As with many professional groups prior to the 1950s, women were not really a part of the National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) and its membership. This was typical for the workplace and industry at the time, but Elaine Jacob dared to do more than what was typical.
With her ambition and proven ability to do great things, we are proud to highlight Elaine as she is inducted into the NACD Hall of Fame.
Innovating the Family Tradition
Of course, it was Max Jacob who founded the business in 1885 and at least initially, it was the men in his lineage who grew it. As Max Jacob's granddaughter, Elaine revised the formula a bit. She humbly set out to work the family business, but she also paved the way for many more women in the company's leadership and throughout the industry.
Shaking Things Up with the National Association of Container Distributors
Elaine began her work at the company in the 1950s. She took the business seriously and worked hard from the start to see it prosper. She knew that quite a bit had changed in the industry since it began, so she kept notice of what was still transforming.
Early on in Elaine's career, she recognized the importance of plastics packaging. She saw it emerging and worked hard to lead the way. When plastics packaging skyrocketed in its applications and popularity, the company gained important advantages and Elaine took on even bigger roles.
Elaine was certainly an integral part of the business and other leaders took notice. This eventually led to her taking an active role with the NACD, where she found both excitement and challenges.
As Elaine candidly told NACD Magazine, she was excited to attend their meetings, but she was appalled at her first one. She once even commented saying “The guys would talk for thirty minutes and then play cards and smoke cigars.”
However, when she thought the NACD needed changes, she didn't just talk about it -- she acted. With that in mind, it might be no surprise that Elaine became the first female president of the NACD in 1977.
Join us in Honoring Elaine
With all that she brought to the industry and the NACD, it is a pleasure to know how her peers and family celebrate her.
“Elaine was a mentor to me,” said Deborah Jacob, Chair of the Board for MJS Packaging. “She deeply instilled in me the belief that if I strove for success, anything was achievable.”
Many of her peers revere her for her professionalism in meetings, initiative to record minutes, willingness to invite speakers, and even her creativity in designing the original NACD logo. She was definitely not afraid to lead.
Elaine also had a clear appreciation for the rich history of MJS Packaging. She approached her work, the industry, and her peers in a way that showed it, too. Because of that and so much more, we are proud to see the NACD recognize her at their annual convention.
Whether you are reading this before the NACD inducts her into their Hall of Fame or afterward, please join us in celebrating Elaine's contributions.