MARISA PLESCIA - CHAIR
Originally from South Pasadena, CA, I have wanted to be a Cosmetic Chemist since childhood! After obtaining a B.S. in Biochemistry from Santa Clara University in 2011, I focused my postgraduate studies on my goal of cosmetic chemistry. I completed the online cosmetic science master’s program at the University of Cincinnati in 2015, earning a M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science with an emphasis in Cosmetic Science. Always wanting to learn more and experience as much as possible, I then decided to continue my cosmetic science education internationally and I enrolled in ISIPCA (Institut Superieur International du Parfum de la Cosmetique et de’l Aromatique) for their European Fragrance and Cosmetic Master program. While living in Versailles, France and Padova, Italy, I studied the evaluation, formulation, marketing, and management of cosmetics and fragrance. I graduated in 2017 with a dual degree: M.Sc. European Fragrance and Cosmetics and a Master of Business and Management (MBM) specializing in the fragrance and cosmetic industry.
I not only enjoy the formulation of cosmetic products, but also the product development and R&D/business strategy. Additionally, I have a M.Ed. in Secondary STEM Education from University of Southern California, which I utilized by working as a high school chemistry teacher and Department Head of Science at a private school from 2011-2015. Since 2017, I have worked as an R&D Chemist at Bell International Laboratories in Eagan, MN.
In my free time, I love to dance all styles of dance, including ballet and modern, teach/mentor, and explore the world through travel.
Bell International Laboratories
ANDREW SWIDERGAL - SECRETARY
After being raised in Barrington, IL, I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Chemistry in 2016. During my last semester, I was able to take a class with Tim Kapsner from Aveda and he piqued my interest in the Personal Care Industry. After graduating, I became an R&D Technician with Kapra Cosmetics where I learned how to formulate hair care and skin care products while also performing QC evaluations on the final products being manufactured. Recently, I became an R&D Chemist for Evergreen Innovations where I started to formulate products in the natural/organic area of personal care. Since starting at Evergreen, I have helped develop the R&D and QC procedures that we use daily.
Outside of work, I love to explore the “foodie” scene here in the Twin Cities as well as in Chicago with my girlfriend. One of my dreams is to experience Alinea in Chicago as it is the only restaurant with three Michelin Stars in the Midwest.
JUSTIN STEINKE - TREASURER
After graduating from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Chemistry, I started work as an analytical chemist at Pace Analytical Life Sciences in both the R&D and Finished Products group, where I grew my experience on a variety of analytical instruments. I then moved into an R&D formulation position at Apex International Manufacturing, Inc., working as technical expert for clients and account managers in both formulating and on-boarding formulations for multiple clients on a variety of production scales. A large portion of my time at Apex was also spent working closely with the compounding staff on all levels as process engineer to develop and modify manufacturing procedures for an array of formulations, from o/w and w/o emulsions to surfactants to anhydrous systems. I also managed the R&D department at the JR Watkins Company in Winona working with formulations in many areas, including home care, personal care, OTC’s, HI&I and Food. Watkins manufactures both in house at their head-quarters in Winona and contracts out a variety of formulations to multiple CM’s. I worked closely with CM’s as well as in house staff to manage manufacturing procedures, bulk and finished goods specifications, stability of products, OOS investigation, and the on-board process at their CM’s. I currently work at Evergreen Innovations as their R&D Manager. I have been a member of the SCC for over 6 years, during which I have served on the TCCSCC Board as Secretary, Chair-Elect, and Chair. I look forward to continue serving as Treasurer in 2018.