R&D Director

Thomas Brooke International - East Hartford, CT

Exceptional opportunity to make a real impact on an entire business. All necessary tools are in place; we are looking for a leader who can apply them and truly lead both people and processes in market-driven R&D to create and sustain a robust pipeline of new products.

  • Privately held, market-leading industrial coatings manufacturer with strong history of sustained organic growth
  • Named one of the top Companies in the state to work for – 6 times!
  • Report directly to the President. Member of Senior Leadership Team. 6 reports. Strong cross-functional engagement

The role

Work closely with Marketing to define, budget and execute the appropriate scope of R&D commitment to develop and successfully commercialize new products. You will use the stage gate process (tied into the financial model of the business plan) as well as project management tools.

You’ll communicate frequently with the Leadership Team on project challenges and opportunities along the way (not just at gate reviews but an ongoing dialog), maintaining current assessment of projected R&D investment, in order to make appropriate business decisions on individual development projects.

You will collaborate cross-functionally as well as externally with development partner customers, to shape and deliver the necessary performance characteristics and criteria for successful product launch.

You will recruit, lead, develop and mentor your team to peak performance, holding team members accountable for project progress and results, to ensure successful commercialization within timeframes and budgets. Team leadership and development will be a high priority.

You will work alongside Manufacturing and with development partners (customers) to ensure successful scaleup as new products move into the commercialization phase.

The candidate profile

  • Advanced degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, polymer science or similar is REQUIRED.
  • 7+ years total industry experience in formulation & development of liquid coatings, adhesives or closely related field, including resin choices (urethanes, epoxies in particular) and additives; of which, 5+ years direct, current experience in management of R&D teams. This is a MUST HAVE.
  • Understanding of pigments, colorants and decorative as well as functional characteristics strongly preferred
  • Meaningful experience leading development of market-driven custom products in this industry
  • Comfortable in a leadership role – you actively enjoy leading, coaching and developing your team to achieve results and you have solid experience with recruitment and retention of high performance talent. You hold yourself and your team accountable for results and are comfortable with hiring/firing to achieve a winning team
  • Lean Six Sigma experience: strong process skills are ESSENTIAL and you’ve successfully championed the use of structure and process in R&D in the past
  • High levels of motivation, initiative, curiosity, energy, creativity – you like to explore, to push boundaries, to improve continually; and you transmit that to your team. This is balanced by high emotional intelligence, pragmatism, collaborative approach, strong relationship building skills and solid commercial understanding – you are emotionally mature and well-rounded in your understanding of the total business
  • Experience successfully commercializing new products – you understand what it takes to get over the finish line and are willing to lead the way there while still retaining a collaborative approach




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    5 = directly led all stages, this is a key part of my responsibility 4 = very involved but not directly led; or, led part but not the whole process 3 = involved but not a major part of my experience 2 = limited involvement 1 = no involvement
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    Please include any details that are important to you such as current salary, bonus/LTI details, or any must-have requirements. This is not "written in stone," it's just to ensure we all understand the range and structure
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