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Judging the performance of others is something people do every day, though seldom do they take the time to offer anything other than critical commentary.

Fortunately, one of the antidotes to that is the formal recognition of individuals and organizations for representing the best of a profession or industry.

Next week, at NPE in Chicago, entry forms will be available atPlastics News booths S156 and N4169 in McCormick Place for the 1997 Processor of the Year award, which is sponsored by Plastics News.

The industry award is presented annually to recognize achievement by a plastic processor operating in North America during the preceding year.

It is not a beauty contest. The recipient is selected on the basis of nomination and verifiable accomplishments in areas such as sales and quality performance, customer and employee relations, public service and the environment.

The award in 1996 was presented to a northwest Ohio company, Bryan Custom Plastics. The firm, then a unit of United Screw and Bolt Corp. of North Olmsted, Ohio, was cited by customers as a ``forward-thinking'' molder and ``proactive.''

United Screw and Bolt, including Bryan, since has been acquired by Plastech Engineered Products Inc. of St. Clair Shores, Mich.

Bryan received Ford Motor Co.'s prestigious Total Quality Excellence Award, among others, and has a relationship with the United Paperworkers that the Local 7141 vice president described as ``really outstanding.''

The company is profitable and expanding its market presence. It has an enviable community reputation and a good environmental and regulatory record. Bryan, as its nominator suggested, was an impressive nominee and is a distinguished industry representative.

To nominate a business, which may be a private/public company or corporate operating division primarily engaged in plastics processing, write a statement of 250 words or less outlining why the enterprise deserves the award

Mail it with a nomination form to: Processor of the Year, Plastics News, 1725 Merriman Road, Akron, Ohio 44313. Fax (330) 836-2322.

All nominations must be received by Aug. 15. The award will be announced Oct. 13 and presented Nov. 1 in Columbus, Ohio, at the scheduled Processors' Conference. Entries will be judged by Plastics News' editorial board.

Pick up an entry form, or call (330) 836-6155 to receive one, and nominate a company that deserves it.

Henson is a Plastics News assistant managing editor.