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Inspiring Everyday: Engaging people helps us reach our goals

As an undergraduate at the University of Alabama, Dylan Zoll walked into Ascend's massive Pensacola manufacturing site as a co-op with the simple aspiration of becoming a chemical engineer. Ten years later, he leads teams around the world as he manages our global nylon supply plan.  
How did he get here? By building relationships and soaking up every piece of knowledge he could find. 

Dylan pursued chemical engineering because of his interests in math and chemistry, then connected with Ascend's university hiring program to jumpstart his career. He co-oped at three of Ascend's largest sites, then signed on as a full-time engineer in Pensacola after graduation. The working tour of the company's primary U.S. operations provided an opportunity to learn many facets of manufacturing, and Dylan took advantage.  
"Dylan is well-known for his amazing knowledge of nylon," said Debbie Trout, Dylan's manager and supply chain director. "He uses that knowledge to continually drive process improvement. He's always working toward what makes the best sense for the company and our customers.
The drive to be better every day and his knack for networking are what got him noticed for a product manager role in Houston, an offer that caught him by surprise.  
"I never intended to do anything other than engineering," says Dylan. "My first year in Houston was like a firehose of information. That was the first time I had an inkling of what was possible in my career."  

In this role, Dylan analyzed markets and executed product decisions, learning the specifics of nylon products, business strategy and asset footprint. Mentors and leaders invested in him and his passion for making things happen. 

“Dylan is a powerhouse of our one Ascend and customer-focused values,” says chief commercial officer Isaac Khalil. “He has the unique ability to connect all the dots across the value chain and come up with creative solutions that benefit both our customers and Ascend. This has earned him the respect of customers and colleagues alike.”  

Ascend was expanding our global footprint at a perfect time for Dylan, and he moved to manage the engineering plastics supply chain, coordinating teams to integrate five new compounding facilities. He also supported the acquisitions by aligning sustainable feedstock streams to new product lines and integrating our new facility in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico.  
Today, as senior supply chain manager, Dylan works with global teams to manage and support every aspect of the integrated nylon plan, building business strategy and driving value creation through manufacturing, finance, logistics and customer service. He is driven by a passion for knowledge and customer-focused business success. 

"Dylan has quickly established huge credibility in driving business results," says chief transformation officer Debbie Keehn. "People tell me all the time that he is their go-to resource for learning in the nylon space."  
For Dylan, the combination of business strategy and collaboration is what makes his role most enjoyable. "Supply chain is at the center of everything," he says. "I get to work with so many diverse and talented people around the world to aggregate all their information into the best plan and bring that to our executive team."  
Spend just a few minutes around Dylan and it's easy to see why he excels in his role. The challenges of a global nylon business are fun for him, and he is truly energized by working with people to get things done.  
"When I first met Dylan, he developed a partnership with me right away," said Debbie Trout. "And it's a true partnership based on how we can work together to succeed."  
Dylan recognizes that success happens through people. “I wouldn't be good at my job if I wasn't willing to trust and work with everyone who helps us reach our goals,” he says. “Relationships with our regional partners are one of the most rewarding parts of my job.” 
These days, Dylan speaks regularly with students at the University of Alabama, and despite the decade of real-world experience under his belt, he tells them he’s still an engineer asking questions.  
"I tell them that I use my degree every day," he says. "As an engineer, you ask a lot of questions, learn as much as possible, and find solutions to complex problems. Applying that educational foundation in a business climate yields great results.”