Fragrance Notes Summer/Fall 2017 - Page 13

FEATURE “Robert Weinstein holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College and a doctorate in chemistry from MIT. Weinstein has spent his 30 wonderful years in the flavor and fragrance industry in various technical and senior leadership positions. Weinstein is the President & CEO of Robertet USA.” - Perfumer & Flavorist (2017 Flavorcon Conference Advisory Board Member) A s we sat down with Bob Weinstein, President of Robertet USA, it quickly became clear, learning is part of his joie de vivre Straight forward and unabashedly inquisitive by nature – whether it be science, business, people, culture – Bob’s genuine desire to deeply understand things and people are what makes him an effective leader. Listening, thinking, asking questions, and providing thoughtful guidance are hallmarks of his leadership style today. Bob’s passion for learning started with school (chemistry) and grew to a deep desire to understand people, the importance of giving back in a meaningful way, and the value of time. Sparking Curiosity “I’m a chemistry nerd.” Bob recalls becoming first aware of his thirst for knowledge when he was eight years old. It was when his parents gave him a chemistry set. A set that was later taken away when Bob’s curiosity took him “off label” as he began to create projectiles through chemistry. Indeed, like any child’s dream, he learned out how to make things explode. And, thus, Bob’s affinity towards scientific discovery began. Experiments in Education While exploring chemistry programs, Kalamazoo College in Michigan stood out. It had a well-funded program and was one of the few institutions at that time with a graduation requirement for students to have a speaking and writing proficiency in a foreign language.. Bob, an English-only speaker at the time, was up to the challenge of learning a new language (alongside tooling with beakers and Bunsen burners). During college, Bob traveled to Europe to earn his foreign language credits; hitchhiking through Greece, Italy, France and Germany. “When I travel, I try to keep my mind open – to soak in new sounds, tastes, smells – there is so much we can learn from other cultures.” After graduation, Bob’s thirst for learning was certainly not quenched. He set his sights on MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Voraciously learning and working as a researcher, Bob published over 5 papers on organometallic chemistry. In tune with what drives him – practical application – when he reached the decision crossroads of staying in academia or transitioning into industry, Bob knew which path to choose. Making Scents “ The fragrance industry is a great place for applied sciences. ” The fragrance industry gave Bob this opportunity and continues to learn, and innovate. At Robertet, the focus is on natural raw materials and utilizing them for the benefit of creating outstanding fragrances and flavors to delight consumers. “Robertet is a great company, with an outstanding 167 year old family heritage and a great fit for me.” At Robertet Bob has the opportunity to not only apply his business, management, scientific acumen, but do it in a way that he lps society and the environment. FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG 13