Women Reshaping Manufacturing: Gina Panella Of Pop Creative On The Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In Manufacturing

An Interview With David Leichner

David Leichner, CMO at Cybellum
Authority Magazine


Don’t live in fear. It’s easy to let fear hold you back from taking risks and pursuing new opportunities. But by facing your fears head-on, you can achieve great things.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in interest surrounding the manufacturing sector. Historically, this industry has been dominated by male workers, with women constituting only about 30% of the workforce. What is the experience like for women working in such a male-dominated field? What challenges do they face, and how can they contribute to improving the industry? What does it take to establish a highly successful career in manufacturing? Additionally, what exciting advancements and innovations are US companies making in high-tech manufacturing, and what can we expect in the near future? How can the US emerge as a high-tech manufacturing powerhouse? To address these questions, we are talking to women leaders of the manufacturing industry. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gina Panella.

Gina is a co-founder and COO of pop creative, a leading creative manufacturing agency. With over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, she is a trusted authority in the field. Her dedication to innovation, excellence, and philanthropy makes her an inspiring role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started in manufacturing?

As I continued working in the printing industry, I became increasingly fascinated by the process of bringing a product from concept to reality. I loved the idea of taking an idea, developing it, and ultimately turning it into a tangible, physical product. Eventually, I decided to take the leap and start my own manufacturing company. I wanted to create a business that could help others bring their product ideas to life, and I was passionate about using my skills and knowledge to make that happen. It was a challenging but incredibly rewarding journey, and I’m grateful for every experience that led me to where I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Expanding on that answer, I can say that building a business from scratch is an incredible journey. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and persistence. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Seeing the fruits of my labor and being able to support myself and my family through my own business is truly fulfilling.

One of the most exciting and memorable experiences I had was traveling to our manufacturing locations overseas. It was an eye-opening experience to see firsthand how our products are made and to meet the people who make them. It gave me a greater appreciation for the work that goes into producing quality goods. I also learned a lot about the cultural differences in business practices and how to effectively communicate and negotiate in a global market. It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in the industry.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I completely agree with the life lesson quote “Don’t take it personally”. It’s a lesson that has been relevant to me in many aspects of my life. In my business, as I mentioned before, I used to take it personally when we didn’t win a project. I would get discouraged and let negative thoughts take over. However, I’ve come to realize that not winning a contract doesn’t mean that we’re not good at what we do, but rather that it wasn’t the right fit or someone else was a better fit for that particular project.

This lesson has also been relevant in my personal life. I used to take things that other people said or did personally and it would affect me deeply. But over time, I’ve learned that people’s actions and words are a reflection of themselves, not necessarily of me. This realization has allowed me to let go of negative emotions and focus on improving myself instead.

Overall, this life lesson quote has taught me to not let things affect me personally, but rather to use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about High Tech Manufacturing. Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now? How do you think this will help people?

Currently we are working on a mask sachet that holds sheet masks but is environmentally responsible.

I believe this project is interesting not only because it addresses the growing demand for eco-friendly products. Our mask sachet helps reduce waste and provides a sustainable solution to an everyday problem. It’s exciting to work on a project that is not only innovative, but also has the potential to positively impact people’s lives. We’re also working on a project to develop sustainable packaging for our products, which I think is equally important.

Can you share how you are helping to reshape the Manufacturing industry?

At our company, we have made it our mission to reshape the manufacturing industry by focusing on environmental responsibility. We firmly believe that sustainable practices should be at the core of every manufacturing process. By providing our clients with environmentally responsible techniques and materials, we are actively promoting a shift towards more sustainable manufacturing practices.

We work closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and goals, and then offer them innovative solutions that align with their sustainability objectives. This includes using eco-friendly materials, implementing energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and reducing waste throughout the production cycle.

By prioritizing environmental responsibility, we aim to inspire other companies in the manufacturing industry to adopt more sustainable practices. We believe that our approach not only benefits the planet by reducing our ecological footprint, but also creates a positive impact on the industry as a whole. Through our efforts, we hope to contribute to a more sustainable future and encourage others to join us in reshaping the manufacturing industry.

From your vantage point as an insider, what exciting developments will be coming out in the near future?

As an insider in the manufacturing industry, I believe that one of the most exciting developments that will be coming out in the near future will be in the beauty packaging space. Over the years, we have seen a growing interest in environmentally responsible packaging materials, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

One of the most exciting developments that I have seen in the beauty packaging space is the use of plant-based materials such as sugarcane, bamboo, and corn. These materials are biodegradable and can be recycled, making them an excellent alternative to traditional plastics that are harmful to the environment. Some companies are also experimenting with the use of edible packaging materials that can dissolve in water, reducing waste and eliminating the need for disposal.

In addition to these developments, there is also a growing interest in the use of automation and artificial intelligence in manufacturing. These technologies can streamline processes and increase efficiency, allowing us to produce goods faster and with greater accuracy. With the use of sensors and data analytics, we can also monitor production processes in real-time, identifying areas for improvement and optimizing workflows.

What are the three things that most excite you about the state of US Manufacturing? Why?

Expanding on my previous answer, the first thing that excites me about the state of US manufacturing is the potential for more companies to bring their manufacturing back to the US. This is especially important in light of recent global supply chain disruptions and the need for more resilient and flexible supply chains. By bringing manufacturing back to the US, companies can have more control over their supply chains and reduce the risk of disruptions.

The second thing that excites me about US manufacturing is the increasing adoption of new technologies, such as automation and robotics. These technologies have the potential to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality in manufacturing processes. By embracing these technologies, US manufacturers can stay competitive on a global scale.

Finally, I am excited about the increasing focus on sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices in the US. More and more companies are recognizing the importance of reducing their environmental impact and are implementing sustainable practices throughout their supply chains. This is not only good for the environment, but it can also lead to cost savings and improved brand reputation.

What are the three things that concern you about US Manufacturing? What would you suggest needs to be done to address those concerns?

One of them is the shortage of skilled labor and the lack of interest among younger generations in pursuing manufacturing careers. This is a concern because it could lead to a skills gap in the industry, and hinder the ability of US manufacturers to compete on a global scale.

Another concern is the outdated infrastructure and technology in some US manufacturing facilities. In order to stay competitive, it is important for US manufacturers to invest in new technologies, processes, and equipment to increase efficiency and improve product quality.

To address these concerns, there needs to be a concerted effort by the government, educational institutions, and industry leaders to promote manufacturing careers and provide training and education for the next generation of workers. Additionally, there needs to be more investment in infrastructure and technology to modernize US manufacturing facilities and make them more competitive. Finally, it may be necessary to re-evaluate trade policies and regulations to ensure a level playing field for US manufacturers in the global market.

Based on your opinion or experience, what would it take for the US to become a High Tech Manufacturing powerhouse?

I believe that in order for the US to become a High Tech Manufacturing powerhouse, there needs to be a renewed focus on vocational education and training. This includes not only technical training in high tech manufacturing skills, but also soft skills like communication and problem-solving. By providing comprehensive training programs, we can increase the pool of skilled workers who can fill high-tech manufacturing jobs.

Another key factor is investment in research and development. Companies need to be willing to invest in new technologies, materials, and processes that will allow them to compete globally. This will require a commitment to long-term planning and investment, as well as partnerships between government, industry, and academic institutions.

Finally, we need to address the issue of cost competitiveness. This means finding ways to reduce the costs of manufacturing in the US while maintaining high quality standards. One approach might be to invest in automation and robotics to reduce labor costs, while also exploring new business models that allow for more flexible production.

As you know, there are not that many women in High Tech Manufacturing. Can you advise what is needed to engage more women in these industries?

I also believe that mentorship and education is key in engaging more women in High Tech Manufacturing. Young women need to see successful women in leadership positions in this industry and learn about their experiences and how they got there. This can be achieved through networking events, seminars, and educational programs. Additionally, companies need to make a conscious effort to recruit and retain women in their workforce by creating an inclusive environment that values diversity and equality. Providing equal pay and opportunities for advancement can also encourage more women to pursue careers in High Tech Manufacturing. Finally, it is important to dispel the myth that manufacturing is a male-dominated industry and to showcase the diverse range of career paths and opportunities available to women

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In Manufacturing?

As someone who has worked in the manufacturing industry for many years, I’ve learned that there are five key things you need to create a highly successful career:

  1. Don’t live in fear. It’s easy to let fear hold you back from taking risks and pursuing new opportunities. But by facing your fears head-on, you can achieve great things.
  2. Be consistent. One of the most important things you can do in manufacturing is to always follow up, whether it’s with manufacturers or clients. This helps build trust and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
  3. Always remain teachable. No matter how experienced you are, there is always something new to learn. By staying open to new ideas and approaches, you can continually improve your problem-solving skills and become a better collaborator.
  4. Utilize technical designers. When my company first started out, we couldn’t afford a technical designer and it caused issues with sample production. I learned that investing in technical design expertise is critical to ensuring that product samples are produced correctly and on time.
  5. Use your network. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Staying in touch with former clients and colleagues can lead to unexpected opportunities and collaborations down the road. It’s important to nurture these relationships and be open to helping others whenever you can.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

That’s a great question, and one that I am passionate about answering. If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be to encourage everyone to do one thing that they are afraid of every day.

This is something that I had to do in the beginning of my career, and it was a crucial step towards my success. I realized that if I was pushing something off, it was because of fear. So, instead of letting fear hold me back, I jumped in and did it.

By inspiring others to face their fears and take action, we could unleash a wave of positive change. People would be able to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, whether in their personal or professional lives. This movement would empower individuals to take control of their lives, and would lead to a more confident, capable, and resilient society.

Imagine a world where everyone was taking action towards their goals, pushing through their fears, and making their dreams a reality. It would be a world of limitless potential, and one that I believe we can create if we all work together to inspire and support each other.

How can our readers further follow your work online?




Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

About The Interviewer: David Leichner is a veteran of the Israeli high-tech industry with significant experience in the areas of cyber and security, enterprise software and communications. At Cybellum, a leading provider of Product Security Lifecycle Management, David is responsible for creating and executing the marketing strategy and managing the global marketing team that forms the foundation for Cybellum’s product and market penetration. Prior to Cybellum, David was CMO at SQream and VP Sales and Marketing at endpoint protection vendor, Cynet. David is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jerusalem Technology College. He holds a BA in Information Systems Management and an MBA in International Business from the City University of New York.



David Leichner, CMO at Cybellum
Authority Magazine

David Leichner is a veteran of the high-tech industry with significant experience in the areas of cyber and security, enterprise software and communications