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Q&A With Juan Carlos Touma - Plant Manager - Prent Costa Rica

Q&A WITH PRENT EMPLOYEES CELEBRATING LONG-SERVICE MILESTONES
Juan Carlos Touma » Plant Manager - Prent Costa Rica
Hired in January 2012 • Celebrating 10 years of employment at Prent
 

How did you first learn about Prent? Long story short … in 1998, I worked for a local thermoforming company in Costa Rica. After Intel was established in the country, Prent Corporation entered into a joint venture with this company to supply them locally. After a few years, I got an offer to move to Janesville, Wisconsin, where I lived for a couple years. I moved back to Costa Rica, but kept in touch with a lot of people from Prent. So, when the decision to open a plant in Costa Rica was made, I was ready to accept the challenge. 
How many positions have you held at Prent? In Prent Costa Rica, I was a production supervisor. Then, I worked as a unit manager for production Unit 3 and Secondary Operations in Janesville, and was ultimately hired as a plant manager to start up the plant in Costa Rica.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Definitely the people! Prent people are different. The “Prent way,” which is what I like to call it, comes from the top management down and everybody is impregnated with it. There is a reason why you see employees stay at Prent, literally, for decades! I also think that being part of the medical industry is a blessing. We are lucky enough to be an essential part of all our customers’ products, improve the quality of peoples’ lives, and even save loved ones! It may sound like rhetoric, but Prent headquarters truly acts as a parent to all of its satellite plants—it is not uncommon to share and standardize best practices among plants, or have cross training and support among people from different plants, thanks to the level of standardization we have throughout the corporation. No matter how many facilities are opened, the same will always happen with the “newborn.”
How has Prent changed since you were hired? Prent is a perfect model of continuous improvement. For example, the machines we had in the 1990s compared to the machines we have now—and the process itself—
have evolved, thanks to the people at all of our plants around the world. There is a constant analysis of what we can do better, then we figure out how to do it better. Finally, the best part is that every single machine at every single location in the world will be upgraded and the new ones will be built with all the new capabilities. It may sound easy, but it requires a great level of commitment from all departments at all levels of the company. What hasn’t changed is “the team commitment to do the job right the first time and every time.” This phrase is part of our policy and a part of the mindset of every Prent employee. This definitely hasn’t changed since I first started working for Prent and it is the cornerstone for both our successes locally and as a corporation.
What is your proudest moment at Prent? It is impossible to mention just one, but I can name a few. Looking back in time, I can see myself raising Costa Rica’s flag at Prent’s world headquarters. I was aware of the huge responsibility I had to maintain Prent’s reputation as the world’s leading thermoformer, and I also felt responsible for showing the tremendous potential that we have in our country. Fast forward 10 years to today and I am sure that we, at Prent Costa Rica, have fulfilled both and will continue to do so. As the very first employee at Prent Costa Rica, I really enjoyed seeing how the organic and sustained growth of the company has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the people at our location in Costa Rica. I feel proud of the great group of employees we have at our plant and how we have accomplished excellence through time. Currently, the name of Prent in Costa Rica is synonymous with quality, customer service, and operational excellence, and that can only be accomplished with sustained teamwork over time.
What are your hobbies/pastimes outside of work? I like road biking and running half marathons. Hopefully, in 2022 I will be running my third full marathon in 2022! And, being from a tropical country, I love to spend time at the beach with my family.