Moving across the Atlantic Ocean from Lithuania to Pittsburgh in December 2019 to become general manager of global plastic packaging manufacturer RETAL’s Donora plant was a career opportunity for Darius Janulionis that came about because of his proven leadership ability.
It has become just as important that he is positive by nature, as the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a very different situation has evolved.
With two young daughters in kindergarten and a singer wife with a career of her own, Janulionis’ life in Lithuania was successful and rewarding.
He has worked at RETAL for more than seven years, having progressed rapidly to the position of production director at the company’s Lentvaris factory, the largest and most profitable of its 19 global sites, after being recognized by the board of directors as one to watch. The company employs 2,000 people worldwide.
When the previous general manager of the RETAL PA factory left, Janulionis was offered the role, with the expectation that his understanding of the business and strong team-building skills would be an ideal fit for the Donora factory, which was the newest of the RETAL portfolio and contained considerable untapped potential.
“The plan was for me to come to Pittsburgh to start the job, get settled with a home and find schools for the girls, then my family would be able to join me,” he said. “But of course 2020 didn’t go as planned for any of us.
“I expected to fly home a few times before they moved over here, but I was not able to get home since the pandemic started as of course the majority of international travel has been banned; every time I booked a flight, it got canceled.”
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