Outlook Magazine - Fall 2022

PACKAGING PIONEERS Four alum at Footprint in Arizona are passionate about replacing single-use plastic with eco-friendly packaging

What are the odds of four UW-Stout alumni, who earned their degrees 23 years apart and didn’t know each other, working at the same company half-way across the country? Not so long, actually, when factoring in that they were packaging majors and are committed to reducing—and maybe someday eliminating — single-use plastic. They work at Footprint in Gilbert, Ariz. The company specializes in making plant-based molded fiber packaging. Clients for the growing, NASDAQ-traded company include Walmart and Conagra. Graduates Roger Connell ’19 , Collin Eute neuer ’15 , Jorgen Hamann ’18 and Brandon Moore ’96 have different roles at Footprint but the same career motivation — to help the planet. Connell is an industrial platformmanager who works with high volume manufacturing for new technology. “We help companies transi tion out of plastic and into plant-based solu tions while also reducing CO2 emissions and cutting landfill waste along the way,” he said. Euteneuer is vice president of Sales Solutions Development who loves helping customers create ideas and solutions for their issues. “I am excited knowing that every day I get to wake up and make an impact on healing our planet. Footprint’s vision is to be the most sustainable company on the planet which means there is a lot of work to do to get there.”

Moore is vice president of product design. “The endless amounts of single-use plastics in the food chain, from consumer packaged goods and food items at grocery stores, to take out containers and plastic straws at restaurants inspired us to dedicate our careers to changing the world by finding solutions. Items that have short shelf lives should never be packaged in materials that can last centuries.” Moore recruited Euteneuer, and the compa ny has continued to recruit at UW-Stout. Ha mann, a packaging engineer, added that, “Our mutual interest in living somewhere new and helping save the planet is likely what brought us together.” Sustainability is embedded in UW-Stout’s packaging curriculum, saidAssociate Profes sor Min DeGruson, beginning with first-year Packaging Fundamentals. Students consider environmental impacts of packaging in mate rial selection, design and distribution.





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