Plastics News looking for the industry's rising stars under 40

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Millennials and Generation X, it’s your turn for the spotlight.

I know. The baby boomers have been reluctant to leave the stage. It’s the story of your life, right? Your parents, and their generation, have dominated the economic and cultural landscape for 50-plus years.

But it’s 2014. The boomers are starting to retire. The time for young talent has arrived.

This year, Plastics News will recognize the Rising Stars of our industry. We’re looking for people under the age of 40 who are on the path to becoming plastics industry leaders — or who are already there.

What are the criteria? We’re looking for the best and the brightest. Bring us your talented managers, your young entrepreneurs and your natural leaders.

Let’s hear from the future company presidents and Plastics Hall of Famers, sure. And also the whiz kids who are bringing the plastics industry into the 21st century with new technologies and modern ideas.

You’ll attract our attention if you’re making a name for your company, and if you have an interesting story to tell about how you’re changing the corporate culture, or adding value to the business. If you’re involved in community and industry activities, that’s a big plus.

So if you were born in 1974, or later, drop us a line.

We promise not to bore you with references to “The Graduate.” We know you think Dustin Hoffman was the guy who plays Ben Stiller’s dad in “Little Fockers.” (Obviously “Ben” didn’t take that advice about plastics. That’s his loss.)

Plastics News Loepp

I’ve been reporting on the plastics industry for 23 years — yes, longer than some of our Rising Stars have been alive. So I know this industry is loaded with talented young people.

Back in February, I wrote a defense of the millennial generation in the Plastics Blog. I know the stereotype is they’ve grown up with a sense of entitlement and they’re tough to employ. That sounds a lot like what we used to hear about baby boomers.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the millennials. I’ve watched them graduate from high school and move into the work force and college. I know many who are working hard to get an education and become independent. It’s not easy — have you seen the cost of college?

So I’m eager to see the nominations, from our millennial and Generation X readers. We will be accepting nominations until July 3.

The special Rising Stars issue, which will include short features on these talented young stars, will be published on Aug. 11.

Nominate a rising star

Do you fit the bill — or do you know someone who does? It's easy to nominate someone to be a Plastics News Rising Star. Just send an email to, and we'll send you a survey form. You can nominate yourself, a friend, a colleague or a customer.

Loepp is editor of Plastics News.