David S. Weil began advocating plastics industry involvement in international trade decades ago, and he continues to see the global market as the core of future growth.
The Global Business Council of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has recognized Weil as its International Business Person of the Year.
Weil retired Jan. 31 after 44 years with color and additive concentrates producer Ampacet Corp. of Tarrytown, N.Y., and extensive involvement with SPI.
Within the plastics industry, ``there has to be an intense awareness that major future growth of plastics companies will come from offshore rather than domestic,'' Weil said in a statement.
Today's challenges demand the ``willingness of risk-taking'' and better educating those heading overseas with language and cultural skills and knowledge of local and regional customs, he said.
``China has become more open to Western imports,'' and India has adopted more liberalized import regulations, Weil said. China, India and, to a lesser degree Eastern Europe, constitute opportunities beyond major markets in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.
``The international plastics scene is constantly expanding as more and more countries create their own plastics resources and technology,'' he said. At the same time, the domestic plastics industry continues to drive technology advances in equipment, materials and applications.
Weil started SPI's international marketing thrust and ``would help anyone do international business,'' said Vince Witherup, vice president of international sales and marketing with Conair Group in Pittsburgh. Weil worked tirelessly and was very giving of his time, said Witherup, who nominated Weil for the award.
Weil helped ``big and small companies get into the international marketplace when it was not trendy to do that,'' Witherup said by telephone.
After joining Amapacet in 1958 as export manager, Weil was named executive vice president two years later. In 1970, he began a 28-year tenure as president and chief executive officer. He served as chairman from 1999 until his retirement.
James Meinert, Gordon Lankton, Robert Schad and Witherup are previous winners of the award.