A 34-year plastics industry veteran, Joe Raffa joined Elbridge, N.Y.-based precision injection molder and mold maker Tessy Plastics in 1991 after serving three years as general manager of Oneida Molded Plastics Corp. of Oneida, N.Y. He attended Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, N.Y., in the late 1960s and began his career in 1970 as a machine operator at Syracuse Plastics Inc. in Fayetteville, N.Y. Raffa worked his way up to shift foreman before returning to school part-time in 1976 and going to work at Oneida Molded Plastics as a process engineer. He was a project engineer there when in 1982 he left to join AMP Inc. in Harrisburg Pa. (now part of Tyco International Ltd.) as a plastics engineer. Amp promoted him to engineering supervisor, then to manufacturing engineering manager in the electro-optics division before Raffa left in 1988 to rejoin Oneida.
Tessy, winner of the 2000 Plastics News Processor of the Year award, reported $72 million in annual sales last year and in 2001 opened a wholly owned molding plant in Shanghai, China.