’s drive to achieve her high standards, mentorship effort, and willingness to constantly learn and grow. O’Neill said she nominated Creeth, not only for her outstanding performance and her ability to bring her strategic operational visions for the future to life, but also for her appreciation for the people behind the numbers and process. 

“A uniquely and broadly talented leader in BW Packaging,” said O’Neill. “Rachana Creeth sets a standard of leadership that anyone (male or female) would have to strive hard to match!”

Creeth’s contributions and talent led to an expansion of her role to include Chief Operating Officer, and Rachana still manages to balance coaching others, serving as a founding board member of Hawthorne Leadership School, serving on the endowment board for COCA, and raising three children alongside her husband. She said she enjoys being a woman role model for her kids to teach them to value diversity and inspire her daughter to reach for success. Rachana said her advice to other women professionals is to be clear on your ‘why’, your priorities, and be flexible on your path.

“There is never one path and never only one way,” Rachana said. “If you can be flexible, read situations along the way and keep your eye on your why, you will get there.”

Rachana’s accomplishments and spirit make her a great model and inspiration for other leaders to make a positive impact on others while obtaining their goals.

BW Packaging wishes congratulations to the other BW women honored this year and last year, along with the several other women professionals honored at the Metro St. Louis Annual Leader Lunch this year and in years past!

Sarah Higgins

Sarah Higgins

Sarah has more than 2 years of experience in storytelling through journalistic writing, social media content creation, video editing, videography, and photography. As a Content Marketing Specialist for BW Packaging, she helps packaging subject matter experts (SME) share their knowledge on packaging technologies, global trends, and market-specific challenges and solutions.

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