Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 16

Q&A
Designed for re-use,
Kwik Lok bag closures
are available in
7 colours.
Kwik Lok: Setting a Path
Forward, Together
In 1954, Floyd Paxton invented Kwik Lok and it quickly became a
preferred method for keeping bags of Washington State apples safe and
fresh. Today, Kwik Lok has six factories, employs more than 330 people
and its products have been used by billions of people throughout the
world. Kwik Lok has been family-owned for three generations and is now
led by three sisters, Floyd's granddaughters. Sustainable Plastics recently
sat down and spoke with the sisters about their remarkable journey to
focus the company on sustainability.
What is diff erent today?
Kimberly Paxton: Kwik Lok's
mission and purpose has always
been to provide our customers
with the best solutions.
We have always focused in
some way on how we make
sure we are good citizens - that
we are taking care of our employees
and community. But in
the past few years, our vision
has evolved to be even bigger
than what our grandfather and
father thought of doing.
Our grandfather was similar
to many businessmen of his
time. Make a good product, sell
it, people use it and they come
back. Do that on repeat over
and over again. Make it better
as needed.
That changed when my sisters
and I inherited the business.
We didn't work in the
organisation. We are also the
first women in leadership roles
for the company. We brought
something diff erent to the organisation
at a time when the
world decided to shake up everything
about business.
We're dealing with a world
that matches our hearts as owners
- which is asking how can we
work and do good while doing
16
well? How can we take care of
this planet so the next generation
is able to thrive? Unfortunately,
for the first time, the next
generation is not doing better
than we are in so many ways.
What's it like working together
as sisters?
Stephanie Jackson: Truly it's
my dream. I was so worried
when both our parents passed
that I wouldn't see my sisters
as much. This opportunity has
been the " glue " that keeps us
together. We weren't groomed
for working in our family business.
However, we were each
out there learning skills and
having experiences with other
bosses and running our own
things. That helped us. When
we took over, we asked each
other " why do we want to work
together?
Kimberly Paxton: We are fortunate
in that we are not very far
apart in our thinking oftentimes.
But that doesn't mean your sister
won't give you a truth that
you don't want to hear. We help
check each other. There are always
moments when you're taking
that deep breath and giving
yourself pause so that you can
August/September 2021
really listen to what's coming in
and not feel like it's about you,
rather than your idea.
Stephanie Jackson: For
example, the other day Kim
emailed me and said " I appreciate
your opinion. But I think this,
this and this. " We always know
the intent, so it's just working
through how you say it. Those
kinds of regular family things.
Kimberly Paxton: The main
thing is, we absolutely know for
certain is that we love each other,
that family is more important
than business, and that we have
the best intentions.
How do you split the responsibilities
of the company?
Stephanie Jackson: We all
serve on the board and lead a
couple of committees. Kim has
most recently become Board
Chair. CSR has been a passion
of mine, and I started that focus
at the company and have now
transitioned to EDI (Equity, Diversity
and Inclusion). Melissa
has now taken the lead on CSR.
How do you keep your business
and family separate?
Kimberly Paxton: Our initial
evaluations from the board
found that we were being too
informal in our communications,
so we created an Owner's
Council. Today, we meet as
owners and talk about issues
at designated meetings and
then report to the board. That's
how we keep our business time
separate instead of it always being
a piece of the conversation
whenever we talk to each other.
How was CSR received at the
company when you joined?
Stephanie Jackson: Initially,
I expected everybody to grab
onto it with the same kind of
passion as I did. But first, we
had to educate people. You
need to meet people where
they are. Thankfully over the
last six years, we have come a
long way.
What were some of the challenges
you faced in refocusing
Kwik Lok so much on sustainability?
Stephanie
Jackson: We are a
global company. Although the
U.S. was a little behind, we were
already hearing from around
the world that there were major
changes down the pipeline on
plastics. We knew we needed

Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 6
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Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover4
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