History & Purpose of Our Organization
First organized in the 1940s as a means of bringing plastics industry oldtimers together for fellowship, the Plastics Pioneers Association was formally organized in 1948 with officers, directors, and bylaws.
Membership requirements were:
- A contribution to the growth of the industry
- Having worked no fewer than 25 years in plastics
Today, membership is capped at 250 active members, and the term of service in the industry required is 25 years or more. While camaraderie was and is an important part of Plastics Pioneers Association meetings and activities, in 1985 the PPA incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in order to give back to the industry through a scholarship program. Proposed by then-president Albert Spaak, the Education Fund was to be funded by membership donation; leadership gifts from Albert Spaak, John Reib, and Bruno Wessinger helped launch the effort.
In addition to education, the Plastics Pioneers Association also works actively to preserve and archive the stories of those who have contributed significantly to the growth of the plastics industry. Over the years, many famous names who have been leaders of the plastics industry in engineering, technology, science, education, or management positions, or have served with distinction in a plastics industry association, have come together for fellowship, with “preservation of the past and building the future” at the heart of PPA’s activities.
Awards include the “Pioneer of the Year” and one member is honored for service by receiving “The Much Traveled Shirt.” Members keep informed through the regular newsletter, “The Much Traveled Sheet.”