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
Companies & Associations

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

Court approves Bekum's European reorganization

April 23, 2015 5:04 pm ET

Blow molding machinery maker Bekum Maschinenfabriken GmbH has announced it received court approval for the reorganization plan it proposed in...    More

Image

Schaefer-Weaton focuses on recruiting, training talent

April 22, 2015 1:03 pm ET

Lori Schaefer-Weaton, the daughter of company founder Dick Smith, has taken the reins of Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. Schaefer-Weaton is 19 months...    More

Image

Sidel, BMS reach agreement on spindle patent case

April 20, 2015 1:24 pm ET

Sidel Group and Blow Mold Services LLC have reached an agreement in Sidel's patent infringement lawsuit against BMS involving the spindle chain on a...    More

Image

Greif special committee to study 'transformation initiative'

April 20, 2015 12:22 pm ET

Greif Inc., an industrial packaging company that includes plastic containers, is forming a special board committee to help with the company's...    More

Market Reports

North American Thermoformed Packaging Market Outlook & Review 2015

Our annual report provides a thorough review and analysis of economic and political conditions, emerging market trends, packaging design advances, materials pricing and sustainable packaging issues impacting supply and demand in the TP segment. Our analysts identify key drivers of growth and opportunities for processors to remain competitive in the years ahead through innovation, production efficiencies and more.

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

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events