Graham honored for lifetime achievements

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Blow Molding

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 13, 2:15 p.m. ET)  — Days like Oct. 9 only come once in a lifetime — even if you’re Donald Graham, private equity player and packaging pioneer.

In the morning, Graham joined officials of Evansville, Ind.-based Berry Plastics Group Inc. as they rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, where the packaging giant had begun trading a few days before in an initial public offering. Newtown, Pa.-based Graham Partners Inc. and Apollo Group Management LLC of New York bought Berry in 2006.

Graham flew from New York to Pittsburgh, where he boarded a river boat to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Blow Molding Division.

“I’m really pleased that after all these years, you haven’t forgotten about me,” quipped Graham, who founded Graham Packaging Co., a major blow molder, and Graham Engineering Corp., which makes blow molding machinery. 

He also founded Graham Group, an alliance of industrial business and investment management firms. He is operating partner and senior adviser at Graham Partners.

“His involvement has spanned every part of our industry,” said Dave Yenor, Graham Engineering’s vice president of global business development.

Known these days for his financial prowess, Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering and business management, from the University of Michigan.

Graham praised SPE as “the driving force in the industry for innovation and technical sense.”

He said the machinery business, Graham Engineering, played a key role that led to other businesses, from plastic bags in the 1970s to the formation of an architectural products group.

Graham ran through some of the packaging developments in his career, from the use of high-output wheel machines to blow mold motor oil bottles — which he said was ushered in by innovations in filling machines — to bottle-to-bottle recycling. Engineering made it all happen, he said.

Graham Packaging has grown into a multibillion-dollar firm with 6,000 employees and 90 plants. “Most of that is driven by technology and engineering,” he said.


Comments

Graham honored for lifetime achievements

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Bubbles add some flair to 'Plain Jane' PET bottles

December 17, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Ron Puvak and the folks over at Plastic Technologies Inc. see big things coming from some very tiny bubbles.    More

Image

Blow molder begins expansion

December 16, 2014 11:56 am ET

SPI Blow Molding LLC is growing in two phases that will give the Columa, Mich.-based company more room for storage, warehousing and secondary...    More

Image

Blow molder Pretium Packaging buying Tri-Delta Plastics

December 10, 2014 6:28 pm ET

Blow molder Pretium Packaging LLC has purchased Tri-Delta Plastics, in a deal that extends Pretium into new markets and product categories.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events