OAK BROOK, ILL. — The Association of Rotational Molders honored six industry and association pioneers at its Oct. 5-8 fall meeting in Oak Brook, inducting them as the first members of the Rotational Molding Hall of Fame.
Each of the 1997 inductees was instrumental in the formation and growth of ARM, which was chartered in 1976. The honorees, recognized for their ``outstanding service, accomplishments and industry contributions,'' were:
Robert Grossman, the first president of ARM and chairman of Miami-based Rotocast International Inc. Grossman has traveled to 34 countries as an ambassador for rotomolding. Plastic light globes were one of his company's early product lines. Rotocast, which claims to be the first firm to produce the plastic cross-bed pickup truck toolbox and to paint polyethylene successfully, offers internships to the children of principals of international rotomolding firms to educate them about the industry in North America.
Red Smith, a catalyst for the formation of ARM and retired president and chief executive officer of Solar Plastics Inc. in Minneapolis. Smith helped survey rotomolders to determine companies' interest in forming a trade group. About 25 companies sent representatives and 13 invested $500 each to form ARM. Smith succeeded Grossman as president of the organization.
George Kraemer, founder and president of Milwaukee-based Kracor Inc., a charter member of ARM. Kraemer was the group's third president, serving in 1977-78. Kraemer has been chairman of a number of ARM committees during the past two decades. He has served on the board of both the National Association of Marine Products and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Kraemer was the recipient of Boating Industry Magazine's 1994 Mel Barr Award for outstanding service to the pleasure boating industry.
Sherman McKinniss, founder and president of Rotonics Manufacturing Inc. in Gardena, Calif. First introduced to rotomolding in 1961, he was ARM's president in 1978-79. McKinniss has founded several rotomolding firms and is a significant industry personality. He has served on ARM's board of directors and several committees. In 1978, he participated in meetings in Europe and Australasia that resulted in expanding the association worldwide.
Thomas Long, founder and board chairman of Formed Plastics Inc. in Carle Place, N.Y. Long and his son Patrick, a former two-time ARM president, attended the initial meeting of the association. His company was one of those that pledged $500 in seed money to start the organization. His firm is one of the longest-running rotational molders in the industry. Long helped to develop one-piece rotational molded spheres and ornamental post-top globes for the lighting industry.
H. Bryan Carter, another co-founder of ARM. Now semiretired, Carter serves as a consultant to M.B.C. Rotomould Inc. in Newmarket, Ontario. He was the group's first international president in 1981 — the same year he was selected Man of the Year by the Canadian plastics industry. He has served as the alternate director of the Plastics Institute in Australia and was a member of the former Society of the Plastics Industry Canada. As a rotomolding industry consultant, Carter has traveled and worked extensively in Europe, Africa, North America and Australasia.
ARM, based in Oak Brook, has more than 500 members in 60 countries. The group held its Rotoplas '97 exhibition Oct. 6 in Westmont, in conjunction with the Oak Brook fall meeting.