Plastics Pioneers Induct Three New Members

Brenda Clark

Brenda Clark, Engineering Manager, HASCO America
Brenda Clark began her 36-year career in the plastics industry while in high school, and is a mold designer by trade with a degree in Machine Design in Mechanical Technology from Hartford State Technical College in Hartford, CT. Her first position in the industry was with a small custom mold builder, Accurate Plastic Tooling in East Hartford, CT, where she was working on connector molds.

It was there she was able to learn mold building, mold design, some processing knowledge and even how to play golf before she moved to North Carolina. Specialties of her expertise include standard mold bases – metric and inch – mold base components, technical specialty components for special mold base operations, hot runner systems, customer service and application reviews for new and old molds. Over the last 14 years at HASCO America, she helps mold builders and designers with their projects.

Brenda also works closely with technical colleges and universities in her local area, and across the U.S. to help them with finding available funding/grants, and equipment such as mold plates and components and supplying training assistance. Education of the next generation is a key goal for Brenda – as it is for the PPA – and for her present employer.

She is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Plastics Industry Association, and the American Mold Builders Association. She is also the past Chair of the SPE Mold Technologies Division 2017-2018. Brenda was elected as Mold Designer of the Year for 2019 by the SPE Mold Technologies Division, and she received a $500 honorarium which she donated to the Blue Ridge Technical College in Flat Rock, NC which provides a class in mold design.

Brenda lives in Asheville, NC with her husband Phillip, and they have two children.

David Anzini

David J. Anzini, Manufacturing Technical Manager, Celgard LLC
David Anzini has spent 39 years in the plastics industry – and counting! He holds an MS and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Currently he is the Manufacturing Technical Manager for Celgard LLC, a division of Polypore International Inc., responsible for the development of imporved and next generation blown film processes to  roduce microporous films for lithium ion battery separator applications. Polypore is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo. David just celebrated two years at Celgard in September.

Prior to this, David has held positions at Zip-Pak, Pactiv, Conwed Plastics, Mobil Chemical, and BP Performance Polymers. David holds multiple patents and has several patent applications pending. He is a member of the ITW Patent Society. He is also a Senior Member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, serving on the Extrusion Division Board of Directors since 2001. He will be SPE’s overall ANTEC Technical Program Chair for the 2021 and 2022 conferences.

David and his wife Ann live in Fort Mill, South Carolina, a suburban community tied to the Charlotte metro area. They have four children who are scattered around the country, offering plenty of travel opportunities.

Roger Klouda

Roger C. Klouda, President, MSI Mold Builders
Roger Klouda joined the mold building industry in 1978 at MSI Mold Builders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and became president in 1988. MSI is a 100-person mold manufacturer with plant in both Cedar Rapids (the corporate headquarters) and Greenville, South Carolina.

Roger has led the charge for a transition to mold manufacturing, both at MSI and in the industry at large, opening his plant  to competitors on numerous occasions to showcase the benefits of lean manufacturing in a “one-off” environment. He has shared manufacturing best practices at numerous trade meetings.

As an extremely active member of trade associations, Roger has worked hard to promote the industry – as well as the  profession – of mold building. He has partnered with Kirkwood Community College in the area of Advanced Manufacturing with emphasis on CNC machining and CAD design, funding scholarships for community college students. He frequently opens his plant for local community college and high school students to tour.

Roger also helped lead a statewide Apprentice Training Program for mold making via the Iowa Cable Network, in which apprentices statewide receive classroom training over an interactive cable network. He is currently helping develop programs focused on elevating awareness of Advanced Manufacturing as an excellent career choice.

Roger is Past President of the Iowa Chapter of the SPE and has been a member of Executive Board of the Plastics Industry Association since 1995. He was the 2000 recipient of the SPI Structural Plastics Division Recognition Award. He has served on the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) Board of Directors from 2001-2013. In 2006 he was the recipient of the AMBA Mold Maker of the Year Award. In 2013 Roger was recognized as SPE Mold Maker of the Year for his lifelong contributions to the mold making industry.

Roger has been married to his wife Gayle for more than 47 years and they have two children: Kimberly and Kyle. Kyle is the General Manager of MSI’s Greenville, SC location.

Roger is an avid golfer and two of his three holes-in-one occurred on dates significant to him: his second occurred while playing with his wife on their 35th anniversary, and last year his third hole-in-one occurred on his wife’s birthday. He gives Gayle full credit for both and split the cash he won on his last one.

Previous Inductees

Spring 2019 Santa Fe

Spring Meeting in Santa Fe Brought Together 65 members and guests

The Plastics Pioneers Association held its annual Spring meeting April 10-13, 2019 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where it welcomed eight new members into the organization.

Mike Friend
mike friendSponsored by PPA members George Yule and Wendy Hoenig, Mike Friend has had a long career in the plastics industry in Arizona. After graduating from Arizona State University in 1978 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Mike worked for Tempe, AZ custom molder, Pixley Richards where he spent his first 10 years in the industry. In 1988 he left Pixley and joined Top-Seal Corporation (a Tech Group Company and proprietary molder of caps and closures) as Manufacturing Manager.

In 1990 he left the Tech Group and founded UPT Plastics. This was a “greenfield start-up” beginning as a tool shop but later transforming into a molding Company. With a group of partners and hard work, Mike and his team grew the Company to $12MM in sales by the end of 1999. The Company was acquired in June of 2000 by ATP with Mike staying on for nearly 3 years offering transition and leading the Company as President/General Manager.

After a brief retirement, Mike founded Integrity Mold in 2005 and grew this Company to $10MM in sales. In October of 2017 this Company was acquired by Westfall Technik. He currently manages this business as Vice President/General Manager.


Wayne Hertlein
wayne hertleinWayne Hertlein, sponsored by PPA members Glenn Beall and Fred Steil, has over 40 years of experience in molds/tooling for the automotive, telecommunications, military and the medical fields. This includes prototype and production tools for close tolerance, high precision molds, mold construction, processing and engineering, and product development. He is a proficient troubleshooter and known for his wise consultation in the industry.

Wayne is currently the Tooling Manager at Letica Corp in Rochester, Mi. He has served in many plastics industry companies, from Wilbert to MMI to IAC to Plastech, rising in the ranks from apprentice toolmaker to Technical Manager.

He is also very interested in Plastics Industry Education and learning. Wayne is a Plastics Industry Historian and a collector of plastics-related books. Currently his collection consists of over 8,000 textbooks and other pieces of information relevant to the plastics engineering industry.


Ed Laird
ed lairdPPA members Lance Neward and George Yule sponsored Ed Laird as a member of organization. Ed has worked in the plastics coatings industry for over five decades. His resume is an impressive one, both in industry and in his community. He received his Polymer Science degree from RM Technical Institute and began working at Chrysler Coatings lab. He gained much experience in both the automotive and aircraft coatings segment, and eventually started Laird Coatings Corp. He is now a successful Consultant for air quality standard for coatings. Currently, his company, in an alliance with PPG, is building a new, $14 million facility for painting plastics.

Ed has served as President of the SPE’s Southern California Section and as a member of the National Materials Council of PIA. In 1992, Ed was selected as recipient of the SPI’s Western Region Distinguished Service Award. In 2018, he was the Hall of Fame Honoree for the Western Plastics Pioneers organizations.


Chris Landis
chris landisChris Landis, sponsored by PPA members JoNell Kelly and Dennis Don, began his career designing advertising for a national used plastic machinery dealer. An aggressive entrepreneur, by 1978, Landis was the founding partner of Coast Polymers. Coast soon became a pioneer trader in recycled and virgin wide spec plastics. Running granulators and extruders, he introduced novel methods of scrap collection, sorting and cleaning.

In 1992, Coast Polymers was acquired by Bamberger Polymers. Phasing out the recycling business, Coast managed local resin distribution for Bamberger. Over 26 years, Landis built the Western Region, adding a professional sales team to ultimately sell over a billion pounds of commodity plastics. Through the years he was a member in SPI, SPE and WPE.

Outside the plastic world, Landis is active in community service. With a degree in Art, he led the local PTA “Art Reflections” program holding children’s workshops and competitions. He was awarded the “Life Touch” national prize for cover design and the PTA National Service award. Later, as President of the High School Band Boosters he raised over $75,000 to buy a trailer, kilts and instruments.

Chris recently retired from Bamberger Polymers, and after more than forty years focused in plastics, Landis plans to reinvent his creative career in the arts.


Mike Mattina
mike mattinaSponsored by PPA members Mark Bruner and Dennis Don, Mike Mattina graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in 1985 with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Chemistry. He started his 32-year plastics career with Exxon Chemical in 1985. While at Exxon Chemical from 1985 to 1991, Mike was involved in many roles including financial analyst-Olefins, Sales Representative-Polyethylene/Polypropylene, Technical Service-Polyethylene films, and Market Development-Polyethylene.

From 1991 to 1999, Mike worked for Chevron Chemical initially in Polyethylene Sales & Market Development and later as Product Manager, HDPE Injection and Blow molding products.

From 1999 to 2001, Mike worked for Muehlstein Compounded Products as Marketing Manager working with Mark Bruner growing and developing Polyethylene and Polypropylene compounded products/markets.

From 2001 to 2017, Mike worked for Westlake Chemical. While at Westlake, Mike was Vice President-Polyethylene, President/General Manager of Westlake’s North America PVC pipe division and as Sr. Vice President, Polyethylene & Corporate Supply Chain.


Ron Oberstar
ron oberstarRon Oberstar, sponsored by PPA members Dennis Meade and Stu Swain, started off in plastics in 1976 with Harshaw Chemical. Under the tutelage of Robert Charvat, he spent his formative years working in Harshaw’s technical service department learning the basics of color pigment performance in various resins. After a few years in technical service, while working through John Carroll University night school, he achieved his degree in both chemistry and business administration. He then moved into customer service and into sales.

Ron was relocated to California in a sales capacity for Harshaw Chemical and from there moved onward and upward with BASF and Dianichiseika with sales responsibility for the Western US before becoming Sales Manager for the Americas. After 20 years in sales and management, and as a result of M&A activity, Ron found he was now on the outside looking in.

He made a life changing decision to pursue his dream of starting his own business. Based on his experience and industry contacts, he formed Fortune International Technology which is a Sourcing Agent and Chemical Distribution Company specializing in Color pigments, pearlescent pigments, plastics additives, and process equipment.

Ron has grown Fortune over the last 15 years and continues to do so today through adding new additive lines for plastics. He remains active in the industry exhibiting at key shows for plastics – RETEC, AMI and others. Currently Ron works closely with many plastic concentrate and compounding houses working to source new and commodity additives.


Lynnette Russo
lynnette russoLynnette Russo, sponsored by Dennis Don and JoNell Kelly, has had a wonderful 39 year career in the plastics industry, working for Bamberger Polymers Inc., in sales and marketing of commodity resins that allowed her to experience the growth and change of the plastics industry. Early in her career, few people were that experienced in plastics knowledge. She saw an era of growth where processors’ trial and error made the pathway for the continued improvement of plastic resins and processes.

Lynnette’s various responsibilities at Bamberger Polymers eventually led to a focus on sales. She sold to end-users in the South and Southeast regions of the US and to various specific accounts scattered throughout the US. In addition, she handled export traders focused on resin needs for India, Africa, and the Far East.

She is a member of Bamberger Polymers Million Dollar Club. She was a member of Society of Plastic Engineers from 1984 – 2015. She is well known for organizing and hosting the Frank Padula Memorial (SPE) Golf Outing from 2001 – 2016, which was a fund raiser for Education at several Texas-based Universities.


Ed Schott
ed schottEd Schott, sponsored by JoNell Kelly and Dennis Don, has over 46 years of experience working in the plastics industry. After graduating from Lakeland University in Wisconsin, Ed served four years in the US Army. He joined Gulf Oil Chemical Co. in the Polyethylene plant in Orange, TX. He worked in various roles in sales, moving to Indianapolis, Dallas, Cincinnati, and back to Houston.

As the company merged with Chevon and later with Conoco Phillips, Ed took on larger and different roles. He worked not only in Olefins but also in the Aromatics division. He spent many years managing distributor sales for non-prime resins in domestic, and overseas markets.

Ed was a member of SPI and SPE for all of those years, and he regularly participated in group outings. In addition to work, he is active in his community. He has served on various Home Association Board of Directors, he is Sergeant of Arms at his local VFW, and Habitat for Humanity. He and his wife of 40 years are very active in their church, and he enjoys playing golf and working out at the gym.