This Trillium Network team member has experience working in Ontario’s beer and cosmetics manufacturing industries, is one of Phil Collins’ biggest fans, and may be found enjoying breakfast in your favourite local diner. 

Natasha Bartlett joined the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in the summer of 2021 as the Program Manager. She has a background in applied science and more tha n 10 years of experience working in Ontario manufacturing. Natasha has a Diploma in holistic health, a Diploma in Chemical Laboratory Technology from Fanshawe College, and a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition with a specialization in Food Science and Technology from Western University. At the Trillium Network she supports research, coordinates the completion of projects and objectives, creates comprehensive project plans and facilities meetings.

What attracted you to the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing?

I was looking for a challenge and I felt it would fit with my personal and professional experiences, broaden my skill set, and give me the opportunity to learn about Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem and the industries I have worked in.

What experience do you have in manufacturing and how has this helped you in your current role?

I spent most of my career working in a quality capacity for manufacturers like Labatt’s, Amsterdam Brewing, and BITE Beauty (a division of luxury goods manufacturer LVMH). My experience collecting, organizing, and reviewing data with quality in mind is useful in my current role. The interesting thing that I bring to the Trillium Network is my knowledge and experience in food, cosmetics, and beverage manufacturing, and that’s where my passion is. 

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

The Program Manager role with the Trillium Network is new and has been developing throughout my time here. A large part of my role is to support our research and the work of the team, reporting or keeping projects on track. It’s also integral for me to understand the how and why of each project to establish best practices. A process improvement project in a manufacturing facility has clear objectives. What is challenging are the workflows of our dynamic research projects. The work here is cerebral and I apply my skills in the best way that I can.

What have the highlights been so far working with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing?

The team is made up of individuals with complementary abilities, working on a range of projects. It’s really easy to be enthusiastic about coming to work every morning. I’ve been fortunate to work with great teams throughout my career and I understand how important that is. 

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

For me success is more of a feeling. Do I feel fulfilled? Am I enthusiastic about my work? For me, career-wise, I think it’s very simple; if I like what I do, I’m successful.

What’s your favourite hobby?

I’m always in the kitchen. I’m a generalist so I like to try a bit of everything. Sometimes it’s fermenting, baking, or frying. I’m the kind of person that will invite you over to bake a cake with me on your birthday rather than baking it for you because then we get to spend time making it together.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I did things a bit backwards when it came to post secondary education and graduated university in my thirties. When I was deciding what faculty or program I was interested in, someone told me “you go to school to learn how to learn; it’s not as much about the subject matter as it is about the experience”.

Hometown: I grew up in St. Thomas, Ontario, where both of my parents worked in manufacturing.

Last book(s) I read: I love fiction. Last year I spent my time reading classics like Call of the Wild, The Great Gatsby, War of the Worlds, and Treasure Island, to name a few.

Favourite restaurant: Breakfast is my favorite meal. You can find me anywhere they serve breakfast and for that reason my favourite restaurants tend to be small and independently-owned greasy spoons. 

Can’t live without: Salad! I know it sounds ridiculous but I can’t live without salad. 

Favourite band/song: Right now I am enjoying Villagers. I was in Phil Collins’ top 5% on Spotify in 2021.

Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Pizza or Sushi? Sushi
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Coffee AND Tea