Building on our past to advance the future success of the plastics industry, the Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA) is an organization of individuals with significant experience and accomplishment in the industry. We support scholarships, educational programs, a history center, and more to engage the next generation of people in the world of plastics.
The PPA recently held its bi-annual induction of new members to the organization. Seven industry veterans that bring a wealth of experience in both the commercial and technical sides of the industry were inducted into the organization. We welcome all the new members and look forward to their contributions to PPA.
Barbara Jo Arnold-Feret
Barbara Jo Arnold-Feret is well-known in the Plastics industry as an expert in 3D printing and additive manufacturing. She is currently Key Account Director at Essentium, Inc. where she provides expertise in operations, project management, application engineering, plastic molding, thermoforming, casting, and machining. She has also worked in sales and technical leadership roles at HP, US Farathane, EngATech, Unitherm, and Enviro Plastics.
She is active in many industry associations, including the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Women in 3D Printing, and serves as a STEM Advisor for Keller ISD in her community.
Barbara Jo enjoys playing golf, tennis, dancing, costume design and sewing, science fiction, cooking, and travel. She also plays the piano, flute, and saxophone. She is married to Thomas Feret and they have one son named Jacob. She currently lives in a suburb of Fort Worth, TX.
Jill Brandts worked for the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) from 1999 until her retirement in March 2022. She has held a variety of positions including Executive Director of the Thermoforming Institute, Executive Director of Sheet Producers, Director for Member Relations & Grassroots Advocacy, and Director of Member Relations. Prior to that, she worked at Storopack in Public Relations and Environment & Regulatory Affairs. She also worked at the Thermoforming Institute and the Western Moldmaker Division in environmental & safety roles focused on the Western region.
She is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Jill is active in her community of Lakewood, CA serving on the Leadership Council for her church and with Habitat for Humanity. Her hobbies include the great outdoors, reading, gardening, cooking, DIY projects, museums, theater, and concerts.
Troy has been in the plastics industry since 1975 and has spent his entire career with his family businesses: Modified Plastics, Color Science, and Plastics Analytical Laboratory.
After High School graduation, he entered the family business as an equipment operator. While attending college, continued working for the family business and worked his way up to Vice President of Operations. He conceived and helped found the sister companies, Color Science, Inc. (CSI), and Plastics Analytical Laboratory (PAL), to further provide services to the plastics industry.
Troy graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He is also the current President of the Western Plastics Pioneers.
He is active in his community serving as Director of race management for the Long Beach Grand Prix, and he is a Board member of Runners Reunited. Hobbies include mountain climbing, skiing, running, and being an outdoorsman. He is married to Stephanie and they reside in Orange, CA. They have one daughter, Devan, and two grandchildren, Bennett & Frankie.
Annette Lund has been a professional in the Plastics industry for over 42 years. She worked at Diversified Plastics, Inc. where she started as a part-time receptionist in 1981 and worked her way up to vice president in 2005. She held a variety of positions including office manager, purchasing manager, customer service manager, sales manager, sales & marketing manager, and ultimately vice president. Learning about the plastic injection molding industry along the way, Annette managed pricing models, and projections. She was responsible for territory development and built customer concentric sales models to delight customers.
Annette has also been very involved in the industry and in her community. She is a member of Society of Plastics Engineers. In her communities, she has served as Director for North Hennepin Technical College Foundation Board. She was actively involved with Brooklyn Park’s Business Forward Committee and served as Treasurer of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Association. She has recently retired and currently lives in Maple Grove, MN.
Garrett MacKenzie is currently the President and Owner of Plastic411 Services, which specializes in maintenance services and process training in the plastic injection industry. He is also the Owner and Editor of plastic411.com and provides consultation and training for plastics injection molding. He has provided process engineering expertise to many top companies, including Glock, Honda, Johnson Controls, and Rubbermaid.
Garrett started his career in plastic injection molding in 1989 as an operator and has held many positions in industry including: Process Engineer, Supervisor, Mold Maker apprentice, and Molding Manager. He has published 50+ articles in Plastics Today, Plastics Technology, and MoldMaking Technology magazines sharing his advice and expertise in injection molding.
This year he started a plastics training program at Hastings High School in Hastings, Michigan. His various contacts have donated over $100,000 in equipment to the school program. Ferris State University will be giving college credits to the students attending the training. The staff of Hastings High School are being provided with free plastic injection training through the Plastic411 Training System.
Roger Clyde Scherer
Clyde Scherer has been involved in many, wide-ranging aspects of the plastics industry, both on the manufacturing side and on the educational side. He worked in senior management of multiple plastics firms, including Invetal Enterprises, Miramar Consulting, Neward Enterprises, and Third Millennium Metals, LLC. Clyde’s history includes senior positions in the manufacturing management of plastic injection molding and assembly of medical and automotive equipment used worldwide.
He also taught university level courses while obtaining his doctorate in Engineering Technology-Plastics from Columbia Southern University. He was an Associate Professor at Cal State Poly University and started the plastics program at Edison State College in Ohio. Clyde initiated the baccalaureate program in plastics at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH. During his time teaching at the universities, he was instrumental in helping students learn and understand the Plastics industry, including sponsoring and accompanying them on trips to SPE’s ANTEC.
Though mostly retired now, he continues to work on the development of new, nanoscale polymeric and metal matrix composite materials and the equipment for processing those materials.
Clyde is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Phi Delta Kappa. Roger lives in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. With his wife, Stephanie.
Tom is currently the President of Marval Industries, a full-service compounder in Mamaroneck, NY offering polymer masterbatch, specialty compounding, resin distribution, and toll processing.
Although Tom grew up around plastics with his father and grandfather, he did not originally think he would end up in the industry. Tom had his own agriculture business while still in high school and studied agricultural engineering and horticulture at Cornell University. He also received a Master’s degree from North Carolina State University. He started his career in Plastics at Marval in 1977.
As President of Marval, Tom leads the company in developing new products for personal care, appliances, hardware, medical, displays, toy components, electrostatic dissipation, industrial components, and orthopedic braces.
Tom has been a member of SPE since 1989. He is also active in his community as a volunteer firefighter with the Purchase Fire Department and currently serves as Vice-President of the Department.
Tom’s late father, Alan Zimmerman, was a member of the PPA, and his grandfather, Alexander Zimmerman is a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame. Tom lives in Bedford, NY with his wife, Kimberly.
Paul Augustowski is an international business executive with a proven record of success across four continents, having lived in Asia, Europe, and North America. He was an officer of a $40B Fortune Global 500 company with regular interactions at the corporate board level. Paul was president of the management board, CEO and general director of the largest plastics manufacturing company in Poland, a $1B joint venture located in Warsaw. He also served as board member for a $1B joint venture in Mexico, providing corporate oversight and serving on the compensation committee. Paul has also held leadership roles on industry boards, including Plastics Europe, American Chemistry Council, Plastics Industry Association, and Society of the Chemical Industry.
Throughout his career, Paul led multiple successful businesses, including two significant turnarounds and one early start-up company, generating billions of dollars in profit, shareholder value, and company growth. Paul’s extensive experience includes the skills and qualifications for board level work, including strategy, compensation, finance, health/safety/environmental, capital projects, and risk management. Paul brings a history of developing high performing organizations which deliver top financial results by building human capital to improve operations, capital deployment, and customer satisfaction. He is recognized for his personal character, servant leadership, collaborative strengths, and ability to develop mutual trust and respect; a broad- thinker and trusted advisor.
Most recently, Paul was a member of the global corporate leadership team at LyondellBasell. He was accountable for commercial and technical results of the company’s largest business segment, with over $10B in assets across 10 locations and average annual EBITDA of $3B. He has led business segments with P&L which produce and market ethylene, propylene, co-products, and derivatives, including polyethylene and polypropylene.
Previous experience at LyondellBasell included Vice President, Polymer Sales Americas where Paul was accountable for polyethylene and polypropylene annual sales volumes and revenues, exceeding 7B pounds and $5B, respectively. Before that, Paul was Director, Polypropylene Americas with P&L responsibility for production volumes and annual revenues exceeding 5B pounds and $3B, respectively, including General Director assignment for a $1B business in South America.
Prior to that, Paul was President and Chief Executive Officer at Basell Orlen Polyolefins in Plock, Poland where he led all aspects of the independently registered Polish company and 50:50 joint venture between LyondellBasell and PKN Orlen. He was an impactful ambassador for the company in Poland and abroad, representing polyolefins production capacities in excess of 800 KTA and annual sales revenues of $1B.
Earlier in his career, Paul held various positions of increasing responsibility at LyondellBasell, including Vice President, Supply Chain and Market Planning, and Innovative Project Leader. In addition, he worked at GE Plastics and Borg-Warner Chemicals, Inc., including an assignment in Tokyo, Japan. Paul has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania.
After graduating in 1983 from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Fred began his career as a design engineer in the consumer goods industry, where he received his first patent at age 25. Searching for a greater challenge, he entered the plastics industry in 1985 with Borg Warner Chemicals as an Applications Development Engineer. Having survived the acquisition by GE Plastics, and having the opportunity to work for Jeff Emmelt, Fred joined The Dow Chemical Company in 1990 while completing his Executive MBA at Duke University. For the next decade Fred progressed at Dow in assignments in Europe and the US before welcoming the new century by joining Celanese at Automotive Marketing Director, progressing to NA Director of Marketing. Soon after, Fred was appointed President and CEO of Fortron Industries, a joint-venture between Celanese and Kureha Corporation. After doubling the sales and tripling the profits of Fortron, Fred was invited to take over Kureha’s America’s operations. For the final decade-plus of his career Fred lead Kureha America to record growth and expansion.
Celanese appointed Fred as their representative to the Plastics Industry Association (SPI at the time) in 2002. Retaining his seat on the National Board through subsequent positions, Fred became an officer of the association in 2006 and progressed through officer roles culminating as Chairman in 2014/15. Serving at PLASTICS was an opportunity for Fred to give back to the industry which provided him with such rich and rewarding career experiences.
Having traveled the world for more than twenty years visiting 50 countries, Fred decided in 2018 that it was time to slow down and start working on his bucket list. He now serves as a board member and coach to other executives.
Fred and his wife of 32 years, Liz, have retired to Franklin, TN where they enjoy watching their two grown children as they navigate their own careers.
In 1992 Brian Pruitt began his career path in the Injection Molding Industry starting out as a manual press operator at a small Injection Molding Company located in Arden, NC. From there, he was known for building and growing skills in multiple areas of the Plastics Industry. In 2008, he became the Sales and Marketing Manager for the same company. Brian played a key role in building the business to over 40 Injection Molding Machines running a 24/7 operation. Using the knowledge gained to fully understand a project from pellet to part and being able to visualize how the product was to be produced, he has built his career on excellent customer service.
By experiencing and performing many duties, Brian was exposed to various facets of the industry covering polymers, processing, tooling, and & part design. As Brian advanced, he mentored and coached others by teaching them the things that he had learned. He has been blessed to see others advance in their own careers.
Brian holds certifications in Scientific Molding from John Bozzelli, Process Optimization, Regloplas Sales and Marketing, and Business Development. Brian is also certified in Polymer Liquid Color Processing as well as Lean Manufacturing. He has spoken at several industry functions and open house events. Brian is also an SPE Member.
Brian is currently Sales Manager for the North America Plastics Division at Regloplas. He is responsible for bringing new technology and innovations to the industry through temperature control.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, Tony Radoszewski began his career in plastics as a polyolefins sales representative with Phillips Chemical Company in 1980. In 1986, he moved to Houston to become part of the Phillip’s managerial team, holding positions in pricing and supply, market development, and finally as market manager for film and rotational molding. In 1992, Radoszewski was named Oil & Gas Sales Manager for Phillips Driscopipe (now Performance Pipe), based in Richardson, Texas. There he was later named Director of Business Development, a new strategic division created to enhance and expand the corporate portfolio by developing new products and markets to increase the company’s market position. Following that role, he became Sales Director for Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Company, a joint venture between Phillips Chemical Company and Sumitomo Chemical.
In 1995, Tony joined Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS), the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic drainage pipe, as Director of Marketing and Business Development, a position he held for seven years before being named president of Wentworth Group International, a business to business firm specializing in market development for industrial clients.
In 2006, Tony was recruited to become the President of the Plastics Pipe Institute. During his 13-year tenure there, he led efforts that dramatically increased membership, enhanced member services, improved cash flow and profitability for the association while also strengthening relationships with key stakeholders, including government.
In 2019, Tony was named President and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, headquartered in Washington, DC. He and his wife Monica have three sons, Nicholas, Joseph, and David.
Phillip (Phil) E. Wilson is Senior Manager for BASF’s North American Performance Materials business. He has worked in the synthetic fiber and engineering plastics industries for 34 years. Wilson joined BASF in 1988 and has held various positions in research and development, product management, marketing, and business development.
Wilson holds both a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and a master of engineering from North Carolina State University. He has been a member of PLASTICS Industry Association since 2007 serving in various leadership roles. He is currently PLASTICS Chair of the Board of Directors (term ending 2021). Phil holds nine United States patents (and international counterparts) related to synthetic fiber processing, technology, and products. Both natives of western North Carolina, Phil and his wife, Angie, live in Northville, Michigan. He is also an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Eve Vitale is currently the CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers Foundation. She wants you to know that she’s not qualified to be a Plastics Pioneer except for her age – she rode in on the final year of the Baby Boomers. Her degree in mechanical engineering included one hour of plastics education in a material science course. Twenty years later when she was getting her master’s degree in manufacturing engineering, she was able to spend some time with a MAAC Thermoformer and liked it very much. This keen interest in plastics processing and recycling led to her to ask questions, find answers, seek out resources and colleagues, and within a few years a plastics-“lite” engineer was born.
After many years of being frustrated with the pace of academia, she and her husband hung out an engineering consulting shingle mainly focusing on sustainability and manufacturing for the automotive, infrastructure, and consumer products industries. Their favorite contracts involve manufacturing development for post-industrial plastics recycling.
She has been involved in education she was quite young. This led to tutoring calculus in college, homeschooling 3 of her 5 children, running a K-12 academy for 100 students, working at Kettering University (formerly GMI) for several years, and finally taking the reins of the SPE Foundation where she currently manages the PlastiVan education program.
Her company, Series One LLC, is a member of the Plastics Industry Association, and she is a contributing member on many committees, currently serving as vice chair of the NPE 2024 Content Committee as well as sitting on the Recycling Committee, and the Transportation & Industrial Plastics Committee.
She has been an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers since she discovered plastics while at Kettering University, thanks in large part to her husband’s knowledge and expertise, and her second-act career was set in motion.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and climbing reasonable mountains, reading, writing poetry, yoga and her recently acquired rescue pit bull, Tyson Marie.
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 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 improved and next generation blown film processes to produce 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 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.
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.
Sponsored 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, 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.
PPA 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, 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.
Sponsored 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, 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, 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, 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.