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Get to know our Opal people: Terri Smith

Terri Smith, General Manager for Cartons New Zealand, looks after Opal’s Auckland and Christchurch sites. “I also work very closely with the New Zealand Fibre team as we support each other across sales, HR, safety and manufacturing,” Terri says.

Growing up, Terri loved to dance and enjoyed ballet and jazz and completed a Diploma in Performing Arts when she was 18 years old. “The discipline and social sacrifices that I learned through dancing over these young years certainly shaped me into the person I am today,” she says.

What Terri loves about her role is supporting each department to give them the tools they need to achieve their goals. “I believe in inclusivity and letting everyone have a voice. I embrace my role’s diversity as I work closely with sales, operations, HR, quality, health and safety,commercial and technical. I also enjoy meeting with customers and suppliers, with the key being communication and authenticity”.

As General Manager, Terri works on the overall business strategy to help understand what needs to be done to achieve set targets and what is required for Opal’s future growth. “Overall, I believe that our business is successful because of our people, the relationships we have with customers and suppliers, and the service we deliver in our market.”

“We have a great team in NZ and I am excited about our future,” she says.

Terri’s career started as a receptionist for a label-making company, where she worked her way through customer services and into sales. “I started as an account manager in 2001 and worked with several different packaging mediums across the years including, cartons, screw caps, glass wine bottles, and barrier films,” she says.

In 2003, Terri completed a postgraduate diploma in business, majoring in marketing, while still working full time. “My strength is in sales, and I love coaching and supporting our team members,” she says.

The Opal values that most resonate with Terri are Trustworthy and Extraordinary. “Trustworthy, because when I need to make a tough decision, I ask myself “Do what is right,” and I believe if you have trust within your team and customers, you can succeed in life.

“Extraordinary, because I love to set targets and not only achieve them but go above and beyond and focus on leading by example,” Terri says.

Terri’s top three key lessons in life and business are:

  1. Set goals – This is what keeps you going and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.
  2. Keep learning – As the business world and people change faster than you realise.
  3. Know your why – Ask yourself… why do you come to work? What is your dream? What do you want to achieve? Your “WHY” is what will inspire you day in day out, to give you a spring in your step every morning. Your “WHY” is what will give you that burning desire to succeed.

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