Bela Jacobson, who has led Haskell’s Atlanta office and Packaging Team since late 2016, recently was named Vice President - Packaging Operations.

October 26, 2021

Packaging Leader’s Role Grows with Haskell’s Expanding Scope of Work

Vice President Bela Jacobson has adapted her growing team to provide solutions across the spectrum from master plans to megaprojects. 

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Since she became the director of Haskell’s packaging operations and its Atlanta office in late 2016, Bela Jacobson’s career and the division she leads have been on the same upward trajectory. Jacobson recently was promoted to Vice President of Packaging Operations, and while her duties remain largely the same, their scale is magnified.

“I was having a conversation with somebody recently at the job site and they asked, ‘So, your title changed, but does your role change? Do you have to do more things?’” she related. “I said that it's the same role, in that the content and the scope are the same. But the role is three times bigger than it was five years ago. It’s a different beast today than it was when I stepped into this role.”

Ranked the No. 1 Manufacturing Food & Beverage Contractor for a second consecutive year by Engineering News-Record (ENR), Haskell’s entire Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Group has expanded in size and scope to accommodate the growing needs of longtime clients and new customers.

Jacobson’s team used to spend about half of its time integrating single production lines and the other half on solutions such as line improvements, machine replacements, conceptual studies and master planning. Now, the team continues to handle those same projects, but it devotes the majority of its increased capacity efforts toward the design and implementation of what Haskell classifies as megaprojects.

“We're seeing a totally different appetite from our customers, and some of it is the climate of the industry,” she said. “Some of it is that our customers have grand plans, and some of it is that our business development team has gotten bigger, better and stronger.”

On many megaprojects, Haskell provides turnkey solutions that include the design and construction of the facility as well as, the complete engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the manufacturing systems and ultimately, startup and commissioning of the entire facility.

As much as anything, a megaproject is defined as one to which Haskell commits significant resources to ensure it provides its accustomed, industry-leading level of service and risk management for the client.

“Each of those is a new facility with new process systems, and multiple packaging lines inside of it, where we are doing the complete integration and controls of these lines,” Jacobson said. “We’ve progressed to the point where, instead of three-person project teams that deliver a small scope, we've got 15-person project teams that are producing huge projects. It's good. It’s different.

“We’ve hired a lot of new people, and our approach to making them successful on the team is that we make sure they're supported with more senior, more experienced team members. Also, we’re focusing more on people's skill sets to be the most effective. It used to be that everybody did the same role and grew up the same ladder. We've exploded that ladder. We've said that if this is someone’s strength, we're going to give them the ability to grow in the place where they are their strongest.”

Even so, Haskell has remained mindful of its commitment to safely producing only the highest level of quality and the greatest certainty of outcome – so much so that company leaders have declined work that was right in the company’s wheelhouse.

“We recently had to communicate to a customer, ‘We would love to do this job but we can’t responsibly commit to your timeline due to resource constraints,’” Jacobson said. “Really being honest with ourselves and our clients about what it takes to execute high-quality projects has been a huge focus.” 

Ready to discuss how Haskell can provide turnkey solutions to your manufacturing challenges? Contact our subject matter experts.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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