Director of Marketing and Product Management
Robert Keller is director, marketing and product management at Comar. In this role, he leads all aspects of marketing, including market assessment and strategy development, marketing strategy execution, product line management, and new product and new market development.
Prior to joining Comar, Robert was a marketing manager at BASF, where he was responsible for the North American sustainability strategy and the strategic marketing and profitable business growth of plastic additive sales into the consumer goods packaging, automotive, and building and construction industries. Before that, he held several diverse roles at DuPont, including chemical engineer, production line supervisor, pricing consultant, key account manager, and global marketing manager for products ranging from monomers and resins to specialty chemicals. Robert has a comprehensive view of both the plastic and packaging value chains and a deep understanding of market segmentation, positioning, and new business commercialization.
Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Delaware, and an Executive MBA from the State University of New York. He lives in Summit, New Jersey, with his wife and two children and has spearheaded many local sustainability projects, including establishing the town’s first community garden.
Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”- Viktor Frankl
I find myself in that space in this present moment. The impacts of a growing population on the finite resources of the planet are palpable and more visible every day. The sense of urgency is growing. We each know we should be doing something differently, but don’t exactly know what to do. What response from an individual could possibly alter the momentum and direction set by the many? Apathy and resignation are enticing ways to go, but I am driven by a sense of purpose to choose differently. I choose instead to engage. I know that an individual CAN make a difference if they set a vision and motivate others to all pull in the same direction.
I view the SPC Executive Committee role as a unique opportunity to BE a part of the difference by stepping up to lead. I am motivated by SPC’s mission, and its collaborative industry-based approach to problem solving. I know my 27-year career in plastics and packaging combined with my innate passion and desire to see a more sustainable world will make me a successful contributor to the effort.
What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?
As an adviser, I can be a distinct voice in the room. I have spent 27 years at DuPont and BASF manufacturing and selling plastic and plastic additives. I have intimately interacted with every stage of the packaging value chain from resin production, through conversion to recycling. I am trained as both a chemical and an environmental engineer, but I balance that with an MBA to stay grounded in the financial realities and limitations of adopting the newest technologies. In my current role as Director for a leading packaging company, I find myself stuck in the middle between brand owners and retailers who have challenged their supply chains to deliver ever more sustainable solutions and the fiscal and supply chain limitations of bringing new solutions to market while staying competitive.
As an ambassador, I know I can represent SPC well. I am passionate about initiating changes that will have a lasting effect. I previously served as an Executive Board member for the Recycling Committee of the Plastics Industry Association. I know what it is like to work alongside colleagues from other companies. The energy and enthusiasm generated in those meetings is infectious and easy to share with others.
As a mentor, I commit to staying abreast of current topics and leveraging my experience to provide guidance. I have twice been responsible for setting the sustainability strategy for my businesses. This role gives me an opportunity to do that on a more impactful scale.