MILWAUKEE - Longtime plastics industry executive Grace Silverman died July 13 from breast cancer in Milwaukee. The 83-year-old was among the earliest women executives in the business.
In Milwaukee, she and her husband co-founded flexible packaging firms for food, industrial and medical markets in 1954 and 1978, and a plastics reprocessing business in 1974. Typically, she headed operations and held positions as vice president, secretary, treasurer and general manager.
The initial business, Sealcraft Products Corp., was sold in 1972 and operates now as Smurfit Flexible Packaging, a unit of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.
The 1978 startup, Crest Converters, was sold in 1986. Both Sealcraft and Crest Converters extruded, printed and converted polyethylene and polypropylene packaging.
The Silvermans' ongoing recycling business, Crest Plastics Inc., had 2000 sales of $1.3 million from regrinding and repelletizing low and linear low density PE.
Many former employees of the Silvermans' companies have gone on to start other plastics processing businesses.
Grace Silverman graduated from the University of Wisconsin and was an avid horse-racing fan. She is survived by her husband, Jack, and two sons.