History & Purpose of Our Organization

Networking Dinners

Networking Dinners

First organized in the 1940s as a means of bringing plastics industry members together for fellowship, the Plastics Pioneers Association was formally organized in 1948 with officers, directors, and bylaws. In 2018 we celebrated our 70th anniversary!

Members have made significant contributions to the growth and technology of the plastics industry and have served in the industry for at least 20 years.

While camaraderie and fellowship are important parts of Plastics Pioneers Association meetings and activities, scholarships are even more important. The PPA incorporated as a formal 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1985 in order to give back to the industry through a scholarship program. Proposed by then-president Albert Spaak, the Education Fund, which provides those scholarships, is now funded by membership donations. Leadership gifts from Albert Spaak, John Reib, and Bruno Wessinger helped launch the effort.

DSM Vince Witherup 2016

DSM Vince Witherup 2016

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 in the plastics industry in engineering, technology, education, and management have come together for fellowship, with “preservation of the past and building the future” at the heart of PPA’s activities.

Awards include the Distinguished Service Member which honors a PPA member that has made significant contributions for numerous years to the organization. One member is honored at each meeting for annual service by receiving “The Much Traveled Shirt.”