Nexus Circular’s progress is propelled by the remarkable individuals at its core who are driven and united by a collective commitment to sustainability. In this employee spotlight, we highlight Phil’s passion for impact, his focus on collaboration, and how fostering innovation played a pivotal role in shaping Nexus’ early growth.
Passion for Impact
Phil vividly recalls the early days at Nexus prior to the start-up of the commercial production line in 2018. Having installed the initial set of pyrolysis reactors, he and the team embarked on an ambitious mission to construct and commission the remainder of the facility. This facility was the 1st of its kind and there was simply no blueprint to follow. With gritty determination and persistence, they were able to achieve their first milestone: the production of pyrolysis oil, or as Nexus’ Founder proudly calls it, “liquid gold”.
Phil’s passion, resilience, and guidance helped the team overcome numerous obstacles:
“Through many trials and a series of successes and failures, we eventually were able to turn plastics into oil, which was very exciting. No one here had any experience at all in this type of work, but together as a team, we were able to pull it together and keep things on track. Piece by piece, we brought it to scale by learning through trial and error.”
Phil noted that the close-knit and supportive environment at Nexus really defined the company culture and laid the foundation for success. That atmosphere of trust and camaraderie allowed them to push boundaries and explore uncharted territories. And the team’s unwavering belief in the company’s purpose to accelerate circularity so people and the environment thrive further strengthened their resolve to succeed.
“I felt like I had a circle of security around me; it made you feel good to come to work every day, and you had trust in everyone that you worked around.”
Phil reflects on the numerous small victories that brought immense joy to the team. From adjusting the conveyor to perfecting the shredding process, each success was celebrated as a testament to their collective efforts. When they encountered challenges and uncertainties, Phil and his team pressed on, growing both professionally and personally as they transformed Nexus into an industry leader in advanced recycling.
Innovation that Inspires
Nexus’s evolution over the years saw the introduction of comprehensive training and development programs. Phil emphasizes the value of these initiatives in fostering a safer and more productive work environment. Learning from experts in various fields, Phil gained a deeper understanding of the industry
and the vital role of manufacturing process controls and standards for safety and conduct. Nexus’s commitment to continuous learning has greatly impacted Phil’s approach to work and personal growth.
“I didn’t know that some of these programs existed. I do understand now why they exist, and they’re very valuable. It furthers my education in many areas that are critical for safety and operational efficiency.”
The company’s success has brought new executive leadership, additional offtake partners, and equity investment which are driving the next stage of growth. With an expanded production line in Atlanta, Phil is thrilled about the opportunities that await, confident in the team’s ability to transform post-use plastics into valuable new materials that can be used again and again.
“Next year, we anticipate producing four times what we did previously. And with that comes some great challenges, but it’s a great opportunity at the same time.”
Advice to Previous Self and New Team Members
Looking back, Phil would advise his previous self and newcomers to persevere and never give up, no matter how tough the journey may seem. He credits his former boss, Jeff Gold, for instilling unwavering optimism and leading by example. For newcomers, Phil stresses the unparalleled opportunity to be part of Nexus’s incredible growth story. The chance to build a long-lasting career, contribute to the company’s success, and leave a legacy for future generations is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I think it was important to learn to not give up. Even when the path was unclear – we didn’t give up. People that are starting now, I don’t know if I can emphasize enough what a great opportunity it is — this is an opportunity that you will only see once in a lifetime to make an impact.”
As Nexus continues to forge ahead, Phil’s dedication to the company remains unwavering as he continues to inspire those around him in furthering Nexus mission: to accelerate circularity so people and the environment thrive.