LEOMINSTER, MASS. - David P. Hahn, a former Milacron Inc. executive and the 1997 NPE trade-show chairman, will take over leadership of the National Plastics Center and Museum beginning Jan. 20.
Hahn is being counted on to boost the center's national appeal, a mission that probably will involve more emphasis on fund raising.
``We decided to interview both museum and industry-type people, because the museum is only one factor - it is also the plastic center for the country,'' said Gordon B. Lankton, chairman of Nypro Inc. in Clinton, Mass., and head of the executive search committee.
The committee considered 80 candidates before narrowing the list to six, Lankton said. He added that Hahn's knowledge of the plastics industry, as well as his high-profile involvement on the national scene, impressed the panel.
``I think what got us excited was that he ran NPE, which was a gigantic project ... and everybody we talked to said that he did an outstanding job,'' Lankton said.
Hahn replaces Valerie A. Wilcox, who retired after serving as the center's only executive director for 10 years. She started in 1991 when the center was an old schoolhouse badly in need of repair. Wilcox leaves the center housed in a newly renovated building, and a program looking for greater national attention.
``We are delighted to have someone of David Hahn's stature at the helm of the center. His selection, after a national search, and the elevation of the role from executive director to president, reflects the global impact of the U.S. plastics industry's only scientific and historical center and museum,'' Peter Bemis, chairman of the center's board of governors, said in a news release.
Bemis also is executive vice president of Bemis Manufacturing Co. in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Hahn, who was not available for comment, is a past Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. board member, and served on the executive committee of the most recent NPE, held in June 2000. He also is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association.
The museum has a 32,000-square-foot building in Leominster that also houses the Plastics Hall of Fame. The center's outreach program has three PlastiVans that visit schools in the United States and Canada.