Plastics Academy Announces Inductees to Prestigious Plastics Hall of Fame

WASHINGTON – Jay Gardiner, President of the Plastics Academy, todayannounced the 2021 inductees to the *Plastics Hall of Fame*

Ten leaders of the plastics industry will be officially inducted on October7, 2021, during a ceremony at the Plastics Industry Association’s(PLASTICS) annual Fall Meeting. The ceremony will also include theinduction of the Hall’s six-member 2020 Posthumous Class, which has beendelayed several times during the pandemic. This year’s gala event will takeplace at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

“We are very proud of our 2021 Plastics Hall of Fame class. The winnerscome from across the globe and represent many different disciplines,” **saidJay Gardiner, President of the Plastics Academy.** “After a difficult year,we look to these inductees as a reaffirmation of the vitality and strengthof the plastics industry.

The Plastics Academy inducts living members into the Hall of Fame everythree years. After more than a year of remote meetings and virtualconferences, leaders from the global plastics machinery, training,packaging, materials, and trade association sectors will gather in-personto celebrate this year’s inductees.

PLASTICS founded the Hall of Fame to recognize leaders within ourindustry who have made an outsized impact on setting the course forplastics to thrive,” **said Tony Radoszewski, PLASTICS President & CEO**,“and we are continuing the rich tradition by honoring those who shine intheir careers and contribute to science and society.

2021 Inductees to the Plastics Hall of Fame

Yoshiharu Inaba* is a pioneer in all-electric injection moldingtechnology. Inaba joined Japan’s Fanuc Corp. in 1983. That same year, thecompany decided to focus on electrifying injection presses to make themmore efficient and precise, using Fanuc’s computer numerical controlexpertise. Fanuc introduced the first worldwide mass-production-typeall-electrical injection machine, the Autoshot, in 1985. Today the companyestimates there are more than 200,000 all-electric machines in the world.Inaba, who holds more than 110 design patents, is chairman of Fanuc.

Mayumi Kotani*, the fourth woman to be inducted into the Plastics Hall ofFame*,* is president of Kyoto, Japan-based Yushin Precision Equipment Co.Ltd., a leading maker of take-out robots for injection-molded products.Kotani helped start the company in 1973, and Yushin entered the market fortake-out robots in 1978. She served as vice president of sales for 12 yearsbefore being named president in 2002. Under her guidance, the companyrapidly expanded overseas and has received multiple awards for itsoptimally designed robots.

Salvatore Monte* is president and co-owner of Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc.,holder of numerous patents and has been an active member of numerousplastics industry groups for decades. He is recognized as an expert in thedevelopment and commercialization of coupling and compatiblizing agents.Monte holds 31 U.S. patents and has authored numerous technical papers,journal articles and book chapters, as well as a popular reference manualon titanates, zirconates, and aluminates. His first commercial titanate washailed as a new coupling agent for filled polyethylene in 1974. He is amember, fellow and honorary service member in the Society of PlasticsEngineers and a longtime leader of the Plastics Pioneers Association.

Peter Neumann* led injection press maker Engel Holding GmbH through aperiod of rapid global growth and served as president of Euromap, theEuropean committee of manufacturers of plastic and rubber machinery. WhenNeumann joined Engel in the early 1980s, the company had 783 employees. Asmanager of purchasing, material planning and logistics, Engel was the firstpress maker to make machine platens from steel instead of cast iron. Thecompany’s global operations grew rapidly in the 1990s, thanks to otherinnovations including tire-barless and two-platen machines. With Neumann asCEO, Engel’s sales grew from 76 million euros to 1.36 billion euros.

Donald Paulson* is a veteran educator of plastics processing with nineU.S. and European patents. He launched his career in 1963 when he developeda plastics processing research laboratory at General Motors Institute.Using the results of his research, in 1968 he started Control Process Inc.,the first company to use cavity pressure to control machine injectionpressure. The company was sold in 1980, and he started Paulson TrainingPrograms Inc., now a leading provider of online interactive and seminarplastics technical training. In 1998, he was named one of the six mostimportant inventors in the plastics industry. Paulson received the SPELifetime Engineering and Technical Achievement Award in 2006

Joseph Prischak* is the founder of Plastek Group, a major global injectionmolding and toolmaker, based in Erie, Pa. He’s also a supporter of plasticsindustry training and a noted philanthropist. With two partners, he foundedTriangle Tool Co., a leader in mold design and manufacturing, in 1956. Theymoved into plastics molding in 1971 and expanded to Europe, Brazil, andMexico. He is considered the father of the Plastics Engineering Technologyprogram at Penn State Erie, which has produced more than 1,000 graduatesand is the largest undergraduate plastics program in the country. Prischakalso is the founder of African 6000 International, a nonprofit that drillsdeep freshwater wells across the African continent.

Ulrich Reifenhäuser* joined German extrusion machinery group ReifenhäuserGmbH & Co. in 1983 and, with his brothers Klaus and Bernd, built the familycompany into a global firm with leading technology for high-performanceblown film and nonwoven materials. Reifenhäuser has been the chairman ofthe K show since 2004, has played an active role in VDMA and frequentlyacts as spokesman for the German plastics machinery community. He currentlyserves as his company’s chief sales officer. During his tenure, the firm’ssales have grown from 142 million euros to more than 500 million euros.

Wylie Royce *is a plastics materials supplier executive who is also wellknown for his trade association leadership. Royce is executive vicepresident of colorant and specialty chemicals company Royce Global, and apartner and director of Royce International. Royce International is asupplier and manufacturer of epoxy resins, hardeners, diluents, andspecialty chemicals used in the coatings, construction, electronics, andaerospace industries. Royce is currently Past Chairman of the PlasticsIndustry Association and Treasurer of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic PackagingMaterials committee. He is a board member of the Foodservice PackagingInstitute, as well as a member of Health Beauty America’s TechnicalAdvisory Board. He holds a U.S. patent in a proprietary method utilizingelectron beam modification of resin to create marbleized colorant effectsfor injection molded products.

Suresh Shah* developed and commercialized important automotive plasticsinnovations and served in numerous roles for the Society of PlasticsEngineers (SPE). The retired General Motors and Inteva engineer was thefirst to invent and introduce the plastics module concept 27 years ago,leading a team that designed and developed the all-plastic door innermodule dubbed the SuperPlug. The component, which replaced 50 metal pieces,was the first and most complex part commercialized using gas injectionmolding technology. He has served in numerous volunteer roles with SPE,including as a board member and chairman of the automotive division. In2017, he received the division’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vince Witherup* carried the torch for the U.S. plastics industry aroundthe world as an executive at Franklin, Pa.-based auxiliary equipment makerConair Group Inc. and as an ambassador for the NPE trade show. He has beeninvolved in plastics for more than 50 years, beginning as a salesman atConair and working his way up to executive vice president. Witherup hasheld volunteer leadership positions for the Society of the PlasticsIndustry Inc. (SPI), now the Plastics Industry Association. He served aschairperson of the NPE2000 show, where he was honored as SPI’sInternational Businessperson of the Year. He has been active in thePlastics Pioneers Association for more than 20 years.

2020 Posthumous Inductees to the Plastics Hall of Fame

The members of the 2020 Posthumous Class are: Howard Irvin (MarbonChemical), Ronald Saxton (DuPont), Walt Schrenk (Dow Chemical), DennisTully (MTD), Charles Sears (Dri-Air Industries) and Bill Stoesser (StoesserIndustries).

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